Garden weeds can be a real problem. The GardenAdvice team explain how to deal with the 3 most difficult garden weeds.
Get your free guide on controlling garden weeds written by the GardenAdvice team
Horsetail or Marestail
( Equisetum arvense )
This is one of the most difficult weeds to eradicate in the garden situation. Once spotted to is important to go to work immediately to eradicate it. A perennial weed which grows in a wide variety of places from, boggy ground to sand dunes. It has two types of growth, in spring brown asparagus-like shoots appear with cones at the tips and these produce spores. Later the more familiar thin green, branched stems appear and these remain until the winter. Both are produced from creeping underground rhizomes, which go down about 1.5 metres.
It is resistant to most weedkillers, but Glyphosate (trade name RoundUp) may have some success after repeated treatment. The GardenAdvice team has had some success by crushing the stems to break the waxy surface and then applying Glyphosate in the form of round up with a small paintbrush. Glyphosate has the advantage of keeping the plant alive whilst the chemical travels from one cell to another in the plant before killing it. Persistent applications will kill it after 5 months.
Hedge and field Bindweed
( Calystegia sepium and Convolvulus arvensis)
Bindweed is a difficult plant to control, however with the use of glyphosate (trade name RoundUp) it is possible to eradicate it fairly quickly.
It's a climbing herbaceous perennial, spreading by creeping underground stems, which root readily into virgin soil. Before the use of chemicals such as glyphosate digging it out was the best way to control it. The main problem with this method is that every small piece of root left turned into a new plant. With the roots being brittle it is almost impossible to remove the entire root, so inevitable after a short period of time the problem returned only this time it had become at least twice the size. As with horse's tail it is best to apply the glyphosate with a small paintbrush directly to the leaves. Unlike horses tail it should only take one or two applications to control the bindweed.
Other methods include hoeing repeatedly to exhaust the bindweed as new stems appear. The two different types of bind weed as self-explanatory. One is more inclined to climb that the other but the control is the same.
(Dog's Grass, Twitch)
(Agropyrum repens, syn. Elymus repens)
The most common of our difficult weeds the couch grass is a perennial grass with creeping underground stems with small fibrous roots at every joint.
You can find couch grass in most gardens, under hedges at the back
of the borders. It's not a major problem until it becomes unchecked.
Then over a period of time it takes a firm grip and starts to spread
On large areas containing couch or in-between shrubs the GardenAdvice team tend to roughly. Then allow the remaining roots to re-shoot we spray with glyphosate (trade name RoundUp) and allow the systemic action to kill the couch over a period of about 6 weeks. As with bind weed two applications might be needed.
"Get your free guide on controlling garden weeds written by the GardenAdvice team"