Wednesday, 17 September 2014

5 Quick Ways to Get Rid of Garden Weeds

5 Quick Ways to Get Rid of Garden Weeds

1. Pull them…
Sure this sounds simple, but anyone who has tried to keep up with weeds by pulling them knows that it’s not always so easy. For weeds close to your herbs or veggies in raised beds and containers, it’s often the best way to go. The best time to pull weeds is when the soil is still moist from watering. Pull slowly from the base of the weed to get the best chance of pulling a root out and make sure to use garden gloves for spiny plants like thistles.

You can collect all the weeds you’ve pulled and add them to your compost pile, so they’re actually contributing to the health of your garden. Some weeds, like Dandelions, Purslane and Miner’s Lettuce are edible and can be absolutely delicious. If this interests you, find a foraging guide that was written for your area and make sure you’ve positively identified something before serving it for dinner.

2. Suffocate them…
Just like the plants you actually want in your garden beds, weeds have a hard time surviving without adequate sunlight. You can kill existing weeds, prevent new ones from growing, AND help keep moisture in the soil for the plants you do want using a little bit of old newspaper and some garden mulch. Simply cover the area with several layers of large newspaper strips (newspaper is biodegradable), then put enough mulch on top of the paper to cover it completely. If some strong weeds manage to push through your first attempt, just add another layer of newspaper and then some more mulch.

3. Mix up some homemade herbicide….
Get a good quality spray bottle and fill it with 2 c. white vinegar, ½ c. salt and a tiny bit of dish soap. Make sure you mix it up very well so the salt dissolves as much as possible or the spray bottle might get clogged up. Be careful using this remedy near your garden beds because it could kill your veggies as well. If you’re having trouble with the sprayer getting clogged you can also try a 50/50 vinegar and water solution.

4. Scald Them…
Next time you’re boiling potatoes or pasta, instead of dumping the water down the drain, dump it right onto the weeds growing in the cracks of your sidewalk or patio or along garden paths. Don’t try this method with garden beds as it will damage the quality of your soil and kill anything it touches.

5. Salt Them…
This is another method you need to be very careful with and is best for areas where you don’t want anything to grow again, ever. But a simple sprinkling of salt along the edges of your lawn, between cracks in the sidewalk or in garden pathways will kill weeds. Be careful though, it leaves the soil barren and can damage concrete. At the end of the snowy season you can usually get a pretty good deal on rock salt, which works great for this, but any kind of salt will do.

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