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I have been informed by many people working on other gardens , that the owner hate weeds and paying someone to clear them.
Gardeners tend to work a few hours or a day a week in other peoples garden. On their return they would probably end up weeding the same areas. I understand the owners frustration as they would like the rest of the garden front and back maintaining ?
For my project at college I would like to identify the best ways to keep weeds to a minimum.
My restrictions are
1) The owners like natural , no weedkillers etc
2) Spening money as it would be cheaper to buy grown veg.
Any help would be great thanks



As far as I'm concerned, any major problem with weeds is caused by a major problem with the planting - if the garden has been carefully planted with mostly low maintenance plants, there should be barely any soil available for weeds to grow in. If owners of gardens choose high maintenance planting, such as dedicated rose beds, or an annual bedding display, then they can expect to pay a gardener to weed practically weekly during summer - change the planting, reduce the weeding...

1 Oct, 2010


"Gardeners tend to work a few hours or a day a week in other peoples garden."

I'm a professional gardener and I can cut the grass,trim the edges,and hoe all the borders of an average garden in one hour a week( say 40 feet by 30 at the front and a bit bigger at the back )

Bamboo is correct though. Plant properly and there will be virtually no weeding. This is what I do in my own garden

1 Oct, 2010


I really appreciate your answers and strongly agree

The original question was about two large vegetable plots ( my mistake ) that had every weed I can think of in it. This week both plots have been sorted and look excellant.
I was looking for the best advice on keeping it this way for future.

Each week a lot of other jobs are being done around the property , but it would be nice to find a good way of keeping the weeds down.

The garden that pushed me onto this subject used to be in the open gardens years ago.
The original owner died and the new owners left the garden ( two acres) to go wild . The trees and are all over the place and fighting for light etc. The lovely borders are all in a mess and full of self sets and weeds alike.

The whole garden front and back really wants digging out, sorting out and things replanting in some sort of order, Thats how bad it is.The main lawn is about 200ft long and 40 ft wide. It is like walking on marsh land and again has all weeds etc growing in it. However as previoulsy mentioned, no weed or any chemicals are allowed.

When weeding the owner will only allow pulling them up by fingers in the gardens or gravel drive etc. The owner thinks proper weeding is a waste of money and time ?????

The original question was about two large vegetable plots that had every weed I can think of in it. This week both plots have been sorted and look excellant.
I was looking for the best advice on keeping it this way for future.

Each week a lot of other jobs are being done around the property , but it would be nice to find a good way of keeping the weeds down.

1 Oct, 2010


Once the weeds have been removed in the first instance, then by far the easiest method to keep it clear is to hoe it each week, just turning the surface, which lifts the emerging annual weeds,(and they will die in any sun) and reveals any perennial weeds as they show.They can then be dug out. It takes a few minutes each week, honestly. The trick is to stay on top of it. Membranes cover up a lot, without dealing with them. Mulches are really only for the established perennial or shrub border. The lawn is a different task altogether. My dad, (bless his soul) used to drop a small amount of sulphate of ammonia into the heart of each perennial weed which burned it up. Convince the owner to fork out on a 'weed and feed' treatment? However, it sounds as though drainage is an issue, and although there are methods of improving that, it may be that a new approach is required, and tough grasses are sown, which will survive, and compete well with the weeds. Allowing the grass to stay a little longer may also help with the excess water. More green surface to catch the circulating air, and to transpire, keeping the moisture content down. Phil J

1 Oct, 2010


Hi Phil.
Thanks for your response and again I totally agree.

I weeded these plots yesterday and I have spoken to the owner.requesting that each time I go I will need to quicky hoe these two patches. He agreed but was not happy.

He hates gardening and anyone being paid to do it. Work does need doing in all these areas. It would be my dream to turn this garden around and make but it back to its former glory.

Anchorman, Bamboo and yourself were spot on, but when it comes to giving the time, paying for it to be done I have a struggle.

