If you watch TV you’ve seen the Roundup commercials featuring giddy men reciting a cheesy jingle while spraying chemicals on their drive ways and yards, all in the name of beauty. These commercials make weeds out to be the teenage acne of our lawns, and herbicides to be the cure-all for these “ugly” blemishes. Americans spend millions on herbicides each year, but what is it that makes us feel we need to do so? Who decided that weeds were not allowed in our yards? And what can we do to remove and prevent weeds in a safe way?
Here are my best answers:
I honestly cannot justify why people spend money on harmful chemicals. Herbicides are unnecessary and dangerous. Unfortunately, social expectations for beauty make us feel like our lawns have to look like there is nothing wild or natural about them. I have always hand weeded my garden. I have gone my entire life without a need for Roundup. Growing up, my mother had us kids help her weed our garden and we never used weed-killer on our lawn. In fact, dandelions were a welcomed sight on our lawn. They have many medicinal and cooking uses. We would feed dandelion greens to our pet iguana!
There are good reasons for not wanting weeds in your yard.
– You may be allergic to certain weeds.
– Weeds can inflitrate your garden, choking out and killing the plants you’ve worked hard to grow.
This is a list of ways to handle weeds without harmful chemicals:
1. Trim your lawn frequently to stop weeds before they can grow.
2. Weed your garden by hand. Wear gloves to get a firm grip and make sure to pull out the entire root.
3. Kill weeds by dousing them in boiling water or a combination of water and vinegar. Just be sure not to harm your wanted plants.
4. Cover the soil in your garden with decorative rocks. This will make it difficult for new, unwanted plants to pop up.
5. Weed preventing tarps can be purchased at any home improvement store. The tarp goes under the garden bed to prevent weed infiltration.
Do you have any other chemical-free ways of preventing weeds? Please share!