Every avid gardener will agree – few things can ruin the look of a beautiful garden as much as a bunch of weeds growing in between your stunning greenery! This is especially the case when the weeds in question are harmful to the plants and area they’ve invaded.
Since many pest control services offer weed control as part of their portfolio, enlisting the help of your local agent is one option available to you. To start the process though, there are some other options you can look into.
Why Are Weeds Considered Harmful?
Weeds are essentially types of plants, so why are they so harmful?
- Weeds steal soil space from other plants
- Taller weeds cast a shadow over plants that block their sunlight
- Weeds’ roots suck up water and nutrients from the surrounding soil
- Some weeds are poisonous and can be harmful when eaten by animals
- Certain weed species smother the plants or crops around them and cause these plants to wither
A Few Straightforward Weed-killing Options to Consider
If you’re trying to create a garden that’s chemical-free, and as close to natural as possible, you might be frowning on the more traditional chemical weed killers. You’ll be delighted to know there are a few natural options that you can consider.
Use Boiling Water
Scalding undesirable weeds with boiling water is one of the more popular ways to kill them. This method is particularly effective for weeds growing in the cracks and crevices of paved areas where there aren’t plants that could accidentally get scalded.
Vinegar and Salt Mixture
Vinegar isn’t just useful inside your home but can be used outdoors as well. Vinegar drains the moisture from the weeds and causes them to eventually die off. Follow these simple steps to make a natural weed-killing solution:
- You’ll need: regular white household vinegar, 1 cup of table salt, 1 tablespoon of liquid dish soap, plastic spray bottle
- Mix about 4L of vinegar with a cup of table salt and liquid dish soap
- Put the mixture into the spray bottle
- Spray directly on the targeted weeds
- You might have to spray tougher weeds more than once
- You can use less vinegar for a smaller area or more vinegar for a more concentrated mixture to eradicate tougher weeds
Weeds, like insects, are attracted to places where they have a food and water source. The nutrients you place in your garden or on your grass also provide an ideal breeding ground for weeds.
Start by feeding your plants only what they need. If you’re placing fertiliser in the garden, don’t spread it across the whole area. Rather sprinkle it around or near the plants that really need it. The same goes for water. Rather than saturate the whole garden, use a watering-can and only water the small area where the plant is.
Pull the Weeds Out by Hand
The most effective way to get rid of weeds is to pull them out by their roots. While this method can be time-consuming, pulling weeds out by hand prevents the transfer of seeds when the wind blows.
Ensuring you remove the weeds AND the roots will prevent them from growing back. The trick here is to do this regularly while the weeds are young and small. It’s easier to get the roots out when the weeds are small and thin.
Depending on the size and location of your garden, covering the soil with an extra layer of mulch will smother small weeds during germination. You can use the following organic materials to create mulch:
- Wood chips
- Moistened newspaper
- Moistened cardboard
- Grass clippings
Eliminate the Space
Aside from nutrients and water, weeds also need space to grow. If you’re going to plant ornamental flower beds, it’s an innovative idea to plant dense ground covers to prevent weeds from growing. Planting perennial plants will cover any open space in your garden.
Also, trees and shrubs have root systems that can easily prevent weeds from growing around them.
If your weed problem isn’t that extensive, or still in its initial stages, hand digging is an effective spot treatment for just about any type of weed. Consistent hand digging reduces the spread of roots and seeds. Using a small garden tool to dig out the offending weeds will weaken the roots and eventually kill the plant.
Spread Corn Gluten Meal
Corn gluten meal is a common by-product obtained through the corn milling process. Expert gardeners have found that spreading this meal prevents weed seeds from germinating. Since corn gluten meal is non-toxic to animals, it can easily be applied to lawns and other garden areas.
Using one or a combination of the tips we’ve mentioned in this article, you’ll easily be able to get rid of weeds without resorting to harmful chemicals. A garden without weeds is not only beautiful but beneficial to your property’s unique ecosystem!