Nothing can ruin a yard or garden like weeds, which in most cases rob your grass or plants of important nutrients and space. Today more and more homeowners are in search of safer methods to get rid of weeds without having to use harmful chemicals. Below is a guide on safer and more natural ways to get rid of those unsightly weeds in your yard.
Using a cover of newspaper over your grass or flower beds with block out the oxygen and sunlight from penetrating the soil. This will smother any weeds which have already sprouted and will stop any new weed seeds from sprouting. This method involves laying down 10-sheet layers of newspaper followed by wetting the newspaper to hold the cover down. Follow this step by covering the layers of newspaper with 2 inches of mulch. If weeds start to grow out of the mulch, follow the same procedure of adding more newspaper layers, and then another layer of mulch. Eventually the newspaper and mulch will decompose, which adds nourishment to your soil.
- Corn Gluten Meal
This is a corn by-product which will stop the weed seeds from growing into a weed plant. The meal works on stopping germination. The method involves spreading the product around transplants and seedlings that have already established in your soil. After harvesting use the meal again to stop the late-season weeds from germinating.
- Carpet Samples Or An Old Shower Curtain
You can use these unwanted items between rows or in your garden paths which will stop weeds from growing. Cover the shower curtains or carpet samples with a good quality mulch.
This technique works better on weeds that thrive in direct sunlight. Combine 1 ounce of vodka in 500ml of water and add a few drops of a mild dish soap. This solution will work on drying out sun loving weeds but won’t work very well on weeds that love the shade. Take care that you do not pour this solution on your flowers or plants as it will have the same effect as it does on your weeds.
Acetic acid in vinegar is a type of desiccant that will drain the life from plant leaves. It is more destructive in younger plants which have immature roots, but it will roll off the weeds that have waxy leaves such as thistle and pennywort. Ensue that you cover your flowers and plants before you spray as the vinegar will kill them too.
Make sure you spray on the target, in the way of taking off the bottom part of a 2-liter soda bottle, and then placing it directly over the weeds. Now spray the vinegar directly into the mouth part of your bottle to stop the solution from splattering over your plants.
- Boiling Water
Boiling water works well on dealing with weeds on your walkways or your driveway. This is because the water that is boiling will run off the impervious surfaces, cooling down before it can reach the border plants.
Oils present in the soaps work on breaking down hairy or weed surfaces which makes them more vulnerable to desiccants. Adding a couple of drops to either vodka or a vinegar spray will ensure the solution clings to the leaves. Using soap will also make the leaves shiny that will help you to keep track of the weeds that you have already sprayed.
- Crowd The Weeds Out
When it comes to ornamental-garden areas, a bit of pre-planning can ensure you rarely or never have to deal with weeds again. There are a variety of ground-covering plants that will provide the right amount of shade that will stop the weeds from obtaining water, soil nutrients and sunlight that they require to survive.
- Planning Ahead By Solarizing Your Beds
When your garden has empty beds in the late part of spring or in summer when you reside in warmer areas, Discover Ziehler can prepare the beds for planting in autumn in the way of solarizing them. This method will remove the weeds that are already growing and reduce the amount that will potentially grow for the next season. If done in the right way, it will wipe out any soil-borne diseases along with a number of garden pests. All that is required is a clear, thin plastic that you can buy from just about any garden store.
To begin with rake your soil so that it is clear from any debris and then dig a trench that is around 8”in depth along the outer-edges. Now lay down the plastic across the bed positioning the edges into your trench. Now refill your trench using soil to ensure the plastic fits snugly around your bed. Leave this layer of plastic for at least 4 to 6 weeks. When you remove the plastic till your soil, before adding fertilizer or compost. This will result in a healthy garden-bed that will be ready for your autumn planting with very few or no weeds.
- Eradicate Weeds Using Oils
Cheap oils such as sunflower or canola are usually biodegradable and will break down naturally from the bacteria that is already present in your soil. Oils contain natural pesticide and herbicide properties. There are also a number of essential oils which are effective for killing weeds. Some classic examples include red thyme, cinnamon, summer savory and clove. When using oils to kill weeds, dribble a small amount directly onto the weeds so that they smother and coat them.
- Raising Chickens
Chickens offer many more uses than only supplying eggs, they are also extremely useful when it comes to tackling weeds. These animals are fantastic garden scavengers that will till your soil and eat all those unwanted weeds. When you prepare your beds every spring, the chickens will pluck at the weeds that start to grow as well as eat any seeds that are ready to sprout as the season starts to progress. When the summer months are coming to an end, let the chickens run free to clean up any weed and pests in your garden.