The Best Way to Kill Weeds

Do you find yourself feeling demoralized by the amount of weeds that spring up during the busiest time of the year in the garden? It seems like you turn around and the garden looks fine, then one day you get a good rainfall and the next day the weeds are 2-feet tall. Instead of tossing in the towel and giving up, let’s look at the best way to kill weeds in specific parts of the garden.

Best way to kill weeds naturally

The single best way to kill weeds in your garden without resorting to spraying harsh chemicals is to pull the weeds by hand. Yes, it can turn into a large job, but there is nothing better than having peace of mind when you have children or pets who play in the garden and eat the edible fruits, vegetables and flowers.

Stay on top of the weeds and pull them when they are young. The best time to kill weeds by pulling them is right after a good rainfall when the roots of the plants will easily slip out of the soil.

Best way to kill weeds in grass

lawn weed

The best lawn weed killer is a healthy lawn. Sprays may not address every kind of weed in your lawn so be proactive and grow the healthiest lawn you can. Fertilize according to the directions, most northern lawns only require fertilizing twice a year. Fertilizing more than that will help boost the weeds.

Water deeply and infrequently to encourage your lawn to send roots deep into the soil. The weeds with shallower roots will not be able to survive the drier conditions. Check with a lawn care professional for the recommended height for your kind of lawn, but generally speaking, mowing your lawn at 2 and 4 inches will kill weeds by shading their seeds and the plants from the sunlight they need to thrive.

Best way to kill weeds in flower beds

garden bed

Weeds come with the territory of having a flower bed. The healthy soil, ample sunlight, water and fertilizer makes flower beds a perfect spot for weeds to try to put down roots. Before spraying an herbicide, remember that the spray could kill and damage your ornamental plants if it gets on them, and it will not make a healthy environment for pollinators that visit your flowers.

The best way to handle weeds in your flower bed it to lay down thick pieces of newspaper and cardboard and then add mulch over that. Keep in mind that the newspaper mulch will not be effective if it isn’t laid down thick. I’m talking 10+ pages of newsprint thick. Wet down the paper or cardboard as you work to keep it from flying away.

Best way to kill weeds in rocks and paving

Unlike the weeds in the lawn and garden beds, the weeds that grow between rocks, gravel, pavement and other hardscaping can be easier to deal with. In these spots perhaps using an herbicide wouldn’t be so bad if you made sure to follow the application guidelines.

If you’re not at risk of killing plants and vegetables with a weed wacker in these areas, go ahead and chop those weeds down! Have you tried using vinegar as an herbicide? Or maybe even a blowtorch to quickly burn down the weeds? I prefer to use a combination of vinegar and fire to remove weeds from rocky and paved areas.

No matter what you use, take into consideration that the best way to kill weeds doesn’t come in a bottle or spray. Different parts of your garden and landscape will encourage different kinds of weeds, and there is no all-in-one solution available in spray bottles.

Put some thought into your lawn care practices, mulch heavily in areas you can’t spray, and go nuclear with vinegar and fire in areas where plants can’t get damaged. 

You might also enjoy our post on common weeds you probably didn’t know you could eat.

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