Big Bad Weed Busters that Won’t Harm the Environment
How can gardeners keep nasty weeds out of horticultural plantings and home landscapes without introducing potentially harmful chemical compounds into the environment?
Try these top five organic garden weed controls that actually work. These big bad (but environmentally friendly) weed busters.
Organic Weed Controls: Bury Some Burlap
The first and most important step in garden weed control is to prevent weeds from appearing and multiplying in the first place.
Garden preparation is essential to weed prevention. Begin by digging planting beds and cultivating the soil. Remove any existing vegetation. Line the area with natural fiber burlap or even old newspapers. Use a garden hose to dampen the burlap or newspaper garden liner. Add clean soil and organic matter.
Check roots of each plant before adding it to the clean garden bed. Remove any traces of weeds from each flower, vegetable or adorning plant. (This step is particularly important for gardeners introducing shared plants, such as a friend’s divided perennial flowers, to the garden.)
Organic Weed Controls: Get Messy with Mulch
Mulching the garden well with organic materials will help to preserve moisture and nutrients in the soil, while preventing the proliferation of weeds. Be sure to select natural materials, rather than painted rocks or chemically treated wood bits.
Organic Weed Controls: Expend Some Elbow Grease
Even in the best prepared garden beds, weeds may eventually appear. Weed seeds may blow in from other areas.
Vigilant hand-weeding can stem the tide of weed growth and multiplication. Of course, weed whacking is not the solution. Each weed must be yanked, right down to its roots, to prevent its reappearance. Long-bladed weeding tools are ideal for this purpose.
Organic Weed Controls: Violate Weeds with Vinegar
Occasionally, weeds may grow between garden stones and patio bricks. Gardeners may eliminate these ecologically by using a simple vinegar solution. Add a small squirt (about a teaspoonful) of liquid dish or hand soap to a quart of clear vinegar. Then pour the mixture directly on weeds.
This vinegar mixture will also kill desirable plants, so it’s important to be accurate when applying it to vegetation in the garden.
Organic Weed Controls: Torch Those Tares
Some gardeners sing the praises of weed torches. These propane-fueled devices may be used to burn weeds in the garden. However, several applications may be required. In addition, weed torches may destroy other plants as well.
Watching for Weeds
Organic gardening may take considerably more vigilance and effort than gardening with modern chemicals, but the results can certainly be worth it.