Those who enjoy caring for a lawn and garden during the sunny summer months are most likely very familiar with the challenge of keeping one’s property free of unwelcome and unsightly weeds. Learning what to use to kill weeds should be a top priority of anyone who wants to keep their flower beds and vegetable gardens looking their best and healthy. There are many easy tricks that can achieve this without relying on hazardous chemicals.
Pulling weeds is still one of the best ways to eliminate them, and knowing the proper technique is necessary. When the soil is damp, pull each weed from its roots by digging down so the bottom of its root system can be removed. Afterwards they can be composted for a natural garden fertilizer.
Suffocating these garden invaders is another way to eliminate them, when their sunlight is cut off they cannot survive. This can be accomplished by cutting old newspapers into wide strips and laying them on top of areas affected by weed growth and covering them with garden mulch. Several layers of newspapers may be needed, to prevent stronger weeds from poking through.
Commercial herbicides on the market often contain potentially hazardous chemicals, as an alternative to this, one can prepare a homemade weed killer that only contains safe ingredients. Mix together thoroughly two cups of white vinegar, one-half cup of salt, and several drops of dish soap, making sure the salt dissolves fully, pour into a spray bottle and spritz weed-growth with it. Make sure it does not come into contact with other plants or it may kill them.
Areas such as between paving stones in the garden can be kept free of unwanted weed growth by the use of salt. Rock salt used in winter to prevent ice from forming is ideal for this purpose, but even household table salt works fine. Just sprinkle it along these cracks, taking care not to touch the lawn or garden, as it can kill them as well.
The heat of a flame can also effectively wipe out weeds. It is not necessary to start a fire, all that’s needed is a hot flame passing over weedy areas to dry them up from the inside out so they wither and die. A general-use blow-torch or a specially designed weed scorcher powered by propane will do the trick.
The design of an ornamental flower bed can be planned in such a way that is not weed-friendly. Some species of ground covering plants naturally keep them from sprouting up and prevent them from getting sufficient water, nutrients, and sunlight. Some examples are Walker’s low catmint, Majestic lilyturf, and creeping thyme to name a few.
In order to prepare beds for fall planting, a method known as “solarizing” can be used in the summer. It kills weeds and prevents future growth. The soil must first be tilled and raked to remove debris, then an 8-inch deep trench must be dug around the bed’s perimeter, next a clear, thin sheet of plastic will be laid over the bed, with its edges placed in the trench and covered up with soil. After 4 to 6 weeks, this plastic can be removed, the soil fertilized, and used for planting.
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