Gardening tips: Four homemade hacks to kill garden weeds
Dealing with weeds is an unfortunate constant chore if you are a gardener, but there are a few natural ways to make this daunting task much easier.
Weeds have to be pulled out regularly, but if left unchecked not only can they make your garden look untidy, but they can take essential soil nutrients away from both plants and flowers.
While this is unlikely to kill plants immediately, this time of year it is crucial your garden keeps healthy and strong for the upcoming colder weather, and if greatly weakened plants are unlikely to survive in the winter frost.
However, is it not recommended that you use harsh chemicals to deal with this nuisance, as it can greatly harm your local wildlife. Not only that, but it can be dangerous to spray toxic chemicals around vegetables, herbs and other crops you intend to eat.
Luckily there are lots of ways to deal with weeds with cheap items you likely already have in your home, and this guide will tell you how effective certain natural weed killers can be.
Lemon juice is a very effective weed killer as it contains citric acid, which is a natural enemy of weeds and will cause them to shrivel up.
However, this method should not be used on soil or near any prized plants or flowers as it will not discriminate on what it will kill in a garden. If lemon juice gets near a plant it will burn the leaves and almost instantly kill the plant.
It is recommended only to use this method on pathways, stoned or bricked areas around your home where you do not want anything to grow. For an effective weed killer, mix two parts lemon juice with one part white vinegar for a very potent way to destroy weeds for good.
A simple way to try and kill weeds is to heat up your kettle and pour boiling water all over your weeds.
This method may kill young or weak weeds and will greatly damage weeds but is unlikely to get rid of them for good. This method is good as a temporary solution if you do not have anything else on hand, but will not permanently kill weeds off.
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Salt will dry out weeds very quickly but can also be very harmful to other plants, and if applied in large doses it can prevent anything from growing in that part of a garden ever again. Like lemon juice, it is highly recommended to never use salt as a natural weed killer in the garden or on any soil.
However, salt is perfect for use on paving stones, concrete and pathways, just make sure to not get any on your grass or soil. Simply take an empty spray bottle and fill it with two parts boiling water, and one part salt. Carefully spray it on the area where weeds are and they should stay away.
Vinegar is one of the most popular recommended ingredients to try and naturally kill weeds. While it does work a little at weakening weeds, the vinegar you find in your kitchen is unlikely to permanently kill off weeds as it is too low of a concentration. It is good for a temporary solution, but not recommended long term.
Higher concentrations of vinegar will kill weeds, but this can be dangerous to handle if you are not sure what you are doing.
However, you can use vinegar as part of a natural weed-killer solution as long as it is combined with some other ingredients.
Take an empty spray bottle and fill it with one part baking soda, white parts white vinegar, and one part boiling water, Spray directly on unwanted weeds and this is likely to kill off the roots of a weed for good.
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Mulching is probably the most effective natural way of keeping weeds away for good. Mulching is placing a thick layer of organic and nutritional material over soil and around plants to help them grow stronger.
This is often done in autumn to keep plants healthy for the upcoming colder months and will also fertilise plants. Not only is it extremely good for your garden, but mulching gets rid of weeds by suffocating them and making sure the weeds do not get any sunlight. This method may take a while but is the perfect way to naturally kill off weeds.
In order to mulch, you simply need some sort of natural material. Leaves falling from trees in the autumn can be used to make a biodegradable leaf mulch. All you have to do is collect the leaves around your garden and put them in a hessian sack to lock the moisture in.
Keep the sack in your garden and place the mulch on top of your soil and around plants. This will work as a natural year-round fertiliser as well as a weed killer.
Other things that can be used for mulch are straw, bark, wood chips as well as newspaper. Mulching is best done in the middle of spring or autumn when the soil is warm and moist so that the soil is not too dry or difficult to work with
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