There's a saying in Spanish that goes "Mala hierba nunca muere." In English, this translates to "A bad weed never dies." and means that nothing bad ever happens to mean people.
Luckily, that's not the case with real weeds. If you want something bad to happen to these pesky garden invaders, all you have to do is follow these tips to up your weed control game.
DIY Weed Control Tips
1. Salt them.
No need for the fancy stuff, you can use the cheapest kind of salt for weed control. We’re talking table salt, which you can find in the supermarket. It doesn’t even need to be iodized.
To use, dissolve a cup of salt in about 2 cups of water. Bring the solution to a boil, then pour directly over weeds to destroy them. If you want something more potent, you can mix 2 cups of salt with a gallon of white vinegar and a teaspoon of liquid dishwashing soap. Pour the mixture into a sprayer and spray onto weeds you want to kill.
Salt is very effective for weed control because it can leach into the soil. Over time, you can render the soil infertile with repeated applications. Since this is a permanent solution, make sure you plan your approach well before going this route.
2. Use mulch.
If you’re not a fan of pesticides, you can use mulch. Not only does it reduce weed growth, it also enriches the soil and helps conserve moisture.
Mulch works by making it harder for weeds to sprout. As you know, weeds need warm soil and light to thrive. If you put down about a 3-inch thick layer of mulch, most weeds aren’t going to push through this barrier.
It’s also important to use the right kind of mulch. As much as possible, avoid straw or materials such as pebbles and small stones that don’t break down. Use mulch that is natural so that when it breaks down, it can make the soil healthier over time.
3. Deprive them of light.
An easy way to do this is to use old newspapers. Cover weeds such as clover and crabgrass so they don’t get access to any light. Eventually, these pesky weeds will die.
Like natural mulch, paper will break down over time. This also helps enrich the soil. Now, if you want to double dose the nutrients for those helpful soil microorganisms, you can cover the paper with mulch.
4. Add edging.
This is one of our favorite DIY weed control methods. Edging doesn’t just make your garden look neat. It also keeps the weeds out.
If you’ve never done edging before, you only need to follow four simple steps. First is to cut the edge with a spade. You can also use a half-moon edge. Then you need to remove the turf (again with a spade).
This is followed by honing the edge with some hard shears. And finally, you can mulch the bed.
5. Pull them out.
There’s nothing more satisfying than using brute force to exact revenge on pesky weeds. But you don’t need to tire yourself out while doing this.
The best time to pull out weeds is after a heavy rain or deep watering. You also want to remove them while they’re young. If you wait too long, they will go to seed and you don’t want that.
Make sure you protect your hands with gloves and your knees with knee pads. You can also use hoes or taproot weeders, as well as rototillers to make your job easier.
Looking for More Garden Care Tips?
Keep your garden in tip-top condition by reading our garden care advice.