It’s summer time again, and are you finding yourself battling the weeds?
Have you noticed that you can buy plenty of chemical options to kill weeds? But are you nervous about using them?
Or maybe you are on a budget and would like to find a more natural and less expensive approach to battling the weeds at your home?
Well, I’ve got a list of natural items you can use to take back your yard and kick the weeds out.
Natural Weed Killers
Here is what they are:
1. Boiling Water
This is an option that is probably the most simple but requires a lot of caution too. You’ll just need to pull out your favorite stock pot and fill it with water. Be sure that the pot is still manageable to carry with the water in it.
If it isn’t, then you’ll need to choose a smaller pot and make more trips. Safety should always be your number one priority.
Then you’ll boil water in the pot, carry it to your weeds, and simply (and carefully) pour it over the weeds. This should cause them to wilt and die pretty quickly.
Mulch is my favorite natural weed fighter. I love it because it is inexpensive and it makes your garden beds look so much nicer.
So all you’ll have to do is purchase mulch. You can do this in multiple different ways:
First, you can go to any large garden store and purchase mulch by the bag. This is a good option if you only need to cover a few smaller areas.
Second, you can go to a local nursery (usually) and purchase mulch by the scoop. You’ll need a truck or trailer to be able to haul it.
But it does usually come out cheaper than buying mulch by the bags. This is an option we’ve used frequently when we needed to cover larger areas.
Finally, you can create your own mulch. You can do this by cutting down some trees on your property, chipping them, and then allow them to compost.
Or, if you don’t have your own wood to split, then you can call a tree company. They will chip the wood and deliver the wood chips to your property. Some charge and some services will do it for free because you are saving them money from having to pay to dump it at the landfill.
However, you’ll probably need to allow the wood chips to compost before placing them around your flower beds because the acid could potentially harm your plants.
3. Corn Meal
Do you have any cornmeal hanging out on your pantry shelf, in your fridge, or even in your freezer that you just never seem to use?
If so, then you might be interested in a new use for it. If you battle crabgrass or dandelions, then corn meal could be your answer.
First, I want to tell you that dandelions are not really a bad thing. If you would be interested in finding ways to utilize them, here is a post and another one about how you can put them to use for you.
But if you’d still like to rid yourself of them or crabgrass, just sprinkle the cornmeal over your grass and it should take care of the problem for you.
If they come back, then be sure to sprinkle some more.
4. Rock Salt
Do you live in a colder climate? If so, then you are probably very familiar with rock salt. It is the salt people buy by the bags to sprinkle on their driveways and sidewalks during bad weather to keep them from freezing.
Well, were you aware that this salt is good for other purposes as well? Next year when the winter season ends and all of the rock salt goes on sale, then be sure to pick up a couple of bags.
Then when summer hits and weeds are popping up, pour the salt over the infected areas. It will suck the life from the weeds.
However, keep in mind that rock salt can erode your concrete over the years. So you’ll need to use it bearing that in mind.
5. Ground Coverage Plants
What if you could replace all of your weeds with plants that you absolutely adore to look at? You actually can!
So what you’ll need to do is to find plants that do well with ground coverage. Then plant them, and what will happen is the roots of the ground coverage plants will suffocate the roots of the weeds.
Then you’ll have a beautiful space instead of one filled with weeds running everywhere.
6. Boosted Flower Beds
I love raised flower beds and flower beds that have edging around them. Not only do they look gorgeous but if you notice, they don’t have a ton of weed issues.
Well, the reason is that the more separated the flower bed is, the more difficult it is for weeds to find their way into them.
So you can place your flowers in a raised garden bed or add some edging to the flower beds to help naturally deter weeds from your beds.
7. Rubbing Alcohol
Did you think rubbing alcohol was only good for helping with wounds? If so, you are about to find out that rubbing alcohol has a lot of other great uses too.
One of those uses is to help you battle weeds, naturally. You’ll just need to add some rubbing alcohol to a quart of water.
Then you’ll spritz all of the weeds with the water to discourage their growth and eventually cause them to die.