This is why I have joined this course at Brooksby to help me learn and put over the information from the course to the owner. Maybe he will start to bend and we can get some really good results.

1 Oct, 2010


The owners expectations are ludicrous.! You simply cannot do the job required if you're not given the time to do it. With a lawn the size you are taking about you could spend ages each week removing weeds. If it were me I would politely explain to the owner that it cannot be done without weed killers without a great deal of time and therefore cost to him.

If you were allowed to use a weedkiller once or twice in year one to eliminate the existing weeds then it would be possible to remove future weeds by hand. I would not recommend the granular weed and feed because it doesn't kill all weeds .Also amateurs ,from my experience ,tend to spread it unevenly and the result is a horrible mess with large burned patches which take many weeks to recover

I would recommend the liquid applied Verdone Extra which kills virtually all weeds.It is very easy to apply on a dry day with a fine rose on a watering can . It is the most effective lawn weedkiller I know . Too late to use it this year though.

If you're not allowed to use weed killers to eliminate heavy perennial weed infestations in the borders then it will be a BIG task to eliminate them

There are only 4 ways of dealing with weeds. Any of these will work or a combination.

1. hoe every week

2. use weed killers

3 heavy mulch after perennial weeds have been removed

4. use a ground cover fabric which allows water through but not light/weeds and cover this with bark or gravel .

1 Oct, 2010


As this is a college project, I hope you will acknowledge the assistance you have got from the GoY members. I suspect 'proper research' re the advantages and disadvantages of different methods was expected.

sorry if this sounds harsh but I hate being asked to do 'homework' for my kids. It is their work and their assessment.

1 Oct, 2010


I certainly will and thanks for your help. I have been to 14 garden centres, various internet sites and four libraries. I can honestly say that stumbling on this website has given me more answers and a boost to beat my problem in this garden.

I have found all the others could not give me answers to the questions and I started losing faith. This is a project thought of by me and a working one. I would like to see this to the end and hopefully have some good accomplishments.These would then be fed back to yourselves at the end.

Ground faric is one I thought of and to put treated wood all around the borders to help reduce weeds and grass transfering to the vegetable beds.

I today found a load of Yorkshire stone at the tip and will use this for walking between different vegetables lanes. However this would leave a pathway for weeds to grow,The ground cover fabric could go under these in one length??

I also discovered today that the old way was to put veg in rows for easy picking ?

However various veg could be put in blocks of five filling the gaps or grow lettuce in the gaps.

Using tap water has been a no no too and there is no water butts to use.
At the local tip today they had a room full of the dustbins with lids ( thank God for the introduction of wheelie bins ) I managed to obtain 8 of these using the recycling tactic. I found a piece of pipe as well and will join all of these together and link to the shed guttering.

Hopefully I might find some weed fabric at the tip or obtain some off cuts from the garden centres.

Thanks for your thoughts and honesty Seaburnngirl.
Happy gardening

1 Oct, 2010


There is no simple solution to weeds. Either you use weed killers or you do the weeding.

Weed fabric will stop existing weeds growing through it but if you put stones on top weeds will grow in the cracks between the stones as soon as dust/soil blows in .Personally I wouldn't lay a fairly loose stone path between rows of veg. I'd either use a movable board to walk on or put down a thin solid path that weeds can't grow in.

1 Oct, 2010


I do hope you have not been put of by seaburngirl's presumptuous, discourteous,unhelpful,off topic comments...there is no reason for you not to ask here and you ask a good question that is relevant and helpful to other amateur gardeners such as myself, that come on line to look for a bit of friendly guidance and advice...unfortunately not all share those sentiments.

The site is here as a resource, helping through sharing information and advise with each other - Not for expressing personal grievances with someone's reason for asking a question. No not at all, and that is shameful.

If the college have asked you to name the sources of your research, i am sure you would inform the teacher though i have no reason to think you wouldn't nor does anyone else, but the fact is it is none of anyone's business anyway.

