Table of Contents
- 1 Controlling Weeds Without Nasty Chemicals
- 1.1 Protecting Yourself With Garden Gloves
- 1.2 Unsightly Weeds In Your Garden
- 1.3 Reducing Your Weed Problem
- 1.4 Weed Control Fabric Covered With Mulch
- 1.5 Applying Mulch On Flower Beds
- 1.6 Creeping Thyme Helping To Control Weeds On Pathways
- 1.7 Making It Easier For Your Garden To Retain Nutrients
- 1.8 Grow Your Own Organic Fruit, Vegetables And Herbs
- 2 How To Kill Weeds Naturally
- 3 Do Organic Weed Killers Really Work?
Controlling Weeds Without Nasty ChemicalsControlling Weeds Without Nasty Chemicals
Controlling weeds without chemicals is essential if you wish to keep your organic garden free of chemicals, including herbicides and pesticides. By keeping your eyes open, you can review your options and see when weeds are starting to sprout and you can pull them out before they grow too big. Another option is to purchase weed control fabric and mulch from your local nursery. This method will prevent many weeds from sprouting.
Weeds are a pest and if you let them take over your garden, then your garden plants will have to compete against them for nutrients in order to grow. Some weeds may even be poisonous against your plants. This is why you need to make efforts to control the weeds in your garden, without the use of toxic chemicals.
Protecting Yourself With Garden Gloves
When you work in your garden, you should always wear garden gloves, especially when you are making efforts to control weeds, as some of the weeds may be poisonous to your skin and to other plants in your garden. Just like a doctor wears surgical gloves before he performs a medical procedure, you should always wear garden gloves every time you are in the garden.
Protecting yourself against nasty weeds is one of the basic steps you can take when controlling weeds.
Unsightly Weeds In Your Garden
If you have a garden of any size, you probably do not look forward to pulling the inevitable yearly crop of weeds. Not only are they unsightly, but weeds leach valuable nutrients from your desirable landscape plants. Out of sheer frustration, you may be tempted to exterminate them with a commercial herbicide.
However, your conscience may be pricked with the nagging knowledge that you’re putting poisonous chemicals into your garden, contributing to the further degradation of our common environment.
Nevertheless, you’ve got to get a handle on controlling weeds if you’re to have an attractive garden of flourishing plants. While weeds are the gardener’s bane, there is a practical solution which doesn’t harm the environment or pose a potential threat to kids and pets.
Reducing Your Weed Problem
This solution to controlling weeds takes discipline, patience, and persistence, but does not necessarily involve a great deal of time out of your daily schedule. Of course, you’ll never completely eradicate these garden parasites – an afternoon breeze can bring a new flock from across the road to do their thing: sprouting and growing into new weeds. However, there are a number of techniques you can employ to minimize the weed problem.
Most landscaping designs include trees, shrubs and perennial plantings, such as rose bushes and ornamentals. In between these plantings, you’ll most likely have bare ground, a perfect breeding place for weeds. There are a couple of attractive ways of controlling weeds in this situation.
Weed Control Fabric Covered With Mulch
You can use weed control fabric, available at any nursery in rolls you can cut to size. Weed control fabric consists of closely and finely woven, usually nylon, netting. This effectively captures the heat of the sun and smothers the wannabe weeds. However, you do want to leave the ground around the plant’s drip line uncovered, both for watering and feeding.
A generous 3-inch layer of mulch, such as redwood chips, is another effective weed killer. You can also combine the two, using the weed control fabric as the base, and covering the fabric with the mulching material. Either of these two methods – the combination works best – can cut your weeding tasks significantly.
Applying Mulch On Flower Beds
For flower beds, it’s not usually practical to fit weed control fabric in between each plant, but you can easily mulch those beds. Mulching provides a unified look to the garden and also makes it easy to spot any vagrant weeds which may pop up.
With just these few steps, your remaining efforts in controlling weeds are minimal. For the few areas of your garden still vulnerable to weeds, you can spend perhaps an hour each week, pulling out the few weeds that make it to the seedling stage. Here’s a great idea, especially if you’re short on time. Get the kids involved, offering a bounty for every bucket of weeds they collect. They’ll be happy with what amounts to additional allowance money.
Creeping Thyme Helping To Control Weeds On Pathways
Another place weeds tend to crop up is between paving stones on pathways. Controlling weeds here can be a tedious chore, as some weeds seem to appear just at the edge of the stones, hiding their roots underneath. One elegant solution is to plant a low-growing ground cover, such as creeping thyme, between the stones. This makes a fragrant and lovely solution.
Whenever you pull up a weed, never ever dump it in with your compost or leave it to dry where pulled. These dead weeds will eventually show up – at least some of them – in your now almost weed-free garden. Bag them up in a plastic garden trash bag and let them cook! Then haul them off to a disposal site. Controlling weeds is not so difficult or time-consuming after all!
Making It Easier For Your Garden To Retain Nutrients
By using these steps to control weeds, you are making it easier to grow plants in your garden and flower beds. Helping your plants retain the nutrients, rather than being stolen by intruders like weeds. You are then rewarded for your efforts, with pesticide and chemical free vegetables, fruit and herbs, helping to enrich your meals in the family home.
If you have been eating fruit and vegetable bought from the food store, you may start to realize all the taste and flavors you have been missing once you start eating organic produce grown in your garden. You may have not realized what these fruits really taste like, as many fruit and vegetables are treated with chemicals in farms.
