So, you’re trying to become more sustainable in your gardening. You’ve started composting and you have introduced low maintenance and native flora – but how do you get rid of those stubborn weeds?
If you’re not too crazy about dousing your beautiful garden in harsh weed killing chemicals, there are some proven alternatives to chemical-based weed killers that are worth trying.
The Importance of Natural Methods
Whenever you need some help to eradicate unwanted weeds or pests, it’s often a good idea to turn towards natural methods. Chemically based products can often pose a health risk to you and the environment, especially when not used properly. When using chemical weed killer, it not only eradicates the targeted weeds, but can also weaken trees and other plants in the area, leaving them to become susceptible to invasion by pests and other diseases.
Natural Options for Your Garden
Manual labour: sometimes the best way is the old fashioned way. Roll up your sleeves and settle in for a day of weeding. If you can, wait until after a bit of rain so that the ground is a little softer and the weeds easier to remove. Try to pull from beneath the soil, and use a trowel, butter knife or screwdriver to loosen any stubborn taproots.
Vinegar: a method best used in early spring, just as growing season begins. Mix one part white vinegar to five parts water and spray the solution on weed stems two to three times. If the weeds are flowering, spray the solution directly on the centre of the flower so they don’t seed and spread. Where possible, try use the spray on a day when sunshine is forecast for two consecutive days so the solution doesn’t get washed away.
Get mulching: mulch is a great and easy fix. It keeps your soil cool and wet and helps to eliminate any light that weeds need to grow. When spreading mulch, keep it around 5cm deep and off your lawn.
Boiling Water: sometimes plain old tap water will do the trick. For young weeds, or hard to reach ones growing in cracks and pavement, add a tablespoon of salt to boiling water and pour directly onto them.
Outnumber them: in your garden, all the plants are competing for resources and only the strongest thrive and survive. To try beat out the weeds for sunlight, water and nutrients, plant flowers, herb gardens, ground covers and more.
Organic Herbicides: if you’re not set on trying any of the above, organic herbicides do exist and they’re relatively easy to find in local garden supply and hardware stores. These are typically made from natural ingredients such as fatty acids and citrus acid. Before buying, always find out what weeds you’re dealing with and read the labels carefully. Just like chemical-based weed killer, always make sure you’re applying it correctly.
In the meantime, if you need help with mulching, planting or garden bed construction to help keep out those pesky weeds, the experts from Watersave Landscaping are only a phone call away.