You are here: Home Gardening Composting & Soil 7 Ways To Get Rid Of Weeds Without Roundup Or Herbicides 7 Ways To Get Rid Of Weeds Without Roundup Or Herbicides Preventing weeds with newspaper coverings. OakleyOriginals / Flickr (Creative Commons) by Seth Kolloen April 19, 2018, 2:12 pm Even the most dedicated permaculturalist has probably had moments of weakness. Sure, you know that pulling weeds by hand is the most sustainable method for your soil and plants, but you’ve probably seen a neighbor or relative spraying Roundup and walking away, knowing that they don’t have to do any more work. Of course, there’s a long-term trade-off. Roundup can contaminate soil for years after it’s used, and that has health consequences. Roundup can damage human cells, according to a 2009 French study. Roundup is showing up everywhere: One 2017 UCSD study found that traces of the toxic base chemical of Roundup increased by 500 percent since Monsanto rolled out the herbicide in the 1970s. Preventing weeds with newspaper coverings. OakleyOriginals / Flickr (Creative Commons) The best way to avoid weeds—and weeding—is simply planning ahead. Nature abhors a vacuum, and weeds are nature’s way of telling you: “If you aren’t going to tend this land, I will.” No matter where you live, weeds will spring up if you haven’t planted anything to keep them out. Related Post: Cover Crops Now you know, for next time. For now, here are some methods of weed removal that won’t hurt you or next year’s crop. All you need is a little sweat equity and creativity. And homesteaders have those in spades! 1. Pull Weeds By Hand This is the simplest, most straightforward method, and it has plenty going for it. For one, you’ll get to know each bed of your garden much better. Related Post: Best Work Gloves A regular weeding is just one of the chores that you should do, along with deadheading, pruning, and removing dead leaves and branches from the ground. If you do all of those tasks regularly, you’ll be in much better touch with your garden and see problems developing from the start. Skipped my normal workout for the horrible job of pulling weeds. It's never ending!! 😩😩 #yardwork #yardworksucks #pullingweeds #weightlossjourney #losing #lifeofahomeowner #imsureiburnedcalories A post shared by Amy Crosscut (@gettinfitmommaof2) on Apr 12, 2018 at 5:32pm PDT Of course, pulling weeds by hand is the most labor-intensive of any method. It might be the most effective, but it’s tedious. Plus, in a big garden, it just might not be feasible to go over each bed and planter every weekend. 2. Harvest Weeds And Eat Them Apart from the blowtorch method (more on that later), this method is probably the most fun. Have you ever eaten purslane or dandelion greens? They’re delicious! Or you might have a wild mint infestation that’s driving you crazy. I mean, that’s one way to take care of wild mint! “T”eresa / Flickr (Creative Commons) There are dozens of weeds that you can eat and actually enjoy. This is a labor-intensive method that requires some dedication, but weeding is much more fun when you’re working for your supper, instead of throwing the results in your compost pile. 3. Salt And Vinegar These kitchen mainstays are extremely useful, all-natural herbicides. Most plants won’t last long if they’re confronted with pure salt or vinegar, or a solution of either. There are drawbacks. One is that this method is hard to target: If you’re looking to spot-weed a specific part of a bed, this isn’t the way to go. Either substance will affect plants that neighbor the weed you’re targeting, even if you’re careful. Plus, large amounts of salt are ruinous for soil. If you overdo salting your earth, you might not be able to grow anything for years. 4. Make Your Own DIY Herbicide If you don’t have the time, energy, or patience for routine weeding, this is the best method. You can make your own biodegradable herbicide that won’t harm your soil or cultivated plants. I totally should have taken a before, but this was a super healthy sprig of poison ivy yesterday. Healthy until I sprayed it with some homemade pest killer. See ya later, itchy weed. #itsthelittlevictories #vinegar #salt #dawn #poisonivy #homemadeweedkiller #itworks A post shared by Nerice Lochansky (@nlochansky) on May 3, 2017 at 6:24pm PDT What You Need To Make Organic Herbicide 1 gallon organic vinegar 1 cup salt 1 tablespoon biodegradable dish soap Spray bottle How To Make And Use Organic Herbicide Mix the salt and dish soap into the gallon jug of vinegar. Shake vigorously. Pour into a spray bottle. Spray the herbicide solution onto the weed. Be careful not to spray the solution onto cultivated plants. Spray on the stem and around the base of the plant if possible. 5. Put Down Extra Mulch You probably already mulch your garden to keep your mature, cultivated plants happy. Mulching is also an effective way to get rid of weeds! Related Post: 6 Reasons Why I Chose Clover as a Living Mulch If you lay mulch around and under your cultivars, and on top of the weeds you want to get rid of, you’ll serve both purposes. The mulch will block the sunlight and carbon dioxide that weeds need to grow and serve its normal purpose of enriching the soil. 6. Cover And Smother This is the same idea as the mulching technique. You can use tarp or canvas to cover up and smother areas that have gotten infested with weeds. Doing a trial of WeedGuardPlus for UT this year! It’s OMRI-approved, unlike biodegradable plastics and should help us nearly eliminate weeding in the beds where we use it. #weedguardplus #utfarmtrial #springplanting #gypsybroccoli #weedmanagement A post shared by Camille Cody (@camilleonthefarm) on Apr 6, 2018 at 8:04am PDT Just take a large section of tarp or canvas, cover the affected area, and let it sit for a few days. Remember to cut holes for any cultivar that you want to protect. 7. Zap Them With Light NatureZap is an innovative new product out of the minds of Ohio inventors. It’s a lightweight stick that emits a proprietary combination of light that, eventually, kills weeds. It won’t affect the soil long-term, and it doesn’t use nearly as much energy as the propane tank method you may be familiar with. The NatureZap DE sells for about $100 on Amazon; the bulb that it comes with will last 75 hours of weeding. That ought to be enough to last you until you find a permanent solution. Related Post: NatureZap: Weed With Light, Not Chemicals Or Fire Weeds are avoidable, but life sometimes gets in the way of plans. Just think of it like any other homesteading project: It’s an ongoing process that requires creativity and dedication. Stick with it, and you’ll be fine. See more Previous article Quonset Huts Next article How To Keep Chipmunks Out Of Your Garden Naturally Leave a Reply Cancel reply Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *Comment Name * Email * Website Upload a photo / attachment to this comment (PNG, JPG, GIF - 6 MB Max File Size): (Allowed file types: jpg, gif, png, maximum file size: 6MB.