DIY Weed Control: Organic Herbicide Alternatives

DIY Weed Control: Organic Herbicide Alternatives

Hate weeds but worried about what commercial weed killers might do to your garden and/or your health? Here are some tips on keeping your lawn and garden free of weeds without using commercial products.

Lay down mulch

Mulch keeps soil cool and wet and eliminates the light needed for weeds to grow. Spread a 2-inch thick layer of mulch on your garden, but keep it off the lawn, or it’ll kill your grass. For extra weed protection, use landscape fabric under the mulch.

Spruce up your garden with edging

Physical barriers such as cinder blocks, decorative stones or wood planks along the edge of a garden can help ward off weeds.

Let your grass grow

The shorter your lawn is, the more susceptible to weeds it is. It’s best to keep those blades of grass on the long side, about 2 to 3½ inches.


Cover low-growing weeds such as clover and crabgrass with newspaper, and the lack of light will eventually kill them. Put down mulch over the newspaper and you’ll create an extra food source for the soil and help keep new weeds from growing.

Get some goats

Seriously. Goats can reach places that people and machinery can’t, and their hooves rototill the soil as they graze. Plus, they’re really cute.

Try boiling water

Paul James, host of the hgtv show “gardening by the yard,” says his favorite homemade weed killer for cracks in the driveway and sidewalks is plain boiling water. Add a spoonful of salt for more effectiveness.

Burn them

Use a weed torch to make weeds wilt and die. But be careful if your yard is very dry.

Use kitchen ingredients

Grab the salt (rock or table salt will do) and sprinkle it on paths or use to create a weed barrier along the edge of your lawn. Don’t go crazy, though — it can erode concrete. You can also try vinegar that has 20 percent acetic acid, but be careful as the vinegar can lower the soil ph.

Just yank ’em

Pull weeds out from beneath the soil, ideally when the soil is damp after a rainstorm.

Learn to love them

Don’t look at dandelions as weeds; look at the them as wish makers.

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