Maintaining a garden is not an easy task, especially when you have to tackle weeds. The notorious plant species invade every garden until you take proper care and measures to prevent them from staying.
With the most non-toxic and eco-friendly way of manually removing them by hand, the process is quite tedious. If sitting outside on a sunny day and plucking each one out by hand is not your cup of tea, then the following hacks will save your back. These non-toxic alternatives are an easy source to follow and an effective measure against the unrestrained growing weeds.
Table Salt/ Rock Salt
The salts are a dehydrating agent that draws water from the plant. Water is an important part that runs all the metabolic processes of a living system, including plants. A constant state of dehydration will ultimately result in wilting of the plant. Any salt (table salt or rock salt) will serve the purpose.
However, take proper care as salt does not selectively affect weeds. Hence, if used randomly, your precious flower bed may too wilt along with the weeds.
Vinegar contains 5% acetic acid by concentration. More the concentration of the acid, the more potent it is in killing the weeds. However, small weeds can be managed by vinegar only.
Acetic acids are weak acids; therefore, they decrease the pH of the soil. Each living creature has a specific pH range where it can carry out its metabolic processes. A decreased pH may cause the weeds to wilt and die. But, to see the result, you may have to apply it several times. Since they are weak acids, they rapidly dissociate in water to make the soil safe and acetic acid-free.
The boiling effect has a similar impact on plants as much it has on us. Pour hot boiling water onto the plant roots and see them wilt away within one or two hot-water treatments. As the boiling water reaches the plant root, they absorb the water. However, the hot water results in the breakdown of the cellular structure, killing the plants.
Much in line with the table salt method, spraying the weeds with baking soda will wilt the plant by absorbing moisture. You can increase the potency of the weedicide by adding a teaspoon of citric acid or vinegar itself.
If you are using some chemical weedicides, but fail to see any observable difference, then your water may be the reason. Some believe that weedicides in soft water show considerable effect than in hard water. This is because, chemically seeing, a component of the weedicide (glyphosate) forms bonds with the ions present in hard water, and hence, fails to combine with the target plant.
Why Not Weedicide
These are chemicals that are toxic to plants, humans, and the planet. Though the chemicals kill the weeds, they seep into the soil and contaminate it and groundwater levels. The weedicide present in the soil is taken up by the plants, which we later consume. The toxin also finds its way to us through the waters.
Thus, the toxins undergo biological magnification, getting concentrated in the bodies of higher animals. Though they may not kill humans, there may be severe side effects resulting from consuming weedicides.
How To Apply The Hacks?
A careful application is mandatory if you want to save your garden. An efficient way for this is using spray bottles. Using the spray jet instead of fine mist, squirts water directly onto the plants’ base, avoiding the neighboring desirable ones.
Why Get Rid Of Them In The First Place?
Weeds are an eternal enemy in any gardens-one because they are unwanted; second, they compete with the desired plants decreasing their growth. With their better growth rate, they quickly increase and, in no time, cover up the entire space choking the good plants. Thus, they compete for space, sunlight, water, and nutrition.
Some weeds are harmful. Weeds’ presence is an attraction for the other insects that feed on the crop, hiding them in its foliage. All this results in weeds being highly undesirable in any form of gardening.
Weeding is an inevitable process of gardening. But choosing a sustainable and better option to weed is possible. Undoubtedly, these methods may not be as efficient as the chemicals and may require more than one treatment, but small efforts towards a better living contribute a lot in the long run. Hence, for a ‘green’ green garden, opt for these non-toxic weedicides.