Best way to clear large area of weeds shouldn’t make you sweat. You can killing large patches of weeds organically without worrying about harming the environment and ecosystem.
Sustaining the purity of the earth is one of our priorities as permaculturalists. With non-organic weed control practices destroying the environment and human health, like glyphosate, which increases cancer risk by 41%, going organic seems more critical now than ever.
Adopting organic means of clearing large areas of weed is safe for plants, animals, and humans compared to chemicals. Using chemicals to remove weeds can produce a 40% increase in greenhouse gas emissions, which is harmful to the earth and its inhabitants.
If you want to go green and reduce the adverse effects of non-organic practices of weed clearing, stick with me as I show you how I’ve cleared my yard, flower beds and vegetable garden for years without the use of any chemicals.
Best Way to Clear Large Area of Weeds
Here are 15 ways to keep weeds off of your garden without using any chemicals:
Mulching is one way to prevent weed seeds from germinating. Using wood chips to cover the soil is organic and will prevent new seeds from sprouting. You can also use newspapers, cardboard, and old clothing to cover the soil. A 3-4 inch thick mulch would do the trick.
Hot water is an effective method of getting rid of weeds on pavements and cracks around your garden. The hot water burns weeds, and its effects are immediate. Adding a little salt can also help kill weeds faster, especially young ones. It would be best if you were extra cautious, so you don’t burn your skin. So, rubber gloves, an apron, and boots are recommended.
Planting your crops close to each other will leave no room for weeds to grow. You can have creeping crops planted in your garden. It serves as mulch and takes the excess soil space away. This way, weeds barely have soil space to germinate.
Vinegar mix helps dry out weeds. However, its acidic properties can mess with the soil’s pH and destroy any plant it comes in contact with. You’d also need to wear eye goggles and protective wear, so you don’t risk hurting yourself. A 20% to 30% vinegar formula is just the right amount of acidity you need to eradicate weed from your garden.
Flame weeders are wands connected to a propane tank with a hose. They are used to shock weeds at high temperatures that will damage their cellular walls and force them to wither. Weeds growing on fences and cracks are easily eliminated using a flame weeder. This tool operates using open flames, so be careful in the dry season to prevent a fire outbreak.
A homemade alcohol solution can also help you get rid of weeds in your garden. All you need is to mix two ounces of alcohol, a few drops of dish soap, and two cups of water. Pour this solution in a spray bottle and spray directly on weed. This alcohol solution will dry up anything it comes in contact with, so be extra cautious when dealing with your plants.
During the hot season, covering weed-infested areas with a heavy plastic sheet can dry them up. The heavy plastic sheet absorbs the heat and burns the weed right beneath it. To increase this method’s effectiveness, till the soil lightly allows weed seeds to get to the surface, then spread the plastic sheet on it for 4-6 weeks.
Laying landscape fabric on your garden before noticing any weed sprouting is a preventive method of getting rid of weeds. With this method, you can kill existing weed seeds in your soil. This helps prepare the soil for when you need to plant your crops.
At the end of winter, sprinkle salt in areas that are prone to weed-infestation. Pour a considerable amount of salt into areas that are hard to reach using a lawnmower. Applying excess salt can, however, cause the soil to be infertile.
Irrigate and Fertilize with Care
Careless irrigation processes and excessive application of fertilizer will give weeds the food supply they need to grow. Using drip irrigation, olla pots, and irrigation bags will only give your plants the nutrients they need to survive and starve weeds. Causing weeds to dry up on time.
Sprinkle corn gluten on weeds to stop weed seeds from germinating. This byproduct of the corn mill process only comes in handy when the weed seeds haven’t sprouted yet; as soon as they do, using it becomes useless.
Frequently tilling the soil will only bring buried weed seeds to the top of the soil. Instead of loosening the soil and distorting its structure, poke holes in the soil instead. This method aerates the soil and improves its structure.
Careful cultivation works on the same principle as the no-till gardening method. Frequently cultivating the soil can destroy its structure, and you’d have to limit that. Cultivating deeply will also bring the weed seeds to the top of the soil and increase their germination chances. So, cultivate carefully and use a hoe to scrape of sprouting weeds while at it.
Crop Rotation System
Crop rotation is famous for conserving soil nutrients, but most people don’t know it is an excellent way to get rid of pests and weeds. Alternating crop types for each season break the weed cycle and makes it difficult for weeds to survive in your garden. Alternate heavy feeders with light feeders, legumes with grass, row crops with close planted crops, and watch how weeds fail to germinate in your garden.
Allelopathy is a natural way of distorting the growth of weeds in your garden. Some plant species possess roots that release chemicals that can stunt other plants’ growth – in this case, weeds. Buckwheat, oats, sunflower, sorghum, and alfalfa are examples of Allelopathic plants.
What are Garden Weeds
Garden weeds are unwanted plants growing in your garden. These weeds aren’t necessarily toxic, but they compete with the plants you want in your garden and yield a 34% loss among major crops grown globally. They compete for sunlight, water, space, and nutrients your crops need to grow.
Having weeds grow in your garden can also expose your crops to harmful pests that thoroughly affect their germination and growth. Garden weeds have lots of detrimental effects on your plants, hence the need for their total eradication.
