35 Ways To Naturally Kill Weeds In The Garden For Good
If weeds keep coming back over and over again, try one of these 35 brilliant (and natural) ways to get rid of them so that your garden can flourish and reach its full potential! Enjoy these 35 tips to naturally rid your garden of weeds – they’re perfect for any gardener, beginner or advanced.
1) Remove by Hand
The most common way of removing weeds is to remove them by hand. This is a time-tested approach that gardeners have used for years. Use a trowel to loosen the soil; it makes it easier to pull the weed out by the root to ensure it doesn’t grow back. Be sure to wear a pair of gardening gloves so you don’t transfer the seeds elsewhere.
2) Lay Down Ground Cover
Cover the area with weeds or around plants with leftover or recycled items, such as an old shower curtain or carpet remnants. Make sure to not lay them over sections of your lawn unless you want to kill the grass and plant underneath as well.
3) Add Retaining Walls
Add edging to your yard, such as retaining walls to help prevent the spread of weeds to your garden area from the rest of your lawn. You can even use scrap pieces of pressure-treated decking boards cut to smaller lengths to create an edge around your garden.
4) Use Weeds in Recipes
Another idea is to harvest weeds for your table. While they are not all edible, many of them are. Some even have purported medicinal value. Make sure to read up on which weeds you can eat because some are poisonous.
5) Use Weed Control Sand
Weed control sand is great when trying to prevent weeds from growing between slabs of concrete in your driveway, patio, or walkway. Simply place the sand in any crevices in the concrete surface to prevent future weeds from sprouting.
6) Use Mulch
Mulch prevents sunlight from reaching the soil so weed seeds won’t have the proper environment to germinate and grow. Furthermore, mulch can prevent weed seeds from entering into the soil in the first place.
7) Use Cornmeal Gluten
Sprinkle cornmeal gluten in your garden. It will prevent weed seeds from germinating much like mulch. However, do this only after your plants have already grown since it will prevent your own plant seeds from sprouting too.
8) Plant Taller Plants
Another way to get rid of weeds is to plant flowers and other plants that can outcompete the weeds, making them wither and die. Look for plants that can beat out the weeds for water, sunlight, and the nutrients they need to live.
9) Use Vegetable and Essential Oils
Vegetable oils, such as canola and sunflower oil, contain natural herbicides and are easily consumed by the bacteria in the soil. You can use essential oils, including cinnamon, clove, and red thyme to the same effect by coating and smothering the weeds in your garden.
10) Aerate Your Lawn
Aerate your lawn in the spring to encourage increased grass and plant growth. This allows your lawn to suffocate any weeds that happen to take root in your lawn, and keeps them from gaining a foothold.
11) Use Boiling Water
Take a kettle or pot of boiling hot water, and pour it onto the weeds. Make sure you aim it around the crown of the plant. This will kill them off so you never have to worry about that particular weed again.
12) Use Vodka
Mixing vodka with water and a little dish soap creates a mixture that can dry out weeds that like the sun. When using this mixture, make sure to protect any plants in the area where you plan on using it. It also works on plants that like the shade, just not as well.
13) Use an Organic Herbicide
Herbicides containing citrus acid and natural fatty acids can help cut down on the weeds in your garden. You can find these at nurseries and garden supply stores. Make sure to check the label of any herbicide you buy to ensure it works on the particular weed you need to get rid of.
14) Use Chickens
Chickens are a great way to get rid of unwanted weeds in your garden in both the spring and fall. In the spring, they eat the young seedlings before they have a chance to grow. In the fall, they eat the weed bulbs, helping to clean up your garden before winter.
15) Use a Steam Gun
You can use a steam machine to apply a hot blast to weeds, which basically cooks them alive and kills them. Make sure to protect surrounding plants, as the steam can kill them as well. When applying the steam use quick swipes, especially over brick or paved areas.
16) Use Salt
Sprinkle salt onto weeds to cause them to dehydrate. Salt is very effective at killing weeds in small gardens that have plenty of rainfall because it will help dilute the salt. However, don’t use too much salt, as it can also disrupt the soil balance, which can hurt your own plants. Start with a 3:1 salt-to-water ratio, and target weeds only.
17) Lay Down Landscape Fabric
Laying down some landscaper fabric followed by a layer of mulch is a great way to create a barrier to keep out weeds. Simply roll out the fabric in the area you want to kill the weeds, and then just spread out the mulch on top of it.
18) Use Baking Soda
Baking soda is also another great weed deterrent. Wet the weed first, then sprinkle the baking soda over the entire weed. You can even sprinkle the baking soda into driveway and sidewalk cracks to prevent weed growth in those areas.
