The Great British dream often revolves around a wonderful summer’s day, the BBQ smoking and a flawless green garden that is envious to the whole street. It is quite unfortunate then when a sudden guest comes along wanting to ruin this for you. No, not the local street cat or the forever changing British weather, we’re talking about the weeds that insist on popping up uninvited and ruining our image of perfection.

So who are the biggest culprits and are they really that bad?

In the past 100 years the dreaded Japanese Knotweed is considered the most stubborn of all weeds. This plant can grow up to 4 metres in one season and can transform from a lovely oriental ornament to an unwelcome dictator of your garden.

Rooting up to 3 metres below the ground, it makes excavating impossible and cutting the weed will not actually get rid of it. It is important to avoid this plant at all costs due to its rapid growing speed and power that can push it through concrete and bricks. Not only could this damage the structure of your building but it can also have a negative impact on the valuation of your home. If you are worried about Japanese Knotweed in your garden you can see problems caused by Japanese Knotweed and how it could affect you and your life.

Next up is a plant known by many names, the ‘Horsetail’ weed. This culprit looks innocent enough but don’t let its sweet exterior fool you. The weed can bury itself extremely deep, and if you want to dig it out you could find yourself head and shoulders deep in soil. Much like the Knotweed, the horsetail can grow extremely fast and can spread within days. The plant isn’t as destructive as some of its other colleagues of destruction, but it is poisonous to livestock so it is always very important to watch where the plant is growing.

Nettles are the next intruder and are bound to be familiar to people with children! Quite often we have brushed across a nettle quite unknowingly, and for the next ten minutes we have writhed in unbearable itching and swelling as the allergic rash breaks out on our skin. But are nettles the greatest villain? Whilst its sting is quite unbearable and unforgivable, nettles are in fact trying to stay on our good side and are quite often used in herbal medicines and soups. However, I wouldn’t recommend farming them in your garden for your Sunday lunch, and perhaps they are better to be kept clear for a sting free summer!

So weeds are stubborn and they don’t want to leave, but it’s certainly possible to be the hero of your garden and find ways to ensure these pesky villains don’t come in uninvited into your garden. Failure to do so could mean that these weeds are left free to roam, resulting in them growing stronger and spreading even wider.

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