Plain, old tap water can do the trick too. “My favorite ‘homemade’ weed killer for cracks in sidewalks and driveways is boiling water,” says Paul James, “The Gardener Guy.” “This works really well on young weeds, and results are immediate. If you add a tablespoon of salt to the boiling water, it’s even more effective.”
Physical barriers, like lawn edgings and retaining walls are a long-lasting solution for keeping weeds at bay. Make simple — and cheap — edging out of scraps of pressure-treated decking boards. Cut them into eight-inch “pikes” and hammer the pieces into the ground next to each other to form a continuous edge.
Don’t discount rolling up your sleeves. “The best way will always be good old-fashioned elbow grease,” says Teryl Ciarlo of Teryl Designs. She advises trying to pull from beneath the soil, but waiting until after a rainstorm (when the ground is softer) can also help. Insert a narrow trowel or screwdriver in the soil to loosen any stubborn taproots.
Stop dandelions and crabgrass in their tracks — or really, their roots. These pesticide-free tactics let your garden grow in all its glory, minus annoying eyesores. Common household supplies like salt, vinegar, newspaper, and even water can kill unsightly weeds pretty much instantly, but mulch and landscaping fabric can save you from future yard work.
Depending on what type of garden area you have, an effective way of stopping weeds from getting the sun and water they need to grow is to use ground covering plants. Professional landscape construction should factor these ground covers into the design however if you completed your own landscaing the good news is we have the answer to the question “what type of ground covering plants are best to use?” The good folk at Cornell University have figured it out already. The plants chosen “have been evaluated under different growing conditions for their ease of establishment, low maintenance characteristics and their ability to exclude weeds.” Here are some of their recommendations:
Don’t Give Them Room To Grow With The Use Of Weed Suppressive Ground Covers
There is no doubt it takes more time and can be tiring but pulling weeds out by hand can help with avoiding the transfer of seeds to elsewhere within your garden. You can find a good pair of gloves and a garden claw or sharp trowel at your local hardware store. Get nice and deep into the soil to retrieve the weed completing by its root to prevent it from growing back.
Apply Some DIY Herbicidal Soap
Here is a good option that won’t stain and can be used on driveways, walkways, patios, gravel etc.. It work relatively quickly and is also suitable for gardens and other landscaped areas. This one is a little sneaky as it is two thirds natural, one third dishwashing detergent (we figured dishwashing detergent is still much safer than the chemicals in most weed killing products on the market). To make some herbicidal soap for use around your house simply mix equal parts of dishwashing detergent, vinegar and salt, stir it together and spray on affected areas as needed. The dishwashing detergent (or dish soap as it is also known) allows the mixture to cling to the plants. Don’t have any salt? No worries, you can also use gin!