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How to Kill Weeds Organically

By April Sanders ; Updated September 21, 2017

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.

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.

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.

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.

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 Will Need

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

Tips

  • Save your back and use a hoe to remove the weeds rather than your hands, especially if there are many of them.
  • Sheet mulch works best for killing weeds, but it can be more difficult to install. You must measure the area and cut the sheet of plastic to fit around existing plants.