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How To Control Weeds in your Garden Without Using Chemicals?

Weeding is no doubt a back-breaking work. And the thing is, weeds keep coming back no matter how often you pull them out! Some gardeners have no problems using herbicides to kill weeds, but these chemicals can pollute the waters, kill beneficial insects, and destroy animal habitats.

Using landscape fabric is no doubt an easier and more effective way to control weeds. And if you want to take the all-natural approach, here are some more ideas to control weeds without using chemicals.

5 Ways for Natural Weed Control

gardener pulling garden weeds

Boiling Water

That’s right; boiling water can effectively destroy stubborn clusters of weeds. Hot water is absorbed into the soil and damages plant roots, which in turn kills weeds quickly. It’s totally organic and won’t harm the soil. That said, pouring hot water on all plants will damage the roots, so pour carefully. You don’t want to kill your precious perennials by accident!

Mulch

mulch

Adding a layer of mulch on garden beds and plots is one way to enhance the beauty of your outdoor space and keep pesky weeds at bay! Mulch acts as a barrier that blocks sunlight, preventing weed seeds from sprouting.

You can use small pebbles, rocks, straws, tree leaves, wood shavings, wood chips, and sawdust to keep weeds at bay. Hay, dried grass, and straws are the cheapest mulch materials but are best used on annual weeds. Opt for small rocks or pebbles over newspaper or cardboard, leaf mold coir, compost, and shredded bark to control perennial weeds.

Landscaping fabric

ecogardener raised bed and landscape fabric

Laying landscaping fabric over garden plots, near raised beds, and plots will choke all varieties of weeds. The material is often made from recycled plastic material with small holes to let water and nutrients pass into the soil. Landscaping fabric blocks sunlight so weeds won’t grow.

On the plus side, it insulates the plant roots, improves soil structure, and prevents water loss. To get your money’s worth, we suggest choosing landscaping fabric made from durable materials like the ECOgardener heavy-duty landscape fabric, which lasts for years with minimal care.

Weed-killing garden critters

Introducing weed-eating insects and animals will keep these invasive plants in check. However, this strategy only works for big gardens and orchards and not as much for home gardens because of the disturbance. Rabbits, geese, goats, sheep, etc., love to munch weeds and grass. Grasshoppers, butterflies, and walking sticks love weeds too.

DIY and organic herbicides

Organic soaps, essential oil blends, vinegar, salt, lemon, and other natural weed killers can be sprayed on different invasive plants to keep them in check. Household cleaning solutions like dishwashing soap and rubbing alcohol also work great to kill weeds of all types.

That said, these substances should be applied carefully, especially salt and lemon, which can affect soil quality and harm delicate plants. These substances could also kill all types of plants, regardless if they’re beneficial or harmful to the garden.

It will take regular weed control, vigilance, and proper plant care to keep weeds from coming back without using toxic chemicals. Investing in weeding tools can also keep weeds at bay.

ecogardener gardening tools

Check out our online store for our core gardening tools and start controlling weed growth in your outdoor space.