Grow Your Own Organic Fruit, Vegetables And Herbs
Although you can buy certified organic fruit and vegetables in many food stores, you will feel you have made the effort to control the weeds in your garden, and therefore you do not need to buy as much organic produce, by growing your own organic produce in your garden.
After all, when you are taking your time to ensure everything grows chemical free, then you do not need to use chemicals for controlling weeds.
How To Kill Weeds Naturally
If you are looking for ways to control the growth of unsightly weeds in and around your garden, you can choose to purchase off the shelf chemicals to treat the problem or if you would prefer an environmentally friendly option, you can try out one of the many natural solutions. It this article we will show you how to kill weeds using homemade herbicides.
As you probably know, many weeds can be used as medicine or food.
But despite this, they irritate us and we want to remove them from our garden. The most friendly method to get rid of weeds in your garden is to pull them up. However, this way is time time-consuming and will work in small gardens. On a large area, this method won’t be a good solution.
Here are some natural remedies that you can try in order to eliminate this problem. These all involve the use of common household products.
If you use strong chemical herbicides, you will risk polluting the water.
Therefore you should use more gentle herbicides that will not cause water problems.
Salt is in every kitchen. This is a great and effective way to kill weeds.
You only need a small amount, less than a teaspoon, which you simply sprinkle at the base of each weed.
How does it work?
The salt will draw out all the moisture from the plant, which will starve it of its nutrients and the weeds will then die.
But there is also the disadvantage of using salt – it will attack any type of vegetation and once it is in the soil, it makes it very difficult for other plants to prosper. If you want to use this method, the best place to use a salt solution is in areas where you are not growing other plants, such as in the gaps between your patio paving slabs or on your graveled yard area.
Using Boiling water can help to get rid of weeds by burning the offending growths.
How does it work?
The heat from the water will eventually turn the plants brown and they will shrivel up and die. Boil up some water and pour it directly on the weed.
Unfortunately, using boiling water is not a long term solution. This method is good for very small areas that are affected but it does have its disadvantages. The water can also remove the good stuff, the micro-organisms from the soil that is needed to help your plants to flourish. Again the best places to use this method are in areas where you are not planning to plant flowers or vegetables.
White Wine Vinegar
Vinegar is a really good method that will kill off weeds. The reason why it is efficient is due to the active ingredient called Acetic acid. When you spray on weeds with vinegar, weeds will starve of moisture and turn brown. You won’t see the effects immediately. It will take a few days before you can see the results. Once the weeds have shriveled up and died, you can easily pull them out of the ground and dispose of them.
When you use fire directly on the foliage of weeds, they will wilt immediately. If you repeat the application, it will kill any leaves from the roots.
To apply this method, you can use a special flame-weeder tool that is available in many garden stores. It is much more safe and efficient instead of burning on your own.
These are all homemade and effective methods to get rid of weeds in and around your garden. They are also pretty cheap. As these solutions can affect the soil and the plants that you are actually trying to cultivate, the best places to adopt these methods are areas where you do not anticipate growing other vegetation.
Do Organic Weed Killers Really Work?
A veritable hornet’s nest of controversy surrounds the meaning of the term “organic weed killers.” The average gardener or DIY lawn care guy/gal is not interested in the dust-up and turf wars about organic weed killers raging among government agencies today. But just so you know, there are debates between the Dept. of Agriculture and the EPA, the National Organic Program and the Organic Materials Review Institute. In addition, there are many other self-described organic standards bodies. No, the average gardener just wants to know what he/she can use to get rid of weeds that are “natural” and “won’t hurt the environment.” And by “natural weed killers,” he/she doesn’t want some wry, winking answer that suggests you just pull them up by the roots or hoe them out …. Or “mulch them out of existence.” So is there such a thing as natural or organic weed control, and how good do they work?
In sympathy with the average homeowner, what follows here are what are called by the experts “minimum risk” ingredients that will kill weeds. The “minimum risk” as used here refers to risk resulting in environmental damage or impact. Also, the “bad” weed killers (e.g., Round-Up, et al) are termed “synthetic” weed killers.
All Weed Killers, Regardless of Risk, are Herein Termed “Herbicides.”
Because so much of the information on the natural minimum risk weed killers is ad hoc and yet to be scientifically verified, what follows is, unfortunately, hearsay and anecdotal. That is, certain gardeners, swear to their efficacy, but the ratios and mixtures of ingredients vary from gardener to gardener. One might add, as a further cautionary note, that if you pour enough of anything on a weed it’s likely to die, whether it’s soapsuds, beer or garlic juice. Anything would, for that matter.
“Putrescent eggs” gets my vote as the grossest and possibly the most effective minimum risk herbicide on the chart. They very well may make the gardener handling them sick too, not just the weed.
At any rate, since all of these ingredients are readily available, fairly cheap and not normally harmful to people, the intrepid gardener might employ the tried and true empirical method and try these out as potions mixed with varying amounts of H2 O, and just see what exactly it does to the crabgrass. Once he/she hits the bullseye, he/she might send a note along to the Profs at the University of Florida Dept. of Agriculture with the right mix. They’d probably appreciate the tip.
Not to be outdone by ordinary gardeners, the big chemical companies are jumping on the green wagon and have brought out a few “natural” herbicides that are now on store shelves. Look for more to follow unless Ed Brown down the street doesn’t beat them to it with his all-purpose herbicide peppermint oil spray.
Of course, the best thing to do with weeds naturally is to prevent them, and corn gluten meal makes a great weed preventer. Also, if you want to try out some natural organic weed killers, below are some for you to test out.