It is frustrating to deal with weeds on a lawn that you worked so hard to see it flourish. Weeds are inevitable, and at some point, you will have to find ways to get rid of them.
But, you do not have to use chemical weed killers and risk the health of your lawn.
In this article, I discuss several ways on how to get rid of weeds in the lawn without chemicals.
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How to Get Rid of Weeds in Lawn without Chemicals
This is one of the most proven methods of keeping weeds at bay. Mulching involves covering the base of the plants with bark, wood chips, or compost.
Mulching suffocates the weeds preventing them from poking through to the surface. Also, it is a beneficial practice as it helps to retain moisture in the soil.
It is important to note that some mulching materials may not prevent weeds from growing. For example, hay, in most cases, has a lot of seeds. These seeds can quickly germinate, creating more of a problem than a solution.
Newspapers, on the other hand, can be a great mulching material. You can create a carpet of newspapers by using a couple of sheets together and wetting them down.
These will block sunlight and oxygen from reaching the soil. On this note, sprouting weeds and seeds will eventually die due to the unfavorable conditions.
You can add any other type of mulch on top to keep the newspaper carpet in place and increase effectiveness. After some time, the newspaper mulch will decompose and add nutrients to the soil.
Well, if your plants can grow faster and choke weeds that are trying to grow, then you can control weeds easily. Weeds only grow where there are favorable conditions and adequate space.
You can add dense ground plants with heavy root systems to prevent weeds from growing underneath. These plants also create a shade affecting the conditions that facilitate weed growth.
Think of this as your lawn grass competing with weeds for the basic growth needs. Sunlight, water, nutrients, and growing space are what weeds need to take over your lawn.
Give your lawn grass an advantage by planting more of it and keeping it in the best shape all through.
Regulate How Much and How Often You Water the Lawn
Again, weeds will grow where the conditions are right and consistent.
On a lawn where you water every other day, it is difficult to keep weeds away. You help create an environment that keeps them nourished and thriving. Therefore, you only give the plants only what they need.
Trees, shrubs, and perennial plants may not need regular watering. Watering deeply but less frequently will provide enough moisture to last long.
On the other hand, vegetables may need more water to thrive. But, you can be selective on which ones need the most water and how often you need to do it.
If you are always adding compost to your lawn, you might be creating a bigger problem than a solution. Overfeeding your lawn adds on to the nutrients in the soil. It helps create an environment that is sustainable for weeds to grow every other day.
It is, therefore, important to schedule feeding and give only what the plants need. Although some plants might need more feeding than others, the idea is to regulate and understand how much each need.
Go Slow on Digging and Tilling
In the past, I thought that digging and tilling more made the lawn better. Surprisingly, this is not the case. As much as digging and tilling are essential, overdoing it might be creating favorable conditions for weeds to grow.
Let’s picture it this way. Every time you turn over the soil, you bring new weeds seeds on the surface. The closer they are to the surface, the better the conditions are for growth.
You can practice the no-till gardening method which is less invasive. This method can help improve soil structure and enhance fertility.
Solarizing is one of the options of how to get rid of weeds in your lawn without using toxic chemicals. This method involves covering a weed-congested area with a thick plastic sheet. It works well in full-sun periods.
Once the sun heats the plastic sheet, the heat collects underneath baking the weeds. You can leave the sheet for a few weeks to destroy all the weeds. With time the weeds start to brown and desiccate, which is an indication of weed destruction.
If you are wondering how to get rid of broadleaf weeds in your lawn, hand-digging might be helpful. Weeds like broadleaf are easy to pull out using a hand shovel.
This method works well as a spot treatment method or in small, manageable lawns.
You might need to dig regularly to get rid of the weeds completely. The idea is to dig out the weeds while they are still young. This ensures they are not yet in the seeding stage to prevent regrowth.
Weeding Using a Flame
Flame weeding comes in handy when you start to notice a few weeds growing. This process involves passing a flame over the weeds to kill the plant tissues.
The method, however, does not deal with the weed from the roots. Therefore, you might need to flame a few times to eliminate them.
This method should only be applied when there is the least risk of fire. You want to avoid flaming during the dry spell period for safety.
It is one of the many practices to keep your lawn in the best shape. But, does dethatching remove weeds? Yes, it not only gets rid of stubborn weeds but also improves the condition of the lawn.
Thatch, a layer of dead turfgrass, can be a favorable hub for the growth of weeds. Removing the dead grass creates a suitable environment for the lawn grass to grow.
On the same note, it helps to enhance the competitiveness of your lawn plants with the weeds.
However, dethatching alone might not control weed growth in the long run. Remember, the roots of the weeds are left intact, and once the conditions are right, they can grow back quickly.
You can consider pulling them out manually before or after dethatching to reduce the rate of regrowth.
DIY Weed Control Solutions
Removing weeds manually can be a daunting process if you have a large lawn. It takes time and might not even be as easy as it sounds. But, the weeds need to go regardless of whether you have the time to do it or not.
The good thing is that you can still enjoy the convenience of spraying herbicides without using chemical solutions.
You can use homemade solutions with readily-available items from your pantry, such as:
A Vinegar Salt Mix
Vinegar alone is useful to get rid of weeds on a small lawn. It is even better when mixed with salt and regular dish soap.
This recipe, one-gallon white vinegar, one cup salt, and one tablespoon salt is an example of a homemade weed control mix.
Chemically, soap contains a significant amount of oil. This oil breaks down the waxy and hairy surface of weeds after spraying. F
or even better results, you can add a few drops of vinegar to help the soap stay on longer and suffocate the leaves.
A Vodka Mix
If you have a bottle of vodka lying in your pantry, you can make use of it to kill weeds in your lawn. You can use one ounce of vodka, two cups of water and a few drops of dish soap to create a weed-control solution.
When using this solution, be careful not to overdo it and risk destroying the plants. Vodka is quick to dry the leaves and might result in more harm than good if overused.
Corn Gluten Meal
This is quite a surprise, right? You can use corn gluten meal to suffocate weeds in your lawn.
This powder, a byproduct of the corn milling process, prevents weed seeds from germinating. It is suitable for use regularly as it is non-toxic to plants and animals.
However, you need to be careful how much you use. It can quickly suppress plants in your lawn, especially during the seeding period.
Remember, if you are sowing seeds in your yard, you will have to wait until the seeds have germinated to use this method.
If you are looking for a simple solution to get rid of weeds, a kettle of boiling water might do the trick.
This method is suitable when planting a lawn where you need to clear weeds. Be careful when using it on gardens with other plants as the hot water can destroy the roots of the plants.
If you were wondering how to get rid of weeds in a lawn without chemicals, I hope this article has helped answer that question.
Some methods mentioned here can work independently, while others require additional strategies for effectiveness. Depending on the condition of your lawn, you can find a favorable solution without exposing your yard to chemicals.