9 Natural Ways to Kill Weeds


By Hand

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9 Natural Ways to Kill Weeds

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You can rid yourself of weeds the old fashioned way—pulling them by hand—if you’re vigilant. Wear a dedicated pair of gardening gloves for the task to avoid inadvertently transferring seeds elsewhere. Good gardening tools like a claw or sharp trowel can help you loosen the weed roots from the soil first. Pulling a weed completely out by the root is the only way to ensure it will not return.

Related: Wage War on Weeds with 7 Unbeatable Tools

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Cornmeal

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9 Natural Ways to Kill Weeds

Did you know that corn gluten meal is birth control for seeds? Sprinkle it on your garden and it will keep weed seeds from germinating and growing into plants. Of course, corn gluten meal will keep any seed from germinating, so don’t try this on your vegetable garden until your plants are established and you’ve finished planting seeds.

Related: 7 Weirdly Effective Ways to Weed

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Mulch

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9 Natural Ways to Kill Weeds

Cover your planting areas with mulch and you’ll keep weed seeds from coming into contact with the soil in the first place. Mulch will also keep sunlight from reaching seeds that are already underground, so they won’t get a chance to sprout. Mulch offers the added benefits of retaining moisture and breaking down to enrich your soil. And it looks really pretty, too.

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Related: 9 Clever Landscaping Hacks for Your Best-Ever Yard

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Vinegar

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9 Natural Ways to Kill Weeds

Apply vinegar with a spray bottle, pump sprayer, or brush. Like other natural herbicides, vinegar cannot differentiate between weeds and other plants. Do this early in the morning, when there’s little wind, to avoid contaminating nearby plants. Vinegar’s killing properties are activated by the sun, so try this on a cloudless day, which also ensures that rain won’t wash it off before it works its magic.

Related: 10 Handy Household Uses for Vinegar

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Newspaper

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9 Natural Ways to Kill Weeds

Smother weeds and prevent new ones from growing by covering them with old newspapers. A thick layer of newspaper will keep sunlight from reaching weed seeds, so they can’t sprout. Wet the soil first, and then lay your newspaper down, wetting it thoroughly again before covering with mulch. This is a great way to recycle, and as a bonus, you’ll encourage earth worms to come and stay.

Related: 14 Clever New Uses for Old Newspapers

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Boiling Water

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9 Natural Ways to Kill Weeds

Scald those pesky weeds with boiling water. Just grab your kettle off the stove and bring it to the garden. Pour a stream of water carefully on the crown of each unwanted plant. Tough perennial weeds with long tap roots may take two or three applications, but will eventually stop coming back. Use your hot pads, of course, and definitely take the precaution of wearing long pants and close-toed shoes.

Related: 10 Times Boiling Water Can Help Around the House

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Salt

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9 Natural Ways to Kill Weeds

Regular old table salt is very effective at killing weeds. Put just a pinch down at the base of each plant. It will kill the weedy offender and get diluted within a couple of rainfalls. Salt will render the soil uninhabitable for several months, so make sure you apply just a small amount and only where needed. Avoid getting it on your grass or other plants.

Related: 9 Unexpected Household Uses for Table Salt

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Herbicidal Soap

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9 Natural Ways to Kill Weeds

Make your own DIY herbicidal soap by mixing equal parts vinegar, salt and dish soap. Put the mixture in a spray bottle and apply it to your offending weeds. But be judicious. This concoction will kill whatever plants it touches, so be careful not to get it on your prized perennials.

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Related: 10 Things You Didn’t Know Dish Soap Can Do

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Weed Torch

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9 Natural Ways to Kill Weeds

A weed torch works by heating the water within the cells of plants. When the water turns to steam, the cells explode and the plant will die. You don’t need to char the weeds, just wilt them. This takes some practice, but is very effective. Don’t ever use it on poison ivy or other poisonous plants because it can release poison oils into the air and ultimately into your eyes or lungs.

Related: 10 Creative Ways to Care for Your Yard

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Be Gone

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9 Natural Ways to Kill Weeds

Say goodbye to weeds the natural way.

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