Do you have a problem with weeds but can’t support the idea of spraying toxic chemicals all over your garden? Fortunately, there are eco-friendly ways you can fight back and discourage the problem plants from taking over your garden. The most obvious way to avoid having weeds in your garden is just not to let them develop in the first place.
If you’re beginning your landscaping from scratch, consider putting down weed cloth to suffocate unwanted growth. (Note: there are plastic versions of this obtainable, but they are less kind to the environment.) You can cut holes in your weed cloth to let your plants through and you can cover the surface of it with a layer of soil too shallow to let weeds take root. Using this method, you may still get weeds popping up around the roots of your plants, but there’ll be far fewer of them and regular checks will make it easy for you to pull them all out of your soil.
Just as weed cloth can suffocate weeds, a thick, well-maintained lawn can also keep them out of your plants. You may think you’re reducing the amount of maintenance you need by switching to paving stones or gravel, but weeds can be a big problem in both those cases. A sufficiently mowed and irrigated lawn will largely take care of itself.
There are numerous simple ways to kill or pluck out weeds. You should regularly mow to stop weeds such as dandelions from maturing into seeds. Pouring boiling water over plants for three to four days will also control certain types of weeds. Another method is to spray a mix of 20 parts water to vinegar on weeds. Dandelions, velvetleaf, thistle and smooth pigweed are highly susceptible to this environmentally friendly cocktail. In order to control weeds from growing in an expansive area such as your lawn, try sprinkling corn gluten meal, which you can find at your nursery. This step is most effective during the growing season. Buying a garden flamer is another possible defense against pesky weeds. Torching weeds should be done cautiously, however, as to not kill surrounding plants.
One of the best ways to discourage weeds from growing is laying down sheet mulch. Sheet mulch can be made of newspaper, cardboard, banana peels and other organic materials. Simply cover the ground around the plants you want to grow. Be sure to leave room for air circulation and the mulch will perform as a natural barrier against photosynthesis from going on in the soil. Spread weed seed-free compost, consisting of such as seaweed, conditioned compost, leaves, wood chips or branches, on top of the weed barrier.
If you tell people they can stifle unwanted weeds and nourish their garden at the same time, most of them will suppose you’re selling something! But the secret is in corn gluten meal, which is inexpensive and can be bought from any garden center or home improvement store. Activates by water (make sure you irrigate your yard after spreading it), it obstructs the emergence of new plants but won’t injury those that already have good roots. It also releases nitrogen into the soil, acting as nourishment for your established plants. Why isn’t everybody using this? Because it’s a non brand-name good and it doesn’t get promoted, but it is great for your garden.
Looking after your yard the eco-friendly way requires a little more patience than simply pouring on weed killer, but it’ll keep all your plants in better condition and it’ll let you take pleasure in your garden without polluting the wider environment. You’ll also have the pleasure of knowing that the lovely landscaping you’ve created hasn’t involved any poisonous short-cuts but is truly all your own work.