Nine Tips for Chemical-Free Home Weed Control

Learn effective weed control without the use of chemicals.

| 2013 Guide to Field and Lawn Care

  • Lettuce Mulch Plastic
    Plants growing through mulch and black plastic in the garden.
    Photo By Shutterstock/Ungoi Lookjeab

  • Lettuce Mulch Plastic

If you’re taking a chemical-free approach to home weed control, you’ve most likely discovered it can be a real challenge. Without herbicides in your arsenal, it can be tough to keep invaders out of your lawn and natural areas, flower beds and vegetable gardens, walkways and driveways. To succeed, you need time, persistence and a multifaceted approach. Try these nine proven techniques that can help:

1. Select clean seeds and plant material. When you are planting ornamentals, vegetables and grasses, purchase certified seeds and weed-free plants from a reputable source. You don’t want to introduce more unwelcome guests into your home landscape.

2. Remove weeds before they go to seed. Some varieties of weeds can produce tens of thousands of seeds from a single plant, multiplying your weed control problems for years to come. So make certain you remove weeds around your home before they flower and produce seeds.

3. Keep the local climate in mind. Select plant species and cultivars appropriate for the planting conditions around your home. Consider the climate, amount of sun or shade, and expected rainfall. If the plants you choose are a good “fit,” they are more apt to thrive and to compete with weeds.

4. Create a barrier. For further weed suppression throughout the growing season, apply 2 to 3 inches of mulch, or use landscape fabric or black plastic to deter weeds.

5. Focus on “culture.” Cultural practices – how you prepare the soil and tend to what you’ve planted – will help your plantings stay healthy and compete with weeds for light, moisture and nutrients. Read about what you’re growing and focus on the basics, from pH levels to timely irrigation and fertilizer.

6/8/2013 7:06:28 PM

Um, plastic is made of petrochemicals...

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