10 safe ways to eliminate weeds

If you consider a weed to be the wrong plant in the wrong spot and don’t want weeds in your garden and lawn, here are 10 safe ways to get rid of (most) of them.

1. Get a soil test for each area you want to plant are have planted. Some weed species are pioneers of degraded landscapes where the soil is worn-out or nearly destroyed. If you want to have a weed free lawn, test that area of the soil to see if your soil is healthy for the grass seed you want to plant. To help best grow flowers and/or vegetables, get the soil tested separately in those bed areas. You want your soil to be best it can be for the plants you want. (How often should a soil be tested? As a rule, test sandy-textured soils every 2 to 3 years and clay soils every 3 to 4 years. However, if  problems occur during the growing season, send in a soil sample for analysis. ) (see here)

2. Follow directions from the soil test to get the healthiest lawn and garden bed you can. The soil test instructions, if you get them done by your local extension or Master Gardener office, will help explain what you have to do for optimum soil conditions for the plants you are planting.

3. Amend your soil with the good compost you have created and with grass clippings.

4. Choose the right plant for the right spot. Don’t plant seeds for a sunny location if you have shade. That goes for the seed you use in your lawn, too. You might get the grass or plants you want but they will struggle and be sickly allowing weeds to take over.

5. Use mulch to keep weeds down and to kill some of the weeds. But don’t pile it too high so that it will kill the roots of plants that you want.

6. Stay on top of the weeds by hand pulling them when they are small and before they set seed.

7. Get a good hoe to help get rid of weeds.There is no best tool for the job, but there are some different types of hoes you can try. (see here) There is the familiar flat-bladed hoe that works effectively on the rows between vegetable crops.   There is the Warren Hoe which has a pointed blade and works well for small weeds and weeding between rows. (see here)There is the Scuffle, Stirrup or Dutch Hoe that cuts weeds at the surface in a push/pull motion. A great gardener I know loves this hoe. (see here)

8. To get rid of single clumps of weeds, pour boiling water on the plant.It might need more than one application.

9, There is a vinegar concoction you can make to get rid of weeds, but do not use too much and be careful not to get it on your beloved plants because salt and acid can damage your good plants and too much salt and vinegar is not good for the soil. (see here)

10. Learn to be more tolerant of your weeds. Let more weeds into your life, lawn and gardens. Remember you can eat some and the animals can eat some and some weeds will encourage beneficial insects in your garden to help the plants you want.

To paraphrase the serendipity prayer for your lawn and garden,

Mother Nature, grant me the strength to pull the weeds I can

The serenity to accept the weeds I cannot pull,

And Peace of Mind to enjoy my lawn and garden.

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