“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.
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.
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!
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
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!
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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