Let’s face it, nothing quite compares to the feeling of walking barefoot through a well-manicured lawn. The sense of pride and joy you experience when you step onto your lush, green oasis is comparable to stepping on stage to accept an award. Can’t you just hear it now? “And the yard of the month goes to...”However, nothing ruins this moment quite like weeds. Not only are weeds unsightly, but they threaten the health of your lawn — and derail all of your hard work! While you could just run to the store and grab the first weed-killer you see, we suggest handling weeds au naturel. That’s right, there are easy ways to eliminate weeds organically, and we’re here to show you how to do it.But before digging into the organic weed control remedies below, let’s first talk about the benefits of using organic weed killers.
Benefits of Using Organic Weed Control
Treating weeds organically may sound like more work, but we assure you it’s not! Plus, there are some great benefits to making your own organic weed control solutions with products you already have at home.
1. It’s cheaper
Who likes to waste money? By using products you already have laying around the house to tackle your weed issue, you’re saving yourself a trip to the store. Chemical herbicides, or substances that kill plants, can cost between $20 to $50, but most of these DIY methods can be done with items in your pantry.
2. It’s better for the environment
Non-organic herbicides can have some pretty damaging effects on the environment. Although everything you can buy in a store is regulated by the Environmental Protection Agency, problems like soil and water contamination arise from misuse and misapplication of the products. Unlike organic weed recipes like the ones listed below, herbicides don’t break down for weeks, meaning the chemicals linger in the soil. If left unchecked, these chemicals can end up affecting the wrong plants. For a deeper look at the effects of chemical treatments, take a look at our blog Understanding the Dangers of Chemical Pesticides.
3. It’s better for you
Frequent use of chemicals is not good for you. Breathing in herbicides regularly can cause both acute and chronic illnesses which are often times left untreated because they’re mistaken for flu symptoms.
Organic Ways to Eliminate Weeds
Weeds may seem inevitable, but there are plenty of organic ways to rid your lawn of these unwanted tenants. If you need a do-it-yourself, organic way to tackle your weed problem, we have some solutions.
1. Lemon juice
Ever heard the saying, “When life gives you lemons, make weed killer”? Douse unwanted plants with lemon juice and they’ll die within a couple of days. Take 12 ounces of water and mix it with juice squeezed from a whole lemon. Put the solution into a spray bottle and spray the affected area. This rarely needs a second application and is an effective way to kill weeds and make sure they don’t come back. Due to its acidity, lemon juice may also affect the grass and plants surrounding the weed, so be careful to only apply it to the weed itself!
2. Vodka or gin
Bringing a whole new meaning to the term “garden party”, this method can be used for killing broadleaf weeds like dandelions and chickweeds. Find a spray bottle and add one ounce of vodka or gin with two cups of water. Spray the solution on problem plants on a sunny, hot day so that the energy from the sun will react with the alcohol and burn the weeds.
Great on chips, great for getting rid of mold, and great for killing weeds? What can’t vinegar do? Most households have it lying around and it’s cheap to purchase, making it an accessible alternative to chemical herbicides. The acetic acid in vinegar absorbs moisture in the plant and kills it pretty quickly. However, it is a non-selective herbicide, meaning it will exterminate any and all plants, so be very careful when applying it to your yard or garden.
How to kill weeds with vinegar:
Start with one gallon of white vinegar with 5% acetic acid.
Next, mix in two teaspoons of dish soap, we recommend Dawn.
Then, pour the mixture into a watering can or spray bottle.
Finally, spray the mixture directly onto unwanted weeds.
4. Mulch and newspaper
Add layers of mulch and newspaper to suffocate weeds while feeding your plants! This combo kills existing weeds and helps to fertilize your soil with mulch and decomposing plant matter, making it a win-win scenario. For a detailed look at this process, check out this blog post.
5. Boiling water
This is a pretty simple solution — all you need is water and something to heat it up with. Pour the boiling hot water onto the affected area and it will solve your weed problem. Try using a funnel to direct the water onto the weed you’re targeting because this method will also kill any other plants it comes in contact with.
6. Essential Oils
Essential oils have a wide variety of uses, from mold and pest control, to mosquito and bed bug prevention. But did you know they can help eradicate weeds, too? In fact, clove oil and cinnamon oil are essential — get it? — for your lawn and garden. Here’s how to use this organic weed control remedy in your lawn:
Fill a spray bottle with water.
Add 15 drops of clove oil.
Next, add 10 drops of cinnamon oil.
Spray directly onto weeds daily until they’re gone. It should take about a week!
Salt is an organic way to treat weeds, too. When applied to weeds, salt seeps into the soil and dehydrates the roots, thus killing the weeds. Sprinkle a small amount of table salt onto the problem areas and watch weeds wither!However, because of its dehydrating tendencies, be sure to apply salt directly to the weed itself. This will ensure your grass, plants, and soil are not affected by this organic remedy!
When DIY Remedies Aren’t Enough
If you’ve tried all of these tactics and you’re still having a weed problem, consider enlisting the help of a professional lawn care service. At Killingsworth Environmental, we have made it our mission to provide you with effective and affordable lawn care while remaining environmentally conscious. Preparation is our specialty – our use of pre-emergent herbicides will have your lawn prepared to fight the weeds that will sprout this spring. In addition, we provide organic bio-nutrients to give your yard and extra boost when fighting off these unwanted invaders. For more information, contact us today!
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