Weeds can be a huge pain. They seem to pop up overnight and take over your precious garden, leaving you little choice but to eliminate them.
Unfortunately, pulling out these pesky intruders is a time-consuming and frustrating process. And if you use chemicals, you can end up harming the plants you’re trying to grow. So what can you do?
Here we’ll discuss how to get rid of weeds safely and easily and provide some helpful tips and tricks to make your gardening weed-proof.
So, let’s dive into it!
Why Are Weeds a Huge Problem?
Weeds aren’t only unsightly, but they can also cause harm to flowers, grass, vegetables, and other vegetation in your garden.
They compete with your plants for water, light, and nutrients. What’s more, some of these annoyingly resistant plants can act as hosts for pests and diseases that can infect your plants.
So, having weeds around in your garden may mean stunted growth or even death for the plants you’re trying to cultivate.
Additionally, some weeds are poisonous and pose a health hazard to children and pets.
Get Rid of Weeds Forever by Preventing Their Growth
Do you want to save your time, money, and energy and still have a weed-free garden? This is possible, but only if you start acting before weeds do and prevent them from growing!
Beware of Bare Spaces
Bare spaces in your garden are an open invitation for weed seedlings. So, plant your plants tightly, near one another. This way, they’ll be able to overcrowd the pestering weeds and prevent their growth.
One way to do this is to plant groundcover plants like thyme, bunchberry, etc., in your garden.
Trying to eliminate open spaces is also a good technique to apply if you want to permanently get rid of weeds in the driveway. Set the driveway pavers tightly next to one another and mend any cracks on them to prevent weed growth. Putting sand between the pavers is also a good idea.
Take Care of Nutrient Balance in the Soil
Minerals like calcium, magnesium, iron, potassium, phosphorus, manganese, etc., are essential for plants‘ growth. If the soil is rich in some nutrients but poor in others, the imbalance will promote the growth of certain types of weeds.
For example, burdock may indicate low levels of calcium and high levels of potassium.
Selecting the right products or organic material for soil will restore soil’s balance and prevent weed growth.
Aerate the Soil
Good soil aeration will boost your plants‘ growth and help you eliminate pesky intruders like weeds. This is because looser soil prevents weed roots from getting a good foothold in the ground, thereby preventing their growth.
So, if you want to get rid of weeds without killing any plants, you can simply take a chopstick and poke some holes in the ground to let air enter near the roots of the plants.
Cultivate When Necessary
This way, you’ll create looser soil and prevent weeds from anchoring themselves to the ground with their tight-gripping roots. You can do this in several ways, one of which is hand-spading the top layer of the soil, digging up no more than six inches into the ground.
Shallow-cultivating the areas between your plants will prevent weed seedlings from sprouting while making your plants thrive. So, cultivate your garden whenever you notice dry, compacted crust forming on the soil. Do this only on dry soil.
The best way to get rid of weeds in your yard (and prevent their growth) is to mulch.
You can use straw, cardboard, newspaper, leaves, or grass clippings to cover the ground. This will block light and prevent weed seeds from germinating.
If you’re concerned about how the DIY mulch will look in your garden and whether it’ll clash with its overall esthetics, you can always opt for a more decorative-looking store-bought mulch.
Whether you choose a store-bought or homemade option, one thing is for sure — mulches are effective weed killers that deprive weeds of light. They also keep the soil moist and cool, which is ideal for growing vegetables and flowers.
Cover the Ground With Black Plastic
Sheet mulching is often used in commercial agriculture since it creates an excellent weed barrier. This method that eliminates weeds by starving them of light can also be used in home gardens.
All you have to do is place a large piece of black polythene plastic sheet on the ground and peg or weigh it down. Then poke holes in it so your plants can pierce through.
Water Only the Bases of Your Plants
Most weeds can’t grow on consistently dry soil. So, the first thing you need to do to get rid of weeds naturally is to stop watering them! In other words, when watering, focus on your plants only and avoid wasting water on open areas. This will limit the growth of pesky plant intruders.
Sprinkle Corn Gluten Meal on Bare Areas
Did you know that a single weed can produce 10 million seeds?
Luckily, there’s a way to prevent the seeds from sprouting. Sprinkle corn gluten meal on bare areas in your garden and let it work its magic.
But there’s one thing you should bear in mind. Besides preventing weed seeds from germinating, corn gluten meal may also prevent any other seeds from sprouting too. So, it’s best to use this method after your plants have already developed.
How to Get Rid of Weeds Without Killing the Grass on Your Lawn
Prevention is the best way to deal with pesky plant intruders on your lawn. But once weeds have popped out, there are still some things you can do.
Here are some tips on freeing your lawn of weeds.
Don’t Mow the Lawn Too Low
Cutting the grass too law allows weed seeds to reach the soil and anchor themselves between the blades of grass on your lawn more easily. So, make sure to mow regularly (but not excessively) if you want to get rid of weeds in your lawn.
Bag Weedy Grass Cuts
Bag grass clippings from your lawnmower to avoid spreading weed seeds around. You can stop doing this as soon as weeds are eradicated from your lawn.
Take Proper Care of Your Lawn
A healthy, dense lawn won’t allow weeds to invade its space. So, keeping your grass healthy and strong through proper watering, mowing, aeration, maintaining optimal pH levels, fertilization, etc., can help remove weeds from your lawn for good.
Also, don’t be afraid to use your cordless leaf blower to remove winter leaves. Leaving them on your lawn can inhibit grass growth in the spring and promote snow mold diseases. And this can, in turn, boost the presence of weeds.
Use Pre- or Post-Emergent Herbicides
Most herbicides are designed to kill weeds without affecting the grass. Some are also specialized for eliminating certain types of weeds (e.g., dandelions). So, you need to identify the weeds growing on your lawn before applying these toxic chemicals.
