Weeds are a huge problem for any garden, no matter where it is in the world. They are incredibly tough, fast-spreading and can thrive under almost any condition. There are various types of weedkiller available and the choice can lead to a certain amount of confusion. However, to make things easy for you, this little guide should help you identify the best product for your needs…
As its name suggests, non-selective weedkiller will destroy anything it comes into contact with. You should only really consider a non-selective herbicide if it is absolutely essential, and when you use it you have to be incredibly careful to not spray it onto your favorite plants. Avoid this treatment on windy days!
Selective weed killers are full of poisons and enzymes that can destroy specific types of plant. Each selective herbicide will have a list of weeds it can attack on the bottle, so make sure you know what you are dealing with before purchasing, as if you choose the wrong type, it will have no effect.
If you don’t like the idea of spreading chemicals throughout your garden, then you could try for a natural method. White vinegar, for example, makes a good weedkiller, as the acid contained in it will gradually get heated up by the sun and burn into the weed, right down to the root. However, you are reliant on the weather for this method: if it rains, for example, you will need to reapply when it gets dry. If you use vinegar, make sure you are careful when spraying it, as it is non-selective.
You can also get a handle on your weed problem by introducing parasites to your garden. Bugs can have a field day with a lot of weeds, and can quickly kill many of them, reducing the problem exponentially. However, they won’t eradicate them completely and they can also have an effect on the other plants in your garden. It is wise to consult a biocontrol specialist if you feel this route is for you.
Residual Weed Killer
Residual weed killer is a rather extreme solution that should only be used for a garden that has literally been strangled by weeds. It acts within your soil, poisoning it and anything growing in it. If you need to clear a garden path, it’s great, but as it remains in the soil for a couple of years afterwards, you shouldn’t use it for anywhere you intend to plant anything for some time.