‘Causes them to shrivel’ How to kill weeds without chemicals – 4 easy solutions

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There are a startling number of weed variations, but UK gardens tend to inhabit weeds in the form of thistles, dandelions, couch grass and clovers to name a few. They have a tendency to pop up through cracks and corners of paths, but also smother large expanses of the lawn and once they appear, they can seem hard to get rid of. However, before succumbing to chemical-based weed killers, maybe consider the poison-free alternatives first.

Many herbicides contain some particularly potent and harmful chemicals, not only to the grass and plants around the applied areas but also to pets and humans occupying the grass.

Glyphosate is a particularly harmful chemical to pets and humans – especially when consumed – and also happens to be one of the most common ingredients of weed killers.

So to avoid any serious damage to the garden and those living in and around it, opting for a more natural solution is always best.

There are a number of effective, natural solutions to kill weeds, and most of these can be made up of items you probably already have in the house.

The odd weed that crops in the flowerbed or vegetable patch is best removed by hand pulling, however, on the more expansive weed plots, the following poison-free solutions work just as well as any herbicide.

How to kill weeds with boiling water

The easiest natural solution of all could quite possibly be the boiling water method.

Simply boil the kettle and pour the scalding substance over all and any hardy weeds.

The heat collapses the plant’s cell structure and within days, you’ll start to see it start to shrivel and die.

If you’re using this method on the lawn, take the opportunity to plant new seeds on top after the weeds have been removed because they’ll find it harder to re-sprout through thick and healthy grass.

How to kill weeds with vinegar and soap

Vinegar really is the jack of all trades. Not only does it make for one of the most effective bathroom and kitchen cleaning solutions, but it also makes for a superb weed killer.

Vinegar is particularly effective for treating weeds like dandelions and dock leaves, as well as the long taproots that appear in cracks of your drive.

To make the solution, simply mix white vinegar with some dish soap and douse the offending weeds with it.

However, it should be noted that vinegar is ‘non-selective’, meaning if applied to areas surrounding the weeds, it can damage and in worse cases, kill other plants.

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So be careful when applying, and stick to the driveway and paving stones when using this solution.

How to kill weeds with newspaper

You can make good use of old newspaper and cardboard by making a weed-destroying mulch for the garden.

Simply smother the weeds in sheets of newspaper and add a few inches of mulch, which can be made from leaves, garden and kitchen waste like fruit and vegetables, on top.

The lack of sunlight will eradicate the weeds, as well as prevent any more seeds from sprouting in its place.

As the materials are paper-based, it means they’ll naturally biodegrade and the addition of the mulch on top will enrich the soil and help prevent any more weeds from sprouting in the future.

How to kill weeds with lemon juice

The citric acid in lemon juice is a powerful component that “can cause weeds to shrivel” according to Gardeners’ World.

If you have more time on your hands, you can squeeze the lemons yourself however, lemon juice from a bottle is apparently just as good.

Like vinegar, this solution is always most suitable for paths, pavements and driveways.

For an even more powerful solution, add some white vinegar to the mixture.

Mixing around four ounces of lemon juice with a litre of white vinegar is a suggested measurement for the solution, and apply on a hot day for the best results.

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