Good luck with your endeavors, and if you dont already, you might want to keep your eye on sites like and for recycled goods and materials that should ease the financial strain of completing some parts of your project. (I managed to get a good length of second hand woven polypropelene to mulch a bed, for free and in good condition!!)

3 Oct, 2010


Coming on a bit strong there, Mrsparrow - Seaburngirl has a right to query whether this site will be quoted as a resource in a college project - your critical comments regarding your personal perception are neither appropriate nor in the spirit of this site. Seaburngirl already apologised if she seemed harsh in her response - many of us worry that people who are doing college courses ask their coursework questions on here, without doing the necessary studying at the same time - it seems that on this occasion, this is not the case, so no need to worry.

3 Oct, 2010


Thanks for the support Bamboo.

Mrsparrow if you look at my many responses I have always been helpful to members and I would hope always courteous. Just for the record I have no personal grievances and I enjoy sharing knowledge with people. If I dont know an answer I will either look it up, or suggest places where to look or say nothing.

It is now common practise for exam board markers to Google phrases to check for plagerism. If a student has found to produce work that is not credited then the whole body of work can be marked down or failed. College/uni will not 'ask' students to name sources as it is instilled in students from day one to do so.
It is considered to be a research skill.

3 Oct, 2010


Plagiarism.....Come one!!!!!! The poster is asking for advise on suppressing weeds, basic gardening, in a website forum!!!

Sorry bamboo is this the apology you are referring too?

'sorry if this sounds harsh but I hate being asked to do 'homework' for my kids. It is their work and their assessment.'

I have no 'personal grievances' thank you bamboo. Its just whats there in black and white.

The poster is not asking for any of his 'work' to be done for him. He makes no mention of homework in the first place.

You are comparing someone who you don't know and know nothing about,other than the few paragraphs written, wherein they mention joining a college to help with there work, on someones garden, yet they are then compared to a kid asking you to do there 'homework' for them.

I didn't realise there was such a problem with students getting G.O.Yers to do there work for them. That such responses are necessary, sadly if thats the case...then i will not post here again because i am studying horticulture.

And i cant say my lecturer has ever advised where i should and should not, can and can not source information on practical gardening techniques.
In fact i was at the allotment the other day talking to a nice friendly chap, who offered me some great advise. He didn't have a problem with it nor did he ask for a mention.

Someone has joined the site, with there first question conclusions have been drawn. And sadly they are treated in such a way, someone who comes across decent and friendly giving background to there question yet gets a response like that.

I don't mean to offend you seaburngirl nor you bamboo. I hope you give someone a chance in the future before you conclude they lack integrity.

4 Oct, 2010


We get a lot of people coming on here just to ask questions, which are phrased just like exam questions.
They ask - hardly 'ever' respond and 'never' ever go on to join in and become part of this little community we have going on here.

I think a lot of us feel 'used' by this kind of person because we are not "a panel", nor are we "researchers" - we are purely and simply garden-mad Joe Public who happens to be sat at their laptop/pc at that very moment in time.

We've had these discussions in the past and i think a lot of us feel the same.
No bad feelings were meant by our comments.

4 Oct, 2010


But that is not the case here, louise.

His second post responds and goes into detail about why he asks, explaining the place he is working on and even the reason he went to college and the situation with the owner of the garden.

The poster does not fall into the bracket of people you speak of....but they have been treated as though they do, despite there efforts to explain the position they are in and be as helpful as possible to explain themselves and show gratitude for the responses received.

4 Oct, 2010


You have offended me because you have made up your mind that i was being unhelpful and challenging the poster's integrity

The poster states in his first post 'for his project for college'. The second post gives more detail and he did not seem upset by my suggestion. Often we dont get second posts.
I assume you are an educator and understand how QCA regulate plagerism from the now defunct SNTs to GCSE's and GCE.
If not go onto the QCA website and have a read. They take plagerism at GCSE very seriously. Every school pupil gets a copy of the regulations.

