If you're like me and find pulling weeds out truly frustrating, then you'd be surprised to hear there are a few ways you can get away with not doing it and still have a spectacular garden! You don't need to spend hours pulling out tough, unwelcome growth every week.
Every gardener's nightmare: perennial weeds that swallow up your flowers or vegetables and suffocate them to death. Pretty as bindweed may be, it's a real pain especially given how prolific it is and how difficult it can be to stop.
Did you know that bindweed and couch grass roots can go down as deep as 10ft (3m)? That makes pulling it out - without a mini digger - pretty much a thankless task: one which you cannot win without starving the roots.
The thing with these perennial weeds is that they store sugars as starch in their roots in summer, to spring back into life early in spring, converting the starch back into sugars so they can expand even further on last year's growth. That includes the roots too - not just the above ground growth!
It's all in the timing. You will need to spend maybe 20 minutes a day at most pulling out the above ground growth repeatedly. If it comes back - whack it! This stops the plant storing sugars in its roots, so that when you're ready you can cover the ground over with a thick layer of mulch. In the ongoing battle against bindweed and perennial weeds of its ilk, you're going to want something a bit more permanent and quite a lot more robust!
We recommend covering over your affected areas with a thick weed suppressant membrane. This is often a thick, black plastic woven sheet that is permeable but opaque.
The reason you need a woven membrane is because you don't want to starve the soil beneath of rainwater or nutrient but you do want it to be opaque so that no light can enter beneath.
Some plants are even more vigorous in their spread - take bamboo or even mint for example. Once established, the roots can spread metres every year - even if you've been sold a clumping variety.
The solution to this is again weed suppressant. UV stable plastic does not rot easily, so with products such as FABREX you can simply fold the membrane down and submerge it beneath the soil slightly at the very edges. This blocks the travel of the roots and helps define a border between the two sections.