Killing weeds with salt

Homemade Aquatic Weed Killer

Loosely baled barley has been shown to prevent algae and aquatic weeds.

  1. Break apart a bale of barley with a pitchfork or three-pronged tiller. You will need approximately 225 pounds of barley per acre of water, which is about five bales per acre.

  2. Place the barley straw into fish netting. Don’t smash the barley together tightly. The straw should just go into the net, and the net should loosely bind it together so that air can circulate through the straw. The barley requires air for decomposition, and if the straw is packed too closely together, it won’t decompose quickly enough and in a way that will deter algae and other aquatic weeds.

  3. Close the net with a tie or knot and place it into shallow water. The water should not be placed in water that is greater than 5 feet deep.

  4. Introduce blue tilapia, redbelly tilapia or the common carp into the body of water. Using fish as a biological control is an effective and economic alternative to using store-bought chemicals and herbicides. And while barley straw has been known to prevent aquatic weeds and algae, it will not usually kill the weeds that are already present, which is why introducing these types of fish can kill the weed population already present in the body of water.

Aquatic Weed Control: How To Get Rid of Aquatic Weeds

This page is a general aquatic weed control guide. Using the products and methods suggested you can get control of any aquatic weed species. The aquatic weed category pages give additional information on the different species and specific treatment instructions and options. Follow these guides and use the recommended products and we guarantee 100% control of all aquatic weed types.

Aquatic weeds can be found growing on lakes, streams, ponds, estuaries and other bodies of water where there is aquatic wildlife. Aquatic weeds naturally grow in these bodies of water and are actually beneficial to the environment, providing natural filtration, food, and habitat for fish. The problem arises when they start to grow excessively.

Most aquatic weeds are harmless and are usually just an unattractive inconvenience since they can interfere with recreational activities like swimming and fishing. When they begin to grow and create large infestations though, they can cause significant problems and damage if left untreated by blocking sunlight, stealing nutrients and reducing living space for fish.

If your water body is being hampered by the presence of aquatic weeds, we can help. By following our easy to follow step-by-step DIY aquatic weed treatment guide, you can get rid of aquatic weeds quickly and affordably.

Identification

Aquatic Weeds can be separated into four groups. These include algae, floating weeds, submerged weeds and emergent weeds.

  • Floating weeds are those that float on the pond surface. These plants don’t have roots and move freely around the pond with the wind. Most floating weeds multiply rapidly and can be difficult to control. Severe infestations can block sunlight from the pond and cause oxygen depletion. (ex: duckweed, bladderwort and water hyacinth)
  • Submerged weeds are pondweeds that are rooted in the bottom of the pond and where the majority of the plant remains underwater due to their soft stem. (ex: coontail, water milfoil, curly leaf pondweed)
  • An emergent weed is primarily above the water surface and can support itself. Sometimes they are completely out of the water growing in moist soil. These pondweeds are usually restricted to the shoreline but may extend into the pond if the margins are shallow. Some species of emergent weeds have buoyant stems that can form large mats. (ex: cattails, water lilies, reedgrass)
  • Algae is commonly referred to as slime, moss or pond scum. Algae can be found at the bottom of the pond or on the water surface.

There’s a large number of different weeds that can appear on your body of water. Check out our aquatic weed library to find the aquatic weed that you are encountering for a specific guide to its control as well as product recommendations.

Inspection

Depending on the aquatic weed that is growing on your water body, an inspection could be a simple or complicated process. Inspection is important prior to applying aquatic herbicides so you can analyze how big of an issue you have, the size of your pond or water body and how much you need to treat and what treatment options would be best for your situation.

Where to Inspect

Walk around your water body and observe any weeds that may be protruding out beyond the water, floating on the water surface or submerged underwater.

What to Look For

You should be looking for the presence of weeds and the severity of the weed invasion.

Measure the pond’s surface area and the depth. Knowing the size will help you in figuring out the mix rates. You will also need to consider if your pond is used for drinking, swimming, irrigating or houses fish as some herbicides have temporary water use restrictions.

Treatment

Our top recommendation to treat aquatic weeds is Diquat Herbicide because it is labeled to treat many different submerged, emerged and floating weed types and is cost-effective.

Prepare to apply herbicides to your pond by mixing the selected product with water in a pump sprayer according to the directions on the label. This is also the time to put on the necessary PPE.

