Someone once said that weeds are simply plants that we have not yet come to appreciate. We’re not sure who that was, but we’re pretty sure that he or she has not been pulling or spraying the same darn weeds from their lawn and planting beds year after year.
If you are ready to try something new – or are concerned about using commercial herbicides around children or pets – take a look at these all natural, environmentally friendly weed control ideas.
Start with healthy soil.
Dark, nutrient rich soil will help your lawn grown thick and prevent the thin or bare patches that can encourage weed growth. Keeping the mowing height a little higher in your weed-prone areas will also help as this shades the underlying soil and prevents weed germination. For soil prep tips, look on our resources page.
Soak them with vinegar.
Vinegar’s chemical name is acetic acid. Acids weaken plant cells and, with a few applications, can kill nearly any plant. Put straight white vinegar in a spray bottle and apply to the leaves of any undesirable weeds. Be sure to cover or tie back any nearby plants that you want to keep. If the weeds you’re after have waxy leaves, add a few drops of Dawn dish soap to your spray bottle to help the vinegar adhere better to the leaves. Vinegar from the grocery store is usually a 5% solution, plenty strong for most weeds. If you want something stronger for particularly stubborn weeds, commercial grade acetic acid (20%) is often available at garden supply centers.
Douse them with boiling water.
Boiling water is a very effective herbicide – especially between sidewalk cracks or pavers where other chemical applications might leave discoloration. Just be sure to aim well! Boiling water will kill any plant it touches. Water also leaves behind no harmful residues, so it’s easier to replant once the weeds are gonners.
Add a dash of salt.
Throughout history, the crop fields of enemy armies were poisoned with salt. It’s that good of an herbicide! You can use the power of salt to kill your weeds too (just a lot less indiscriminately). Make a mixture of 1 part of salt to 8 parts of warm water and pour into a spray bottle. Spray carefully onto the leaves of the weeds you want to dry up. Be careful not to soak the soil below because it will make it very difficult to plant anything in that area after the weeds are gone. Just like with vinegar, if the leaves are really waxy add a few drops of Dawn to help the salt water cling.
These eco-friendly weed control strategies are far less effective than commercial herbicides and several applications may be necessary before you get the results you want. But, if chemical herbicides are a no-no for your property, you need look no farther than your kitchen for a new weed control answer.
Be sure to review our other weed control tips on the NG Turf Resources Page.
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