Why Do Weeds Grow in the Garden
Knowing why weeds are growing in your garden is the primary step in keeping them at bay. Since having weeds in your garden is inevitable, understanding why they are there in the first place is the only way to control their spread. Here are a few reasons why these unwanted plants are lurking in your garden:
- Sparsely planting your crops is one of the easiest ways to give room for weeds to grow. When weeds have enough ground space to germinate, it becomes easier for them to spread.
- Having a few plants in your garden can help unwanted plants grow in your garden. It is also one of the main reasons why your crops have unreasonably wide gaps between them.
- Pulling weeds from the soil leaves holes in the ground that allows weed seeds to grow. Tilling the soil brings up buried weed seeds where they can access sunlight and water for their growth.
- Environmental changes sometimes meet the condition required for certain weeds to grow.
- Weed spreading agents like wind, birds, and water can transfer weed seeds from other gardens to yours.
- Excessive application of fertilizer and water can help weed grow. Since you have put your crop in suitable condition, excess growth boosters might only be advantageous to weeds.
The Common Types of Garden Weeds
To make identifying weeds in your garden easy, here are some common types of garden weeds:
Bindweed has a striking resemblance with the wild morning glory plant. Being able to differentiate the both of them is difficult. The only way to identify the bindweed in your garden is by its thread-like vines.
These vines wrap themselves any object that they come across upwardly, as bindweed is a climbing vine. Bindweeds also have arrow-shaped leaves and trumpet-shaped flowers that are either white or pink.
Poison Sumac (Toxicodendron Vernix)
Poison Sumac is a toxic shrub that causes severe rashes when any part of it gets in contact with the skin. It also has sap that turns black on exposure to air and causes skin irritation.
In its early stage, its leaves are bright orange and turn green and shiny when they mature. Before they drop in fall, they turn red-orange.
Japanese Knot Weed (Polygonum cuspidatum)
Its bamboo-like stems can identify Japanese Knot Weed with red/purple speckles. These weeds have green rolled up leaves with dark veins when they are young.
Quackgrass (Elytrigia Repens)
Quackgrass is a perennial creeping weed usually found on the roadside. It grows in your garden when birds pick up their seeds and transfers them from the roadside. Quackgrass leaves have auricles, which are small visible protrusions at the base of the leaf.
Lamb’s Quarter Weed (Chenopodium album)
Lamb’s Quarter weed spreads faster than most weeds because its seeds are light enough to be blown by the wind. Young Lamb’s Quarter Weeds can also produce seeds and survive in the soil for a while, making it challenging to eradicate.
Seedlings grow green leaves with a blue tint at the top and a shade of purple at the bottom. Mature leaves are grayish-green in color.
Negative Effects of Garden Weeds
Having weeds in your garden has several adverse effects. In most developed countries, weeds are accountable for the loss of 5% of agricultural production. Below are some adverse effects of garden weeds: so that you can understand the severity of having weeds grow in your garden:
Shortens Food Supply
Just like your plants, weeds also need sunlight, water, and other soil nutrients to survive. However, weeds are more competitive, and they end up feeding more than your plants, which can lead to malnutrition and death of your plants. Crop yields are reduced by 50% based on moisture competition alone.
You’ll be spending more time and water irrigating since soil moisture isn’t enough for your plants to grow anymore. To keep up and strike a balance, you’ll need to wet the soil more frequently than usual.
Detrimental to Human Health
Weed also has negative effects on the health of animals and humans. Some are toxic to the skin, respiratory organs, and overall well-being.
Take up Plant Space
Weeds take up soil space that your plants should be occupying. When they take up this soil space, it becomes difficult for your plants to grow properly. Having access to sunlight becomes more difficult.
They Harbor Pests
Some weeds attract pests that might focus solely on eating your plants. Having such weeds also makes it impossible to invest in a herbicide or pesticide, as it may be detrimental to your plants too during use.
Reduces the Value of your Produce
When weed’s competitive nature has starved your plants, they won’t have as much nutritional and market value like they are supposed to.
Benefits of Garden Weed?
Just like every other earthly creation, garden weeds aren’t all about destruction. They also have advantages that make keeping them around a good idea sometimes. Below are a few of those benefits:
They Protect the Soil
Garden weeds are known for growing pretty fast. While this feature can be a reason to hate them, it also comes with its advantage. When Garden weeds grow, they protect the soil from excess sunlight, existing as natural mulch.
Weeds proliferate, which means they’re likely to die quickly too. As these weeds age, they tend to drop their nutritious leaves to the ground, serving as humus. When these leaves decay, they give their nutrients back to the soil.
The growth of weeds in your garden tells you how high or low the soil nutrient is, making it easier to detect your plants’ growth issues when the need arises.
Weeds also serve as a defense against erosion, as they are also used for mulching.
Clearing large areas of weed organically is one way to give back to mother nature and protect her from the damages chemicals might cause. Although chemical methods of weed control are quicker than organic practices, it is never really worth it in the end. These chemicals can infect food too and put health at risk.
When adopting the organic weed clearing methods, be sure to put on protective equipment to prevent accidents and exposure to toxic weeds. This way, you keep yourself safe and reduce exposure to risks.
Pick the most convenient method for your need from my list of best way to clear large area of weeds and be safe.