July 14, 2010
If you’ve had enough of hand weeding then try these ideas.
Sheet Mulching: It’s a bit like setting up a no dig garden – where ever you see a persistent patch of weeds, cover it with a 6-7 sheet layer of wet newspaper (make sure the sheets are overlapping) then follow up with a 100mm thick layer of mulch. Problem solved!
Vinegar: The acetic acid in vinegar makes it a useful weedkiller. Simply pour some cheap vinegar into an atomiser and spray directly on weeds. Vinegar is non-selective, so avoid spraying it on windy days where the drift may affect other plants.
Boiling water: Whenever you make a cup of tea, take the kettle out into the garden and pour the remaining water directly onto your weeds. They’ll be dead and forgotten in seconds. This is a good method for weeds in pavers and cracked concrete.
Difficult weeds: Plants like oxalis and onion weed can be difficult to control. Digging tends to make things worse because the bulblets always break off into the soil and regrow. Try a favourite tip of Jerry Colby-Williams - dribble vegetable oil onto them so that it can coat and smother the bulbs to death.
Commercial options: Look out for some of the natural weed control products available. Some are based on pine oil, others on clove oil and citric acid. I’ve never used them, but if you have, let us know about your experiences in the comments section below. If you have a large garden, you may find it worthwhile investing in one of the steam weed control units on the market which I believe work well.