How to keep on top of weeds the easy way


If you’re getting raised beds ready for planting again then you will be relieved to hear that you don’t have to dig to Australia to get back on top of weeds. In fact, many gardeners swear by the ‘no dig’ method.

The weed cycle goes like this….an annual weed seed is carried into your veg patch by wind (or by birds). It grows and produces its own flowers and seeds. The seeds drop and land on your soil. They grow, and the cycle continues. What most gardeners do is wait until things get a little out of hand before digging them all up. There’s nothing wrong with this approach and many of us here at Rocket Gardens quite enjoy this method of digging (it keeps you fit and is quite satisfying!) However, many other gardeners are quick to point out that digging brings dormant weed seeds to the surface of the soil where they can germinate, and so you end up doing lots more work.

The idea with a no-dig method is that rather than digging weeds up you want to cover them up with a good, thick layer of mulch, essentially burying them so far below the surface that they remain dormant.

If you want to give this approach a go, now is the time to do it. You’ll need to get a suitable mulching matter – organic compost or well-rotted manure are good, or a leaf mould – and apply a thick layer of about 15cm to the surface of veg beds. Do this before you plant your veg and don’t be tempted to dig it in.

As the season continues, use a hoe to remove any weeds before they go to seed. In fact, you want to remove the weeds before they’ve really started growing. It’s easy enough to do this by lightly hoeing the beds once or twice a week. (This regular hoeing is the best way to keep on top of things during the summer growing season regardless of the method you use.)