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How To Stop Weeds Without Using Commercial Weed Killers

Is it really possible to stop weeds without spraying harsh chemicals?

The answer is a resounding YES!

In fact, eliminating weeds from gardens, flowerbeds, patios and driveways is easier than you think. And it can all be accomplished without resorting to commercial weed killers!

stop weeds
Whether in a crack of a sidewalk like this dandelion, or in flowerbeds and gardens, controlling weeds can be tough.

Let’s face it – battling weeds can be a never-ending nightmare for many.

And, they are more than just an eyesore.

Weeds in walkways and driveways can expand cracks. In the process, they accelerate damage to concrete and asphalt that is expensive to repair.

And in gardens and flowerbeds, weeds rob the soil of vital nutrients. Nutrients that your flowers and vegetable plants need for healthy growth.

stop weeds
Do you really want to be spraying the food you will be eating with chemicals?

But before you lose hope and start reaching for those commercial weed killers – there are safe, all-natural methods to manage it all.

And that includes solutions for every single part of the landscape.

How To Stop Weeds Naturally In The Landscape

Controlling Weeds In Flowerbeds And Gardens

Mulch – The All-Natural Approach

Weed control for gardens and flowerbeds begins and ends with mulch. And most importantly, how to use it correctly to be effective.

stop weeds
Bare soil is an open invitation to weeds.

When it comes to weeds in these areas, bare soil is the enemy. And mulch is THE answer to keeping that soil covered and protective!

But, how you apply, use and maintain that covering of mulch is extremely important to how effective it is in stopping weeds.

First, lets cover the mulch applications.

We use mulch as our exclusive weed control method in the vegetable garden. And that includes in both the growing areas and walking rows.

For walking rows, we apply a deep 4 to 6″ layer of inexpensive hardwood bark shavings. It means that we never have to maintain that space. No tilling, no weeding. No work! See: Creating A Simple No-Till, Weed Free Garden

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We use mulch in the garden walking and growing areas to completely control weeds

Around plants, we use a 4″ thick combination of straw, compost and shredded leaves. It keeps them virtually weed free through the entire growing season.

In our flowerbeds, we use a thick 4″ layer of pine bark or hardwood mulch to do the trick.

The key is to apply it thick enough to be effective.

But that leads to the biggest tip of all in using mulch to stop weeds in gardens and flowerbeds. Don’t touch that mulch once it is down!

The biggest mistake you can make is to flip or turn mulch over. And that is at any point of the growing season.

stop weeds
Any time you take or disturb mulch, you risk “planting” the weed seeds that have been deposited on top.

It might make the mulch look a bit fresher – but turning or raking the mulch allows weed seeds that have been dormant to find a way to the soil below.

If you want to freshen up your beds, simply put a new light coat on to keep the protection in tact.

How To Stop Weeds Naturally In Driveways, Sidewalks and Walkways

When it comes to driveways, walkways and sidewalks, there are plenty of all-natural solutions that really work!

Here are 3 that we use with big success:

1. The All-Natural Vinegar Solution

Forget scary, man-made chemical-filled weed killers.

Good old’ natural vinegar works equally well for concrete, brick and other non-soil surfaces.

stop weeds
We use vinegar on all of our stone walkways to keep them free of weeds.

Especially when you use a stronger version called horticultural vinegar.

To be fair to the purists, vinegar is a chemical compound. However, it is all-natural, using its natural acidity to kill weeds.

Although standard vinegar found in the grocery store can be used, horticultural vinegar is the better choice.

It has a higher acidity content (20% to 30%) than the typical 5% found in common vinegar. Product Link : Horticultural Vinegar

It is the perfect solution for taking care of weeds in sidewalk cracks, brick walkways, or gravel pathways.

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30% solution of horticultural vinegar

One thing vinegar weed killer solutions won’t do is discriminate between weeds, plants and flowers. So it is not an effective solution to use on or near lawn and garden plants.

In addition, when using the higher strength vinegar, be sure to take precautions to prevent burns to the skin and eyes (goggles, gloves, long sleeves) in case of accidental contact.

You can find our complete recipe here for using Vinegar to control weeds: Vinegar Weed Killer Recipe – Old World Garden Farms

Boiling Hot Water

You can’t get much more natural than boiling hot water!

And believe it or not, scalding hot water works incredibly well to stop weeds.

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Hot water is a quick solution to driveway and patio weeds.

Just heat up a pot or two on the stove, and pour on the weeds in your driveway or patio.

The scorching water kills weeds instantly.

It is a great solution when you have just a few weeds to eliminate.

Weed Torch

Want to have a little fun against weeds?

Then a weed-burning torch is the answer.

There are a variety of models on the market. Most attache to a propane canister or tank to provide the fuel for a hot flame.

stop weeds
A torch can be an effective and somewhat fun way to eliminate those pesky driveway and patio weeds.

And that flame kills and shrivels weeds on contact.

We use a small, hand held, inexpensive Red Dragon model for simple weed control.

It’s perfect for knocking out stubborn weeds in the driveway or that find their way into cracks in our rock edging.

It goes without saying that these should be used with caution. And never in dry areas where there is a danger of starting a fire. Product Link : Red Dragon Weed Torch

There you have it. A few of our favorite all-natural ways to stop weeds and eliminate all hard work! Happy Gardening – Jim and Mary.

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