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Digital Subscriptions > Kitchen Garden Magazine > August 2017 > WAR on WEEDS

WAR on WEEDS

It might seem like a losing battle at times but it’s not all doom and gloom on the veg patch. This month Julie Moore presents a chemical-free approach to ridding your plot of weeds
Dandelions can regenerate from the smallest piece of root left when weeding

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Gardeners face three certain things in life: death, taxes and weeds! Weeds are the bane of any gardener, always seeming to grow better than your crops. You don’t have to feed or water them. Turn your back and there they are, crowding out your cabbages, winding around the tomatoes or choking out the carrots.

In the competition for the ‘survival of the fittest,’ one of Nature’s oldest laws, weeds win time and again against cultivated plants. Their roots mine minerals and trace elements held deep in the soil, their leaves extract nitrogen from the air. They have a libido to make even the most amorous rabbits blush. Take chickweed – it can complete its life cycle in five to six weeks with an average plant producing between 2200 and 2700 seeds. Given that the seeds can germinate at any time of the year, including beneath a 20cm (8in) blanket of snow and remain viable in the soil for up to eight years, a rampant growth of chickweed can quickly ensue. Others, such as dandelion and bindweed, can regenerate from the smallest piece of root.

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About Kitchen Garden Magazine

Kitchen Garden is Britain's best guide to growing your own. It offers advice from the finest minds in gardening to make sure you get the tastiest produce from your plot.
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