Ways to Tackle Weeds in Your Garden

bark mulch suppliers essex, dandelion

Now is the time of year that many people are looking to revitalise their garden with beautiful plants. But you will have to guard against weeds, which can be every gardener’s enemy.

Cambridge-based Madingley Mulch are leading bark mulch suppliers for customers in Essex, Hertfordshire, Bedfordshire and Suffolk, as well as Cambridgeshire. We stock a range of products to make sure your plants flourish and help you fight these unwanted visitors.

Use a Mulch

A weed is often described as ‘a plant growing in the wrong place’ such as a cultivated space like a garden, park or farm field. If you are dealing with a patch of bare soil, then the best plan is to prevent weeds from growing in the first place by effectively suffocating them at source. You can cover the soil with a mulch containing bark or wood chippings in the spring. This will help to retain moisture in the soil as well as stop weeds from growing.

Enrich the Soil

Enriching the soil can help to prevent weeds growing, with evidence showing that fewer weed seeds germinate in well-nourished soil which contains a good level of organic material. Our own exclusive blend of soil conditioners, Denise’s Delight, contains Black Fen soil and well-rotted horse manure, plus wood shavings, humus and plant nutrients. This means it has the advantages of both soil and compost and makes it ideal for use in raised beds.

Annual or Perennial?
If weeds do break through, then how you tackle them may depend on the type of weed and the time of year. Weeds which grow annually, such as chickweed, hairy bittercress and groundsel, are best combated by hoeing. This should not be done too deeply, as it can bring ungerminated seeds to the surface.

Perennial weeds, such as Japanese knotweed, field horsetail and the common or garden dandelion, can be removed with a fork. As these types of plants can go deep into the soil, you will need to get all of the root out, so sometimes it will help if they are treated with a weedkiller such as glyphosate. Weed-suppressing mulches can also be effective in attacking these types of plant.

Other Environmentally Friendly Methods

If you would prefer not to use a weedkiller, then there are a range of organic methods, in addition to mulches, hoeing and forking out, you can use which will not affect the quality of the soil.

You could burn them out with a weed wand. This is particularly suitable for weeds growing in narrow spaces such as between patio paving slabs. Another source of heat, namely boiling water, can be effective in similar cases although some weeds with longer roots, such as dandelions, may resprout so you might need to dig out the base of the root; and in patios you might need to repeat the treatment two or three times to get rid of the offending weed completely.

Another option is to give nature a helping hand.  Edging boards will stop your lawn growing where you don’t want it to. You can also use a range of fabrics to suppress weeds at source, from plastic sheeting to woven or spun materials. The latter two options will have the added benefit of allowing moisture through, allowing your plants to flourish. Many of these solutions work better if they are covered with a layer of mulch.

Whatever method you choose, Madingley Mulch can help, as suppliers of bark mulch, garden compost and a wide range of gardening products. We deliver bulk loads across the Anglia region, including Essex, Suffolk and Bedfordshire, and we have a gardening, DIY and building materials shop on site.  You can talk to our friendly store staff about your best strategy for beating the weeds in your garden. Click on the link to see our shop’s range of products.


Back to blog