If your yard is anything like mine, right now it is teeming with abundant plant life – in other words, weeds. And if you are anything like me, words like herbicide or Roundup make you cringe.
For years, I have used the fail-safe method of dealing with weeds – pulling by hand. But after about the fifth or sixth week of pulling weeds from the same exact place, I was ready to say enough is enough.
I put a no-more-weed-pulling, more-time-drinking-fresh-strawberry-lemonade plan into action for my walkways, stone borders and any other place where I don’t want anything at all to grow:
1. Kill the Weeds
I first attacked the weeds with a homemade, all-natural weed killer. I find that they are easier to pull out if they are dead first. I used this recipe from Consider Me Inspired. All you do is get a spray bottle, add 1/4 cup salt and 1 squirt of dish soap (I used Seventh Generation), and fill the rest with vinegar. For larger areas, I purchased a larger sprayer (like this one) and I used this recipe from DeetlesBird. It combines 1 gallon of vinegar with 2 cups epsom salts, and 1/4 cup dish soap. You can also dump boiling water on the weeds to kill them but I didn’t want to risk burning myself.
2. Pull the Weeds
After a few days, the weeds were dead, so I pulled them out by hand. You could probably skip this step but I was working with a walkway and didn’t want to have to look at them.
3. Prevent New Weeds
Finally, I wanted to cover the cracks and crevices so no more weeds would grow. I read that both cornmeal and baking soda work really well at preventing new weeds from growing, so I tried each (one on each side of the walkway). So far, they are both working great. But the cornmeal attracts ants! I don’t love the look of the white baking soda either but it’s better than dealing with a horde of ants. The white baking soda eventually soaked into the cracks so I’m not sure if it’s still there but I haven’t had any new weeds pop up.
I have on my to-do list to try one of those weed-burning torches. I would love not having to pull weeds by hand (which you pretty much have to do even if you kill them with some version of weed killer). If anyone out there has tried burning weeds, I would love to hear about your experience.
Stay tuned for tips on how to deal with weeds when you are putting in a new walkway or border.
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