I saw he was doing a college course and suggested that he need to consider full references for that reason. Many Universities employ people purely to look for plagerism.

I dont really understand why you are so upset by it, Mrsparrow. I didnt say he wasnt deserving of help. I didnt think I had anything further to add since Bamboo, Anchorman and others had given thorough responses.

It is as Louise says basically a site where garden enthusasts come to share experience and have a friendly chat or moan about the state of our gardens.

4 Oct, 2010


He is studying for an RHS Horticulture qualification. The information is on his GOY homepage. As i stated in this thread i am a student studying horticulture. So no, i am not an educator.

I have not received a copy of any regulations, though i have been tasked with work to be completed outside of class. My lecturer actually advised we should speak to other gardeners for advice and tips on practical gardening methods.

Firstly i am sorry i have offended you. It is your comments i have referred to not you as a person. I don't doubt your good nature and i should not have suggested that you don't share a friendly sentiment.

I suggest, you have jumped to a conclusion due to your past experience with other members question and due to your 'hatred' of kids asking you to do their homework. I think that is off topic, does not help with answering the question asked and is actually a personal grievance of yours, which you have brought to the discussion.

You didn't say he wasn't deserving of help, your comment was 'I suspect 'proper research' re the advantages and disadvantages of different methods was expected.' and that ' you hate being asked to do your kids homework' Which you yourself say is harsh yet where honest and said it anyway, intimating that was the case here and was not really conducive to an active discussion on the question asked.

I think it is quite an assumption and perhaps you could have asked him before making the accusation, had a bit of friendly chat, before suggesting he wasn't doing 'proper research'.

And in the friendly manner we speak of, you could explain what you mean by 'proper research', in relation to finding the 'best ways to keep weeds to a minimum'.

My RHS lecturer suggested it is good research, good practice, speaking to other gardeners and sharing advise. That is how people learn, and in my eyes that is what the poster was doing. And you suggested otherwise.

You say, often we(G.O.Y) do not get second posts. If one received a reply like yours i genuinely think it could scare off the more timid among us. Which, i think, is a shame for the site, because the more people sharing on here the more helpful the community can be. But that second post was made anyway, and you replied after that post.

That is what bothers me, but i am not upset, i hope you are not either.

4 Oct, 2010


I suspect this is going now where.

But 'proper research' ie research papers with evidence from field trials is what I meant. The RHS conduct field trials into all sorts of areas of horticulture as do many of the agrochemical companies. This would be appropriate for the project as it would have been validated and statistically sound with supporting evidence from anecdotal advice from gardeners such as The GoY memebrship. All uni and post grad materials had to be in this format and as Martin is studying at college that was all I meant.

''My RHS lecturer suggested it is good research, good practice, speaking to other gardeners and sharing advise. That is how people learn, and in my eyes that is what the poster was doing''. ''And you suggested otherwise''. That was your interpretation of what I meant.

I dont always check what the poster writes in the 'about me' section. many are left blank.

You still made the presupmtions about me and my motives. ''I hope you give someone a chance in the future before you conclude they lack integrity''. I made no such conclusions. Quoting back my comment about hating it when kids ask..... the word hate would perhaps have been better replaced with dont like /dislike but being 'lazy' hate is only 4 letters and many of us use it in the mild form of its meaning. I would say I hate slugs when talking about my hostas. but in reality I find them a fascinating biological class, the whole aspect of their biology is incredible but when munching beautiful plants......

perhaps you need to look at my proile and the more normal responses to questions before you judge the type of person I am.

When being advised by others the advice offered can be taken or left. That is Martin's choice.

I am still bothered that you are quick to base your whole opinion on me from one post, but that too is your perogative.

4 Oct, 2010


Your very good at missing vast chunks of what i have said. So yes this is pointless and is obviously going nowhere.

