Why Kill Weeds Naturally?
An immaculate and vibrant lawn without weeds is the dream of many a home owner. No matter how hard we may try, weeds ending up in our lawn or gardens are inevitable. It’s been a common practice to apply chemicals to help eliminate these unwanted plant but the repercussions can be harmful to not only our plants but also our health and that of many important garden creatures.
Out of habit or due to the lack of awareness, it is not surprising to see people pulling out a packaged product of chemicals from their local hardware store in the spring. If you’ve done this in the past, don’t fret. This is in the past. After this article you will be more informed and able to make a better decision for the environment, your family and your neighbors all will spending less than you did on those chemicals!
The reason you will want to make this switch:
- Many of these store bought products contain glyphosate. This is something you should be worries about. Glyphosate has been linked to numerous health problems. You can see the whole list here but I’ll share just a few: ADHD, birth defects, Alzheimers, cancer, heart disease. Don’t worry though, we have a better solution for you below.
- Herbicides are being washed away into our waterways and polluting our water and our soils. This includes all those that live in our water and soil too.
- They inevitably end up on our food.
- Many other countries have already banned herbicides that include glyphosate.
- It kills important insects such as pollinators.
Why Pollinators Matter
A special little shout out to pollinators. Our under appreciated ally in the garden. Pollinators can include mammals, avians and insects. Our fruit and nuts that we love so much are thanks to pollinators. So are our flowering plants. The majority of flowering plants around the world require the support of a pollinator for reproduction. In exchange, pollinators can receive nutrients in the form of nectar or pollen.
One of the most well known pollinators is the bee yet there are many others including birds, some types of flies, beetles and bats. To have a healthy ecosystem, healthy pollinators are needed. If they land on plants covered in an herbicide, this can mean death for the insect and potentially also their colony. So switching to a natural approach to killing your weeds off can actually has a huge impact!
How To Kill Weeds Naturally And Without Chemicals
Timing counts! Get to your weeds before they start to go to seed and really spread around. If you have just a few weeds to tackle, a hand weeding tool can be your friend. Plus, doing a few squats in the sun does you good.
If the weeds have really started to spreed, you can make a homemade naturally weed killer with vinegar.
How to Kill Weeds in Yard With Vinegar
You can just open up a bottle of vinegar and pour it on the weeds that have popped up. Seriously. Vinegar alone will be able to get rid of most weed problems. I do also have an easy three ingredient homemade weed killer you can whip up if you are finding that vinegar alone is not doing it for you.
Three Ingredient Homemade Weed Killer
Grab a spray bottle or bucket and fill it up with the following mixture.
- 1/4 cup salt
- 1 teaspoon dishwashing liquid (If you are using Basic H2 which is my preferred choice as it’s biodegradable and organic, you only need 1-2 drops.)
- 3 cups vinegar
Be sure to spray this mixture on in full sun on a hot day. The plant will bake in this concoction. The spray bottle is a great tool to use so you can directly spray on the weeds and avoid the plants you want to keep.
How to Kill Weeds Without Killing Grass
Use the spray bottle strategy and put the three ingredient spray directly on the weeds as close to the base of the plant as you can.
How to Kill Large Patches of Weeds
If the area is totally taken over by weeds and you want to turn that area into a future flower bed, place down layers of newspaper or cardboard, soak it and then layer mulch on top. You can also use large sheets of dark plastic.
To help further enrich soil you want to work with, you can use straw to cover the weeds. Straw will breakdown and provide nutrients to the soil. Just be sure not to get hay as that has seeds in it.
How to Prevent Future Weeds
You can prevent future weeds from popping up by laying down landscaping fabric in your garden beds. You can also use straw or mulch around your plants in your garden beds. This will prevent most weeds from popping up. When spring comes, be sure to stay on top of weeds as soon as you see them. This will dramatically cut down on them spreading.
Best of luck to you fellow gardeners and thank you for making a smart and easy change to protect our environment!