If your yard is being overtaken by weeds there are more environmentally friendly alternatives to the chemical-filled herbicides and pesticides normally found in the home and garden centers. Avoiding these toxic weed-killers is far better for you and your soil, and they won’t contaminate local waterways.
Here are 7 environmentally friendly ways for a weed-free garden.
1. By hand
This may be the most eco-friendly option, but it is also the most time consuming and labor-intensive. But if you do have the time and energy, then pull the weeds out by hand making sure you get out all the roots so they won’t grow back. Then, let them dry in the sun and then add them to your backyard compost bin.
A sprinkling of cornmeal over the weeds will stop the weed seeds from germinating and growing. Just beware that cornmeal will stop all seeds from germinating, so if you are growing fruit or vegetables at home, be careful where you’re sprinkling!
This common household item can be a really effective way to kill off unwanted weeds and plants in your yard. Add full-strength white vinegar to a spray bottle and apply to the weed’s leaves. You may need to repeat the process a few times, but eventually, the plants will die off and you’ll have more room in your yard for those plants you do want!
4. Boiling Water
Why use chemical filled toxic herbicides when you can use simple water? Pop the kettle on and once the water has boiled, carefully pour it over the weeds. Depending on the particular weeds, you may have to repeat two or three times, but eventually, those pesky weeds will give up.
5. Table Salt
Put a pinch of table salt at the base of the weeds. A word of warning for using this particular natural weed-killer, it will make the soil uninhabitable for some months, so use sparingly and only target the weeds.
6. DIY herbicide
You can make your own natural herbicidal soap with equal parts vinegar, salt and dish soap. Put the concoction into a spray bottle and apply it to the weeds and only the weeds! This mixture is very effective at killing any plants it comes into contact with.
You can also add a flame-weeder tool to your backyard toolkit. They are widely available from home and garden stores. The flame weeders let you apply direct heat to the weeds causing them to instantly wilt. You can repeat the process when any leaves begin to sprout from the roots again. Eventually, the weeds will die completely. Just be careful when using the flame-weeder, especially in summer, as dry weeds and grass can easily catch fire and get out of control.
Remember, just because a herbicide is labelled as 'natural' they may still be harmful. A herbicide is something that is toxic to plants, and may still be dangerous to humans or wildlife. Always be careful and do your research beforehand!