All gardeners face the same problems once the warm season gets here. Plants turn green, trees bloom, and everything gets back to life. Unfortunately, not only good plants populate our garden. Weeds get revived as well, and they might get as stronger than ever. Most of them are intrusive plants with no use, and you want to get rid of them. Chemicals might hurt the other plants, so here’s how to get rid of weeds naturally.
Learn Your Weeds
Sometimes, it’s really hard to tell weeds apart, as several of them are good at camouflage. However, it’s pretty hard to tell the difference between a weed and a regular plant even theoretically. Weeds are those plants unwanted in a garden that occupy valuable space and consume the nutrients meant for the others.
However, the definition of weeds is pretty loose. Some might find some weeds intrusive indeed, while others might think some of them are useful. Therefore, before labeling something as weeds, find out if you can use them for something. Here are a few weeds that you might not want to kill.
Dandelions are well-known as being among the most intrusive weeds. They can grow anywhere, as they spread their seeds easily. However, you can choose to keep them, as they can make for some nutritious food. Their leaves have plenty of vitamins and beta-carotene, and you can use them in salads. Roots are healthy as well, as they contain substances that help digestion and maintain blood sugar levels within a normal range.
People hate this weed because of its harsh aspect which makes it difficult to pick up. However, the plant is really good. The stingy leaves are full of potassium, magnesium, sulfur, phosphorus, and iodine. They are a great choice for vegetarians, as they contain more protein than many plants. Stinging nettles make a great food when boiled or steamed, but you can also make tea from its leaves.
Clover is another widespread weed that is really sought after. You can boil it and make tea but, if you’re lucky enough, you can find red clover in your garden. This plant is full of vitamins and nutrients and is effective against a series of conditions. Therefore, before deciding to eradicate those weeds, make sure they are not useful to you.
How to Get Rid of Weeds Naturally
If you have decided you don’t need the weeds, it’s time to get rid of them. There are many solutions to do this, and some might think using herbicides and chemicals might be the easiest. However, this method is pretty risky. When applying the chemicals, you can touch other plants you don’t want to destroy and kill them as well.
Therefore, here’s how to get rid of weeds naturally in an effective way.
1. Pull the Weeds Out
This is probably the easiest method out there, as you can see the weeds disappear. However, you have to pick the right moment to pull them out and make the operation as easy as possible. Do it while the soil is still moist after raining or watering. Grab the weed stem at the bottom so that you can pull its entire root out. If the roots are more fibrous, you can pull them out when the soil is dry as well. However, learning how to get rid of weeds naturally also implies learning everything about them. If you can spot them while they’re young, you’ll prevent them from spreading their seeds.
2. Suffocate Them
Weeds are just like any other plants, meaning they need sunlight and water to thrive. If they don’t get these, they will die. Therefore, another way to get rid of weeds naturally is by cutting these resources from them. The method should also keep new ones from growing while maintaining the soil moist for those plants you want to grow.
There are several ways to smother weeds. You can cut some newspapers into big pieces and cover the soil around the weeds. To make sure the operation is effective, you can add some carpet strips or pieces of shower curtains. Then, to keep everything in place, add a layer of mulch on top. This should permanently block oxygen and sunlight from reaching the weeds.
If you still spot some unwanted herbs growing above this layer, you can simply add some more newspapers, carpet pieces, and then cover them carefully with more mulch.
3. Pour Salt on Them
Although it sounds unlikely, salt can be aggressive and prevent any plants from growing in a specific area. Therefore, be really careful when you sprinkle it. This method is ideal for those weeds that grow in those cracks in concrete or along a garden alley. However, you have to be extremely sure you don’t want anything to grow there, as the soil will remain barren after this. Learning how to get rid of weeds naturally can be tough, as you need to protect those plants you still want in your garden.
4. Burn Them with Boiling Water
This method is again ideal for those weeds growing close to sidewalks and concrete surfaces. Take some boiling water and pour it over the unwanted plants, and they will immediately burn up. If they are surrounded by tough surfaces, these will prevent the water from reaching other plants you will want unharmed.
5. Spray Them with Vinegar
When learning how to get rid of weeds naturally, you shouldn’t forget about vinegar. A thorough spray of this substance on the weeds should help you eradicate them immediately. Before the weeds start making seeds, give them a good vinegar puff on their flowers and leaves. Then, spray them near the ground as well, to make sure the vinegar will soak their roots.
However, pay attention to the moment when you spray the vinegar on the weeds. Make sure it won’t rain afterward and, if it does, give them another good spray. Repeat the treatment until you see them withering.
6. Sprinkle Some Corn Gluten on the Weeds
Corn gluten represents leftovers from the production of cornmeal. If sprinkled on the ground, it prevents seeds from developing and forming weeds. Fortunately, it doesn’t attack other plants, and it can even work as a soil nutrient as well. You can use this method both before the harvest and after, to prevent some late-growing weeds from appearing.
7. Use Oil as a Natural Weed Killer
Vegetable oils contain some natural herbicides and pesticides, and can easily kill weeds without affecting the soil. They contain no toxic chemicals, so there are no risks when using it. Apart from vegetable oils, essential oils have the same smothering effect on weeds. The best ones are cinnamon, clove, and red thyme. You only need a few drops at the base of the weed, and everything is done.
8. Mix Vodka and Soap
For this method, you’ll need 30 milliliters of vodka and some liquid soap. Mix them with two cups of water, and pour everything into a spray bottle. Then, splash the weeds with this mix, but only during a sunny day. The solution will attack the protective layer on leaves, and plants will become sensitive to the powerful sunrays.
This will allow them to dehydrate and wilt more easily. However, you need to pay attention to some details. The method won’t work for those weeds that are growing in shady places. Also, the vodka mix can attack any plants, so make sure you don’t sprinkle it by mistake over those you still want in your garden.
9. Breed Weed-Eating Animals
You can develop an animal garden while learning how to get rid of weeds naturally. Breeding chickens can be a really good solution. First of all, they give you fresh eggs every day and are really big fans of eating weeds. Before starting the spring planting session, let your chickens free in the garden. They will start plucking at those tiny weeds, and will also remove all those seeds you don’t want.
You can let the chickens clean the garden when the season is over as well. They will pick up any leftovers and prevent future weeds from growing. However, chickens are not the only animals that can get you rid of weeds. Goats are also fond of eating intrusive plants, and they can reach tight spaces you wouldn’t normally have access to.
Therefore, if you want a more animated garden and have enough space for animals, you can breed your own weed killers and then benefit from the advantages they bring you.
Learning how to get rid of weeds naturally is essential for a healthy garden. Herbicides and chemical solutions might be quicker in eradicating the unwanted plants, but they actually threaten your entire garden. Instead of putting all the plants in danger, you can use these natural chemical-free methods that will significantly shorten the life of weeds. They are low cost, do not take much time, and often require objects from your own household. Therefore, you can pick the method that suits you and start some weed killing.
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