Earth Friendly Weed Control

Use Poison Free Methods

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Sure. It's easy enough to spray weeds with deadly chemicals like glyphosate. This kills them after being absorbed into the leaves and ending up in the roots. Every other plant exposed to overspray dies too - along with any insects and the micro herd that's in the way.

Earth Friendly Weed Control

Here are a few earth friendly weed control methods that don't impact innocent bystanders, or poison the soil and the critters that live in it;

This is a great method to use when you're preparing a new planting bed and you want to get rid of everything and start with a clean slate.
Use black poly, in 4mil thickness or more, or a black rubber runner. Move it around occasionally.

Old carpet also works for this.  Cut it into strips as it can get heavy, and overlap the edges onto the next to stop the weeds from coming up between them.

Weed control with black plastic potsWeed control with black plastic pots
  • The upside down nursery pot method; this is good for single weeds that are hard to remove with other systems.

    Use black pots if you have them, as the heat build up inside will kill off most weeds almost over night.

    I use this for killing orchard grass in the middle of a bed where digging would disturb desirable plants that are already established. Sometimes you need to use two pots together, or put a piece of black poly inside to block out the light.
Black Nursery PotsBlack Nursery Pots kill off individual weeds

Leave the pots in place during a heat wave for best results.  You may have to check that they've done their job, and make sure the weeds are thoroughly dead.

  • Vinegar is used as a less harmful alternative to chemical herbicides. Keep in mind that it's still a chemical, and can kill off the plants you want to keep as well. Use with caution.

  • Use the dirty bed method of weeding; till up the surface of the soil, water it, then let the seeds germinate.  Then till it again to expose the weeds to the sun and kill them.  Don't dig too deeply, though, or you'll just bring up more weeds to the surface.

  • Lasagna gardening or sheet composting. Piling up layers of compostable materials will smother weeds and prevent them from growing. Depriving them of light is a sure fire way to get rid of them permanently.
  • Mulching, with newspaper, cardboard or carpet, then covering that with organic compost, wood chips, bark, straw or other organic material is a good permanent solution in established beds, or on pathways. As long as you don't mix it into the soil, you don't have to worry about tying up the Nitrogen.

Choose one or more of these Earth Friendly Weed Control methods to keep your garden relatively weed free - don't forget to leave some flowering weeds in a corner for the pollinators!

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