Gardening Essentials

How To Identify And Remove Weeds

We’ll help you get rid of weeds and moss with our handy hints and tips.

Whatever the size of the affected area follow our guide to get your garden looking great again.

How to remove weeds

Weeds are a common problem for all gardeners. From moss to nettles, they can appear just about anywhere and can be a nuisance to control. We’ve put together this helpful guide on how to remove weeds to help you master weed control in your garden.

Manually remove weeds

Manually remove weeds

Remove loose moss by scarifying your lawn

The simplest way to tackle moss is to rake it out using a scarifying machine. Moss doesn’t have long roots so this simply teases out the plants. However, it’s a good idea to follow up scarifying with a moss killer.

Scarifying creates gaps in dense moss and allows the weedkiller to penetrate to the bottom of the plants. After delivering the treatment, any remaining moss will turn black so you can easily rake it out.

Remove weeds using specialist tools

A weed puller is easy to use – in just three simple steps you can remove weeds: step on it, pull and eject to remove the unwanted plant by the roots. This tool makes the job easy by eliminating all digging and bending, reducing strain on your back.

Top tip:

  • When manually weeding, avoid digging too deep as you may disturb dormant seeds that could grow into weeds.

Removing weeds with chemical weedkiller

If you don’t feel like getting your garden gloves dirty, opt for a chemical weedkiller. With many ready-to-use options available, you can quickly eliminate any weeds.

Clear your lawn with a weedkiller

If your lawn contains lots of weeds applying a lawn weedkiller can help. There are two types of product available.

  • Selective Lawn Weedkillers: These treatments are ideal if you have small areas of weeds in your lawn because they target just the broadleaved weeds, without damaging the surrounding grass. They are available in either a ready-to-use spray or as a liquid concentrate that needs diluting in a watering can or pressure sprayer before use.
  • Triple Action Lawn Treatments: If you have weeds all over your lawn, these treatments are ideal as they’re best applied to the whole lawn area. Not only will they target broadleaved weeds in your lawn without damaging the surrounding grass, but they’ll also feed the lawn and kill off any moss. They are available as ready-to-use granules that can be applied by hand – or for faster and more accurate application use a wheeled lawn spreader.

Be aware that with both types of treatment the weeds can take several weeks to die. Some weeds may grow quickly at first, then become twisted prior to dying. Maximum weed control will take 3-5 weeks.

Use a weed treatment on your flower beds

If weeds are appearing in your flowerbeds, plant-friendly weedkiller can be useful. Designed to get right down into the roots, the concentrated solution can help stop weeds coming back – without damaging your flowers.

Remove weeds from pathways with ready to use weedkiller

Clear your paths of weeds and keep them at bay for longer with a specialist path and patio weedkiller. In a ready-to-use spray bottle, you can simply spritz any weeds when you see them.

Top Tips:

  • If you’re treating a large area with a weedkiller, it may be easier to use a pressure sprayer to make sure you cover the ground evenly and effectively.
  • To help reduce the number of weeds sprouting up in your lawn, don’t cut your grass too short. If the grass is cut too closely, seeds on the surface will be exposed to sunlight and could start to grow. Try mowing more frequently but at a higher setting, so you’re not removing more than a third of the grass blade.
Identifying weeds & removing them

Weeds to look out for

The flowers in your garden might not be what they seem – common weeds are often mistaken for plants. Many have bright flowers and look pretty, but they might be taking over your flowerbed.

Knowing exactly what to look for is the first step to a weed free garden. When you’re familiar with what weeds are out there, you’ll be able to spot and tackle them more easily. There are several different types of weeds to look out for:

  • Tap rooted weeds

    • Dandelion
    • Dock
    • Thistle

    These weeds are tough to get rid of with their long, thick tap root, you need to remove the whole root or there’s a risk of them returning. Use a hand weeder or weed puller to get these up. Push the fork of the hand weeder into the ground next to the weed, with the v-shaped opening facing the plant, then pull the handle back gently to lever the weed out. Alternatively use a spot treatment weedkiller.

  • Dense matted weeds

    • Grasses
    • Nettles
    • Yarrow

    These weeds form a mass of root systems under the soil surface. Another type of weed that needs to be completely cleared out, as even small remnants can regrow. To get rid of these use a fork to dig them out or use a diluted weedkiller solution to water the area thoroughly.

  • Deep-rooted weeds

    • Japanese knotweed
    • Horsetail

    The roots on these weeds can extend over a metre down. Weedkillers won’t work on these tenacious plants; clear the area completely and cover with black polythene for 2 years. You need to cut starve them of light to get rid of them completely.

  • Woody scrub weeds

    • Brambles
    • Sycamore
    • Ivy

    These weeds are self-seeding and establish themselves very quickly. Find the young plants and dig these out; then make sure any older weeds have any new growth cut down to starve their root system. If you prefer, you can use a chemical brushwood weedkiller.

  • Bulbil-rooted weeds

    • Lesser celandine
    • Oxalis
    • Spanish bluebells
    • Ransomes

    These weeds spread quickly, growing from little bulbils. Use a hoe to cut the leaves off before they flower, or alternatively, use black polythene to cover them during their growth period: March to June.

  • Creeping weeds

    • Chickweed
    • Clover
    • Buttercup
    • Speedwell

    Commonly found growing in lawns. Use a rake to lift the stems and then mow the lawn twice – second time in the opposite direction to the first but raise the mower blades’ height so that your longer grass stems will deprive the weeds of sunlight.

  • Brittle rooted weeds

    • Bindweed
    • Ground elder
    • Willowherb
    • Creeping thistle

    The roots on these weeds break very easily and even the tiniest fragment can regrow. Dig these out as usual but sieve the soil to make sure you get all of the root system out. Any new growth should be removed to help weaken any remaining roots, or you could use a spot treatment weedkiller.

Keep your eye out for any of these weed types and stock up on weedkillers to help you eliminate them from your garden.



Writer and expert