5 Oct, 2010


A minor, but very important, correction in your mention of my response, Mrsparrow, particularly as you put quotation marks around it - if you read it more carefully, you will see that I did not use the word 'grievance' within it at any point - I said "your critical comments regarding your personal perception". I should more correctly have said "relating" rather than "regarding", but the meaning is similar. So I have not accused you of having a "personal grievance [sic]" - though that appears to be how you have interpreted my factual observation.

5 Oct, 2010


Well whatever bamboo because it did say that, sis you use the edit button???, I'm not being ganged up on now, as well as made to feel guilty for something i already made an apology for.

An issue was raised with the poster of this question before he was even asked anything for you to make the suggestions you did. You don't know the details of his course or anything yet you go ahead with making that post, and all these points you have raised to defend yourselves, which have no relation with this case.

You've shown not one bit of contrition for any part of what you said to martin. Whether he is ok with it or not, i came onto the thread as it would have helped me and when i saw the response from seaburngirl i thought it was unfair and put across in bad way and not what one would come on to read...anyway i've said it all already..... Why the need to warn him, if he was given a copy of regulations for his studies then where is it for any of you to suggest he is doing anything wrong looking for information, or just conversation here. Where is it your place to say he better acknowledge any assistance, if you respect his integrity then you would trust he would do so without your advise.

I know i have a valid point but you are too stubborn to say 'ok i understand maybe i could have gone about it in a more friendly manner'

No your start picking holes in me,and using reasons and excused to justify what you have said.... some things that don't even have anything to do with this case. Yet you use them as justification anyway,you enjoy an arguement or just are perfect???

Its like you haven't even read the thread properly.

I have said sorry showed contrition but you seaburngirl have shown none, yet you carry on trying to get at me and make a point. I stand by the issues i have raised and maybe you should consider what its like being on the other side, when your new, unsure and just trying to learn in a big new world...remember? To be confronted by a post like yours is not nice or welcoming. But you guys think its o.k and justified because of YOUR past experience, that is called prejudice.

New people that come here should be shown respect and i don't see you speaking to each other the way you have to martin. Maybe you should have a separate students section, with some house rules, warning them of plagiarism and all these other complicated reasons you have made for your answer to a question about weed suppression

I'm going now because enough is enough.

5 Oct, 2010


I most certainly did NOT edit my response - I logged off and haven't been on the site till this morning, and it's not my style - anyway, once you've logged off, the edit option is not available. I haven't read the rest of your post above - perhaps you should be as intrigued as I am re your interpretation of what I actually said originally.

5 Oct, 2010


Well i copied and pasted from your you cant be that certain.

Perhaps you could be decent enough to explain what you are inferring. But no. You dont even read my post! You'd rather just try and get at me, for the sake of making me feel bad.

That says a lot about your 'style'.

5 Oct, 2010


Oh dear, Mrsparrow, you really are feeling got at, aren't you, hurling insults about. I am sorry for your distress, but I still refute utterly your suggestion that I altered my response - I didn't, whatever you choose to think to fuel your anger.
Can I just add that, despite your distress, it appears that Martin does not have a problem with any response made by Seaburngirl to him. I'm fairly sure though, that he will have a problem with your continuing rather vitriolic responses, so I'd ask you very politely to desist.

5 Oct, 2010


Hurling insults? I haven't insulted anyone. You are doing your best to wind me up here, to get me to be vitriolic.Very clever.

5 Oct, 2010


Um, are you not insisting that I'm lying by refusing to believe I haven't altered my original comments? Accusing others of prejudice? That Seaburngirl made an 'accusation' and questioned Martin's integrity, when all she did was ask a question, however it was phrased? These are all things which appear in your detailed responses. I am not attempting to wind you up - this may be a novel concept, but no one is responsible for your feelings but you, not me, not anyone else, your reactions are personal to you. And you have chosen to be angry; I must leave you alone with your anger then, since any attempt at reason seems doomed to fail.

5 Oct, 2010


I have closed this question to further answers/comments.

5 Oct, 2010

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