How to Get Rid of Weeds without Harsh Chemicals

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The clement weather and plenty of sun rays that spring has brought are a true boost for every garden. Yet, people’s favorite vegetables and flowers are not the only plants to take advantage of good conditions.

Weeds like crabgrass and sorrel are growing stronger as well. You can, of course, easily get rid of them with the help of expert gardening care services, but there are some measures you can take on your own too.

Below you will find a few useful tips that can help you exterminate such garden invaders without treating your garden with harsh chemicals. Learn how to kill the obnoxious weeds and preserve your soil’s quality and the already planted greenery at the same time:

1. Pulling weeds

You do not have to be a professional gardener to know that not all weeds are equally easy to pull out of the ground. In case you have to deal with darnels with taproots or dandelions, for instance, you will have to don some gardening gloves and get onto the task of pulling.

It is wise to first water the soil around the weed or wait for a heavy rain and pull them after that. This is done to ensure that the ground is soft and the task is easier for you. Keep a handy inventory of some tools like screwdrivers or knives at hand to use if you have to loosen the roots before pulling the weeds off.

Pulling out the weeds

2. Burning

Many hobby gardeners prefer this method because it is neither difficult nor expensive. You will only need a weed scorcher or a blow-torch which are widely available on the market. It is not a good idea to set the unwanted greenery on fire, as this can actually be very dangerous.

If you simply run the hot flame over the weeds, they will wither shortly after and die. The method is effective because it essentially dries up the internal moisture of the plants. Even weeds can’t do without moisture.

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3. Mulching

This method is used not so much to take care of existing weeds but is rather a preventive measure that you can take to ensure no weeds are present in the first place. Mulching essentially eliminates the contact between weed seeds and the soil.

Cover the ground with mulch material, such as shredded leaves or grass clippings, to keep the seeds away from sunlight and thus prevent them from sprouting. Always go for biodegradable mulch, so that the soil is enriched over time while smothering the nasty weeds.

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4. Salting

Salt is an excellent lawn maintenance product. Sprinkle your garden paths and the edges of your lawn carefully to make a barrier for weeds. Treat areas you cannot reach with your lawn mower with salt (both rock and table salt work fine) to make the space barren and ease the battle with weeds for a while.


5. Using Vinegar

If you find the “pulling out” method too time-consuming, try killing taproot weeds via this one. Pour some vinegar on the affected areas of your garden and you will be happy to see the weeds dead just a couple of days later.

Their roots can wither even if you use pickling liquid. However, if you are determined to kill naturally robust and long taproots of the invaders, vinegar is the perfect solution.

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Read: 15+ Best Glyphosate Alternatives (As Voted by the Gardening Community)

6. Boiling Water

There is a rather simple and inexpensive way to dispose of unwanted greenery in your garden – boiling water. Use water in which you have boiled vegetables or pasta to go even more eco-friendly and not waste nature’s resources. Just pour the boiling water precisely onto the weeds.

It will take no more than several days for even the strongest of them to shrivel. Scalding water is the ultimate nature-friendly way to kill weeds, but you will have to watch out as you don’t want to burn other plants.

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7. Competition

It is a natural law that the stronger ones survive. Apply this principle to your landscaping and design your garden in a way to create natural competition between your plants and weeds.

Make sure you pick flowers and herbs that consume resources like water, sunlight, and nutrients faster than weeds. This way you can stimulate natural extermination of weeds without having to do anything else to kill them. The healthier and richer your garden is, the fewer weeds you will have to worry about.

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Stay on the lookout and be prepared to act quickly before the problem escalates. Choose a method which is best for your situation and deal with the unwelcome plants once and for all.

After you manage to exterminate them, make sure you utilize weed materials the best you can. They make for a good addition to your compost pile, like any greenery that you can include there.

About The Author

A humble yet keen self-taught gardener, Natalie Miller loves to research and share tips and ideas on gardening matters. She hopes that her writings will inspire and give further insight to both expert gardeners and novices alike.

7 thoughts on “How to Get Rid of Weeds without Harsh Chemicals”

  1. There are two methods I use to get rid of weeds, try a mixture of 50/50 water and vinegar, it will do the trick but do not spray it on valuable plants and shrubs. The other, I tried with success is to bury layers of old bug screens or defective bug screen fabric under your landscaping lava rocks, drain rock or bark mulch. Very few, if any, weeds pop up and to the very few that do – they’re easily manageable. Landscape fabric is very costly, and the water will still seep through the layered bug screens but weeds have a hard time penetrating this matted idea. I am unaware of any concerns with bug screen as a subsitute of landscape fabric, but it is always a good idea to ask the experts as I have as many I spoke to thought it was a good idea. Try it out…..

    • Hi Kerwin,

      Thank you for sharing more excellent tips with us. I believe that vinegar works well on getting rid of weeds. I’m yet to try out the other method but will try out and see how it goes. Once again I appreciate your input

  2. Chris,

    The matted layers of recycled window bug screens and/or grabbing new defective rolls from manufacturers work very well. Instead of them filling landfills, bug screens have other uses such as I stipulated. My landscape project is weed free for over 9 years and unlike others my time is not wasted pulling weeds manually or by buying costly weed tools. Btw harsh chemicals in weed killer sprays hurt plants, flowers, shurbbery, grass and the environment (water sources) and are toxic to children and pets. I am not a fan of bark mulch as it is an attractant to slugs, ticks, bugs and ants and looks shoddy after years of weathering the element to bleach/dull its original color. Although lava rock is expensive to buy and delivery costs, it is a good investment that will not lose its appeal or color. Landscape fabric can suffocate the ground and compact soil, and if given a choice, I’ll go the cheaper more effective method to recycle and reuse, and the window screens in my project are as good as the day they were placed in my yard. Thanks for placing my blog here.

  3. I use shredded paper from the office to place around my tomatoes as well as a little Epson Salt. This keeps the tomatoes from blighting. You do have to water more if it doesn’t rain well, but I live in the Appalachians where there is no water shortage and have plenty of weather replenishable water. I dust with cheap garden lime to keep off the bugs. Tomatoes do pretty good this way, just have to pick them as soon as they get ripe so they do not rot in my area with high humidity.

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