Gardening: How to banish garden weeds using natural methods – five top tips

Gardeners’ World: Monty Don gives advice on removing weeds

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Garden weeds can be detrimental to grass and plants. When competing for sunlight and water, they deprive other greenery of vital nutrients needed to survive. While weeds can be removed by simply digging them up at the roots, it is a time-consuming task, so other more effective methods are worth considering.

Chemicals herbicides are a popular choice to tackle garden weeds, but they can have a negative impact on soil, while harming other plants.

Applying boiling water 

Boiling water can be a simple, yet effective and natural method for targeting garden weeds.

Simply fill a bucket or container with boiled water, then pour over the weeds. 

According to Treehugger, a website which offers key advice about sustainable alternatives, the technique can be applied to unwanted weeds or large areas in the garden or driveway.

Applying water is a handy method as it won’t leave any remaining residue.

While it is an effective method, care should be taken that the boiling water is only poured over the weeds, and not neighbouring plants. 

White vinegar

White vinegar can be sprayed over weeds and will cause the plant to die.

The substance should be sprayed over the leaves. Care must be taken that surrounding soil or plants are not sprayed in the process.

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Treehugger advised that repeated applications may be needed, while a small amount of washing up liquid could be added.

Salt and vinegar mixture

A mixture of vinegar and salt, either table sale or rock salt, can be combined.

To make the concoction, add one cup of salt to around four and a half litres of vinegar. 

The mixture can then be sprayed on the leaves of the weed. 

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Treehugger suggested adding some natural oils, such as citrus or clove oil, to the liquid for maximum results.

Applying salt

Salt can be an effective natural method to target weeds and can be applied in the form of a salt spray.

To make the solution, dissolve one part salt to eight parts hot water, before adding a small amount of washing up liquid, which will help the mixture to cling to the leaves. 

The substance can be poured into a spray bottle, before being applied to the leaves.

Care should be taken that surrounding plants are not sprayed, along with driveways or paved areas as they could be left stained by the substance.

Treehugger advised not to soak the soil with the mixture.

Vegetable oil spray

Another effective homemade solution is vegetable oil spray, which combines vegetable oil with a mild soap.

To make the mixture, combine one cup of vegetable oil with one tablespoon of soap and shake thoroughly.Then, add two pints of water to the oil mixture, combine by shaking, then spray on the leaves of the weeds.

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