Bio-Degradable Weed Suppression and Green Compost
3 Ways How to Get Rid of Unwanted Weeds Without Using Toxins.
27 October 2016
Sometimes the cold days are a big turn off from going out into the garden, and as a result, we can end up with a lot of weeding to do come to Spring, which means a lot of hard work before we get to the good part of gardening.
Why are weeds an issue?
The problems that weeds propose include a long few days of pulling them out before being able to garden, or sucking all of the goodness from the soil. Sometimes we also look to poisons to fix the issue, which can be toxic to us and the environment. Fortunately, there are a few poison-free methods to not only eliminate weeds but enrich soil at the same time.
How to Treat for Weeds without Toxins
Option 1: Using Cardboard or Newspaper
One alternative to poisoning thick grass and deep rooted weeds is laying cardboard or newspaper. This method doesn’t allow weeds to get light or nutrients, and smothers them completely. Cardboard and newspaper will degrade and add nutrients to the soil while smothering the weeds and grass and will cause no harm or leave residual toxicity for future crops. Simply placing a thick layer of newspaper, or a layer of cardboard on top of the affected area and hosing it daily will kill weeds in 2-3 weeks, and new crops can be placed immediately after. This is also a great way to recycle!
Option 2: Planting Crops that Smother Weeds
Another option is a pre-emptive strike. This can be taken by planting crops that smother weeds and don’t allow room for them to grow. This works because the plants work as both a ground cover and a guard from the weeds getting light and nutrients due to being widespread.
A good time to allow is 8 weeks for the crops to grow, and then 6 weeks after turning them into the soil before planting new produce. Alternatively, you can let them grow and smother the weeds, and then pull them out when you’re ready to place your veggie patch or flower bed.
The following plants work wonders for this method.
Option 3: Green Compost Crops
The last way to prevent weeds is to fill prospective garden beds with green compost crops. These crops will not allow room for weeds, and can also be used as green compost. By turning them into the soil after flowering, they will add nitrogen and promote garden friends such as worms.
The best plants for this method are as follow:
Nut GrassDoes Option 1 work the same for Nut Grass. It is a very hard weed to get rid of permanently??Chris Grange, 3 November 2016
I am not really sure about Nut Grass so sorry, but I found this article that might be helpful: http://centenarylandscaping.com.au/garden-tips/nutgrass-a-tough-little-nut-to-crack/
Oxalis RemovalWhat is your suggestion to remove the Winter prevalent Yellow Flowering Oxalis, which is rampant In my garden (South African wildflower).John, 3 November 2016
Vinegar, dish soap and warm water mixed together on a hot day and sprayed on the base of the cluster will kill oxalis/wood sorrel, usually the foliage will die within 24 hours of using this method. Be sure to avoid spraying plants you want to keep. Often yellow oxalis has a bulb, so if you have time to dig or there is not much of the weed, it is possible to dig it out and remove it permanently. On more established clumps, look for a tap root as well.
weeds in lawnsis there a non chemical process for weeding lawns?r f netour, 2 November 2016
Not 100% sure these will work but you could try Pouring Boiling Water on Them, Smothering Them, Salt Them. The most traditional non toxic way is Pulling them out.
Weed suppressionGreat tips, thank you. Our very large problem garden started with clay soil and weeds. Our three dogs initially raced through and broke down everything we planted. Used newspaper, which helped with weeds, retention of moisture, etc. then we planted ground cover and plants 10 years later our very large garden is very natural looking and looks lush and lovely. We get lots of comments. Dogs are happy as they now live in a beautiful 'jungle' where everything survives.Glenys Grant, 2 November 2016
comfry and compostHow effective is comfy to aid composting? i have it self seeding all over my garden areaDonald, 2 November 2016
Comfrey is a great multi-use plant. Great for green compost and even mulching when cut. Just be aware it can throw seeds, so be prepared to turn the comfrey mulch into the dirt as you would when using it as compost. Cheers, Monique