Solutions against weeds

Simple techniques allow for weeding to be kept to a minimum, or even eliminated entirely, yet when it’s necessary to take action, many alternatives exist to the use of outdated synthetic chemical weedkiller treatments, which are no longer permitted. 

Hard surfaces 

Roofs, cladding, stones, gates, barriers, unpainted wooden outdoor furniture > When exposed to the north or west in the northern hemisphere, these surfaces often become overgrown with moss, green or red algae or lichen. Two new products based on 100% plant-based active ingredients that work on a contact basis are available on the market, and whose effects can be seen within a few hours. 

Non-cultivated surfaces: paths, courtyards and terraces

  • Paths 

First off, common sense tells you: if your path is walked on a lot, and it’s wide enough, weeds won’t grow there! If this is not the case, question whether it’s useful or not. 
To keep pathways clean, you can use pine bark, wood chips, or mineral mulch by spreading them over a geotextile to prevent these materials from sinking into the soil and to allow for good drainage.  An alternative solution: why not go for grassed paths cut regularly?
Or flat stepping stones mapping out a pathway through your garden: maintenance-free.

  • Driveways  

A good way to avoid weeding these is to grow grass there! Alveolar paving allows the grass to take root, while also ensuring good lift for vehicles.

Non-cultivated surfaces

Cultivated areas: vegetable gardens, orchards, ornamental flowerbeds

  • Make it a habit to work the soil

Digging over, or passing over a rototiller brings weed seeds embedded in the ground to the surface, and only sees thistles, couch grass and morning glory proliferate.  By cutting the roots, you actually help to spread them whereas using a "broadfork” type fork, you loosen the ground and can very easily remove these weeds by hand or with one of the tines. 
To be positioned as a separate block 

Did you know?
A huge store of weed seeds is naturally found in the first fifteen centimetres of soil: more than 10,000 of them can be counted per square metre!

  • Cover the soil and never leave it bare 

Mulch screens light, preventing the growth of weeds as they are no longer able to use the sun's rays for photosynthesis. The various materials used are of mineral origin: clay balls, pozzolana, or organic materials such as hemp flakes and buckwheat husk. In addition to their weed control effect, they offer multiple benefits: less watering, fertiliser added to the soil, protection against erosion, prevention against a variety of diseases, they act as a repellent against slugs, and are decorative at the same time.

Mulch mats are also an effective way to prevent having to weed when planting a hedge, and can also be used in vegetable gardens in both autumn and winter, to cover up spaces without vegetables. 

The technique of the false seed beds can be applied to vegetable gardens as well as to garden flowerbeds for annual seeds sown in place, and for the establishment of lawn. The seed bed needs to be prepared quite early on: around three weeks before the scheduled seeding date, which is similar to blank sowing. These favourable conditions will trigger the sprouting of weed seeds. After a few days, when they reach the seedling stage, it is very easy to destroy them by spraying a biocontrol weedkiller comprised of 100% plant-based active ingredients.
Then, you will need to take care not to rework the soil, to prevent bringing other weed seeds up to the surface, which would germinate in turn.  With this weed crop done away with, you are then free to sow your vegetables or flowers.

Organic fertilisers can cover and provide nutrients to the soil at the same time (clover, mustard, etc.)

Weeding techniques:

  • Thermal weeding

This method of weeding is effective for weeding terraces, courtyards and paths, and it works by destroying young seedlings through a thermal shock that causes the bursting of plant cells (without going as far as burning the plant to be destroyed, as a fire precaution).
 If the weeds are well established, the treatment will have to be repeated once or twice more per season so as to totally remove them by destroying their roots. It can also be used in areas where plants are being grown: in the vegetable garden and ornamental flowerbeds, but mulch and organic weedkillers are more suitable for these areas of the garden.  

  • Hoeing 

Tools for hoeing on the market today have been specially designed to suit the places to be weeded: along a wall, in gravel, between paving slabs etc.: each position has its own specific tools, so you only need to expend energy and elbow grease - and while working on maintaining your pathways, you get to keep fit at the same time!

  • Biocontrol weedkillers 

New generation biocontrol weedkillers such as nonanoic acid, are plant-based.  
Biocontrol weedkillers are based on 100% natural active ingredients.  Practical, fast and effective, they can be used on any surface, whether planted up or not. 
They take effect in just a few hours by drying out the leaves, and just one application is enough to destroy seedlings.
When weeds are slightly more established, the treatment would need to be repeated once or twice more, 14 days later. After the treatment, the weeds, deprived of foliage and therefore of food intake through photosynthesis, will see their root systems wither away, and eventually die.

  • For maximum efficiency:

Ensure application in the right season and suitable weather conditions: weed from April to August in the northern hemisphere, when outside temperatures are higher than 15°C. The ideal is to apply them in clear, sunny, dry conditions. Preferably apply to dry leaves, and avoid application when it is rainy (required time without rain: 2 hours).
Take care of young weeds. The right stage: maximum of 4/5 leaves or a height of 10cm to 15cm. Not recommended for use on established weeds with high foliage density. Ensure an even spray of fine droplets over all of the foliage. Only the parts actually touched by weed control product will be destroyed.

The main advantages of using new biocontrol weedkillers:

  • You are able to sow your seeds just one day after application
  • The effects are visible within just a few hours
  • Rapid return of animals to treated areas
Weeding techniques