Winter has now arrived in Australia. That makes this the perfect time to prepare your garden for next spring. However, if you haven't had the time to tend to your garden in a while, it has probably become a weed paradise. If you are new to gardening, standing before a garden filled with weeds of every kind is hardly going to fill you with motivation.
Besides, even if you manage to clear away the jungle, where are you going to put the mess?
But fear not. By following this three step plan, you can ensure your garden will be ready for planting come September—and no, you won't be required to put in nine weeks of hard labour!
Step One: Arrange a Storage Solution
If your garden is filled with woody weeds such as blackberry, sweet briar, and a young tree sapling or ten, you'll need somewhere to put it all after you've made short work of it.
During the week call a local skip bin hire service and arrange for them to drop off a skip bin on Saturday morning. Be sure to inform them it is for garden waste, and give them a rough idea of how much waste there is. They'll be able to estimate the size of the skip bin you'll need.
On Saturday morning, with your skip bin sitting close by in your driveway, you can then get your hands dirty.
Step Two: Dig Out the Weeds
Due to the abundance of birds constantly dropping seeds as they fly over, a forgotten garden can quickly become overrun with invasive shrubs. First, clear out the woody weeds. You'll need a sharp spade for this. Take a file and remove the burr (rough edge). Then, keep filing away until the spade is nice and sharp.
Now you have your woody weeding tool. Dig around the roots of brambles and young trees, severing the roots as you go, and then pull them out and toss them into the waiting skip bin.
Next, using a rake and your gloved hands, pull out all the other weeds like grasses and chickweed etc and toss them into the skip bin too.
You're almost done!
Step Three: Solarization to Kill off Weeds and Pests in the Soil
This is where you hand over the reins to nature. Using the immense heat and energy of the sun, you are going to eradicate many of the hidden weed seeds, pests, fungi, nematodes and bacteria under the soil. Cover the cleared area of soil with a clear plastic tarp and then simply leave it for 6-9 weeks. In hot weather, 4-6 weeks should suffice, but as you may be starting in winter, allow the sun 9 weeks to do its job. And just in case you had doubts, a research study found that this method eliminates up to 50% of weed species.
By Sunday afternoon, you could be watching your skip bin provider hauling away all those nasty weeds with a smile on your face. By next spring, you could be seeing the fruits of your labour beginning to blossom.
Contact companies that offer skip bins for more information and assistance.