There are a number of weed control options available. In addition to traditional weedkillers there are now also a range of more natural alternatives.
Any weedkiller can be used to control and kill self-sown seedlings. Those marketed as “fast acting” are contact weedkillers – killing or damaging the plant tissue they are sprayed onto or make contact with. These tend to be based on “naturally-occurring” active ingredients, such as acetic acid and natural fatty acids.
Systemic weedkillers that also kill the roots, can also be used.
To ensure weedkillers work more effectively:
- Spray the leaves when the plants are growing actively; this is mainly from March/April to September/October. Contact weedkillers will have some controlling effect if used during the colder weather in winter.
- Use a fine spray to thoroughly coat the leaves in small droplets.
- During the summer, spray in the evening to prevent the spray evaporating and to give maximum time for the spray to work. In spring or if overnight dew is forecast, spray earlier in the day to allow the spray to dry before dew falls.
Most weedkillers (except lawn weedkillers) are total weedkillers – that is they will damage or kill any plants whose leaves they are sprayed onto. Make sure you keep the spray off wanted plants – including lawns – and, if necessary protect wanted plants by covering with polythene or similar when spraying.
Use weedkillers safely. Always read the label and product information before use.