Grass and weeds will sometimes keep growing back regardless of what you do to them or regardless of how often you pull them. Even though grass is usually desirable in back and front yards, the grass sometimes grows in places where it's not wanted, like sidewalk cracks. However, organic herbicides can sometimes kill parts of the lawn that the gardener would not like to kill and can also be harmful to the environment and to the gardener.
Some products are sold that are supposed to kill grass and weeds the organic way. These weed-killers use ingredients such as clove oil, vinegar and lemon juices in order to overwhelm the grass and weeds, according to Plant Natural. Organic materials tend to break down over time, so they do not remain in the soil, continuing to harm other life forms.
Home Remedies for Weeds
Oils and soaps can kill some weeds, but will not kill the stronger, more stubborn weeds. Soils and soaps interfere with the ability of weeds to take nutrients up through the roots. Vinegar can also be used to stop weeds organically. Boiling water can be used to kill grass and will not have any harmful effects on anything after the boiling water cools. However, a large amount of boiling water would be needed to kill a large amount of grass, such as an entire lawn. Salt is another option that will overwhelm the plant with sodium, but this treatment option can be expensive since a lot of salt is needed to kill the grass and weeds.
Weeds and grass can be killed by ripping the taproots out of the soil so that the weed plants cannot grow back. Not removing the roots is ineffective for many weeds, such as dandelions, because the roots contain stored energy that can be used to grow new dandelions. Tap roots are best removed using a spade.
After weeds have been killed off, adding mulch to the top layer of the soil can prevent more weeds from taking place, according to Texas A&M University. Weeds have a difficult time growing in heavy mulch and weeds can also become smothered by mulch.
Unwanted grass and weeds can simply be mowed or trimmed from the lawn using sharp objects like garden shears and a lawn mower. Use the cut weeds and grass to make compost that can be used to increase the health of the plants that you do want growing. Soil that has organic compost not only has extra nutrients in the soil but also has an easier time holding moisture for the plants, according to Colorado State University. The easiest way to make compost is to throw the compost material in a compost bin and to turn the compost every once in awhile in order to make sure that the material gets enough oxygen.
Planting Stronger Plants
Some garden plants are stronger than weeds and grass, acting as weed- and grass-killers. One example of a weed-killing plant is the potato. Planting stronger plants can crowd out the weeds, sapping the nutrients from the weed.