Weeds: An Organic, Earth-friendly Guide to Their Identification, Use and Control

Published by Earth-friendly Books, 2016. Paperback, 6 x 9in, 142 pages, ISBN: 978-0-9932683-4-2

“I found this book interesting, enlightening, honest, practical and sensible.” Amazon 5-star review

weeds-FC-largeIN THIS ORGANIC, earth-friendly guide, my fresh approach encourages you to see garden weeds as more than simply unwelcome invaders in your flower borders, kitchen garden, allotment, greenhouse, polytunnel, patio, courtyard, containers, lawn, path or drive. Whatever your garden’s size, Weeds will help you identify, make use of and tackle the weeds you find there.

“Discover how many weeds can actually help to nurture a healthier and more balanced garden.”

An accessible, no-nonsense guide, illustrated with over 100 full colour photographs. This revised and updated edition will become a timeless go-to reference for every gardener’s bookshelf.

Read the foreword to Weeds.

• Find out how the book helps you identify 60 garden weeds.

• Learn how sheet mulching can help you clear a weedy allotment.

What will you find in Weeds?


Learn about how weeds grow, spread and survive.

Information on how different weeds grow, spread and survive, and what they can actually tell you about your garden or allotment.

Tips for using weeds to improve the fertility of your garden, feed your plants and encourage wildlife such as bees and other pollinators.

Practical, hands-on techniques for preventing, clearing and curtailing weeds without using chemical weedkillers (herbicides).


A colour-coded directory helps you identify weeds.



A photographic directory to help you identify 60 common garden weeds, showing at-a-glance how easy, difficult or urgent dealing with each one is.

Lists of insect-friendly plants for use in ‘bug banks’, and those for attractive, weed-smothering ground cover.

Advice on clearing weedy ground without doing any back-breaking digging.


“This isn’t a book full of lists of weeds and which chemical to put on them. In fact, it isn’t solely about getting rid of weeds, although identification of some of the commonest garden weeds and how to deal with them make up the largest section of the book. In part, you could see it as a celebration of weeds.”

Where to buy Weeds


In paperback for £15.00 from online bookstores such as Amazon.

• From your local bookshop* in paperback, by placing an order, giving the book’s title and/or ISBN: 978-0-9932683-4-2.

*Please note that due to distribution costs, Weeds will cost £18.00 when bought this way.

Weeds: An Organic, Earth-friendly Guide to Their Identification, Use and Control. 142 pages, 2016, Earth-friendly Books, ISBN 978-0-9932683-4-2.

Praise for the new edition of Weeds

“Clear, well written and with very helpful photographs”

“This is a great book. We are just starting an organic vegetable plot this year and the book has been a revelation – it’s wonderful to see what weeds are helpful in encouraging insects and wildlife and can be safely encouraged, and which should be watched carefully! It’s clear, well written and with very helpful photographs. I’d give it more than 5 stars if I could. Highly recommended.”

Amazon.co.uk 5* review, June 2018.

“This is a comforting little book that speaks up for ‘weeds’”

“This is a comforting little book that speaks up for ‘weeds’. The author is keen to tell you about their finer points, before telling you how to manage them in an earth-friendly way – if you still want to. He describes a selection of 60 weeds common to the UK Midlands. The principles apply to many other weeds of similar habit or species, so this is not intended to be a definitive guide. It is more of a ‘spiritual’ guide; a guide to developing a mindset that recognises that some weeds have a useful place, and others do perhaps need gently dissuading if we are to achieve our gardening goals.

“The first section builds the case for ‘weeds’, their place in the ecosystem and their secrets to success. This includes their growing habits, lifecycles and propagation mechanisms. ‘Living with weeds’ then explains the benefits that weeds can provide for the gardener, including soil improvement, food for us and for wildlife, mulch, indicators of soil health and fertility, and homes for wildlife. The middle section, ‘know your weeds’ gives information for each of 60 weeds to aid identification, understand benefits and risks, and how to gently manage them as required. The final section provides information and techniques to prevent, clear and control weeds without chemicals. This includes essential information about what weeds require in order to grow, and therefore how to frustrate their efforts. For example, if you cover the soil to exclude light, seeds are unable to germinate. There are some really simple ideas which don’t involve backbreaking work with a spade.