Step 1 – Prepare and Mix the Diquat

Before mixing and application, you will need to calculate the size of the water body you wish to treat to determine how much Diquat you will need. For water bodies, the measurement is usually done by calculating the acreage or acre-foot. To do this, measure the length, width, and average depth of the water body in feet then divide by 43,560 (Length (ft) x Width (ft) x Average Depth (ft) / 43,560 = Acre-feet).

Diquat should be mixed at a rate of 1 to 2 pints of Diquat per 15 gallons of water per acre.

Step 2 – Apply Diquat to target Pond Weeds

Once the Diquat is well-mixed. Depending on the targeted weed and the water’s depth, you can spray the herbicide over the water along the shoreline, spot treat emerged weeds, or broadcast spray over the water’s surface.

Some weeds are best treated with a granular herbicide like Cutrine Plus when weeds are submerged as blankets under the water surface, in deep areas of the pond or in ponds with flowing water. These heavier granules can be applied with a hand spreader and will sink directly onto the weed beds.

Step 3 – Treat only a 1/3rd of the pond at a time.

During hot weather as weeds die off, they can reduce the amount of available oxygen in the pond. Treat your pond in small sections waiting 10 to 14 days in between treatments to ensure fish have an oxygen-rich environment. We recommend using an indicator dye with your herbicide to mark where you have applied your product so you don’t over treat.

Step 4 – Use Vision Pond Dye

After applying herbicides, we recommend applying Vision Pond Dye. This non-toxic dye will give the water a natural blue color and filters UV light to inhibit algae and weed growth. Follow the label directions for proper application rate and pour it at the edge of the pond. The water’s natural movement will disperse the dye.

Prevention

It’s important to note that herbicides just kill the weed, they don’t address the reason why the weed is growing in the first place.

Problems like excessive nutrients and organic materials are the main reasons why aquatic weeds thrive. Aquatic herbicides are a great tool but do not address the actual problem of excessive nutrients and organic materials. By following up with proactive pond management practices such as aeration and natural water treatments will reduce the accumulation of dead organic material and can help keep your water clear from pondweeds for years to come.

Regularly monitor your body of water for any issues and apply your control products as needed. Make sure your pond is getting adequate attention so weeds do not creep back up.

Key Takeaways

  • Aquatic weeds can ruin the look of your water body and hinder recreation. Most aquatic plants can be placed into five different categories based on their growth habit. These include: filamentous algae, planktonic plants, floating weeds, floating leaved weeds, submerged weeds, and emergent weeds.
  • Select the best aquatic herbicide for treatment. Our recommended herbicide for aquatic weeds is Diquat Herbicide.
  • After treating the weeds, we recommend using Vision Pond Dye. Vision Pond Dye both improves the look of your water body and discourages the growth of algae and weeds by inhibiting UV sunlight on the water surface.

Aquatic Herbicides

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Aquatic Herbicide Tips

Before using any aquatic weed killers in your pond or lake to control pondweeds or lake weeds, follow these tips to make sure you are using these products correctly and safely.

  • Identify: It is crucial to identify your pond weeds or lake weeds before you begin to treat. Some herbicides only work on certain plants.
  • Check: Make sure the product you use is licensed for use around or in water. Using unapproved chemicals can be very dangerous to swimmers and aquatic life.
  • Follow rules: The instructions and warnings listed on all pesticide labels should be read as the law. Failure to follow these labels is illegal under state and federal laws.
  • Pay Attention: Many aquatic herbicides will break down quickly in water, but there is still usually a suggested wait period before fishing or swimming can take place.
  • Dose properly: The dosing rates are usually listed right on the labels. It may involve some calculations, but it is important to follow the proper rates in order to keep you and your wildlife safe, as well as ensuring your product works well.
  • Apply for optimal results: Timing in the year, temperature of the water, and placement of your application will all play into the success of your treatment. Timing is especially crucial, as weeds are usually perennials and you can apply them before they even begin to cause a problem. Do a bit of research or call your local extension office to find out the best time to apply aquatic herbicides for your specific weeds and area.

Types of Aquatic Vegetation

  • Submerged vegetation: these are weeds that are rooted, but do not break the surface. This group can include Naiads, elodea, pondweeds, and Eurasian watermilfoil.
  • Emerged vegetation: These plants are rooted but grow above the water. Cattails, bulrushes, and arrowhead fall into this category.
  • Floating vegetation: These plants have leaves or flowers that float on the surface of the water and include waterlilies and watershed.
  • Algae: Algae is a healthy part of pond or lake environments. There are different types of algae, including filamentous and mat algae. See our algae page for more information on controlling algae.

