If you have landscaped areas or a garden plot on your property, weeds are likely popping up everywhere as the weather warms up. No one wants to spend hours digging and pulling at weeds that seem to reappear days later, and as much as weed killer works, it isn’t a permanent fix and can be harmful to the plants and flowers you want to flourish. If you’d like to avoid the cycle of weed pulling and regrowth while protecting your plants, there are a few natural and simple things you can do to prevent and destroy weeds.
Natural Weeding Techniques
A salt mixture is a great way to eliminate existing weeds. Salt in large amounts is no good for anyone, including weeds. Combine 3 parts salt to one part water, mix until the salt is dissolved, and pour directly onto the weeds. If you’re treating weeds that are in close proximity to plants, be very careful not to get the salt water mixture near those plants as it can destroy their root systems as well.
Vinegar is the utility player of household tasks. It cooks, it cleans, and it even kills weeds! Fill an empty spray bottle with vinegar and go to work. Using the stream setting, spray weeds at the roots and douse the cracks and crevices in sidewalks and driveways where weeds like to grow. Hit hard to reach areas with the vinegar spray as well. It’s an inexpensive and time-saving way to terminate those sneaky weeds.
Weed seeds exist wherever you have soil, and they tend to stay in the top 1 inch of dirt. Whenever they’re exposed to even a small amount of sunlight, this is when they begin to germinate and grow. Since you probably can’t pull weeds in the dark, use a thin tool, like a screwdriver, to dig carefully around each weed for removal. The less soil you disrupt, the less weed seed you expose to sunlight for the chance to germinate.
Weed Prevention Strategies
Weeds thrive in open soil. You can use plants to discourage weed growth in these areas. One option is to plant things close together so that the soil is shaded and weed seeds don’t get the sun they need to germinate. Another effective option is to use groundcover: low-growing plants that sprawl across open soil and fill in the gaps between larger plants. Groundcover keeps sunlight from reaching the soil and can choke out weeds that try to grow. There are many beautiful options for groundcover, and it requires little maintenance.
Mulch is extremely effective in keeping weeds at bay. A 2-3 inch layer of mulch will help keep the soil moist while simultaneously blocking sunlight from getting to weed seeds in the soil. If you choose organic mulch, it may contain bugs, like crickets and beetles, that actually eat weed seeds by the thousands! In addition, you can place a layer of newspaper, fabric or cardboard on top of the soil before you mulch. This added layer of protection will further deter weed growth.
Need a little help getting your landscape and garden beds in shape for spring? Give A&N Lawn Service a call. Our experienced Pittsburgh lawn care professionals will leave your landscaping clean, bright, and free of weeds! Contact us at 412-931-9230 or explore our website for more information.