Keep in mind that using any herbicide is a risky business both for you and the environment, so use them according to the instructions, and avoid doing so in windy weather.
How to Get Rid of Weeds in the Flower Beds
Besides pulling weeds out by hand, spraying them with homemade weed-killing solutions is the best and the easiest way to eradicate weeds and restore the beauty of your flower beds.
Here are a few ways how to do it:
Pour Boiling Water Over The Weeds
Burning weeds with boiling-hot water is the simplest natural way to kill weeds. So, boil some water in your tea kettle, pour it on top of the weeds, and you’re done.
Tip: You may need to repeat the process several times to get the desired results.
Cut the Tops of Weeds
If you’re expecting dry weather, you can eliminate weeds by simply cutting their tops off. This will dry out the whole plant and might be even more effective than pulling it out.
However, keep in mind that this method might not be effective against all types of all weeds (e.g., bamboo).
Use a Vinegar, Salt, and Dish Soap Solution
Add one cup of salt and a tablespoon of dishwashing soap to a gallon of 5% vinegar. Put some of this mixture in a spray bottle and spray the weeds with it on a dry, sunny day.
This will chemically burn weeds but also your flowers if you don’t aim carefully. Repeat the process if necessary.
Additional tips: Don’t opt for a 20% acetic acid (vinegar solution) unless you’re experienced in weeding using sprays. If you do decide to use stronger vinegar, always use protective gear.
Use Baking Soda
Baking soda is also one of the good home remedies that can be used to kill weeds. But bear in mind that this substance can only kill certain types of weeds (e.g., crabgrass, liverwort, etc.).
Additionally, baking soda is non-selective (it can kill almost all plants it gets in contact with, including your flowers), so apply it carefully.
To create a baking soda solution, you should simply add about three tablespoons of baking soda to a quart of water, mix well, and spray away!
You can also add a little vinegar or lemon juice if you want to boost the efficacy of this natural herbicide.
How to Get Rid of Weeds in Your Vegetable Garden Safely
Weeds in a vegetable garden require special treatment. Your task is to get rid of weeds without harming your vegetables or unnecessarily contaminating them with chemicals, which can be tricky.
If you want to avoid using commercial herbicides at all costs, here’s what you can do instead:
Pull Weeds Out by Hand
This is the most labor-intensive and old-fashioned method of de-weeding your vegetable garden, but it’s also the safest.
Make sure your hands are clean and free of chemicals before starting and pull the weeds up by the root. If a piece of root remains in the soil, the weed will just grow back, so be careful.
Also, the weather conditions matter when it comes to this method. Any day when the ground is wet and loose is the best day to get rid of weeds in the vegetable garden naturally in this way.
Use a Garden Hoe
This gardening tool is the perfect ally in the battle against weeds.
So, hoe your vegetable garden when it’s completely dry. This way, you’ll produce what gardeners call dust mulch. This ground dust prevents weed seeds from germinating, thereby preventing the feared weed invasion.
Try a Weed Burner
This tool is perhaps the coolest weed killer out there, which is ironic, given that it uses directed heat to kill weeds.
The main reasons why a heat gun may become your best pal when trying to get rid of weeds in the grass and your garden are its efficacy, accuracy, and fast action. Plus, it’s very simple to use — just hold it over the weed-ridden ground surface for a minute, and you’re done!
The best part is, once you’ve burned weeds, they become the food of your vegetables. There’s no need to pluck them out of the soil. Just leave them in your garden so they can naturally compost there.
So, there you have it, the answers to what kills weeds permanently and tips on how to prevent and limit their growth.
By following these pieces of advice, you can easily get rid of weeds without harming your beloved plants. With a little effort, you can have a weed-free garden that’ll look great all season long too!
Try one of these methods the next time you deal with weeds and see how well it works. Share your experience in the comments below!
What is the easiest way to get rid of weeds?
The easiest way to deal with weeds is to spray them with herbicides, but this isn’t always the smartest way.
If you want to avoid toxic chemical exposure, it’s better to use a homemade spray or a weed burner. Also, there’s always the good old-fashion weeding by hand.
How do you permanently kill weeds naturally?
You can use boiled water, undiluted bleach, or a solution made of white vinegar, salt, and dishwashing liquid to eradicate weeds for good. If you have the time and the energy, you can also pluck them out of your garden when the soil is moist and soft.
Why do I have so many weeds in my lawn?
Low-mowed grass can make weeds grow faster. Also, unhealthy, poorly-aerated, and compacted soil encourages weed growth. And so does overwatered/water-deprived turf.
If you want a weed-free lawn, you should take care of these first.
Is it better to pull weeds or spray them?
It’s always better to pull weeds out. The laborious work can be made easy by doing it at the right time and with the right tools. Go for it after rains that are enough to soften the soil.
On the other hand, spraying weeds with herbicides causes toxic chemicals (which can negatively affect the soil in your garden, as well as plants) to be released into the environment.
Plus, if you have children and pets running around, you risk exposing them to a potentially cancerogenic substance.
Is pulling weeds a waste of time?
Not if it’s done the right way. If you do it when they’re still small, you’ll eliminate the risk of seeding, so your garden will be weed-free for longer. Taking out roots will also hamper unwanted regrowth.
What kills weeds down to the root?
If you don’t want to weed your garden by hand, you can use undiluted bleach to kill weeds and their roots, thereby preventing their regrowth. Rubbing alcohol, vinegar, baking soda, dishwashing soap, etc., are similarly effective against weeds.
You can also use post-emergent herbicides, but keep in mind that they’re toxic both to the environment and your health. Therefore, herbicides should be your last choice when deciding how to get rid of weeds.