How To Kill Weeds
How to kill weeds seems to be a constant question in a gardener’s life, but its necessary to learn the answer. You can minimize the job and make your life simple by visiting your garden each and everyday. Seriously. From weeds to worms (and I don’t mean the good ones), you’ll find it MUCH easier to maintain if you do so on a daily basis. I realize this is Captain Obvious speaking, but I had no idea how quickly weeds and bugs can overtake a garden!
Plucking them is an easy answer. Weeding tools are helpful, but still hard on the back. Placing plants close together can help eliminate weed growth, but is there anything else? Any magic tricks to do the job?
Weed prevention is superior to weed removal. In my garden, anyway. And one surefire way to prevent weeds is mulch paper. So long as its porous enough to allow water to penetrate, weed paper is a good option. Natural mulch is also an option, however it must be laid on thick. Check my mulch section for more details.
One of my favorite weed prevention methods is corn gluten. You can buy it where gardening supplies and application is easy. Once your plants are mature enough not to be mistaken for small emerging weeds, you can sprinkle the corn gluten around your plants and relax. The weeds will be hard-pressed to grow around your garden plants.
If you didn’t get your prevention methods in place before the weeds take over, there are all kinds of simple tools that help remove weeds, easily and stress-free. I’ve found the best method is to simply scoop the ground beneath the weeds with the tip of a weed tool and then pull the little guys out. Not only am I removing roots and all, but I’m loosening–I mean aerating–the soil for better nutrient uptake. It’s almost as good a deal as my local grocer’s buy one-get one free sale!
You can always use an organic weed killer. I find some work, some don’t. A vinegar/salt solution is another option. Combine 1 gallon white vinegar and 1 cup table salt in a bucket and stir until salt dissolves completely. Stir in 1 TBSP of liquid dishwashing soap. Similar to insecticidal soap, this acts to suffocate the weeds like the other suffocates the bugs by allowing it to adhere more efficiently. Fill a spray bottle with the solution and drench the weeds. For best results, spray on a dry and sunny day.