How to kill garden weeds with ease
Looking for a safe way to keep weeds and grass from growing in the cracks of your paved patios, driveways and footpaths? Here are a few tricks that will keep weeds at bay.
Sprinkle handfuls of baking soda onto the concrete and simply sweep it into the cracks. The added sodium will make it much less hospitable to dandelions and their friends.
Pour a bit of undiluted bleach over them. After a day or two, you can simply pull them out and the bleach will keep them from coming back. Just be careful not to get bleach on the grass or plants bordering the path.
Put on the kettle and pour boiling water over cracks where weeds grow. This will kill the stubborn weeds.
Are dandelions a problem? Make them disappear for good by spraying them with full-strength white or apple cider vinegar. Early in the season, give each plant a single spritz of vinegar in its midsection or in the middle of the flower before the plants go to seed. Aim another shot near the stem at ground level so the vinegar can soak down to the roots. Keep an eye on the weather, though; if it rains the next day, you’ll need to give the weeds another spraying.
Sprinkle borax in the crevices where you’ve seen weeds grow in the past. It will kill them off before they have a chance to take root. When applied around the foundation of your home, it will also keep ants and other six-legged intruders from entering your house. But be very careful when applying borax – it is toxic to plants.
When using herbicides to kill weeds in your garden, you have to be careful not to also spray and kill surrounding plants. To isolate the weed you want to kill, cut a 2-litre soft drink bottle in half and place the top half over the weed you want to spray. Then direct your pump’s spraying wand through the regular opening in the top of the bottle and blast away. After the spray settles down, pick up the bottle and move on to your next target. Always wear goggles and gloves when spraying chemicals in the garden.
Corn gluten meal
This non-toxic herbicide kills weed seedlings within just a few days of application. An organic byproduct of the corn milling process, corn gluten meal is made up of 10 per cent nitrogen. It works by inhibiting weed roots from forming, according to TheSpruce.com. But the timing is important: You have to apply corn gluten meal to soil before weeds emerge.
This all-natural method takes longer to decompose than mulch. But don’t buy just any type. “Hold the fabric up to the light and make sure the pores in the fabric are small enough to prevent weeds from growing through the barrier,” recommends the Family Handyman. “Also, a good-quality landscape fabric is one you can’t tear or stretch easily. It should feel stiff, not flimsy and limp.
Alternatively, if you have scraps of carpet lying around, us these to suppress weeds in you garden. Place upside down in your garden or along your garden path and cover with bark mulch or straw. Use also around your vegetable garden.
Like carpet, laying down newspaper will block sunlight, prevent oxygen from reaching the soil and smother weeds that are already growing. Put down 10 layers of newspapers on the soil, wet it with water to hold it in place and then cover with mulch.
Bring a solution of about 1 cup salt in 2 cups water to a boil. Pour directly on the weeds in the cracks of your path to kill them. Another equally effective method is to spread salt directly onto the weeds or unwanted grass that come up between bricks. Wait for rain to rinse it off.
Those old shower curtains will also come in handy next time you do any landscaping with gravel or bark chips. Just place the shower curtain under the mulching material to prevent annoying weeds from poking through. While weeds can be pests, bugs can be beneficial.
Fill a spray bottle with undiluted white vinegar to get rid of the weeds and grass poking out of the cracks in your concrete, as well as ants and other insects. Be careful not to spray it on your plants though, as the high acidity could kill them.
For a quick and easy weed killer, mix 30mL of vodka, a few drops of dishwashing liquid and 2 cups water in a spray bottle. Spray it on the weed leaves until the mixture runs off. Apply it at midday on a sunny day to weeds growing in direct sunlight, because the alcohol breaks down the waxy cuticle covering on leaves, leaving them susceptible to dehydration in sunlight. It won’t work in shade.
Looking for an extremely hands-on approach to how to kill weeds? A trowel is an easy way to dig them up, particularly if they’re big weeds.