What Everyone Forgets About Natural Weed Control

20 December 2016
 Categories: Home & Garden, Blog

Finding ways to kill weeds in your yard without causing yourself harm isn't that hard; there are quite a few remedies for weed problems that don't involve oddly named, lab-created chemicals. But even the most basic natural weed killing methods -- things like salt or horticultural vinegar -- aren't perfect. If you plan to start using these items to remove weeds, keep some things in mind so that your efforts are more successful.

It Can Still Kill Your Other Plants

Natural weed control isn't always selective. Sure, there are tactics that allow you to pick and choose what you affect, but these are things like mulching and composting, which help prevent weeds, not kill existing ones. If you want to actually get rid of weeds, you're putting other plants at risk unless you take precautions. If you use a spray made of water and horticultural vinegar, which is like white distilled supermarket vinegar but with a higher concentration and higher acidity, that spray will affect anything it touches. If you're going to apply it, ensure the plants you want to keep that are in the same area are protected, even if it's just by sticking a large piece of cardboard between the weeds and the other plants.

And don't forget that salt will raise the salinity of the soil, possibly into a range where the soil will no longer be good for growing plants. Don't spray a large swathe of land with salty water to kill a bunch of weeds, because that can make the entire swathe of land inhospitable to most other plants.

You Still Need Safety Supplies

In addition to that cardboard or another barrier, don't forget things like safety goggles. If a vinegar solution splashes back off a concrete paver and hits your eyes, you're in for a world of hurt. Use gloves and goggles, and keep pets and small kids away from the area you're spraying.

Know the Difference Between Pre-Emergence and Post-Emergence Methods

As mentioned, different tactics have different purposes. Mulching is a very good way to make it difficult for weed seeds to grow, but if the weeds have already grown, adding mulch on top of them won't do a lot of good. Salt, as mentioned, kills weeds, but it also harms soil, so it's not a good way to prevent weed growth in large areas. When you investigate natural weed control, always be sure you know whether you're dealing with a pre- or post-emergence strategy.

If you want more help, contact landscapers or gardeners who are used to dealing with the weed species in your area. Natural weed control is great; you just have to understand that it's about more than spraying a kitchen ingredient on an unwanted leaf. Contact a company like ASE Pest & Weed Supplies to learn more.