How to avoid weeding.
To me weeding is the least enjoyable job in the garden it gets in the way of relaxing in the sun, so how can we avoid it.
There are weed killers which do work well, but you have to be really careful not to kill the plants that you want to keep. Residual weed killers are great on paths and drives where you want to blitz all the weeds and keep them away all summer. You just have to make sure there is no spray drift onto the garden. I bought myself a ‘Weed Ball’, you just have to touch a weed to will kill it. It is very good but you have to remember that every plant you touch will be killed. It is brilliant on crazy paving though, a bit like doing a puzzle.
So what about the borders? The best solution is to cover the bare soil with bark chips, which stops fresh seeds germinating. Sadly this only works if you get rid of all the weeds before you apply the bark. The best way to clear out all the weeds is either by hoeing on a hot dry day or hand weeding. The bark needs to be about two inches thick and topped up once a year. Bark can be quite expensive if bought in bags, but landscapers who have chippers will often sell it much more reasonably in bulk. Weed matting is very effective, but it looks better with a thin layer of bark or pebbles over it.
Another method is to completely over plant the borders so that there is no room for weeds to grow. I like this one because it involves buying lots of plants.
Don’t be too quick to get rid of everything that you didn’t plant. Sometimes there are happy accidents such as ferns self-setting in a damp corner or seeds from last year’s bedding plants making a swathe of colour in a border or path. These are the things that make a garden look really natural.