Weeding, Naturally: Chemical-free ways to get rid of weeds

Spring has sprung, and so have the weeds. To keep weeds under control, you no longer  have to use harsh chemicals and weed killers. In fact, chemical pesticides like Roundup/Glyphosate, can actually create dry vegetation more prone to catching fire. As we have all become more conscious about fire-safety, making our landscapes healthier to help protect our homes is more important than ever. 

Besides fire risk, we are just starting to understand the serious long-term health and environmental effects of Roundup and other popular herbicides. There are many effective organic weed-control methods. Here are some of our favorites.

Boiling Water: Boil water and pour it over any undesirable weeds to burn them. This works especially well for weeds growing in cracks of pavement or cement. The water will cool as it runs off to the sides of your pavement and won’t hurt any border plants.

Vinegar and Salt: Regular 5 percent household vinegar can be used alone. It’s even better mixed with salt and dish soap. Mix 1 gallon of white vinegar with 1 cup of table salt and 1 tablespoon of liquid dish detergent. Put the mixture into a plastic spray bottle and spray directly on weeds.

Vodka: Spray a combination of 1 ounce vodka, 2 cups of water and a couple drops of dish soap on weeds with good sun exposure. This will often dry them out and kill them. It doesn’t work well in shady areas. 

Mulching: Covering the soil with an extra layer of organic matter can smother and inhibit weeds, as well as prevent new seeds from germinating. Mulch with compost, bark, wood chips, newspaper, cardboard, grass clippings, straw or most other organic matter. Don’t use hay, which can carry unwanted seeds. You can also put ground cloth, old shower curtains or other thick material underneath a pathway made of wood chips  or gravel to prevent weeds from growing through.

Goats: For a big swath of unwanted vegetation, enlist the cutest herd of landscapers around. Goats can reach areas that machinery and people simply cannot, and hooves actually rototill the soil as they graze.

If you are concerned about your rural residential community’s safety during our next wildfire, consider starting a community grazing cooperative!   This is a great tool to help you keep yourself safe from wildlife and eliminate the need to use synthetic chemicals for fire fuel load reduction. SASS can help!

**Synthetic chemicals do not keep you safe from fire.  Using Roundup leaves tall, dry weeds that burn quickly and easily.  Sonoma SASS can help give you tools to keep you and your community safe from wildfires, while you build connections in your community!   All with the assistance of grazing ruminants!**

Connect With Us To Learn More sass@conservationaction.org