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With rain falling of varying amounts in most areas across the country, after the dust has settled the next thing on the mind of gardeners is the number of weeds that start to germinate. The most effective control is hit them while they are small just as they are pushing out of the ground. This is when they are most vulnerable to changes in light and moisture. There are a few different ways to control weeds and before you reach for the sprayer try these methods:

Dig them up – Weeds are most vulnerable when they just germinate, just after the cotyledon stage as the two new real leaves appear. It’s also the time when they can be easily pulled out and laid back on the ground to compost.

Mulch – A mulch will block out the light to newly germinated seedlings and most newly germinated winter weeds will be destroyed with a 75-100mm layer of mulch.

Smother – Carpet, black plastic or cardboard are effective short-term strategies for weed control. After the weeds have germinated it will only be a few days of being covered and the weeds will perish. Take the cover off to allow the slower germinating varieties to appear before covering again.

Living Ground Covers – Are an amazingly effective way to control weeds. Bare soil always grows weeds, so one of the most attractive strategies is to have minimal bare soil in the garden. The best excuse to plant more plants. Choose thick matt forming ground covers for the most effective weed control.

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