Top tips on tackling troublesome weeds

You can banish blanket weed
You can banish blanket weed
Now is the time to get to grips with your strawberry bed.

BRIAN KIDD: Strawberry fields forever – but renew them every three years

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There’s no doubt this is a most difficult year as far as the weather is concerned.

Pam and I have been trying to get 38 hanging baskets replanted and they’ve been placed on to empty buckets outdoors so that they can recover.

Nothing can possibly go wrong, can it? We were going to hang them up in the garden, only to find that a cat had tried to take a short cut and upset several baskets, scattering the contents.

We never had cats here but there are now three, all causing a nuisance, I have the hose ready!

At the allotment it’s been a bit of a struggle with weeds. This weather is perfect for them and the worst one is willow herb.

This delightful flower looks grand in the wild, but on the allotment it’s living up to its name, fire weed.

Yes, it grows like wildfire and the seedlings which flew from a heap in the corner of the allotments have grown like mad. The large batches have been sprayed with Roundup and Weedol 2 combined in the sprayer.

At last they’re turning purple and, with a bit of luck when there is a dry spell, I’ll give them another spray of the same combination.

If they’re not killed off, this weed becomes a perennial with a huge root.

I have to plant all the cabbage family in some sort of cage, because if cabbages and Brussels sprouts are planted without the protection of netting the young plants are consumed by pigeons.

These wonderful consumers sit on the electric and telephone wires alongside the allotments.

As soon as all the allotmenteers leave the site, they descend on to anything but the weeds!

There is a bit of good news though. Pam and I love our pond and the fish are so tame they come up and eat out of Pam’s hand (almost as lovely as the robin that would come indoors to feed if we let him).

Well, at last we’ve found the solution to the problem of blanket weed, which is a real curse when the weather becomes warm.

There’s a marvellous product called Stop Blanket Weed, made by Evolution Aqua.

It’s £9.99 for a carton and we bought three for the price of two from Maidenhead Aquatics at the garden centre in Bartons Road, Havant.

One container is enough to treat 550 gallons of pond water.

The first application is made by diluting the crystals in a can of water and spraying this all over the surface of the pond.

This is repeated again after a week and then the blanket weed fades away.

Follow the directions and it does work. If all the duckweed is skimmed off the surface of the pond, it will stop that returning too.

Don’t panic, it isn’t a chemical. The main ingredient is citric acid – lemons!