“All in all, this is a gentle, friendly and interesting book which leaves you feeling that you know and appreciate a lot more about ‘weeds’. It will empower you to manage them in a way that is gentle to both your back, and the ecosystem of your back garden. It has definitely earned its place on my shelf.”

Amazon.co.uk 5* review, August 2017.


“I reckon it’s a must read and I’m going to order a copy of my very own to annotate and get muddy!”

Weeds is a delightful, informative, concise and easy to navigate text. Reading this book, I have a newfound appreciation for so-called ‘weeds’ and will certainly be looking at them from now on with a different perspective.

“There is a photographic identification section which is very helpful for both layperson and expert alike. I found this very interesting, especially as I had been misidentifying a few of them!

“Having recently taken over an allotment fairly close to home (a beautiful site just outside the centre of Southampton on Sandhurst Road) I was delighted to see that it looked as though it had already been dug over. I was told by a fellow plot holder that one of the old boys likes to dig over the empty plots for ‘something to do’.

“This was before I read the chapter on sheet mulching and weed control (and digging!). I had no intention of digging if it had already been done, and was anxious to get things growing before winter set in – even a blanket of green manure would be better than nothing.

“Unfortunately, what on the surface appeared to be merely a light dusting of the usual suspects of annual weeds, and a few more of the pernicious perennials, soon turned into a mission when I realised what exactly the old boy had done. He had merely dug over existing perennial weeds, such as bindweed and creeping buttercup, in addition to plastic rubbish and sizeable fragments of torn up synthetic carpet.

“My dream of sheet mulching went out of the window when I realised I would have to fork the lot over to remove all this detritus. However the book revealed that I could in fact compost perennial weeds in an ex-compost bag. Result!

“The book has also informed me about the ground cover plants I can use to suppress weeds and encourage wildlife, including some I wouldn’t have considered planting – like a creeping plumbago/leadwort which has beautiful blue flowers.

“As for the aforementioned ‘easy to navigate’, the book is very well cross-referenced within the text (ie a page number is given for further information on each weed) and the index is a joy (in a previous life, I wanted to be a librarian …).

“So there you have it … accessible, practical, informative. I reckon it’s a must read and I’m going to order a copy of my very own to annotate and get muddy!”

Ziggy Woodward, Growing Green International, Winter/Spring 2017.


“Clear and concise. All the information you need.”

Amazon.co.uk 5* review, December 2016.


“I found this book interesting, enlightening, honest, practical and sensible.”

“I have been gardening organically since the mid 1980s as well as teaching wildlife and organic gardening. I am now rather particular as to which books I read on this subject.

“This book is a hidden gem! I must confess that I found this book interesting, enlightening, honest, practical and sensible! I liked it because it was written by a true organic enthusiast who has based the book on his own experiences and not a cut, copied, pasted book. I can see the time, effort and trouble the author has had over the years and has passed on his experience and advice. I can almost feel the groans as he finds bindweed on his allotment plot! Down to earth good, honest, practical advice based upon experience. Thats my kind of book.

“The lay out is simple, easy to follow, informative and nicely set out. I have learnt from this book. It covers most of the weeds/wildflowers that may cause problems in your garden. I can’t praise it enough. Packed full of useful, interesting information.

“One thing I would have added would have been photographs of young plants and not just at their flowering stage, as they can look very different at this stage of their life. But hey, that’s another 60 photographs added to the 60 already photographed. I would absolutely recommend this interesting book and believe it would make a thoughtful Xmas present for the gardener in your life.”

Amazon.co.uk 5* review, September 2016.


Tweet from @tomrtwit, August 2016.

Tweet from @tomrtwit, August 2016.


Screenshot 2016-08-23 21.55.09

Tweet from @JCGardener, August 2016.



Tweet from @ellispritchard, August 2016.