Being able to control weeds that are growing in your garden or lawn naturally is one of the biggest struggles for any home gardener, and for those of us with vegetable gardens it is even more important. It seems the minute you stop killing weeds, they grab that opportunity and grow back with a vengeance. The use of chemicals to kill weeds has a negative impacts on the other plants growing around them, people and pets that come in contact with the chemicals and our water supply once the chemicals runoff and reach it. Natural weed control is safe, environmentally, people and pet friendly and it’s easy enough to do at home.
This is my own scuffle/wiggle hoe in action. Great way to kill weeds without chemicals… easy on the back too.
Ways to Kill Weeds Naturally
If you are interested in weed control without chemicals, try any one of these methods on their own or in combination.
Leave Them Without Space
Weeds setup where there is space for them to grow, so leave them without any. Fill up garden beds as much as possible with new planting, make sure lawns are well seeded. When it comes to flower beds, chose plants that will spread out along the ground or become bushy, blocking out the light to the soil beneath them.
Agitate the Soil
The topsoil of any garden is where weeds will set up, so agitating the topsoil through hoeing and tilling. A scuffle hoe,also called a wiggle, stirrup or hula hoe, is especially effective for this (mine is pictured above in weeding action) . This is the best way to control weeds that are annual growers, but you are going to need to go deeper for perennials and pull them out by the root.
Mulch added garden beds of any type doesn’t just keep those beds looking tidy and neat, but it helps prevent weeds from growing. Weeds grow like the rest of plants do, where there is soil, water and sun available to them. Adding mulch removes weed seeds access to the soil, and prevents their ability to germinate if they are in the soil because of the mulch’s ability to cut off the sun. Landscape fabric is another option that can be used instead of mulch if you have a large area of space to protect.
Use Organic Herbicides
Organic herbicides that you can purchase or mix in your own home are great for killing weeds that have already sprouted and are spreading. Vinegar is a great natural weed killer, but you need to be careful to only use it on the weeds that you are trying to kill and not the surrounding plants because it has the potential to kill them too. Add vinegar to a spray bottle and apply it to the leaves and any green parts of weed that you want to remove. Essential oils with high concentrations of d-limonene, such as grapefruit and orange can also be helpful as natural herbicides.
Use all of these methods to help control weeds without chemicals. Including them in your weekly gardening chores cuts down on the overall time that you need for weed control if you leave the tasks for later. For more clever natural gardening tips read my article on Uses for Beer in the Garden.