Identifying Weeds - An Easy Guide to Some Common Ones with Images Chiswick

Weeding is one of those perennial tasks which does not go away - even if your garden is run according to the best management principles. Read on and get more information.

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Identifying Weeds - An Easy Guide to Some Common Ones with Images

Identifying Weeds - An Easy Guide to Some Common Ones

Identifying weeds: a useful skill for any gardener!

Weeding is one of those perennial tasks which does not go away -- even if your garden is run according to the best management principles. Identifying weeds correctly is therefore a must. Some also happen to look a bit like common garden plants!

On this page I will display pictures of some of the commonest monsters which afflict the home gardener in this corner of the world. Many of these are also found in other countries and climates. Some of our most intractable weeds now come from outside the UK and doubtless we have exported some too.

This brief guide to identifying weeds is mainly visual but I include some notes on how best to deal with them.

They are in alphabetical order.

First here are a few notes on how best to prevent and minimise weeds.

Identifying weeds:

Reduce, recycle!

The best way to deal with weeds is not to have (m)any! Simple eh?

No, I'm not recommending you pave your garden, just mentioning some of the best ways of reducing your weeds by eco-friendly means. You are never going to reach the nirvana of a completely weed-free garden. But there are some ways you can cut down weeding time and effort without resorting to chemicals.

Mulching

You can reduce your weeds by mulching and by using mulch mats or weed fabric.

Mulching is the process whereby you spread compost or other organic matter on the soil around plants. You can suppress a lot of weed growth this way, especially if you use compost which is really free of weed seeds. If you need to plant new plants you just plant through the mulch. You can buy compost suitable for mulching in garden centres. There are other products which may be suitable too.

Some plants do not mind a layer of chipped bark around them. This tends to suit larger, more established plants. You get the best results if you use a planting membrane underneath the chipped bark. This preserves the bark chippings for longer and stops weeds coming through.

Other plants may do well with scattered gravel or shingle. This approach is more suitable for dry areas with plants which conserve moisture well.

You can also buy light-weight mulch matting which is specially designed to act as a weed suppressant while letting moisture in. This is especially suitable for vegetable growing areas and soft fruits. You can cover it over with top soil or other materials so that you don't have to look at ugly black plastic.

You can also use well-chosen plants to suppress and out-compete other plants. Tagetes, for example are brilliant companion plants and they also help deter difficult weeds such as couch grass and ground ivy. Don't expect instant results, though!

Composting difficult weeds

Don't forget you can also recycle your weeds for the most part by composting them or by using them to build green banks in your garden. But most simple grasses and annual wildflowers can just go in the...

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