Pros and Cons of Aquatic Vegetation

Before you go out and buy an arsenal of herbicides or rent an underwater weed harvester, remember that some vegetation is desired, and is a sign of a healthy aquatic ecosystem. Here is a list of positive and negative things that you should note before doing any aquatic weed management.

When Aquatic Weeds Help:

  • Aquatic weeds, including algae, provide food for small fish, which in turn gives food to the bigger fish, providing an important piece of the food chain.
  • Larger swaths of algae or flowering plants give shelter and provide habitats to a wide variety of animals, including fish and water foul.
  • A healthy amount of aquatic plants provides abundant oxygen to aquatic life, keeping both plants and animals healthy and water cleaner.
  • Rooted plants help to stabilize the pond or lakeshore and help filter pollution.
  • Some aquatic plants provide an element of aesthetic beauty, like lily pads or cattails, which can add to your outdoor experience.
  • Remember, your goal is management, not eradication!

When Aquatic Weeds Hurt:

  • An overabundance of vegetation can make recreational activities, like swimming, boating, or fishing, more difficult or unpleasant and detract from your enjoyment.
  • Sometimes too many weeds cause oxygen depletion, which leads to fish kills and decomposition.
  • Lots of floating or emergent vegetation can cause pockets of still water, creating breeding grounds for mosquitoes.
  • Invasive aquatic weeds can quickly overtake native species and become a problem.
  • When weeds overtake your pond or lake, it can make it very ugly, especially when algae or another small weed covers the entire surface.

For more infomation on how to apply aquatic herbicides, see our guide on How to Kill Algae and Weeds in Ponds and Lakes.

See also: Pond & Lake Supplies, Algaecide

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Salt Recipe For Weeds – How To Use Salt To Kill Weeds

Sometimes we gardeners are sure that the weeds are going to get the better of us. They test our patience to the very core, sneaking up where they don’t belong and creeping in where they are hard to pull. While there are many different chemical sprays to combat weeds, some of these can be quite dangerous and costly. For this reason, some of us may consider using salt to kill weeds. Let’s learn more about killing weeds with salt.

Can You Kill Weeds with Salt?

Although killing weeds with salt may seem strange, it is effective when used cautiously. Salt is inexpensive and readily available. Salt dehydrates plants and disrupts the internal water balance of plant cells.

Salt is best used for small-scale gardening where it will be easily diluted by rain or watering, however. If salt is used on a large scale, it can create soil conditions that are not suitable for growing plants for quite some time.

Salt Recipe for Weeds

Making a salt weed killer mixture at home is not difficult. You can add rock or table salt to water until it dissolves. Make a fairly weak mixture to start with – 3:1 ratio of water to salt. You can increase the amount of salt daily until the salt begins to kills the target plant.

Adding a little bit of dish soap and white vinegar helps with weed killing effectiveness. It lowers the surface tension of the water, which allows the salt solution to be absorbed by the plant.

How to Use Salt to Kill Weeds

Applying salt to weeds must be done extremely carefully so as to avoid damage to nearby vegetation. Use a funnel to direct the saltwater to the weed; this will help keep the solution from splattering.

Once you have applied the solution, water any nearby plants well. This will help to mitigate damage and will cause the salt to leach below the root zone of the plants.

Caution: A popular question asked by gardeners is “Can I pour salt on the ground to kill weeds?” This is not a good practice, as it can easily damage surrounding vegetation and soil. The salt weed killing method works best if the salt is diluted and applied directly to the weed. Always use caution when working with salt – do not ingest the salt or rub it in your eyes.

When your garden is plagued by weeds, it can seem like there are only two options for getting rid of them – commercial weed killer, or good old-fashioned weed pulling. It turns out that there’s a DIY option – it’s cheaper than chemical sprays and easier than trying to rip out those stubborn roots.

The DIY approach to weed control is a bit more involved, but this way you remain fully in control of what goes into your garden.

Pulling weeds up by hand is widely considered the best way to keep your garden in tip top shape. Unfortunately, this can be tough work, particularly if you lack the time or mobility to stay on top of weed management or to tackle a well-established infestation. This is why many gardeners use weed killer. Usually applied as a spray, these can be used to get rid of weeds on their own, or kill them so that it’s easy to pull those dead roots out of the ground and throw away.

What’s wrong with synthetic weed killer?

