How to Kill Weeds and Plant Seeds

Overview

Weeds and the seeds that cause them can be a constant challenge for homeowners who want to keep their property looking neat and tidy. Many herbicides are on the market, and, of course, you can resort to using them to help control your weeds. But there are other, safer ways of taking charge of the weeds and other unwanted plants that interfere with your attempts to make your yard the showplace of the neighborhood. And you'll be helping the environment when you avoid herbicides.

Killing Weeds and Plant Seeds

Step 1

Learn about the weeds that grow on your property because some of them might be native plants, some might be edible and others might have medicinal value, such as plantain (Plantago species), which is often considered a lawn weed. Knowing your enemy is a good first step in understanding how to get rid of undesirable weeds.

Step 2

Spread a layer of mulch on your garden beds and unpaved pathways. You can choose from natural and synthetic materials to use as mulch. Compost works very well because it nourishes your plants while it smothers weeds. Or you can use black plastic or landscape cloth, especially over unpaved pathways where weeds often grow. Cut it to size and anchor it down with rocks, soil or earth staples.

Step 3

Pull out weeds by hand or with the help of a two-pronged weeding tool. If you pull a weed before it forms seeds, you'll be preventing future weeds from starting. Chop up your weeds with garden clippers and then add them to your compost pile. For large weedy plants with a big root system, dig them out with a spading fork. For small weeds growing in areas with soil, a hula hoe works very well.

Step 4

Lay flattened cardboard over areas that have weeds you want to kill. To make the area look more attractive, you can cover it with a thin layer of topsoil or compost, wood chips or sawdust. You can even kill lawn by covering it with cardboard.

Step 5

Spray weeds with apple cider vinegar. Fill your hand spray bottle with 5-percent-strength apple cider vinegar and spray weeds while they are in full sun. Repeat this application every other day until the weeds show signs of wilting and turning brown.

Tips and Warnings

  • If the weeds you pull have formed flower stalks with seeds, it's best not to add them to your compost pile because doing so can easily contribute to the unwanted spread of more weeds.

Things You'll Need

  • Mulch
  • Black plastic or landscape cloth
  • Rocks or earth staples
  • Forked weeding tool
  • Spading fork
  • Hula hoe
  • Compost pile
  • Clippers
  • Flattened cardboard
  • Apple cider vinegar
  • Spray bottle

References

  • The Organic Gardener: Organic Weed Control

Who Can Help

  • Gardner's Supply Company: Earth Staples
Keywords: weeds killing, compost mulch, unwanted plants

About this Author

Barbara Fahs lives on Hawaii island, where she has created Hiā€˜iaka's Healing Herb Garden. Barbara wrote "Super Simple Guide to Creating Hawaiian Gardens," and has been a professional writer since 1984. She contributes to Big Island Weekly, Ke Ola magazine, GardenGuides.com and eHow.com. She earned her B.A. at UCSB and her M.A. from San Jose State University.