Natural Weed Control: Battle the Hassle and Banish the Herbicides
Posted Aug 25 2009 5:27pm
Weeds! Don’t you
And no wonder.
like those prank candles people put on top of a beautifully decorated birthday
cake. You go to make your birthday wish --only to have it thrown back in your
face when the candles refuse to blow out. No matter how often you blow, the
flame reappears. Then, just when you think you’ve finally won, you realize
you’ve sprayed wax all over the cake, leaving you both defeated and wishless.
scenario is an obvious exaggeration, it highlights the challenge you face every
time you try to control weeds. They keep coming back. And if your only solution
is to use chemicals to control them, well, it’s a lot like spraying wax all
over your delicious cake.
There are some environmentally
friendly herbal and biodegradable sprays you can use to control unwanted
plants. But before you take that step, try these practical, eco, and cheap cultivation
Go back to the beginning. The key to safe, environmental weed
control lies in creating great growing conditions for your desired plants. Weed
seeds exist in every garden, but healthy soil will discourage them from growing
. What can you do? Aerate your lawn to keep the soil loose and fertile. Water foundation plants so they’ll stay healthy and grow to the appropriate size. Add
compost and sunlight to build a nourishing environment for the plants you want
Play around with your planting. Space your plants closer together. As the plants reach
maturity their leaves will touch and help block out light to the ground below,
making it more difficult for weeds to survive. You can also try competitive
planting, such as putting some bushes or fast-growing annual plants in your bed
to prevent weed seeds from
germinating. To avoid buying expensive nursery plants, save money byswapping plantswith
friends and neighbors instead.
Mulch heavily. A thick layer of mulch keeps the light
from reaching the weeds. Bonus? Organic mulch such as straw, grass clippings,
leaves and shredded bark will nourish your soil as they decompose.
Reuse old newspapers, flattened
cardboard boxes, or Kraft paper (paper used to make grocery bags). Put any of these materials on top of the ground, then mulch on top of
them. A University of Vermont study found that applying a 6-inch layer of newspaper at the
beginning of one season controlled weeds for two seasons thereafter, without needing
a new layer of mulch. The study
also concluded that the thickest cover (cardboard, Kraft) results in the least weed growth.
Weed regularly.I spend about an hour a week weeding my
garden. I always have weeds, but they’re usually never out of control.
Honestly, I welcome the time alone digging around in the soil and reconnecting
Plant a native ground cover.Choose a plant that will spread nicely
and squeeze out weeds without overrunning your foundation plants. A native
ground cover will help restore biodiversity to your yard while thriving in the
water, soil, and sunlight conditions your space offers.
Concoct your own non-toxic herbicide. Researchers have found acetic acid
(vinegar) to be a successful non-toxic herbicide. To make your own natural weed
killer the USDA suggests slightly higher concentrations of vinegar as opposed
to the five percent concentrations found in ordinary households – though be
careful: stronger concentrations should be handled with caution. Additionally,
make sure to pour or spray the vinegar directly on the weed or you could possibly destroy the plants
you desire to keep in good health. To purchase stronger concentrations online
visitMorgan County Seeds.
importantly, learn to live with a few weeds. Remember that weeds contribute to
the biodiversity of your yard. Almost any kind of plant helps protect soil from erosion and improves drainage for surrounding
roots that are still growing.
Want to learn
more? Thisexcellent articlehighlights the toxic ingredients in many
commercial weed killers and shows why it’s important to read the label on any
weed killer you buy.
For even more information and easy organic gardening
tips, check out theGarden/Landscape pagesof Big Green Purse.