There isn’t necessarily anything wrong with synthetic or manufactured weed killer per se, but there are a number of quite reasonable reasons to be wary of the array of chemical concoctions on offer in the gardening aisle.

  • Allergies or sensitivities: Spraying things around can be a bit of a hazard if you have chemical sensitivities, whether from an allergy or from asthma. While you can wear a mask to protect yourself, you may prefer to use a less irritating option.
  • Pet safety: Many of us have pets that enjoy exploring the great outdoors in our back yard, or have wildlife neighbours who like to visit. If they’re of the sort to like nibbling on the greenery, such as chickens or herbivorous dogs, ingesting weeds that have been sprayed with a commercial weed killer could make them ill. Although if you have chickens, you’ve already got yourself a solid team of weed killers who could gobble up those ugly growths instead of your lawn.
  • Veggie patches and herb gardens: It’s fair to say that weed killer isn’t very tasty. However, sometimes some unwelcome visitors can make their way into your edible garden.

While these and other risks associated with weed killer usually depend on the specific product, it can be tricky to find a manufactured weed killer that you can be sure addresses LL your concerns. That’s where natural alternatives come in handy.

Natural Weed Killer Ingredients

You may be surprised to find that all of these DIY weed killer methods can be easily followed using common household products. As with any kind of weed killer, be careful to only target those unwanted growths – these methods will work just as well on your beautiful rose bush as it will on that pesky prickly pear.

You can burn weeds with boiling water to effectively kill them while leaving zero product residue behind. This works best on larger areas such as a driveway or a path where you want to obliterate those weeds working their way through cracks or gaps in the concrete. Just pour it over your target area, and remove the dead weeds once they’ve cooled down. Before pouring boiling water, be sure that you’re not downstream so you don’t burn your toes too!

You may also be interested in:

  • Types of Grass in Australia
  • Lawn Mower Reviews & Ratings
  • A guide to Ride-on Lawn Mowers

It hopefully goes without saying – but don’t salt the earth unless you never want anything to grow in that soil again. Salt can also erode concrete, so keep it away from the driveway and make sure you rinse off any spills on your garden edging or patio. You can, however, carefully use salt to kill weeds without creating a barren spot in your garden. Only apply salt to leaves, where it will cause the plant to wither and die. One way to apply salt to weeds is by making a salt water spray. Make sure your aim is accurate!

Safer for your soil than salt, vinegar’s long list of fantastic household applications includes natural weed killer. Vinegar is a herbicide when applied in sufficient quantities or concentrations. Your standard kitchen vinegar can usually get the job done, but if you find that it’s not quite strong enough or you have a really serious weed problem to tackle you can purchase horticultural vinegar, which has a higher acetic acid content. The vinegar method works best during sunny weather. Not only does rain wash the vinegar away, more importantly, a full day of sun is the necessary catalyst for the vinegar to really take effect.

Bonus Combo: Salt & Vinegar

Season your weeds like chips, with the combined powers of salt and vinegar. While it’s a tasty combo on chips, it’s not so tasty for plants. Mix salt and vinegar together and administer as a spray to apply to the leaves of offensive plants.

While not every household will already have this stashed in a cupboard, borax is a versatile cleaning product, as well as being a key ingredient in making toy slime! If you don’t already use borax, you may want to consider it as a cheaper, more eco-friendly alternative.

Borax is not quite as cheap as salt or vinegar, but it’s still just a few dollars for a big tub that should last you through quite a lot of weeds. The best way to use it for homemade weed killer is to mix the powder with water and spray it on weed leaves. As with salt, keep overspray away from other plants and avoid saturating the soil. Don’t let it contact bare skin. A good ratio is 100g of borax to 3L of water, administered via a sprayer.

Dishwashing Detergent

It’s not a weed killer itself, but dishwashing liquid is a useful addition to your DIY herbicide as a surfactant. Many plants produce a waxy coating to protect its leaves. Surfactants can help break down this barrier to let your weed killer better get in and do maximum damage. Just add a squirt in and swirl it around for an extra boost to your natural weed killer recipe.

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Should I use natural weed killer?

As all of these methods are low cost and low risk, if you’re unsure which method of weed killing you should use, it certainly wouldn’t hurt to try these methods first. What you do risk losing is time – if you’d rather not mess around with trialing less aggressive methods to destroy weeds, you may prefer using commercial weed killers.

