Control Garden Weeds With These All-Natural Recipes

Many chemical remedies used against garden pests can have severe effects, not only on our health but also on the natural ecosystems around us. Here’s a list of alternative forms of weed control that save the Earth, our time, and money. You likely already have most of these ingredients at home! 

Drizzle Vinegar

Plain vinegar works wonders when it comes to controlling unwanted weeds in the garden. 

To apply, fill up a spray bottle and aim directly at the weeds, especially if the vinegar isn’t too strong (roughly 5% acidity). When using the more pungent kind (20% acidity), dilute it with water.

Be careful not to shower any of your good plants with the vinegar, or they’ll perish, just like the weeds.

Sprinkle Salt

Romans are said to have salted the earth of the cities they attacked, and that’s because salted ground remains infertile, unable to produce any vegetables or ornamental crops.

The same principles still apply, so it’s unwise to drop salt over cultivable soil. You may instead use it safely on footpaths or to create a natural edging between untamed areas and your well-kept garden patches.

To be extra safe, apply a salt-water solution made of 1 part salt to 3-8 parts water directly on the targeted plant leaves.

Drench Them In Boiling Water

With lunches and suppers to make daily, scorching hot water comes easy in most kitchens. Put it to good use by ‘frying’ unwanted plants in the yard.

This is a very basic approach but works like a charm. Apply carefully so as not to burn yourself or any nearby plants you want to keep around.

Cover with newspaper

Cover weeds with newspaper.

Block the weeds from the light, and they’ll die within about a week. Apply a layer of newspaper right before planting crops, then punch holes where you want to place the seedlings. The surrounding paper will smother intruders.

This cover will also improve the moisture content of your soil, especially if you moisten it. It will positively impact the underground life; not only are you eliminating competitive weeds, but you’ll also be enriching the quality of life of the soil microorganisms that crave moisture and darkness.

Torch Them

Death by fire is instant. The only spared bits might be the roots if they’re deep enough.

You can buy a weed torch designed for this task. The good old fashioned way is to burn them by laying some coals or flaming logs right on top of weed-infested patches.

Remember; fire needs careful handling, particularly during dry and windy summer days when flames can easily get out of control.

Get Farm Animals

This option isn’t for everyone! Farm animals can go wild if left unsupervised in the garden.

But for those with larger plots of land, goats, sheep, and even chickens can do an excellent job maintaining the fields.

Animals help by naturally plucking the flowers and ripening seeds of weeds, guaranteeing a milder infestation the following year. Plus, these friendly creatures can be a genuine replacement for cats and dogs, with the bonus of providing products like milk, eggs, and bucketloads of natural fertilizer.

Eat Them

Whether in soups, salads, or as simple garnishes, the taste of wild leaves and blossoms might surprise you. 

Plants like dandelions, clover, chickweed, and mallow are some of the most common invasives that add crunch and nutritional value to homemade dishes.

Of course, always do your research before eating any wild plant species. Some may be poisonous and resemble others we know to be edible.

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Ricardo Elisiário is a frenetic freelance writer for hire. He should probably act more like the agricultural engineer he is, yet you’ll find him creating copy and content for websites, print, and his own amusement, as he’s up to becoming the new Dickens someday. To find out more about this Lisbon-born wifey-lover, visit his website or say hello @rmelisiario.