As a general rule of thumb, when the soil is warm enough to be growing weeds then it’s time to sow all manner of vegetables outside, and the weeds are definitely starting to grow in my garden, so these need to be tackled first.
Potato trench dug before weeds are completey dead
I’m going to deal with these before they get established by pulling up the easy ones and spraying off the tougher perennial weeds such as brambles or nettles. Many of the weedkillers designed to control tough weeds, such as RoundUp or Weedol Rootkill Plus, work by being absorbed by the leaf and taken down to the root, so the weeds can’t grow back. Temperatures at this time of year are still quite low so these types of weedkillers can take several weeks before they show their full results - but that doesn’t mean you have to put your plant growing plans on hold.
Both Roundup and Weedol Rootkill Plus are inactivated on contact with the soil and are then broken down by micro-organisms to allow re-planting. So even before the weed has been killed off completely you can start cultivating the treated area.
The photos above show the trench where I’m going to plant a row of potatoes. You can still see the weeds that were sprayed with Weedol Rootkill Plus a few days before the trench was dug. Although they’re not completely dead, at this stage, there’s obvious signs that the weedkiller is starting to work so I can proceed with planting my spuds even before the weeds are totally dead.
For more advice and tips, check out our vegetable garden page.