Easy natural weed control tips

  • Wait until after a rainstorm, when all of that water has made the ground softer. It will be far easier to pull weeds and far less likely you’ll miss bits stuck in the ground.
  • Use a tool to loosen the ground around a weed before pulling it. You don’t need any specialized gardening tool – a knife, screwdriver, or a good stick all work just as well.
  • Prevention is better than the cure. Use mulch, garden mats, and other barrier methods to make it less likely that weeds can take hold around your carefully horticulture shrubbery. It’s also easier if you nip emerging problems in the bud with more regular weeding rather than waiting for things to spiral out of control.

Weed Killer Reviews & Ratings

Is it safe to use bleach as a weed killer?

Short answer…. NO.

There are much better and safer alternatives.

Bleach is a hazardous chemical​, it will affect your soil health and leave harmful residues wherever it is sprayed.

It may also seep into ground water, try vinegar instead.​

​It can also be harmful to those critters living in your soil in addition to your local wildlife and of course your pets.

Please note, the use of bleach as a herbicide may be illegal where you live. Please check with your local authority.

How does it work?

The same things that make bleach a terrific spot cleaner and disinfectant also enable it to be an efficient herbicide​.

Bleach is poisonous to humans, the same applies to plants and other animals. It soaks into the roots of the plant destroying them as it would any other living organism.

After bleach has been poured on an area, the soil pH becomes very high, and nothing will grow there for quite some time (often several months).

How to use bleach as a herbicide:

If you really must use bleach as a weed killer then please follow the instructions below:

DO​

  • Wear safety gloves & eye protection at all times.
  • Use on a calm day to prevent accidental spraying.
  • Wait a few days before pulling out the dead weeds.
  • Try a little to test the effectiveness.
  • Exclude children and pets from the area.

DO​N’T

  • Use too much.
  • Allow kids or pets near till it’s dry.
  • Spray near plants you wish to keep.
  • Use on/near lawns or edibles crops.
  • Use near sources of water.
  • Use in aquatic environments.
  • Use on a day forecast for rain.
  • Mix with other chemicals

Bleach can either be diluted and used in a spray bottle or used undiluted and smothered in between the cracks of paving, slabs or other hard surfaces.

​Apply on a warm, calm day with no forecast for rain.

If it rains the bleach may seep into other plants or areas of your garden killing everything.

Wind may blow the bleach onto other plants or persons when spraying.

Do weeds seem to thrive in the cracks and crevices of your walkways? If so you may have encountered the solution of using bleach to kill weeds. We often come across multiple marketing campaigns and factoids that create an illusion of useful information but all sources of information cannot be trusted. Here, we will try to unravel the truth behind the use of bleach as an effective weed killer after checking the facts profusely.

Note: Bleach is considered as a pesticide by the state IF IT IS USED AS A PESTICIDE

Regardless of the fact that it’s a laundry product, consider local regulations for use

Facts about Bleach

Bleach always comes with advisory warnings and precautions since it can prove to be very harmful for humans. Bleach is often based on chlorine or peroxides.

In a household environment, bleach is used to whiten clothes, remove stains, and as a disinfectant to commonly clean bathrooms and kitchens. It is equally poisonous for plants as well. Therefore, even though it may not be the most appropriate and eco-friendly option, bleach does kill weeds. It may or may not be considered as a safe way to get rid of weeds.

Bleach seeps into the roots of weeds and instantly destroys them. It can also be an effective herbicide which works quickly by seeping into the soil to prevent regrowth. It makes the soil incapable of nurturing any plants or weeds until it returns to its normal pH level.

Instructions for Usage

For those who want to go out and try this home remedy, here are a few tips:

  • Apply only to the areas where you don’t want any vegetation, it isn’t selective at all!
  • Use on cracks in your driveway, sidewalk or patio.
  • Drench the entire weed with undiluted bleach, and leave for a day or two.
  • Pull the weeds out of the ground after one or two days (this is still to be done manually).
  • Be careful not to splash or spray.
  • Keep kids and pets out of the usage area, until you pull out the weeds!

Bleach is poisonous if ingested, and should be diluted before application. Sometimes, they just burn the top section of the plants while the roots continue to grow.

Results

Since, this is a home remedy, there are no set formulas of concentration, and neither recommended set of instructions. Different people have different ways and find different end results. Some claim it to be very efficient and cost effective, whereas some find it toxic enough to destroy their garden.

