A month of sunshine and showers with warmer temperatures, April is the time that many things start to grow.
Unfortunately that includes the weeds! The good news is that if you catch them now you really will lessen your work over the coming months. Choose a warm dry day and hoe off the annual weeds, being sure to avoid any newly planted seedlings. Perennial weeds, especially ones with big tap roots such as docks, are best dealt with after rainfall when the soil has been softened.
Don’t forget that if you are rushing out of the house and see (for example) a dandelion in flower you can pick off the head to stop it seeding, and come back to hoicking it out when you have a moment.
Try and think of what you want in the area you have cleared of weeds so you can plant desirable plants that will stop the weeds coming back. However, if you have to leave an area of soil bare then don’t let your hard work go to waste.
A hoe is best here; a few moments every few days will keep the patch clear and prevent you looking out of the window and feeling you are back at square one!
Many people are unsure how to use a hoe effectively and may not even own one or keep it sharpened and clean. As it is used quite lightly just a few centimetres under the soil, it is best to find a hoe which feels balanced as you hold it and doesn’t sit too heavily in your hands.
The blade is gently pushed into the soil with the flat side parallel with the surface. It won’t work well if the soil is either caked hard or wet, but it is very effective and enjoyable when the soil is crumbly. If you can rope in a friend to help then a weeding session can turn into an opportunity to chat in the sunshine.
– it’s a job that doesn’t require too much concentration.
and you will definitely deserve a cup of tea and a slice of cake once it’s done!