Effective weeding

Learn how to get the most out of your allotment by reading information on each plant and the tools and equipment you might need.

Effective weeding and prevention methods

As we all know, there will be weeds in your garden/ allotment and there are a number of ways of dealing with them. There will always be weeds in the allotment, and it's one of the chores that need doing constantly such as watering. There are natural, chemical, physical ways you can use to manage your allotment which are as follows;

Natural/ Organic

  • Using a No Dig allotment method of keeping your allotment weed free.
  • Digging the weeds out initially with your gardening fork.
  • Using a Hoe to cut the weeds as they grow. You can alternatively use your hands or a trowel to pull out as much weed and root as possible without interrupting the plants that are growing.
  • Using a Rotivator initially to get rid of thick weeds in an area.


  • Using Herbicide and weed killer routinely outside of the growing season to kill all the weeds that have grown over the winter.
  • Certain herbicides can be used on a growing area that won't kill the plants but can kill certain weeds.

Some of these methods can also be combined for example you can use herbicide or weed killer on a space and then use a Rotivator to shred the weeds and plant matter into the soil. This can be a very effective way of starting off on an allotment/ plot that is extremely overgrown.

Depending on your view of how you prefer your vegetables to be grown is the method you can choose. Some of the natural methods such as digging the weeds out before planting can be quite an arduous job and can take a long time before the ground is moderately free from weed roots that regrow each year. However, once established you will have minimal work each year. You also are not using herbicides which can be a definite benefit. For example, the weed killer used on the allotment has killed some of the bee hives on our allotment. Lots of people prefer organic methods of growing plants too.

A patch that has been dug out with a gardening fork and the weeds removed on the way.

Using a hoe on the patches while plants are growing is a nice and calming way of maintaining the patch that doesn't take too much time to do each week or two. This will get simpler and simpler as you work on the allotment/ plot each year as you remove more and more weed roots. There will always be weeds due to seeds being carried onto the allotment from the wind. Some weeds are also very difficult to get rid of such as conch grass and horsetail/ mares tail. This is because even a small amount of root can grow and make more and more plants.

I haven't personally had much experience with the no dig method but it is an interesting idea and a potential to people who don't have as much time to dig and manage the patches.

What we do on our allotment/ plot?

We prefer to use an organic approach to growing our own food. We don�t use any herbicides and we mostly use natural fertilizers such as chicken manure and natural composts. At the start of every year we re-clear the patches with a gardening fork. This can take some time but when we are still waiting for seedlings to be grow or be planted it is a job that doesn't usually impede too much on the growing season. We have a few invasive weeds on the allotment such as horsetail, mare's tail which have been hard to get under control but we are doing well on keeping them managed.