Here’s some experiences others have reported:

  1. Sometimes, the bleach just burns the top, roots remain intact
  2. Only a few leaves wilted, the next day, a few fell off….
  3. Kills anything that comes in its way!
  4. Cheaper & more organic is just to burn the weeds with a propane burner

Well, curiosity makes people do things they are not proud of, but trying this as herbicide could prove harmful to your health and garden if you’re not careful.

A Critical View by a Horticulture Expert

Robert Cox an expert on horticulture at the Colorado State University says: “Using bleach to kill weeds is not a good idea.”

The constituents of bleach are sodium hypochlorite, and the pH level is about 11.

It raises the pH level of soil and adds sodium to it as the bleach drips off leaves, making it harder to grow any other desirable plants.

The Verdict!

If you are pestered with weed growing out in your pavement, patio driveway, bleach can be an alternative because it is easily available at home, is cost effective and has fast action properties too. Although bleach is capable of killing weeds, so are a lot of other chemicals.

But for all the weed control supplies, trust the experts only. It’s always better to go with a professional weed killer to ensure you don’t unintentionally kill off the desired plants. For selective weed control in large areas and professional applications such as landscaping; leading brands such as Gallup, Roundup, Weedol and Verdone offer specialized and concentrated weed control and removal solutions.

Effectiveness: It is often more effective on mature and perennial weeds with robust root systems. But beware, because it is systemic, if a little drop gets onto another plant, Roundup will kill this too. (A stray drop of vinegar on a desirable neighboring plant will cause some browning, but probably not kill it.)

Environmental impact: As you might imagine, there are two camps on this.

An article by Weed Control Freaks, a self-described group of “Wyoming Weed Scientists,” analyzed the relative mammalian toxicity values of vinegar, salt, and glyphosate (a.k.a. how much of each chemical would result in a 50% kill rate for rats and rabbits). By this comparison it takes more glyphosate to kill a lot of rats and rabbits, which results in a lower toxicity value. Their main point was that in large doses almost any chemical can be considered toxic, while in the small amounts (like you might use in your garden) the toxicity of Roundup is negligible.

Furthermore, the Weed Control Freaks study pointed out that if you are trying not to use Roundup because it is owned by Monsanto, you should be aware that many commercial vinegars are made from corn which has been genetically modified and treated with, you guessed it, glyphosate. In other words, if you want to your DIY herbicide to be truly good for Mother Earth, you need to use an organic, non-GMO-verified vinegar in your recipe.

However, the Weed Control Freaks article did not address the potential toxicity of glyphosate on insects, particularly bees. According to a study published by The National Company of Biotechnology Information, “field-realistic” doses of glyphosate, “has longterm negative consequences on colony performances.” Another study by Environmental Health Perspectives determined that glyphosate is “toxic to human placental cells.” For me, the nail in the coffin for Roundup was this article by GMO Awareness, which sites many studies linking the herbicide to tumors and higher birth defects, not to mention the creation of glyphosate-resistant, super weeds. The EPA is currently conducting studies that test the toxicity and efficacy of highly concentrated vinegar as an agricultural herbicide.

The Takeaway

Above: Making your own “natural” weed killer is not as simple as grabbing a few items from your kitchen. Take your time and do the research. Photograph by Christine Chitnis for Gardenista.

In the end it boils down to your own priorities. If time is most important to you, then using vinegar or salt in small doses seems to be relatively safe, particularly in areas such as a driveway where you are never going to plant anything and there is no risk of affecting nearby plants. Personally, though some studies show that glyphosate in small doses is safe, I still don’t feel comfortable using herbicides that, when used in wide-scale agriculture, are toxic. If I had to choose, I would opt for an organic, non-GMO vinegar and soap solution over glyphosate.

But, if you really want to be 100 percent environmentally safe, nothing beats good old-fashioned, hands-on labor. Invest in the right tools, get down on your knees, and dig up your weeds–roots and all. (See Landscaping 101: A Garden Arsenal to Fight Weeds.) Afterward, apply a smothering layer of mulch in between your desirable plants. Then thank your weeds for affording you the opportunity for some good, meditative exercise, or at least just plain exercise, and relish the chance to be outdoors.

Above: A clover and dandelion lawn has its own beauty. Photograph by Justine Hand.

Looking for more weed-tackling strategies? See:

  • The Claw: A Tool Weeds Will Fear.
  • Why I Weed.
  • Charles Dowding’s No Dig (And No Weed) Garden in Somerset.
  • Or you could consume your weeds: DIY: Weeds you Can Eat.

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