Planet friendly weed control

- Salt/ vinegar treatments. Mix one cup of table or pool salt to one litre of white vinegar. Once dissolved this can be painted onto the foliage of any weed. Care is needed because any foliage that is painted dies. 

- Sulphate of Iron can be diluted at a rate of two tablespoons to one litre of water. This is a contact weed killer used on broad-leafed weeds in a lawn.  I find it's best applied through a hand sprayer directly into the centre of the weed. Leaves a dead spot.

- Black plastic sheeting can be used to pasteurize soil in beds before planting; it also works to get rid of badly weed infested lawns so you can start afresh.  This is best done when warm to hot conditions are anticipated such as in late spring or early summer. Wet soil thoroughly and cover with a single sheet of black polyethylene.  Tuck under the edges and weight down so there is no chance of it blowing away.  A week of hot day temperatures will cook the soil to a depth of around 30cm, sufficient to kill off even perennial weeds such as Kikuyu and couch.

- Mulch garden beds with chunky open, ideally composted mulch material to a depth of 50 to 75mm. This suppresses weed germination and growth.

- Plant self-mulching groundcovers to outcompete weeds.  African Daisy and the perennial gazania (pictured bottom left) do a brilliant job. For the native garden look at Grevillea crithmifolia. 

- Hoeing weeds with an arrowhead hoe is the method I like to use as it cuts the weed from its roots and I gather leafy tops for the chooks or the compost bin. 

- Talking chooks, these scratchers do a great job of hoeing out weeds.  You may need to move them pretty regularly so they don’t start digging up valuable plants as well as the unwanted weeds. 

- Sow green manure crops such as Buckwheat, lablab, mung bean, soybean and mustard seeds as a warm season crop.  As you see the first sign of flowering dig into the soil or slash before planting, say a vegetable bed.  This mixture out competes weeds and adds nutrients and compost greens to the soil. 

- Clean out tough weeds in paving by pouring boiling water over them.

- Sheet mulching can clean up an area ready for planting in around 3 months.  Water the soil then cover with overlapping cardboard or 6 to 10 layers of newspaper.  Cover this in turn with a chunky mulch to stop your paper or cardboard from being blown away, it also looks better. This works well even on perennial couch and kikuyu. 

Yellow African Daisy Weed

 

 

Bag of Baileys Fertlisers Moisture Mulch

 

Red African Daisy Weed

 

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