Like any gardener, you probably have noticed that flowers and vegetables are not the only things that like to grow in your garden. The weeds love it, too – and why wouldn’t they, with all the free fertilizer and water they could wish for? Weeds are a frustrating and, pardon the pun perennial problem, but there are natural ways to take care of them that don’t involve poisoning your garden and yard with herbicides. 5 of those ways are outlined below.
This sounds obvious, but for minor weeds problems, you do have the option of simply pulling them out of your garden beds. It is best to do this after watering or a rain, when the soil is moist, and to do it slowly so that as much of the root comes out as possible. They can be added to your compost pile to actually help your garden grow as well! This is, however, the most labor-intensive natural method.
Weeds are just like any other plant and cannot survive without sunlight. Use this to your advantage: if you have a weedy area, you can cover it with a thick layer of shredded newspaper (which is biodegradable and garden safe) and then add a thick layer of mulch on top of this to prevent any sunlight from getting through.
Using Natural Herbicide
Fill a spray bottle with two cups white vinegar, a half cup of salt and a dash of dish soap or a mixture of one part water to one part while vinegar. Either of these sprays will act as naturally herbicides when sprayed upon the plant but be careful not to spray it on your flowers or vegetables, because this spray does not discriminate and will kill them off as well!
The next time you are finished boiling up some pasta or potatoes, kill off weeds that are growing in the cracks of your sidewalk or patio or along the edges of your garden path by the simple method of dumping the scaling water on them. Do not do this on weeds growing in your garden though – again, this will kill off the wanted plants as well as the unwanted ones!
Crowding Them Out
Again, weeds are like any other plant in that they need space to grow. If you plan ahead and plant a garden where the plants grow closely together and make use of ground covers, this will greatly suppress your weed population naturally and give you a beautiful garden as well. Ground covers that are particularly good at suppressing weeds include phlox, low catmint and creeping thyme.
These are all excellent, natural methods for making sure that your garden space is reserved only for plants that you want to be there. They will save you money (since some commercial sprays are quite expensive) but also prevent you (as well as your family and your pets) from being exposed to potentially dangerous chemicals found in many herbicides.