Weeds with Shannon of CFUN

I actually did something that was a lot of fun early this morning: a live interview with Shannon Nelson on CFUN in Vancouver. She?s a smart dame and she?s interviewed me before so we do get along. She listens to what you say instead of having one of those overweening egos, which just ploughs on relentlessly. What a pleasure.

?We talked weeds. And, of course, now?s the time to get cracking on them. Most weeds will move into any niche left open to them. So if you?ve got bare soil check out to see if there?s something you don’t recognize or didn?t plant and get it out.

?An old chisel is my handy companion for this, but you can buy great weeders like the ones on www.rittenhouse.ca. The weed twister and weeding finger appeal to me and for small gardens wouldn?t be a storage problem—something I worry about all the time.

If you?ve got patches of virulent intruders such as goutweed (plain and variegated) or bindweed don?t just try to pull them up. They have brittle root systems, and every time you snap a bit off, it makes a new plant.

?Save up your newspapers and make a?thick carpet of them over the infected areaThen cover it with plastic held down at the edges with bricks. It can?t be a huge area or this will look awful. If the sun should deign to shine this will fry the weeds and anything else underneath and you?ve got a clean slate to work with.

?Once the ground warms up, pop in cool weather annuals and pansies to keep the soil covered and shade out any possibility of weeds coming back. The shading out of weeds is a really good technique. Of course this means intensive planting which will provide plenty of diversity, and that in turn will make your garden clean and healthy.

?If this doesn?t work for some reason, keep the intruders cut back to the ground constantly. This will starve them of oxygen, inhibit photosynthesis and eventually they will die.

?Banishing weeds from the garden early on will save a load of time later on in the season when there are a lot more amusing things to be done in the garden.