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Chemicals for Weeds?

Question:

There are too many weeds in my garden. Can you suggest an effective weeding chemical or else, any other suitable suggestion for it?

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Thanks,
Col (retd) H.K. Jha from Patna, Bihar, India

Answer:

H.K. Jha,

There are plenty of chemicals that work on weeds in the garden, but I'm not an advocate of using any of them, especially on edibles. There are a number of better solutions-better for your garden and better for the environment. Here are some strategies:

  • Use mulch. Cover every available bit of soil that isn't growing desirable plants with wood chips, compost, newspaper, cardboard, etc. This will block out available light and suppress weed growth.
  • Remove weeds before they have the chance to go to seed.
  • Keep weeds out of the compost pile. The last thing you want to do is replant them again in the garden.
  • Pull a few handfuls of weeds every time you're out in the garden.
  • Utilize groundcover plants. They take up space, block out sun and out-compete weeds for nutrients.

Ellen

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January 14, 20070 found this helpful

If you can reach the weeds apart from "good" plants you don't need to use chemicals. Salt will kill a lot of things. Also plain boiling water poured on will kill plant and roots. If you are talking about a very large field, I don't know. I prefer to stay away from chemicals. You will probably have to ask a professional. Good luck.

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January 15, 20070 found this helpful

Salt will also leach into surrounding soil and prevent anything from growing there for 1-2 years or more, depending on how much salt you used. So salt is not a good idea. The only place salt is a good idea is between cracks in the sidewalk where you want nothing at all to grow, ever.

In flower beds here in the US we cover the beds with weed fabric, or newspaper, to prevent weeds. Then we let the desired plants grow through the weed fabric. We use whole or shredded newspaper as they both compact quite tightly.

People also put 10 inch wide boards between rows of vegetables or flowers, and that prevents weeds from growing where we walk (i.e. on the boards). Beneficial worms also hide under the boards too.

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By guest (Guest Post)
March 8, 20070 found this helpful

I would like to make a suggestion regarding the wood chips. Don't put the wood chips anywhere near your house because they attract carpenter ants. This was told to me by an exterminator we used for carpenter ants. Use stone by the house instead.

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