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29 Jul

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Organic Weed Control

Weeds pose problems for your garden beds and lawns year round in Vancouver, Washington. Controlling weeds in these areas can be frustrating. That’s why many people turn to hazardous and unhealthy chemicals for a solution in solving their weed infestations. However, the same results can be achieved through the use of organic weed control methods, without the complications that come with using chemical solutions. This article will discuss several options for DIY and homemade organic methods of controlling the growth and spread of weeds on your property in Vancouver, Washington.

Pulling and Mulching

A great place to start with tackling weeds in your yard is the good, old fashioned hand-pulling method. It is best to pull weeds when the soil is wet because it makes it easier to remove the entire root system of the plant. When pulling weeds with tap roots, be sure that you pull up the entire root, otherwise the plant will quickly regrow. Directly after hand-pulling weeds, it is a great idea to lay down a 2-4 inch thick layer of mulch. Mulching prevents weeds from germinating and will greatly cut down on the amount of weeds that regrow.

Boiling Water

Pouring boiling water directly onto undesirable plants works well at killing most weeds in just one application. Although, with some plants, especially those with tap roots, it will most likely need more than one application. When using this method for weed control, bring a pot of water to a roaring boil and pour it directly on the leaves and stems of the plant you wish to remove. Be careful not to pour the boiling water on any plants you wish to keep, as this method will kill any plant that the water comes into contact with. However, if your goal is to kill all the plants growing in a certain area so that you can replant the area with new foliage, then this method will work nicely. This method also works great for removing plants in gravel, and in driveway or sidewalk cracks.


Using white vinegar to control weed growth is also a viable option. White vinegar is rated by its acetic acid, which can range from about 5% (usually the level sold in grocery stores) to 20% (industrial strength). Be especially careful when handling white vinegar that contains a higher acetic acid level, because it can be harmful to eyes, skin and even lungs. Vinegar can be put into a spray bottle and applied directly to the leaves and stems of the plants you would like removed. Be conscious of the overspray and avoid spraying desirable plants or saturating the soil.


Common table salt can be used to control weeds as well. However, it is important to note that you should be cautious of how you apply and use salt as a weed control method. Adding salt to soil can make it so nothing will grow in that area. So instead of dumping salt into your soil, follow this method. Mix 1 part salt into 5 parts water, add in a small amount of dish soap and pour the concoction into a spray bottle. The dish soap allows the salt and water to adhere to the undesirable plants and helps to keep the salt out of the soil. Before you apply the salt water to the weeds, tie back any plants that you would like to keep, and spray the leaves of the weeds. Do not saturate the soil. More than one application may be necessary to take out certain weeds.


You can also use the naturally occurring, household cleaning product, Borax, to remove and control weeds in your yard. For this method, dissolve 10 ounces of Borax into 5 ounces of hot water. After the Borax is dissolved, thoroughly mix the solution with 2 gallons of water. Pour the concoction into a garden sprayer or spray bottle and apply directly to the unwanted plants. Again, avoid saturating the soil and overspraying onto desirable plants. Furthermore, avoid getting the solution on skin.

Controlling weeds can be a frustrating endeavor, but, by following these solutions, you can naturally and organically get rid of all your unwanted plants. You will need to be diligent about any method of weed control that you use, and you may, therefore, choose to hire a landscape maintenance company to take care of these problems for you. Click here to see why you might want to hire a landscape company in Vancouver, Washington, like Urban Eden, to take care of all of your landscape needs.