ALMOST nothing compares to the sheer frustration when you see all your hard work in the garden being destroyed by pesky weeds.
But although there are countless of products in the market to tackle these unwelcome tenants, one British gardener has revealed how she uses a more natural approach – and it's also decorative.
Sharon, who runs @beforeandaftergarden on Instagram, regularly shares gardening tips and tricks and is an organic kitchen gardener.
"The garden is chemical free so it's strictly no weedkiller here (even on the gravel drive!),'' she told The Express.
Instead, the enthusiast revealed, she uses plants that are thick and low to the ground – these will help to smother weeds and prevent their growth.
"In the borders, I have opted for attractive ground cover plants which are excellent for suppressing weeds.''
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One of her favourites is Persicaria 'Darjeeling Red', a semi-evergreen perennial with small pink flowers.
Also commonly known as East Indian knotweed, this low-spreading plant has green leaves which turn brown in the autumn months.
''We also have lots of alchemilla mollis (Lady's Mantle) which smothers weeds really well – plus, it has the added benefit of looking amazing in cut flower arrangements!"
Unlike Persicaria 'Darjeeling Red, Lady's Mantle is a plant that grows in clumps.
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It has tiny, bright yellow flowers which grow in sprays.
However, the avid gardener does remove some weeds when necessary.
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"I feel it's a small price to pay for protecting the eco-system of the garden."
Here are some chemical-free weed killing methods to try out.
Mulching is a common trick used in green spaces which involves laying down organic matter – around five centimetres thick – on flowerbeds.
Not only will this enrich the soil, but also has the benefit of smothering weeds.
Although it might seem a bit old-fashioned for some, this method is still effective.
Simply use a trowel to loosen the roots and pull them out.
The boiling water trick is more appropriate for weeds on the patio – this is because the scorching temperatures will damage the roots of other plants in your green space.
Pour boiling water over weeds between paving stones to destroy these pesky plants you want to banish.
A cheap ingredient sitting in all kitchen cupboards, salt is an effective weed-killer, as its chemical properties will dry out the root of the plant.
Make a mixture of saltwater and spray it onto weeds.
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Another inexpensive gardening hack involves using vinegar, which works similarly to salt.
Here, gardeners should make a mixture of water and vinegar and spray it onto weeds.
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