Weed it out without harsh chemicals

By Joanne Loos Posted in: ImproveThe Fix is In

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Perhaps it is growing up, perhaps it is living in Hawaii, or perhaps it is because I have a baby on the way, but I cannot help but turn to natural solutions whenever possible. I have adopted kitchen staples like vinegar as my go-to cleaning solutions, and I avoid harsh chemicals whenever I can.

In the garden, the same thinking applies. Although it seems easiest to pick up chemical solutions for things like getting rid of weeds, something about doing this just does not seem right. There are other solutions for killing the weeds in your garden that do not involve using harsh chemicals.

Add water

Water all around the weeds to soften the ground before pulling.

This will make them come up more easily. Alternatively, you can kill them with water, too. When you are done boiling water for pasta, potatoes or anything else, take the remainder and pour it over the weeds. They will die in a couple of days, and then you can pick them up easily.

Turn to vinegar

This is one of the kitchen staples that always pays off to buy the bigger bottle. You can use vinegar for many things, including killing weeds, especially if you’d rather not risk burning yourself with boiling water. Simply place the vinegar in a spray bottle and spray it on the weeds, taking care to avoid your desired plants nearby.

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Use cornmeal

Sprinkle corn gluten on the weed seeds to keep them from germinating. Just be careful: the cornmeal will keep all seeds from germinating, so make sure you are not sprinkling it over any areas with seeds you want to grow into plants. It will not, however, kill plants that are already strongly established.

Take cover

Groundcover plants will outcompete weeds for light and nutrients. Try planting tropic lalo, white sweetclover, or buckwheat.

Prevent them from popping up in the first place

When planting your garden, water the area, lay down several layers of newspaper, water again, and then cover with mulch. The newspaper and mulch will keep the weeds from getting sunlight, which will smother existing weeds while also preventing new ones from sprouting. If you don’t have newspaper, try cardboard instead.

Have a question or comment for Joanne? Email her at thefixisinhawaii@gmail.com.