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Lawn Care 101

How to kill weeds

6 min read

Whether you have a green thumb or a profound appreciation for nature, the one thing that nobody wants to deal with are undesirable weeds.

Weeds reduce the growth of your plants and grass. They invade lawns, smother your garden and in some cases can harm pets. They aggressively compete for water, nutrients and sunlight, resulting in a choked out, unsightly, and overgrown yard. Simply put, if you are done suffering from these pesky intruders and want to learn how to kill weeds once and for all, then you are not the only one.

At Lawn Love, we have helped plenty of customers get rid of these unwanted flora. Through the recommendations of local Lawn Pros, we are glad to share effective tips and tricks to let you say goodbye to garden weeds.

Why are garden weeds considered bad?

Before you learn how to kill weeds, it is important to know why you are deciding to remove them from existence in the first place.

By definition, the term "weed" can apply to any kind of plant that grows out of the ground without being intentionally sown.

That doesn’t seem so bad at first. Nature makes its way, right? But even with that argument in place, weeds remain quite harmful in their existence.

Weeds are detrimental to your garden

In a garden, these self-invited guests creep out of the ground, seemingly coming out of nowhere. They not only harm your plants, but also steal their nutrients. Their mere presence sabotages all the efforts that you may have put towards nurturing your flora, and all you can think of is learning how to kill weeds.

To add yet another negative point to these vexing vines, they can be particularly damaging to crops or fresh produce. This means that if you have a charming vegetable garden or a commercial crop field, you cannot protect your plants without killing some weeds.

They are quite unsightly outside of a garden setting

Out of the garden, weeds are still pretty dislikable. Whether they are growing between the cracks of your driveway or just outside of your garage, they can be unsightly and highly problematic.

Most weeds thrive under sunlight, while others take an affinity to shade. Either way, whenever these plants find favorable conditions to grow, they nab the opportunity as their literal chance at survival. They don’t stop until they have disrupted your property or gotten removed in the process. Pretty intense, if you ask us.

But even at their worst, weeds are not an impossible problem to solve. According to local Lawn Pros, you can easily kill weeds if you know what you are doing. All that it takes is knowing the right do-it-yourself (DIY) method and executing it correctly.

Weeding a concrete path

How to kill weeds without affecting your plants

One of the most common questions that Lawn Pros get all the time is about killing weeds without eliminating your own plants.

It’s an understandable concern.

Since weeds often grow close or right next to intentionally sown plants, it makes it difficult for you to get rid of these unwanted flora without affecting your own garden.

Thankfully, it is possible to learn how to kill weeds without harming the plants you have grown yourself.

Isolate weeds from other plants before using a spray. Most weed killing methods come in the form of liquid solutions. This means that you need to spray them directly on the weeds. But even when you have to kill a weed this way, you don’t have to sacrifice a nearby plant.

According to Lawn Pros, you can isolate most weeds safely before the spray, so you don’t harm your own plants in the process. The method they suggest is simple, and also widely used.

You just need to get a large plastic bottle and cut it down from its end. This gives you a bottomless bottle that you can use to isolate your target weed. If needed, you can also cut the top half of the bottle away.

This creates a circular safety boundary, which protects your other plants from getting the brunt of your weed killing concoction.

From there, you can use your weed killing spray directly on the target weed and wait for the solution to do its magic. You can then safely remove the bottle once the weed has withered away.

Farmer spraying plants

What kind of weed killing solutions can you use?

Lawn Pros recommend that you avoid using chemical weed killing concoctions without supervision. Instead, they suggest choosing organic weed removal methods that are as safe for you and your loved ones as they are for your plants.

But if you hire expert help, you can rest assured that even synthetic solutions are being used by professionals with the utmost care.

With that being said, here are common ways that help you learn how to kill weeds effectively while keeping your health in mind.

1. Use white vinegar

Whenever you are learning how to kill weeds, the white vinegar method will pop up at least once.

What you will need:

  • White vinegar - 250 ml
  • Dishwashing soap - 1 tsp
  • Optional: Salt - ½ cup

What to do:

  • Fill a spray bottle with vinegar and dishwashing soap
  • Shake well
  • Spray the solution directly on the weed you want to kill

In case you are spraying the solution outside of your garden, add the salt as well. Sodium stops plant growth, so make sure to add it only if you are not worried about soil fertility.

2. Boil some water

In case you don’t want to take any risks while learning how to kill weeds, you can simply use boiling water.

The high temperature of the water kills the organisms in weeds, and keeps them from thriving.

What you will need:

  • Fresh water - 1 gallon
  • Optional: Salt - 1 cup

What to do:

  • Boil your water until you can see bubbles on the surface
  • Pour or spray it directly on the weed you want to kill
  • Once again, you can add salt to the water to kill weeds and stop them from growing, but this will render the soil infertile

According to Lawn Pros, adding salt to boiling water is the most suitable method for pathways, driveways, and the linings between bricks or stones.

3. Get the bleach

If you want to learn how to kill weeds permanently from pathways or gaps between bricks, you can simply reach for your supply closet.

What you will need:

  • Bleach

What to do:

  • Pour or spray the bleach wherever you can see the weeds
  • Make sure to only use it on the ground you don’t want any plants to grow on

4. Use manual prevention

The only problem? Weeds can grow back.

To prevent repeated growth of these unwanted plants, you should learn not only how to kill weeds, but how to stop them from returning.

What you will need (any of the following):

  • Mulch
  • Landscape fabric
  • Newspaper

What to do:

  • Using any of the materials mentioned above
  • Cover the soil you don’t want any weeds to grow on

This stops sunlight and optimal air from reaching the soil, stopping the germination and growth of weeds.

Need more help? Call the experts!

All of these solutions are highly effective at killing weeds. As long as you are careful, you can bid farewell to these pesky plants with ease.

But there are instances when you either don’t have the time or the materials at hand. In other scenarios, you simply don’t want to take the risk of harming your plants while trying these DIY methods.

In these situations, you can simply rely on Lawn Love. With the help of our highly experienced and local experts, you can be sure to find a lawn pro even in emergencies.

To understand our process or get a free estimate, contact us today. Whether you want a consultation or a visit, we can help you get rid of weeds in a few easy steps.

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