How to Kill Weeds Organically

Overview

Most gardeners are adverse to spraying harmful chemicals in their yards or gardens. Toxic herbicides may be quick and efficient at killing weeds, but the spray can also drift onto beneficial plants, killing those as well. Instead of using toxic weed killers, kill the weeds in your landscape organically. There are many methods to choose from that won't chemically poison the soil or groundwater in your garden and lawn.

Step 1

Remove the weeds by hand. Pulling up weeds is the least toxic way of killing them. Put on thick gardening gloves and use a trowel to make sure you remove the weed's entire root system.

Step 2

Use an organic spray rather than a toxic herbicide. Some weeds cannot easily be pulled up by hand, such as those that grow in cracks in the pavement or those that have overtaken a grassy lawn. To make your own organic spray, mix 4 oz. concentrated lemon juice with 1 qt. white vinegar. Place in a spray bottle for easy application, or use a pressure sprayer if you are killing weeds in a large area.

Step 3

Cover the area with mulch. Mulch prevents sunlight from reaching the plants. Weed seeds that do manage to germinate quickly die without sun. Once you've pulled up or killed the weeds with an organic spray, cover the area with mulch to prevent new weeds from sprouting.

Step 4

Monitor your garden and lawn carefully for the emergence of new weeds. Remove any new seedlings as soon as you see them, as they are much easier to kill when they are young.

Things You'll Need

  • Gardening gloves
  • 4 oz. concentrated lemon juice
  • 1 qt. white vinegar
  • Spray bottle or pressure sprayer
  • Mulch

References

  • The Organic Gardener: Organic Weed Control
  • Small Farm Permaculture: Vinegar Weed Killer Recipe

Who Can Help

  • North Coast Gardening: Organic Weed Control -- How to Kill Weeds Without Harmful Chemicals
Keywords: kill weeds organically, organic herbicides, garden and lawn

About this Author

April Sanders has been a professional writer since 1998. She has worked as an educator and now writes academic research content for EBSCO Publishing and elementary reading curriculum for Compass Publishing. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in social psychology from the University of Washington and a master's degree in information sciences and technology in education from Mansfield University.