Regardless of how meticulously you prepare your garden, a handful of pesky weeds will inevitably appear in your yard. Given the right temperatures and circumstances, weeds can grow 2- 3 inches within 24 hours.
When you discover them, resist the need to go for the pesticide solution immediately as there are alternative methods to eliminate weeds that are both effective and ecologically friendly.
If you see some weeds emerging in your flower garden, remove them and dig up as much of the roots as you can. However, if you’re experiencing an increase in the number of weeds in your area, an organic weed killer might help you reclaim your space.
While manually removing weeds is usually the most dependable method, you have to recognize when there are instances when herbicides can be useful, but their use can pose environmental as well as heath threats.
The safest way to kill weeds is with the use of a natural ingredients such as corn gluten meal, vinegar or even alcohol preparation to be carefully apply where weeds flourish. Boiling water can also be a solution while covering the soil is a great weeds prevention technique.
Let’s review all the solutions at our disposal to understand our options for complete safety
- Cover the soil with newspaper, shower curtains and carpet pieces
A piece of newspaper that prevents sunshine and oxygen from hitting the soil can suffocate existing vegetation and limit the growth of new weeds. Spread newspaper in ten-sheet layers, moistened to keep it in place, then top with a couple of inches of mulch.
If weeds continue to sprout in the mulch, apply additional layers to create a mix of mulch and newspaper that will ultimately degrade and enrich the soil.
Placing discarded shower curtains and carpet pieces along garden walkways as well as between rows prevents weeds from sprouting. Like in the previous method, you need to cover the area with mulch as well.
- Apply Corn Gluten Meal
Corn gluten meal, a by-product of corn, suppresses seed growth for weeds. Because the grain limits germination, it should be applied around existing plants and after seedlings have grown further in the soil. Distribute the meal after harvesting to avoid late-season weeds.
- Use Vinegar
5% vinegar contains acetic acid which acts as a desiccant, sucking the vitality from leaves and stems. It is especially harmful to developing roots of young plants, yet it just glides off waxy-leaved weeds.
Before applying, make sure you cover and protect the areas you don’t want affected, since vinegar won’t discriminate in killing your plants. Remove the base of a 2-liter plastic water bottle and place it over the plant to ensure you are spraying exactly where you want.
- Use alcohol preparation
A single ounce of vodka combined with a few cups of water and a few droplets of liquid detergent can kill sun-loving weeds. However, It is ineffective against weeds that grown in the shade. If you opt for this method, cover your plants, since vodka can also dehydrate them.
- Liquid dish detergent can be used
Soap contains oil which may degrade waxy or hairy weed surfaces, rendering them more susceptible to desiccants. Therefore, a couple of drops of liquid dish detergent may be added to vinegar or vodka sprays to help maintain the solution on the leaves.
Additionally, the soap makes leaves glossy, which helps in keeping track of the areas you’ve covered.
- Boil some water
Another method is to boil some water and then pour it over weeds, which will burn. This is a very effective method for whacking weeds along driveways and walkways, since the boiling water may flow off impermeable surfaces and cool before reaching border plants.
Different Methods of Dealing with Weeds
Nobody likes to gaze at their yard or admire their landscape and then see weeds. They contribute to the appearance of overrun and neglected terrain, and homeowners spend considerable effort eradicating them and attempting to keep them gone.
A total of 2.1 billion metric tons of grain is produced globally today. If weeds cause a 10% reduction in overall yield, the total loss in grain production is 200 million metric tons. Grain production would grow by 100 million metric tons if this loss could be cut in half, helping to alleviate global hunger.
According to a new study from Kansa University conducted by the Weed Science Society of America and led by K-State weed scientist Anita Dille, spanned seven years from 2007 to 2013, allowing weeds to grow unchecked in maize and soybean fields across North America would result in a 50% reduction in yields in the United States and Canada, resulting in $43 billion in annual economic losses for those two crops alone.
There are many various methods for eradicating this inconvenience. Eliminate weeds via preventive care and the application of a chemical weed killer or organic repellents found around the home.
Calculate the optimal height of your lawn. All lawns are maintained at an optimal grass height that encourages continued growth. Your optimum grass height will vary according to temperature and location.
Consult a gardening specialist or a consultant at a nearby home improvement store to determine the kind of lawn you have and the appropriate height for it to flourish.
