I actually enjoy pulling weeds. I find it very relaxing and distracts me from the day’s little stresses.

Most people don’t and even for me when I am pushed for time the weed situation can get out of control. So I wanted to share a number of chemical free weed control methods I employ.

Till them into the soil

If I have a large area of weeds (of the type that don’t aggressively spread) I will turn them back into the soil with a hoe, or a rake or even a spade. Break the roots up enough and the weeds will break down and enrich the soil.  At the very least you have thinned their numbers allowing for easier control of the rest.

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Pull them and use in compost and worm farms

In my quest to keep up with my worm farms and compost bins I am always on the look out for new sources of vegetable matter. There is lots of conflicting opinion on using weeds in your compost. The fear being that the compost will then spread weeds anywhere you use it.

I only use the leafy varieties and not those that spread via runners and create a ground cover.

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Good
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Bad

Pull seed pods off any weeds you are going to use or simply bypass them altogether.

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I pulled these off and composted the rest of the plant

If you are still worried you can make soup 🙂 . I have an old pot that I use for this purpose and it doubles as a collection bucket. I pop the weeds into it and then pour boiling water over them. I then put the pot somewhere safe from kids and the rain and allow to sit for a few days.

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By then you will have a pile of sludge that can be poured into your compost bins and the like. The boiling water has rendered the weeds, any seeds or BadCritters you missed unlikely to cause you any trouble.

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Boil them where you find them

This tip is great for those tenacious weeds growing in brick paving or growing right next to another plant. I guess you just have to weigh up for yourself the cost to the planet to use and boil the water vs the chemicals, water, power and plastic in a bottle of weed spray. For some that might not be worth the cost and I get that.

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If you have any boiled water leftover in the kettle, simply pour it on the weeds where you find them until you see them blanch and wilt. This kills the weed and its roots outright and seems to inhibit the seeds too.

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The effects are immediate.

Before:

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After:

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Hit them with white vinegar where you find them

White vinegar (not to be confused with white wine vinegar) can be used for so many purposes outside of cooking.

Try spraying weeds where you find them with straight vinegar or a vinegar and detergent mix. It knocks them around a bit.


Hope these tips help and please let me know your secret weed killing techniques 🙂

PK

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