Gardening can be a great way to relieve stress; it can also be therapeutic in so many other ways. But those pesky weeds! You need a strategy to deal with them, so here are 16 handy tips to do just that.
It sounds so obvious, yet it is the most obvious and effective way of removing these perpetual irritants. If you can get can down to the roots, then you get eliminate that weed forever. You can then take steps to prevent its return by planting plenty of grass seeds, or maybe flower seeds. This will make it harder for weeds to invade your garden, inch by inch.
Like regular flowers, weeds will often have flowering heads, which will spread more of those dastardly seeds. Before even getting down to their roots, consider lopping off their heads, carefully ensuring that no seeds make it into the surrounding soil. If they do, then you could be making matters worse, later on down the line.
Simply by using cheap materials like newspapers or clothes, you can stop a weed’s growth by cutting off its source of light and oxygen. It takes a bit longer but is perhaps most useful when it’s a big, unsightly, prickly monster of a weed, and you can’t face tackling it for fear of damaging your skin.
Weeds love to gatecrash the party and ruin the growth of a healthy plant. By applying straw or various brands of mulch you can dampen down their excitement, allowing your chosen plants to thrive and blocking out weeds’ progress due to a lack of direct sunlight.
It counts counter-intuitive but sugar can actually help reduce the amount of nitrogen in the roots of a weed, which will cause them to wither and die. Who knew that sugar could be bad for weeds, as well as teeth!
Citrus juice like lemon and lime can actually help to dissolve the precious membrane of a despised weed. Simply make a home-made mixture and spray away. It’s about as natural a remedy as any you can concoct from your kitchen.
For a more potent weed killer, you can mix salt, soap and vinegar into quite a potent solution. In a spray bottle this will again damage the weed’s membrane, preventing its growth plan from coming to fruition.
Good old cornmeal can be used to stop weed seeds from sprouting and causing havoc in your garden. It does this by reducing the number of nutrients available to such seeds, and therefore stopping them in their tracks.
Oils such as vegetable will wreak destruction on weeds, and also represent an environmentally friendly way of doing so. They compromise the ability of the weed to conduct photosynthesis which will lead to a premature and welcomed death.
Salt is another good membrane-stripper which, if combined with hot water, makes for a deadly combination. Pour, wait, and watch the weeds become desiccated and die!
This sounds like a lot of fun, and it is, especially with a store-bought ‘weed torch’ which can help you target individual weeds. Of course, you have to be extremely careful in dry, brittle conditions or you could set off a fire which you can’t control! You don’t need to completely destroy the roots of the weed, just cripple its upper portion so that the whole thing will dry out and slowly perish.
It is a well-known fact that alcohol has a drying effect, which is one reason that hangovers ensue if you consume to much of it. The same is true for weeds. By using a potent form of alcohol such as vodka mixed with water, you can spray your weeds into a permanent hangover from which they’ll never recover.
The high sodium content of baking soda again leads to that all important drying effect; just what you need to inflict upon those noxious weeds. Just be sure not to get it on the grass; only on the weeds.
Bleach is a well-known killer which can kill all kinds of weeds due to its ability to strip away those protective membranes which keep the weed alive and kicking. Whether crabgrass, dandelions, or other varieties of weed, bleach is yet another cheap and easy option. Just be careful about letting children or pets onto the grass straight afterwards, though.
Specially made herbicides are widely available at all good gardening stores, and even at some larger grocery stores. They will cost you more than your home-made remedies, although if you have a range of different kinds of stubborn weeds and enough time on your hands, it might be worth investing in. You are also far less likely to do damage to surrounding grass and other delicate parts of your garden, because these products are tailor-made to only affect the particular weeds in question, not anything else.