It’s amazing how weed seedlings keep growing even in the depths of winter! Stay indoors now and by spring they’ll have a head start on the season, setting seed before you notice they’re there and spreading into a real headache by summer.
Fast-growing annual weeds like chickweed, shepherd’s purse and groundsel germinate even in the coldest months of the year if there’s a mild spell. So when you take a winter wander around the garden, remember to take a hoe with you and slice them away just under soil level while they’re still tiny, picking up the top growth to add to the compost bin. It saves an awful lot of trouble later in spring.
While you’re at it, keep an eye out for signs of perennial weed growth from nasties like couch grass and ground elder, as well as deep-rooted weeds like dandelions, dock and hogweed. Bindweed has mostly died right back now but you’ll still spot its white, rope-like, easily-broken roots underground as you dig.
When you spot these persistent troublemakers, dig them up with as much of the root as you can reach and put them in the green waste bin or burn them – don’t compost as they can survive the composting process to reinfest your garden next year.
You’ll find lots of weed-busting equipment here at the garden centre in Poynings to make light work of winter weeding. All our tools are well crafted and sturdy, to cope with the day-to-day workload in a busy garden. You’ll find a good selection of different hoes to choose from, including the traditional triangle-shaped Dutch hoe, draw hoes and swoes – the three-edged hoes versatile enough to use right up close to your plants. Hand hoes also help you get into those tricky corners and they’re small enough to carry in your tool bag. Look out for our specialist weeding tools too, from dandelion grubbers to onion hoes.