Spring is not only a busy time in the garden for sowing seeds, it is also the best time to tackle weeds. They have just started growing since the winter and are easy to hoe or pull out. If you are able to distinguish baby weeds from your little seedlings you’re on a winner, because you can use the hoe.

Most weeds haven’t started to flower and can be added to the compost heap without a thought. For example, dandelions bring up a range of nutrients with their deep roots, and, if not in flower, are a great addition.   Nettles are rich in nitrogen. Small weeds can be left to wilt on the ground or on the edge of the vegetable bed and so become green manure.

When gardening time is limited, you have to prioritise. This is my order of attention. Yours might be in a different order, that’s fine, as long as you have a plan.

  1. Any plants I didn’t sow that compete for nutrients or space with plants I did sow. Weeds in a vacant area of the bed I tend to leave alone, unless they are category 2,3,4 or 5.
  2. Any weeds big enough to provide shelter and breeding space for slugs and snails along the edges of raised beds or near vegetable beds.
  3. Ragwort, dock and thistles.
  4. Weeds creating runners or with invasive root systems in or near a vegetable bed (buttercup, creeping cinquefoil, scutch grass)
  5. Weeds that may look harmless on their own, but are capable of creating lots of seedlings (dandelions, certain thistles, ragwort)
  6. Weeds that may look harmless on their own, but are capable of creating lots of seedlings (dandelions, certain thistles, ragwort)
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