When the weeds start popping up during the spring in our garden, our first instinct is to take out the pesticides to get rid of these nuisances. However, there are some easy and great options that don’t involve introducing harmful chemicals to your environment. Here are some tips for getting controlling these weeds in your garden:
1. The first most common green manner to deal with weeds is to hand-pull or dig individual weeds. For some weeds, like dandelions or ragweeds, you need to remove the entire root system because these weeds will resprout from any piece of root you might leave behind.
2. Mulching can be a great way to prevent weeds from growing between plants or along paths. Mulch prevents seed germination by shading the soil-and if weeds grow through the mulch, they are much easier to pull up.
3. Salt can be a non-toxic way to kill weeds-just dilute it in water and pour it on plants you want to get rid of. This works particularly well for managing weeds coming up through cracks or through gravel driveways.
4. Improving the soil is a non-invasive way of preventing weeds. Just apply organic mulches and compost and you will raise the pH and make the soil less inviting for weeds.
5. Another way to deal with weeds growing in the cracks of sidewalks or driveways is to pour boiling water over these weeds. You might have to repeat this to get rid of the weeds, but it works so well you need to make sure you don’t get any of this scalding water on wanted plants.
6. In areas you aren’t actively using, try to add cover crops to prevent weed growth. This could mean non-invasive grasses or legumes-they will crowd out any potential weed seed germination. They can also add to the soil quality and give needed nutrients to your main plants.
7. A long tradition of dealing with weeds involves crop rotation. Some crops are better at weed control than others, and rotating where you plant them can edge out unwanted weeds.
8. Target your watering-I like to use water cans on what I want to encourage to grow because weeds need water. If you use a sprinkler or hose to water everything, the weeds will get that water you don’t want them to have.
9. Don’t feel obligated to get rid of every weed in your garden. Many of these weeds could be valuable if you move them somewhere else, so consider transplantation instead of just killing these weeds.
10. If chemicals are needs for areas you just can’t do the other options for, consider using the least toxic pesticide and use it on dry soil or after a rain to avoid it getting into the ground water.