I shared here a lot of different things that Borax is good for. It is an amazing (though powerful) substance to keep on hand.
But when it comes to your garden, it can help there too. All you have to do is place 10 ounces of Borax in 2.5 gallons of water.
Then you place it in your garden sprayer and go to war with those weeds. You should see the weeds wilt and dry up over time.
Did you think salt was only good for cooking? Well, it is another one that has lots of great uses as well. Not surprisingly it can help battle weeds.
So we’ve discussed how you can apply rock salt thickly to areas to deter weeds, but you can also use regular salt as well.
In fact, you’ll need to make a 3:1 ratio of salt and water. Then you’ll place the mixture in a spray bottle and spritz the weeds. This will suck the life right out of them.
If you get a daily newspaper, don’t toss it when you’re done with it. Instead, save it for each planting season.
Then when it is time to plant, you’ll need to lay the newspaper on the ground around the plants. You’ll also want to cover them with dirt before the wind comes up.
So the newspapers will do two things. First, it will smother all of the weeds out. Then it will compost into the ground and enrich your soil as well. Which causes stronger root systems for your plants and deters weeds.
Vinegar has so many uses. You can use it to make pickles. It is great for washing your face with it. You can even make your own.
But did you know vinegar will also help you to battle weeds?
Well, it will. You can make your own homemade herbicidal soap with it. All you need to do is place 1 gallon of vinegar, 2 cups of Epson salt, and a ¼ cup of Dawn dish liquid to a large sprayer and mix it.
Then you’ll go about spraying all of the weeds. It will cause them to fade away eventually.
12. Landscape Fabric
We used to use landscape fabric in areas that we knew we were only going to plant certain items. For instance, down the side of our home, we planted only Hostas.
Since we weren’t going to plant anything else there, we used landscape fabric to keep the weeds down. All you’ll need to do is plant what you want to be planted, where you want it planted.
Then you’ll need to lay out the landscaping fabric over the area. When it is laid out correctly, then you’ll cut holes in it to slide the plants snuggly through.
Finally, you’ll cover the whole area with dirt so you can no longer see the landscaping fabric.
13. Torch It
You may have never really thought of burning your weeds, but you can. I’ll be honest, this would not be my preference, just because I’d be worried that I’d catch my whole flower bed on fire.
But if you have a small torch, you can get really close to the weeds and torch them. This will obviously kill them on contact.
Now, you’ll have to do this repeatedly to keep your beds free of weeds. But it does seem like a more fun way to get rid of them.
And it also seems to be a lot better than pulling each individual weed by hand.
But if you use this method, use discernment. Don’t get too happy with the torch and cause a larger fire, and definitely, don’t do this during really dry spells that tend to happen over the summer months.
Did you know that goats are great at eating weeds? They absolutely love them. Even the weeds that are particularly spiky. It doesn’t seem to bother them.
As a matter of fact, we have a few goats on pasture. When we first put them there I was walking through the pasture and could barely move because of all of the prickly weeds and thorns that had grown up.
Well, in a matter of a few weeks, all of those prickly thorns were gone. They had munched them to the ground.
So if you have an area that you’d like to keep mowed down or free of weeds, consider investing in some goats.
15. Small Livestock
Let’s say you live on a smaller piece of land, and you’d like to have an animal keep some of your other weeds down.
Well, you could do this in two ways. First, you could use a tractor and keep chickens in it. A tractor is a small wired cage on wheels that you move around and lets the chickens scratch, peck, and eat the weeds.
Your second option is rabbits. You can keep them in a tractor as well. They will munch down crabgrass, weeds, and anything else green that you’d like gone.
16. Use Your Hands
This is the less desirable method, according to most of us, to keep weeds down. But we have two hands that are great for keeping weeds away naturally.
But you have to be diligent about it. Otherwise, the weeds will keep coming back again and again. I’ve tried this method on a large area and about worked myself to death.
So I only recommend this method on smaller garden or flower beds.
However, if you have a larger garden or flower bed to tend to, I think I would try some of the other methods first and use this option as a means of maintenance between the other options.