1. Work with moist soil
Get to work after rain or watering as weeds pull easily from soft soil.
TIP: If the ground is really soaked, wait for it to drain a bit because the soil compacts when walked on.
2. Do a little more often
A regular walk and cull through the garden saves backbreaking hours later on when it has become overridden.
TIP: Do a small patch in one go, slowly working outwards, and when you go back next time, start in the same spot.
3. Tame the lawn
Kikuyu and couch lawns often invade the garden, spreading from both seed and underground runners. Mow the lawn regularly to remove seed heads and install deep barrier edging around the garden beds.
TIP: Continuous concrete edging is the best barrier for keeping runners at bay.
4. Keep an eye on new plants
Keep track of what’s growing in the garden. A plant that sprouts by itself, no matter how pretty or interesting it may be, is a weed and should be pulled out before it spreads.
5. Choose the right tool
Use a fork for removing flat, rosette weeds and a trowel for digging bulbs.
TIP: Use an old screwdriver to get to weeds between concrete pavers.
6. Make it easy
Keep a small bucket with a fork, trowel, old screwdriver and gloves near the back door to make it easy to fit in a 10-minute gardening session.
7. Take a shortcut
Weeds self-seed so if time is short prevent spreading by cutting off the heads, dropping them into a plastic bag and removing the rest later.
8. Check for camouflage
Look under tree branches and along fence boundaries for weeds among shrubs. A closer look can reveal asparagus fern, privet and lantana.
9. Use layers of mulch
A layer of mulch up to 70mm thick prevents unwanted seeds getting into the soil and makes it easier to pull the weeds out.
10. Plant for cover-up
If a tough variety like onion weed is defeating you, cut off the heads and position a lookalike plant to grow alongside.