Tackling weeds is a task gardeners simply have to face. If you’re an organic gardener, you won’t want to use chemicals because that would defeat the purpose of organic gardening. This article outlines some natural weed control methods and also shows you some prevention strategies.
Organic Weed Control – Basic Methods
Pulling weeds by hand is one of the most basic methods of weed control. To make it easier to pull, wait until after it rains and then loosen the soil around the root before you pull it.
For annual weeds, you can use a swan neck or an oscillating hoe to sever the weed stems just below the soil’s surface.
If you have weeds with long taproots like dock and dandelion, you can kills the weeds by pouring vinegar on them. After pouring the vinegar, the weeds will be dead in a few days.
If you cook with boiling water, you can use some of the leftover boiling water to kill weeds. It can take up to a couple of days before weed is dead.
Sprinkling rock salt on garden pathways can be effective at killing weeds, but be careful with this method. Rock salt can cause ground to go barren and erode concrete.
Corn gluten meal
Another effective method you have to be cautious of is corn gluten meal. It’s used to suppress weed seeds, but at the same time it can suppress the growth of your plant seeds. Don’t use this method near seeds you want to sprout.
Organic Weed Control – Prevention
The best weed control is prevention and one the most effective organic weed prevention methods is smothering the weeds with mulch.
Sheet Mulching for Organic Weed Control
Step 1. Cover your yard with brown corrugated cardboard and make sure it has complete coverage by overlapping the cardboard.
Step 2. Build raised beds right on top of the cardboard in the areas where you want to plant your garden. Then cover the cardboard with mulch.
Step 3. Next cover the walking paths with wood chips.
The result: the cardboard combined with the mulch does a great job smothering out the weeds. The cardboard and mulch also breaks down which nourishes the soil
Step 4. You can also sheet mulch the paths for extra protection against weeds.
Organic matter you can put into your mulch: Autumn leaves, aged wood chips, comfrey, dried grass clippings (make sure this doesn’t have any weed seeds), and used coffee grounds.
Step 5. You can add a few inches of mulch on top of the soil of the garden beds while leaving some space between the plant stems and the mulch.
Benefits of Mulch
- Suppresses weeds
- Reduces the amount of water you need for your plants
- Adds organic nutrients and matter to your planting soil
- It protects and feeds helpful soil organisms like earthworms
- Reduces erosion and protects soils structure
- Maintains soils temperature and moisture
- And you can get all these benefits for free or at a very low cost.
Watch the full sheet mulching video by OneYardRevolution below.
There are many ways to kill garden weeds, but the best organic weed control method is to prevent them from wreaking havoc on your garden in the first place. This can be done through sheet mulching.
Want to read more? Check out other related content from our site: