Weeds are the gardener’s public enemy No. 1.  Many people resort to using chemicals as a quick way of eradicating the dreaded dandelion, but these chemicals can leach into any fruits or vegetables you have planted. They can also affect your soil and make their way into groundwater. However, there are ways you can stop the spread of weeds without chemicals. Here are a few methods you can try:

1. Crowded house. Crowding out weeds with thick lawn cover is a great place to start. Weeds like to take over open spots, so keeping your lawn thick means weeds have fewer places to grow. Mow your lawn high and fertilize to keep your lawn competitive.

2. Here’s to health. You’re not the only one who needs to stay healthy; your lawn does too. Plant healthy plants that crowd out weeds, then keep your lawn and garden well aerated and well-drained with healthy soil. This gives your plants a fighting chance against invaders.

3. Till time. Loosening your soil can help manage weeds and help your desirable plants to grow. However, tilling can also rotate dormant weeds and bring them back to life. Till your soil deep enough (more than 4 inches) to bury those seeds so that they cannot grow, and remove actual weeds to prevent them from taking hold.

4. Mulch mania. Adding mulch is crucial in preventing the growth of weeds because it helps block the sun that helps weeds germinate. Mulch has the added benefits of improving the health of your soil, adding nutrients, and reducing water loss. You can use many items as mulch, ranging from more decorative cedar chips, straw, cardboard, and even newspaper. Just make sure your mulch doesn’t contain weed seeds.

5. Organic herbicides. Not all herbicides are created equal. Some are made of natural ingredients, such as concentrated vinegar.
These may not be as effective in killing larger, more established weeds but can help prevent younger, smaller weeds from growing. Also note that vinegar does not discriminate, meaning it will kill anything, so be careful where you use it.

Getting rid of the weeds in your garden doesn’t have to require the use of harsh, dangerous chemicals. By spending a little time every day in your garden, you can enjoy some fresh air, get some exercise, and best of all, slowly but surely transform your garden into a healthy and vibrant outdoor sanctuary

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