16 Tips for Effective Weed Control in the Garden

It goes without saying that having a yard is quite pleasant. You can plant flowers or have a beautiful vegetable garden to eat fresh vegetables throughout the summer season. But, unfortunately, having a backyard often means there will be weeds.

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A lot of people enjoy gardening. In fact, this activity allows you to be outside in the fresh air, to burn a few calories and to grow flowers or even fruits or vegetables. Whether you are a novice gardener or you have a green thumb, gardening is an excellent way of spending time outside. But, although gardening is fun, it can actually be quite difficult, especially when your backyard is overgrown with weeds.

Is your backyard invaded with weeds and you don’t know how to fix this problem without using pesticides? Thankfully, you can easily tackle these annoyances with the help of home gardening tips. Here are a few solutions to fix this!

16. Boiling water

You can use boiling water to make weeds disappear. Simply pour a large pot filled with boiling water on the weeds. But, be careful not to pour any of the boiling water on your plant because they can be affected negatively by the boiling water.

15. Baking Soda

Baking soda is great for killing weeds in driveway or sidewalk cracks. Sprinkle a bit of baking soda directly on the weeds then spray on vinegar. A chemical reaction will occur, and the weeds will begin to shrivel and die. This solution works best when weeds are growing fast in the spring and fall.

Roll up your sleeves. “The best way to get rid of weeds will always be to pull them out”, explains Teryl Ciarlo from Teryl Designs. She suggests to pull them at the surface but to wait to do it after a rainy day (when the earth is looser): it will be easier to do. Insert a knife or a screwdriver in the earth to remove the roots that are deep into the earth.

14. Vodka

Hard alcohol and weeds aren’t a great combination:

  • Mix 30 ml vodka with a few drops of liquid detergent and 2 cups water;
  • Pour this mixture into a spray bottle and use it to tackle the weeds in your garden;
  • The alcohol will dehydrate the plants and thus make them disappear.

13. Essential oils

Essential oils are also effective to use against weeds, especially clove, cinnamon and red thyme oils. Just drizzle the weeds with these essential oils.

12. Salt

If you have weeds growing in between the bricks of your terrace, salt can be quite practical in eliminating them. To benefit from this ingredient, all you need to do is sprinkle some between the bricks and make sure the salt goes into the soil by pressing it in with your hands so the weeds can’t grow. They should disappear quite rapidly.

11. Wood chips

To grow and survive, weeds need sunlight. Consequently, it is wise to cover the soil with wood chips. This way, weeds won’t grow as much and have less of a chance of prospering in your garden. Know though that you do need a thick layer of wood chips for this home gardening tip to be effective.

10. Vinegar

Vinegar also works well to eliminate weeds, especially against dandelions. If you want to get rid of them, pour this ingredient in a spray bottle and spray a small quantity of it on the plants you want to eliminate.

9. Detergent

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Liquid dish detergent is also a great product to use to tackle weeds. Mix 5 tablespoons liquid detergent with 4 cups water then pour the mixture into a spray bottle. Gently shake it and spray the weeds.

As indicated above, you don’t need to buy expensive chemical products to eliminate weeds. You can get rid of them with natural and biodegradable products like vegetable oil to take full advantage of your garden!

8. Borax

Use the natural powder for more than cleaning your clothes. Be careful not to use it near flowers or vegetable as it will damage growth of those too.

7. Lemon Juice

You can douse weeds between concrete or bricks with lemon juice to kill unwanted weeds in just a day or two.

6. Rubbing alcohol

Fill a clean squirt bottle with 2 tablespoons alcohol and 1 quart water. Saturate the dandelions with the mixture, being certain to wet all the leaves. The rubbing alcohol will draw out moisture killing the plant. For best results, apply the mixture on a sunny day, avoiding grass and other plants.

5. Cut them

The key to making sure your weeds don’t spread is to pull them from the root. You can do it by hand or with a machine. But consider yourself warned: a lawn mower does not kill perennial weeds and even certain annual plants will grow back and try to flower once again so it is not a permanent solution.

4. Don’t mow your lawn too often

Yes, the height of your grass does truly matter. “The length of your grass can have an impact on your health and make you less or more sensitive to weeds”, explains Henriksen. “Opt for grass that is between 2-3 1/2 inches long to avoid an infestation.

3. Dig strategically

Removing grass creates a new place where annoying plants can prosper, even if you don’t see some around. “Most lawns have weed seeds in their soil”, explains Holland. “When you dig the earth to plant flowers or vegetables, only dig the part you will need.”

2. Hire some goats

Goats can get to zones that machines and people can’t get to and their hoofs turn the soil when they graze”, explains M. Ciarlo. If you live in the country, having goats is a great way to get rid of weeds.

1. Smother them

Cover slow-growing weeds like clovers and crabgrass with newspaper and eventually the lack of sunlight will exterminate them. Adding sections of mulch and covering them can also prevent their apparition right after you eliminate them. “Once the newspaper starts decomposing, it also nourishes the soil, which becomes a huge advantage for gardeners”, states Ciarlo.