Accessibility Skip to Navigation Skip to Content Skip to Search

A weed free garden is superb!

This article was first published on 17 Jul 2012.

A weed free garden

A weed free garden

How good is that feeling when you have been doing hard yakka pulling weeds, and then stand back to admire your work?   My bet is instant gratification!

Of course everyone’s opinion of what’s a weed will be different, as the definition of a weed is ‘any plant growing where it is not desired’.

At Dunedin Botanic Garden many weed control methods are used.  This depends on the type of weed (whether annual or perennial), the site (hoeing around surface rooting plants will damage their roots) or time constraints (hand weeding can take longer than a quick push hoe).

Hand weeding is my favourite because of the fulfillment it brings.  A very useful tool, the wonder weeder, pictured, hooks out the roots, while a gardening fork can help get those pesky deep rooted weeds, such as dandelion.

Keep a pair of secateurs nearby. As you work through your garden desirable plants may be in need of a touch up, a clip here and there. This will help keep your garden superb.

Other methods used at Dunedin Botanic Garden are:

  • Hoeing
  • planting of groundcover plants, to cover areas that weeds would otherwise enjoy
  • deadheading plants before seeding, to stop desirable plants from self-seeding and becoming a weed
  • occasional spraying with herbicides
  • mulching, which can also be used to smother the smaller weeds, thus also achieving instant gratification!

So, head out to your garden, check those weeds out, and have a go.

Nick Coughlan is a 3rd year horticultural apprentice at Dunedin Botanic Garden.