Every year come Spring I tend to get testy phone calls from clients asking me why we have not been tending to the weeds.

I always take a deep breath before replying.

As we all know Spring is a time for things in our gardens to begin to sprout – funny thing is there is no exception for weeds! One of the reasons they are called weeds is because they grow like … well, weeds actually.

For most of Winter it is too cold for most plants to have any new growth although this never seems to stop weeds. Come this time of the year – late Winter, early Spring – Cape Town is experiencing quite a bit of rain interspersed with a few sunny days, perfect conditions for weeds to jump into action. It seems to me that they think they are in some kind of race against other plants and they’re determined to win every year!

Truth is that everything in your garden is growing but the weeds are just doing it way faster! Because most of us despise them so much, we tend to notice them more. My team is continually spraying to stop weeds but it is a month or so of a battle before there are any signs of success as most gardens only get sprayed every two weeks. This is normal and nothing to worry about. It can take two to three weeks for the spray to take hold of the weeds and for any signs to appear that they are dying off. They will start to turn yellow and then their leaves should turn and deform. They will shrivel up and die and most lawnmowers just suck up what’s left.

There are some popular plants, like aram lilies, that will be affected by the spray so before you take action find out what plants in your garden might be vulnerable. A good garden outlet should be able to tell you this when you buy the spray.

If you would like to do the spraying yourself then use products like Banweed, Hormaban and Weeds. These are some of the most common and well used products that I favour and they are sold at most garden outlets. You do NOT want to use Ridder, Roundup or Wipeout as these products will kill everything and anything in the garden that is green! They are, however, very useful if you have weeds in paving areas or driveways that you want to get rid off as nothing survives these products.

Also always remember to wear gloves and any protective gear that the product recommends, follow the guidelines for use carefully. Rinse off all equipment after use and wash your hands and arms if needed.

Happy Spring everybody.