You’ve made an investment in your new yard, and we are just as invested in helping you maintain a healthy yard that you and your whole family can enjoy for many years. Chemical herbicides might work well in many cases, but inappropriate use can harm beneficial plants, leech into the groundwater, and can have a negative impact on the local ecosystem as a whole. Fortunately, there are many alternatives to chemical herbicides that are both effective and safe. Please be cautious in using some of these methods as they are not selective in what they kill.
As simple as it sounds, pouring boiling water over their stems and leaves is a great way to get rid of unwanted weeds, especially in tight spots like the cracks of a driveway. Boiling water will destroy the root systems of weeds, preventing them from coming back in the future. Just be sure not to pour any onto your other plants, or they could get taken down with the weeds.
Also known as sodium borate, borax is a naturally-occurring compound that can be easily dissolved in water to create an effective herbicidal treatment. It’s also found in a variety of other household products such as laundry detergents and cleaning solutions. To make a borax-based herbicide, just mix 10 ounces of powdered borax in 2.5 gallons of water. After the borax has been thoroughly dissolved, apply it to weeds in a spray bottle, and be careful to avoid overspray on other plants and grasses.
Salt is a natural herbicide. It is important, however, to only salt the leaves of the weeds directly, and not to cover the soil around the weeds. When salt gets into the soil, it can kill desirable plants as well. Dissolve 1 part salt in 8 parts hot water, add a squirt of dish soap, and pour into a spray bottle. Apply your solution directly to the leaves of the weeds and take care to avoid nearby plants you want to preserve.
Spraying a little white vinegar onto the leaves of weeds can keep them under control as well. Grocery store vinegar will do, but more acidic vinegar is also available at your local home and garden store. You can also combine a little rock salt with the white vinegar for added weed-killing power.
And remember, if all else fails you can always remove weeds the old fashioned way and pull them right out by their roots! Just be sure to wear a pair of sturdy gloves to protect your hands from thorns and thistles.