This winter in Sydney the lawn might grow a little slower and the garden may lose a few leaves but the weeds remain laying low below. Sydney Wide Turf has these handy tips to keep your backyard weed free in the colder months.
Leave Weeds Dormant
Every patch of soil in your garden contains weed seeds, but only those in the top couple of centimeters or two of soil get enough light to trigger germination. Digging and cultivating brings hidden weed seeds to the surface, so assume weed seeds are there ready to erupt, like ants from an upset anthill, every time you open a patch of ground. Dig only when you need to and immediately salve the disturbed spot with plants or mulch.
In lawns, minimise soil disturbance by using a sharp knife with a narrow blade to slice through the roots of dandelions and other lawn weeds to sever their feed source rather than digging them out. Keep in mind that weed seeds can remain dormant for a long, long time.
Mulch benefits plants by keeping the soil cool and moist and depriving weeds of light. Organic mulches, in particular, can actually host crickets and carabid beetles, which seek out and devour thousands of weed seeds.
Some light passes through chunky mulches, and often you will discover—too late—that the mulch you used was laced with weed seeds. It’s important to replenish the mulch as needed to keep it about 2 inches deep (more than 3 inches deep can deprive soil of oxygen). In any case, you can set weeds way back by covering the soil’s surface with a light-blocking sheet of cardboard, newspaper, or biodegradable fabric and then spreading prettier mulch over it.
Get Them Closer
Close plant spacing chokes out emerging weeds by shading the soil between plants. You can prevent weed-friendly gaps from the get-go by designing with mass plantings or in drifts of closely spaced plants rather than with polka dots of widely scattered ones. You can usually shave off about 25 percent from the recommended spacing.
Boil Them Alive
Boiling water is a quick and easy way to kill weeds in between pavements and cracks. Just pour a bit on the roots and the sheer heat will take care of the rest. For added effect add some vinegar to the water and it will really speed the process along.