19) Avoid Over-Fertilizing Your Lawn
Over-fertilizing your lawn can weaken the grass and other plants you have planted there. This gives the weeds a doorway into taking root and overpowering the surrounding landscape. To avoid this, take steps to ensure that you apply the correct amount of fertilizer.
20) Use Rubbing Alcohol
Like any form of alcohol, rubbing alcohol will dry out weeds; just make sure to avoid getting it on surrounding plants. An easy way to apply it is to mix it in a spray bottle with some water. More hardy weeds may take multiple applications for it to be effective.
21) Lay Down Old Newspapers
Don’t toss away your morning newspaper. Instead, place them around the plants that you want to protect from weeds. This tactic works the same as mulch. It prevents sunlight from reaching the weed seeds so they can’t grow!
22) Mow Them Down
Another option, though ultimately not the most effective, is to mow over them. The problem with that is that the lawn mower won’t kill the weed, and more than likely it will come back worse than ever. In the long run, it is best to find alternate means for weed removal.
23) Use Bleach
Bleach is a great weed killer, but be careful because it will also kill your other plants. Pour undiluted bleach into a spray bottle and spray the weed. Leave it for a day or two before pulling the weed by hand.
24) Raise Your Flower Beds or Garden
Another way to help prevent the formation of weeds is to raise your flower bed or garden above the level of the surrounding landscape. Weeds often have a hard time making this transition in elevation. For the few weeds that do make it in, just use one of the other methods for removal.
25) Lay Down Straw
Just like mulch, you can lay down straw in your garden to help minimize weed growth. And, just like mulch, the straw deposits healthy nutrients into the soil as it decomposes. Make sure not to put on too much straw or you could keep the sunlight from getting to any plant seeds underneath.
26) Use Vinegar
Vinegar is a natural and cheap weed-killing solution. The acetic acid in vinegar is a natural herbicide, and it draws moisture out of the leaves. However, be careful to only use it on your weeds. It kills weeds and plants, so be sure to only spray on the leaves of weeds.
27) Allow Your Lawn to Grow Longer
Just like with placing larger plants in the garden to help muscle out weeds, allowing your grass to grow longer can keep weeds from growing in your yard. This keeps them from spreading to your garden. Most lawn experts recommend a grass length of one to four inches depending on the type of grass you have.
28) Use Borax
Mixing borax with water allows you to make a potent weed killer that has low toxicity. Keep in mind, like many other natural weed killers, borax can kill surrounding plants, so be careful when using it. Apply it in the spring, and keep out of the reach of children and pets.
29) Use Lemon Juice
In addition to smelling nice, lemon juice is great for getting rid of weeds. The acidic nature of lemon juice dries up and kills the leaves it is sprayed on within only a few days. You can also mix the lemon juice with an acidic vinegar for a more powerful punch.
30) Use a Spray Shield
When using steam, boiling water, and other chemicals harmful to other plants, your best bet is to use a spray shield. You can make a cheap spray shield by cutting a plastic 2-liter bottle in half. Take the top end, and place over the weed you want to remove to protect surrounding plants.
31) Make a Homemade Soap Herbicide
Mix equal parts dish soap, salt, and vinegar together and put it in a spray bottle. Then, spray garden weeds with the spray. The salt and vinegar will dehydrate the weed while the dish soap ensures that the spray sticks to the leaves. Be sure not to touch other plants with this spray.
32) Dig and Cultivate Carefully
When digging in your garden, keep in mind that the surrounding soil often contains weed seedlings. Digging might expose these seeds to sunlight, leading to a bloom of weeds. To prevent this, limit cultivation and digging to the least amount as possible when preparing your garden in the spring.
33) Use WD-40
In addition to its many other uses, WD-40 can act as a weed killer. Simply spray the weeds with a thin coat of WD-40 to make them wither and die. This is especially useful for weeds with thorns and stickers.
34) Use Extreme Heat
If you want to get aggressive, then torch the weeds using a weed torch. Keep in mind that the weed torch will also burn the surrounding plants and grass. The best area to use a weed torch in is in places that have some space and where you don’t have many surrounding plants.
35) Employ Goats
Just like chickens, goats are another farm animal that love to eat weeds. Just make sure to keep your goats away from plants you don’t want them to eat, as they are not picky about what they eat. Simply tie them up in an area with a lot of weeds and let them do their job.
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Use these helpful tips and hacks to keep the weeds out of your garden.