Not only are weeds unsightly but can also be harmful to your lawn and garden. Weeds compete with your plants for nutrients, water, and sunlight, leaving your plants weakened and less able to thrive.
While chemical weed killers can be effective, they can also be dangerous to both people and the environment. Fortunately, there are several natural ways to kill weeds.
Here’s how to get rid of weeds naturally.
When properly layered, newspapers will stop light from passing through. Without sunlight, the weeds will be unable to continue growing while also stopping any new ones from springing up.
After laying down the wet newspaper on the weeds, cover it with a layer or two of mulch to further block sunlight. As a bonus, as the newspaper breaks down, it fertilizes the soil, so it’s a two-for-one deal for your vegetable garden.
Applied properly, a thick layer of mulch helps to reduce weed seed germination as it prevents the seeds from receiving sunlight. Also, mulch helps to keep the soil cool and moist.
3. Lemon Juice
You can also use the juice of lemons as a cost-effective organic weed control remedy.
Add enough lemon juice into a spray bottle and begin coating the weeds. The citric acid in it will burn the weeds, causing them to wilt and dry up in one to two days.
4. Hand-Pulling Them
One of the easiest ways to eliminate weeds from your lawn and vegetable garden is to pull them by hand.
Weeds can be difficult to pull out of the ground. There is also the risk of damaging the root systems of the flowers and plants you want to keep.
To avoid this, it’s best to pull them out when the ground is moist. Also, pull slowly. Pulling by hand is also the best way to get rid of weeds without killing grass.
5. Essential Oils
Some essential oils can help stop weeds from taking over your garden, flower bed, or driveway.
Oils such as peppermint and clove are good at killing weeds. Follow the recipe here to make a homemade essential oil herbicide.
To eliminate weeds with vinegar, combine one gallon of household white vinegar with a tablespoon of organic liquid soap in a spray bottle.
Next, shake well and spray affected areas. This vinegar solution is an excellent home remedy to kill weeds and grass naturally.
Combine 2 tablespoons of liquid soap, one ounce of vodka, and 2 cups of warm water in a spray bottle. Use this to coat the leaves and roots of the weeds.
This solution will dry up the weeds.
Of course, you want to exercise caution when using flammable devices. Using a small blowtorch, spread the flame, being very careful to target only what you want to eradicate.
9. Hot Water
Pouring hot water on weeds will kill them. They will wither and die in 24 to 48 hours.
This natural weed killer option is great for eliminating weeds in cracks. Besides, it works relatively quickly.
10. Don’t Give Them Space
By planting some flowers close enough, you should rarely have weed problems.
For example, Walker’s Low Catmint is a blooming perennial. Because it grows thickly, there will be hardly any space for weeds to develop.
You can also cover bare spots in your vegetable garden with organic mulches such as leaves or straw. This leaves no room for weeds to thrive.
11. Corn Gluten Meal
Corn gluten meal may also stop weed seeds from germinating . Additionally, it will act as a great organic fertilizer because it contains nitrogen.
12. DIY Herbicidal Spray
This homemade herbicide spray uses vinegar and Epsom salt.
Mix Epsom salt with vinegar at a ratio of 1:6 until the salt dissolves completely. It doesn’t matter which brand of Epsom salt you use. You can also add a tablespoon of organic liquid soap.
Spray this natural herbicide directly on weeds, whether they are on sidewalks, between pavers, in gravel, or in your garden. Reapply a few times to achieve permanent results.
13. Use Goats
Another way to get rid of a yard full of weeds without using harmful chemicals is to use goats.
Goats are an eco-friendly option to toxic herbicides. Goats will clear your land of unwanted vegetation. And best of all, they’ll till the soil with their hooves as they move.
However, it’s best to use these animals before planting, lest they mistake your harvest for a tasty treat.
14. Cover Crops
These are plants that are planted to cover the soil. Cover crops can block sunlight from weeds and steal their nutrients.
The farmer then turns these crops under the soil when the time comes to plant food crops. Great cover crops include alfalfa, cowpea, buckwheat, oats, and rye.
15. Soil Solarization
Soil solarization uses heat from the sun to kill weeds and seeds . It will also destroy bad organisms in the soil.
For the process, wet bare soil thoroughly with water before covering it with clear plastic. Next, sink the edges of the plastic into the soil so air doesn’t get in.
Finally, let it sit for over four weeks in the hot sun before removing the plastic.
Just be careful when using this method as it’s entirely indiscriminate. You may wind up killing beneficial organisms as well as harmful ones.
16. Avenger Weed Killer
This product is made from all-natural ingredients. Avenger is OMRI-listed, fast-acting, and an excellent contact herbicide.
To make a homemade weed killer using borax, combine 8 ounces of borax with two gallons of water in a spray container.
Shake well and coat troublesome areas. However, try to only saturate the weeds and not the soil.
18. WeedGuard Plus
This special fabric is designed to stop weed growth.
WeedGuard Plus is an organic alternative to landscape fabric that stands an excellent chance of preventing weeds from attaining the light they need to grow.
It’s also 100% biodegradable and fairly easy to apply.
19. Harvest and Eat Them
Some weeds can be eaten as vegetables. Besides, there are likely many of these edible weeds growing in your garden and backyard. Instead of destroying them, make a meal out of them.
Weeds can be very difficult to deal with. They can take up space in your garden and suck up valuable nutrients from the soil. Try the home remedies and natural methods above to get rid of them.