If you’re unsure, its usually better to leave the grass growing a little longer. This will shelter your yard, robbing it of sunshine and thus suffocating possible weeds.
Trim your lawn as often as required to maintain an optimum grass height. This prevents weed heads from maturing or germinating in your grass.
Each time you trim, use a weed whacker or a trimmer to remove the weeds that grow around the edge of your grass.
Place stones or mulch surrounding your flower beds to discourage weed growth. The covering will keep the soil cool and shaded, deterring fresh weed growth.
- Herbicide Chemicals
Research and locate herbicides that are effective against the weeds in your yard. Choose a wide leaf herbicide that is effective against your weeds. This herbicide is effective against common types of weed. If the plant you want to eradicate is not listed on the label, do not purchase it.
Administer the herbicide using the applicator that came with it. Often, products are packaged in spray bottles, allowing you to spray them straight to the weeds.
Ascertain that it is not windy, otherwise you risk destroying vegetation you want or intended to consume.
Treat whole weed patches and spot-treat the sporadic weeds that grow up throughout the lawn.
Connect a spray bottle to your gardening hose if you have a whole lawn covered with weeds that have grown out of hand or have been neglected for an extended period of time. This enables you to apply a big quantity of chemical herbicide to the entire area effectively.
Before spraying, eliminate any objects, equipment, pets, or clothes. Chemicals may be harmful to humans and animals.
“Weeds are smart. They keep figuring out how to survive whatever we throw at them. The reason some people ended up with herbicide-resistant weeds is that they often used a really good product over and over again and the weeds weren’t exposed to other control practices. If we change it up, keep the weeds on the defensive, then they potentially won’t become resistant because we’ve controlled those resistant ones with a different technique.”- Anita Dille
More than 500 unique cases of herbicide-resistant weeds have been identified around the world thus far. More than 160 of the total cases are from the United States, and over 90 are from Australia, making them the two countries with the most herbicide resistance cases. Canada, China, and Brazil are the next three countries on the list. The following are the highest numbers of herbicide-resistant weed species reported in various crops: Soybean > spring barley (Hordeum vulgare L.) > canola (Brassica napus L.) > cotton > wheat > maize > rice (Oryza sativa L.) > soybean > spring barley (Hordeum vulgare L.) > canola (Brassica napus L.) > cotton (Gossypium hirsutum L.)
2. Weed Killers Made from Organic Ingredients
Establish a boundary between the soil and the garden. This may be accomplished via the use of paper or an unused sheet or blanket.
Wrap the newspaper or sheet with mulch, stones, or soil and grow your flowers. Weeds will be incapable to establish a root system or spread beyond the barrier.
Corn gluten meal may be used in your plants or on your lawn. Corn gluten meal inhibits weed seed germination but has little effect on existing plants. The best time to utilize this is in the early spring.
Use hot water on any weeds or areas of weeds that you see growing on your lawn. This is particularly beneficial if you see weeds growing in your car park or pathway, since the water will easily drain away without harming your plants or grass.
On leaf spots, spray a solution of vinegar and water. Avoid spraying too near to plants or flowers, or covering them before spraying. Vinegar will destroy both healthy and weedy growth.
How to Kill Weeds without Damaging the Grass
- Remove the weeds from their roots
The easiest method is to manually remove tiny areas. If you have a tiny yard or several weeds scattered around, put on some gardening gloves, grab the root of the weed, and remove the whole plant, along with the roots, out from the soil to prevent it from growing again.
If the soil surrounding the weeds is very difficult, use any kind of gardening tool to break it up and dislodge the plants. The adjacent vegetation will expand and take up the area vacated by the weed.
- Use boiling water
This is an excellent choice for tiny areas but be sure to stay away from the neighboring vegetation. Raise a pot or container of water to a boil on the burner.
Apply the boiled water cautiously over the weeds you would like to eliminate. Ensure that you do not drop the water directly onto your lawn to avoid damaging it. When the weed falls, it decomposes and your grass takes its place.
Apply water sparingly so that it does not puddle on the ground. Use just enough to cover the plant’s foundation, killing the stalk and roots.
- Saturate the weed leaves with a salt solution
Drench the plant and stay away from the neighboring grass. Sodium chloride, often known as table salt, is an efficient organic herbicide that causes the plant to dry up and die.
