Weeds in the lawn or flower bed can look unattractive and weeds in the garden can crowd out your vegetables. The acceptable means of weed removal used to be chemicals but we are now beginning to see exactly how unhealthy that can be.
Not only do toxic weed removal methods expose children, pets, and birds to harmful chemicals but they also kill plant pollinators and we really do need those little guys out there helping our food crops to grow.
Fortunately it is possible to remove weeds without using harmful chemicals. Although this task usually does involve some degree of manual labor there are a few organic solutions for naturally destroying weeds that work almost as well. These are especially effective on younger plant matter or weeds that are prevented from going to seed.
Unwanted Plants Are Generally Quite Resilient
Weeds have a remarkable tendency to grow where ever you do not want them to. They sow themselves and they appear to thrive in gardens, flowerbeds, and lawns or where ever else it is where they are the least wanted.
The seeds blow in each year on the wind, or are carried in by birds, squirrels, or other wandering wildlife. Sometimes we bring them onto our property within the small cracks and wedges in the soles of the shoes that we wear or in the tires of our vehicle.
Generally if a plant is something you don't want there then it is officially designated a weed. This unwanted greenery can put you on a never ending mission to remove them from your little section of paradise.
Prevention Can Save You a Lot of Hard Work in Future Years
Weed removal is a lot of work so prevention is always a much easier solution for keeping those nasty weeds from invading lawn and garden areas. Laying plastic or black poly sheets over garden and empty flower beds will prevent new seeds from floating into these beds over idle months. It will also oxygen starve any seedlings that might try to make an early emergence in the spring.
Protect your other yard areas by laying mulch around tree bases and existing flower plants and bushes. Keep reseeding bare spots as they appear in your lawn and maintain the mowing and trimming of your lawn to prevent existing weeds from seeding themselves. Weed removal is a lot of work so prevention is always your best resource when it comes to saving yourself a lot of back breaking effort in the future.
Note: Always try to insure that weeds are pulled, mowed, or removed before they have a chance to go to seed. This one step will prevent the majority of your weed problem from occurring.
Plants can send off thousands of seeds in one season and these can plant themselves for not just the next season but for quite a few years to come. Seeds can lie dormant for quite a lengthy period of time so work diligently to keep weeds from going to seed.
Natural Ways to Kill Weeds
Raised Flower Beds Can Save Wear and Tear on the Back
Natural Weed Killing Solutions
Whenever possible work on the weeds in the early spring when the plant is small and more vulnerable. Two natural non-chemical solutions for killing weeds are plain boiling water or full strength vinegar.
Begin by chopping or mowing off the top of the weed as this will leave it in a vulnerable state. Then pour boiling water directly on top of the unwanted plant. If the first application is not enough to remove the weed then repeat the process till it is effective, the returning plant will be weaker with each application. Three applications will usually be sufficient to eliminate even the most stubborn of plants.
When using vinegar begin as you did for the boiling water weed solution. If possible mow or cut the top off the weed before you begin drenching it. Then use full strength vinegar and a spray bottle to saturate the plant. The higher the acidic acid level in the vinegar then the more effective it will be for weed destruction. For lower acidity vinegar solutions expect to repeat the application a few times for total weed removal.
For plants that grow within the cracks in your driveway or walkway snip off the main bulk of the plant with garden shears, and then slowly pour your boiling water, or vinegar solution directly onto the remainder of the plant. It will not only kill the plant but it will also destroy the majority of the root.
If this procedure is being done on your lawn area be sure to plant grass seed immediately afterwards. Crowding out weeds and not allowing them room to grow works very effectively at preventing future seedlings from taking root in your lawn. Always be sure to sun dry or oxygen starve the offending weed clippings in disposing of them.
Salt? Only for Spot Spraying Individual Plants in Specific Areas
Salt will kill greenery but it also remains in the ground. Use it with discretion.
Vinegar for Killing Weeds in Driveway and Sidewalk Cracks
Removing Weeds From the Garden
When the garden seedlings are first starting to open their little sprigs to the warmth of the spring sun it can be difficult, with so many plants growing there to determine which ones are the seedlings and which ones are the weeds.
It is best to delay weed removal until time allows you to determine which is which or you may wind up pulling out your garden plants instead.
Pulling or digging out weeds to remove them can be a lot of hard work but it is actually the most environmentally friendly means of dealing with unwanted plant matter in the garden.
If you can tell for certain that it is creeping grass or an unknown weed species invading your flower or vegetable garden then begin pulling them while they are still young and easily removed. Use a garden hoe or fork to loosen the roots of these invaders and to help insure that you remove all of the root.
Generally it is a Task That Requires Regular Upkeep
Most of the plants in your garden and vegetable beds will generally have to grow to a little larger in height before you begin your weeding process, otherwise you might actually pull the young vegetables or flower seedlings by error.
As the plants grow and form more distinct characteristics and beds you can more easily determine those that you want growing there. This insures that you are not weeding out your desirable plants along with the unwanted ones. Once you are able to distinguish between the two, it is simply a matter of pulling the unwanted plants, and disposing of them.
Unfortunately there are not a lot of easy solutions when it comes to removing these unwanted plants so it is often a slow and steady task and one that needs to be worked at on a regular basis. The number one method of organic weed removal is to pull or to dig out the weeds by hand or rototiller.
When working by hand the best method is always to first loosen the roots of the unwanted plants with a garden fork or hoe and then to pull the offender from the ground. Once the weed is removed effectively prevent it from growing anywhere again by destroying it. This can be done by placing them in an airless container or garbage bag.
Going Organic - Non GMO Seeds are Still Available
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