Alan Titchmarsh: ‘Sorry garden centres!’ Expert explains what common weed is found in pots

Alan Titchmarsh provides advice on removing weeds in 2016

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Gardening expert Alan Titchmarsh has shared his advice for tackling annual and perennial weeds. Alan said you can remove weeds all year round but certain weeds require more work than others. The expert said there are two main different kinds of weeds in the garden in a video for BBC Gardeners’ World Magazine.

The first type is annuals which come up once a year, spread their seeds and then due.

The second type of seeds are perennials which he described as being a “perennial nuisance”.

He explained: “They come up every year, generally spreading by means of fat underground toots that last for years on end.

“Annuals are things like this.

“Hairy bitter crest, it’s often called the garden centre weed because you’ll find it in pots that you buy at most garden centres.

“Sorry garden centres, but you do!”

Alan managed to remove the weed by simply pulling it up with his bare hands.

The roots aren’t particularly big so can be plucked quite easily.

Another similar weed is one called groundsel which Alan also managed to pull from the ground using his hand.

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He said groundsel and hairy bitter crest can be left on the surface of the soul and will eventually “die away”.

He added: “But if you don’t pull them out and you leave them to carry on, their way of perennating themselves is by seed.

“They will sprinkle seed everywhere.

“There’s a famous old saying, ‘One year seen, seven years weed’. They really will carry on.”

He suggested pulling them out and putting them on the compost heap.

Next, Alan showed viewers how to get rid of perennials like dandelions, nettles and buttercups.

He described buttercups as having thickish roots with runners.

They need to be taken out completely along with any remaining roots.

Dandelions have one “long taproot” which is why they tend to carry on.

Alan explained: “Break that top off or just hoe it off and that root will send up another shoot.

“It’s important with all these thick-rooted weeds that they come out completely.

“You don’t compose them because then you put the compost back on the garden, and if it hasn’t heated up enough you’re just reintroducing weeds.

“So the annuals, get rid of them before they seed.

“The perennials, get those roots right out the ground, and then all the plants you want to grow will have a much easier time of it.”

Alan Titchmarsh: Spring into Summer airs at 8pm on ITV.

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