1 part salt to 8 parts hot water, with a dab of dish soap to aid in the solution’s adhesion to the weeds. Fill a spray bottle halfway with the mixture and spray directly on the weeds’ leaves.
While it may take many applications to completely eradicate the weed, this method is an excellent approach to prevent harming your lawn.
- Prepare a combination of herbicidal soaps
Spray it immediately on weeds, avoiding grass in the surrounding area. Mix equal amounts white vinegar, salt, and dish detergent to create an even greater natural weed killer that won’t damage your lawn.
Fill a spray bottle halfway with the mixture and apply it squarely on the weeds you wish to eliminate.
- Use a flamer
Burn the weeds to destroy them without harming the grass in the vicinity. A flamer is a specialist gardening equipment that uses heat to cause weeds’ cell walls to break.
Simply run the flamer’s end over the weeds you wish to eradicate, avoiding the adjacent grass. Stronger weeds may sprout, but after a few flamer applications, they will ultimately die off. Although the weeds may not seem blackened or burned, the flamer will attack their cells, causing them to die within a few hours.
- Use a Chemical Weed Killer
Select a herbicide that is gentle on your grass. If you are aware of the kind of grass you have, select a chemical that is certified safe for it and efficient against the weeds you are attempting to eradicate.
To eliminate the weeds in your lawn, mix the chemical as per the instructions on the package and apply it using a nozzle or spray can.
If you have persistent weeds, use a post-emergence herbicide. Select a pre-emergence herbicide to eliminate germinating seeds before they penetrate the soil.
Even herbicides designed specifically for grass have the potential to damage it. However, if your yard is totally overtaken by weeds, this may be the best option.
- Use Corn Gluten Meal
It may aid in the prevention of weed seeds developing. Corn gluten meal is a leftover of corn milling and appears as a yellowish powder. It will not damage your grass and is non-toxic to pets, although it may assist prevent the growth of weeds.
Covering your lawn, sprinkle a coating of corn gluten meal. Corn gluten meal may be found at most garden centers. Additionally, you may buy it online.
- Use aeration for your soil
Minimize soil tension which may promote the development of weeds. Aerating your soil entails punching holes in it using a manual or gas-powered aerator, which enables air, water, and nourishment to enter more readily.
Weeds thrive in dense, compressed soil, which is why aerating the soil under your lawn may help you control the weed growth. Healthy grass implies a robust grass root system capable of competing with and suppressing weed development.
- Annually fertilize your lawn
Provide it with the nutrition it needs to suffocate weeds. While it may seem that distributing fertilizers would nourish weeds and exacerbate your issue, this is not the case.
With time, your garden will lose nutrition, weakening it and making it possible for weeds to grow in. Apply fertilizer over your garden once a year in spring time to make it last longer and make it robust.
The stronger your grass is, the more effectively it can combat with weeds that attempt to develop in the soil, thus preventing and reducing weed development.
How to Use Vinegar to Kill Weeds Safely
To use vinegar to eradicate weeds, combine 1 gallon (4 liters) white vinegar with 2 teaspoons (10 mL) dish soap. Dish soap will aid in the vinegar’s adhesion to the weeds. Fill a garden sprayer halfway with the mixture.
Then, on a warm, clear day, immediately apply it on the leaves and roots of the weeds you want to eradicate. The sun will aid in the vinegar’s drying process, thereby killing them.
Allow 24 hours for the weeds to completely dry out before spraying again if required. If white vinegar is insufficient, you may use 20% concentrated horticultural vinegar to create a more potent combination. Additionally, adding 2 cups (550 g) of table salt to the mixture helps strengthen it.
How to Kill Weeds Growing on Garden Rocks
If weeds are sprouting all across your garden rocks, they should be quite easy to eradicate. If there are just a couple of weeds, sprinkle them with vinegar or splash boiling water on them.
Apply chemical herbicide to control a bigger outbreak. Conduct this operation on a clear day with no forecasted rain to ensure that the herbicide is not washed away.
In a plastic container, combine ten ml of chemical herbicide with one liter of water and blast the weeds. Otherwise, you may manually extract them. Weeds should be watered to dislodge their roots.
Then, a few days later, use a gardening fork to break the soil and pick away the weeds.