Force of Nature…
Posted on: April 20th, 2017 by adminThe warmer weather we have been enjoying in Kent these past few weeks has encouraged us all into the garden to soak up some much needed sunshine. However, it also encourages those pushy and prolific unwelcome garden visitors ….weeds! Although these are technically only plants in the wrong place, some can be invasive and impact on the plants we do want to nurture. Creeping buttercup, Cleavers, Dandelions, Ground elder, Mare’s tail and Japanese knot weed, amongst others, delight in bare soil areas or damp lawns. Fast growing weeds are difficult to control and often have extensive root systems which can regenerate from small fragments left in the soil and can lie dormant in the soil for years. Despite being much maligned by gardeners, weeds serve an important purpose. Their job is to protect open soil from erosion and by forming a mulch, they prevent phosphates, nitrates, minerals and ground moisture from leaching out of the soil. They also trap rainwater and act as natural water filters. In order to fulfil this function, weeds need to be tough, adaptable and produce millions of seeds to ensure their survival. These “bullies” of the garden world need to be tamed however, to ensure that our chosen garden plants flourish without their stiff competition. Keeping borders well stocked, providing a thick mulch of bark or well-rotted compost and removing weeds and their roots by hand, before they produce seed, all help to ensure that our gardens provide an attractive environment that will allow those plants with finer sensibilities to flourish.
Pauline Bourne (East Grinstead Garden)
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