FAQ

If I use Glyphosate as a weed-killer, how long does it need to be down before working?

It usually dries within the hour. In the event of it rain after this time you would still notice the effects. This will be less in dry summer months. It becomes inert when it hits the ground. Rather like very strong salt, it oxidises and de-hydrates the plants or broadleaf weed. This why it has to be re-applied several times a year as it does not eradicate the problem.

Although it had, in recent years, been regarded as a relatively ethical weed-killer, there are limitations on its use due to potential carcinogenic properties. This really only applies in Agriculture since an element of it will remain in the soil. On pathways and gravel it appears to be no real threat! It is a contact weed-killer and not selective, therefore it won’t differentiate a plant from a weed. Take care with conditions while spraying. In good conditions you will have a natural drift of 1m.

How do you cut perennials?

Perennials are simply plants that last for more than two years. Herbaceous perennials after their season lie dormant just under the surface. After their spent the goodness will return to the base. Cut off dead stems leaving remanants of stalk. Plants like this are Delphimiums, Foxglove, Hollyhocks, Rudbeckia, Heuchera. Woody perennials need to be cut back to control their growth, retain the shape, improve vigour and prevent the plant becoming to leggy. These would include Hydrangea, Rhododendron, Buddleia, Elaeagnus, Flowering Currant, Spirea, Potentilla.

I have a some growth/shoots at the bottom of my tree/large shrub. What are these? And what should I do with them?

These points of growth are known as “suckers” or, in a textbook, “epicormic growth.” It’s a plant’s survival tactic and how they kick in. A result of regular pollarding or coppicing for the training of a species. Briefly, this means cutting severely to ground level or harshly to a branch arm. This can either be for shape or containing the plant. The dormant buds within the surface come to fruition as a mechanism to defend itself and procreate. It can also be a result of improper pruning or injury namely by training such a specimen against nature’s will! Limes (Tilla), Oak (Quercus or Poplar (Populus) and Hazel (Corylus). Willow is another popular plant using this method. It seems to be necessary for these species but does tend to have these repercussions. Nevertheless, more shoots than necessary for the species to perform, drain the specimen of its energy and should be cut off at regular intervals. An aesthetic step but also they’ll thank you.  An inspection of the specimen at intervals is all that is necessary and treat accordingly. At times it can be a perpetual cycle that starts. Through extensive work regularly certain species more prevalent in the problem and the more the stems are cut off, the more this problem compounds itself. If you see them though, snip them off!

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