“How can I stop weeds without spraying everywhere?!” It is probably one of the most popular questions to our blog every spring, summer and fall.

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You don’t have to use harsh chemicals to stop weeds in your garden and landscape. (Photo credit  : shutterstock / ker_vii)

Weeds can ruin more than the just the look of your property. By robbing the soil of vital nutrients, they also wreak havoc on yields in the garden, and can keep flowerbeds from staying healthy and vibrant.  

But before all hope is lost, there are actually some great ways to reduce or even eliminate your weed woes completely. Even better, none  require the use of harsh, man-made, synthetic chemicals. Here are 3 of our favorites:

3 Great Ways To Stop Weeds Without Harsh Chemicals

1. The All-Natural Vinegar Solution

Forget about those scary, man-made chemical filled concoction weed killers.  Good old’ natural vinegar can work just as well, especially when you use a stronger horticultural vinegar with a higher acid content. Now to be fair to the purists, yes, vinegar is still a chemical compound. However, it is all-natural, and uses its natural acidity to kill plants.

Horticultural vinegar works the best when it comes to weed control

Although the standard vinegar you buy in the grocery store can be used, we prefer to use a 30% Eco Clean horticultural vinegar version that has a higher acidity content (30%) than the typical 5% found in common vinegar.  

It is an excellent solution for taking care of weeds in sidewalk cracks, brick walkways, or gravel-covered pathways. One thing vinegar weed killer solutions won’t do is discriminate between weeds, plants and flowers. So its not an effective solution for using on your lawn or garden plants. In addition, when using the higher strength vinegar, you must take precautions to prevent burns to the skin and eyes (goggles, gloves, long sleeves) in case of accidental contact.

We have used it on our walkways and paths now for 5 years with excellent results. More importantly, with no worries about harmful chemical residues staying in our soil.  You can find our complete recipe here : OWG Vinegar Weed Killer Recipe

Mulch – The All-Natural Approach

If you really want to go natural in your weed control, then learn to love mulch! When it comes to weeds in the garden and flowerbeds, bare soil is the enemy, and mulch is THE answer!

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Mulch is the answer to weed control in the garden

We use mulch as the exclusive weed control method in our garden, including in the growing and walking rows. It is unbelievable how incredibly well it has worked.

For our walking rows we apply a deep 4 to 6″ layer of inexpensive hardwood bark shavings, and use a combination of straw, compost and shredded leaves around our plants to keep them virtually weed free. In our flowerbeds we use a thick layer of pine bark or hardwood mulch to do the trick. 

You can find out more here in our article devoted to mulching in gardens and flowerbeds : How To Use Mulch Effectively

Weed Torch

Want to have a little fun against those weeds? Well, nothing can stop weeds in driveways, walkways and paths like a weed killing torch. And, its actually quite fun to use! 

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A hand held weed torch can add a little fun to weed control

There are a variety of models on the market, with most attaching to a propane canister or tank to provide the fuel for a hot flame that kills and shrivels weeds on contact. We use a small, hand held, inexpensive Red Dragon model  that attaches to a small propane canister. Its perfect for knocking out stubborn weeds in the driveway or that find their way into cracks in our rock edging,

Of course, its always wise to use a little caution with a hot flame – especially in dry conditions. But it is a great way to kill stubborn weeds in driveways, sidewalks and paths.

So there you have it – 3 great ways to stop weeds on your homestead this year – without having to ever worry about using synthetic weed killers!

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3 thoughts on “3 Great Ways To Stop Weeds This Year Without Using Harsh Chemicals

  • January 16, 2017 at 7:37 pm
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    Last summer I got two loads of wood chips from a local tree service.. delivered to me free of charge!!… I put this down in between all my beds using some black plastic I had left over as a weed protector and newspapers and magazines under the wood chips… looking forward to a weed free or less weeded garden this year!! I aslo use a lot of straw for mulch too!!

  • January 12, 2017 at 4:28 pm
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    looked at the original post for the vinegar “recipe” … many asked why the gin ??? i for one am still wanting to know … thanks

  • January 12, 2017 at 3:29 pm
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    Hi Guys,
    FYI on your vinegar for weed control….
    An added bonus that comes with using vinegar is the fact that it will help (slightly) in lowering the pH of your soil. So anything that hits the ground is not wasted…. Just be careful not to hit your plants. Ideally you would want to spray when the air is still so the drift won’t hit your plants.

    Commodore Collins
    Paragonah, UT

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