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How To Have A Weed Free Summer

Wednesday, 2 April 2008

Today Eugene will be giving us some practical tips on how to have a weed free summer! We'll also be having a generic phone - in on all things gardening.
Eugene Higgins - Weedkiller!

I was born into Horticulture in a plant nursery/garden centre in north Co Dublin started in 1940 by my grandfather, so my excuse is, "that its in my blood".
On leaving school I worked in various Dublin radio stations and spent my spare time working in the family run garden centre, this soon reversed after spending an intervening number of years in Australia.
Over the last 12 years I have been combining Horticulture and media work.besides working on the Afternoon Show since season 1 my media contributions have also included:

. BBC   Room For Improvement (Season 1)
. FM 104  Claire McKeon Show
. Lite Fm Dublin Saturday magazine

In 1999 I returned to retailing opening Colour Green Garden Centre in Malahide Dublin, which won "Best Specialist Garden Centre 2002-Ireland".
In 2004 we subsequently moved the business to Tullamore, Co Offaly, where we have a lot more space around us and have concentrated on developing our Colour Green Landscaping Services. Our highlight to date was, being commissioned last year by the Afternoon Show to restore a nursing home's spectacular Japanese garden that had run into serious disrepair (Carrigoran Nursing Home, Co Clare).

I am currently working on an exhibit suburban style landscaped garden in Dublin with a working title of "The Garden Gallery" based at Blackbanks' Garden Centre, Raheny, Dublin which should be completed by late Spring 2008.
A weed is 'any plant growing in the wrong place'. Weeds are dangerous because they compete with various garden plants for water, light and nutrients . This can kill the various plants growing around the weeds.

There have been many solutions to the weed problem over the centuries
. Romans would only uproot weeds in the last quarter of the moon
. In the 13th century, planted areas were treated with boiling water to kill the weeds
. Pigs were also used by getting them to forage in the weeds in the hope that they'd eat the root
. Chemicals have taken over in recent times
. Now we are looking back at older methods and the use of the tools like the hoe

There are two main types of weeds.

These weeds normally complete their full cycle of growth, flowering and seeding in a single season and then die.

These weeds have an indefinite life span of more than two years.

Eugene will be featuring products that you can use to rid your garden of dreaded weeds. He'll also be giving us some practical tips on how to get rid of weeds without having to use any products.

Path Clear - €19.99
Round Up 3 Litre - €18.49
Easy Weed 1kg - €25.99
Gardener weeding Tool - €31.49
Weed burner - €39

How to make your own weedkiller
. 1 gallon of distilled vinegar
. 1 cup of salt
. 1 tablespoon of liquid dish soap
. Place mixture in a spray bottle and look forward to a weed free summer!

Eugenes Tips for a Weed Free Summer
1. Weeds grow once the temperature goes above 6 degrees centigrade so be vigilant all year round not just during the summer. This is where you can be caught out
2. If you allow roots of weeds to establish themselves then they will spread. When taking a weed out of the ground make sure and get the whole root!
3. Salt and Vinegar works as an excellent weed killer and is a cheap and cheerful option. Also don't throw away the salted boiling water that you cooked your potatoes in, use it as a weed killer on paths and drives.
4. Buy a weed grabber which are available nationwide.
5. Cut nettles down to the ground the moment they appear. If you're consistent they will give up. However every garden should keep a few nettles as they are homes to bugs that help the garden such as ladybirds.
6. An old rhyme dictates, Thistles cut in May return the next day, Thistles cut in June come back soon, But cut them in July and they're sure to die!


Next week Eugene will be telling us how to get the perfect lawn!