October 12, 2011

How to Kill Weeds

What is the best and most effective way to terminate weeds?

Every year millions of Americans suffer from over grown weeds in their yards, but it isn’t just a problem for the U.S. it is a worldwide pandemic… sort of. Weeds always seem to find their way back into our lovely gardens or gorgeous lawns, so what do we do?

Weeds are like Belly Fat

Weeds really are like belly fat. No matter how hard you try (or think you are trying), it keeps coming back. You work and work for HOURS and they find a way to creep back into your life.
You try new things, you spend money on new products, and you might see some results for a few days but then suddenly..

it's back.

And you start over. Pretty soon you become depressed and start blaming yourself because surely you must be doing something wrong, right? You start thinking that maybe you are just not good enough. You were never meant to have a flat stomach or a weed-free lawn.
This leads to you eventually giving up, quitting. Throwing your hands up and saying, "Screw this! I'm not even going to care anymore because nothing I do is good enough!"

I'm here to help.

Getting Rid of Weeds is Easier than Getting Rid of Stomach Fat

The key is making time and setting up a routine. Just like exercise, you have to do it consistently in order for it to make any difference at all. But the thing about exercise is that it needs it to be a daily ritual. Starting out, it probably won't hurt to work on your lawn a little bit each day but once you get to the point to where you're just keeping it weed-free, you're looking at once, maybe twice a week tops.

Once a Week

Be strict with yourself. The obvious time for yard care is Saturday morning. Tell yourself that every Saturday at 7am, you are going to be out in the yard picking some weeds. Pick and pull until they're all gone. If you are doing it consistently each Saturday, there is no way you are going to find yourself up to your neck in weed problems.

Weed Killers

The best way to kill weeds is doing so with the environment in mind. Here are some Eco-Friendly Options For Weed Control:
  • Hand Pulling - More of that in a minute.
  • Boiling Water - For weeds in sidewalks, driveways etc, you can pour boiling water directly on the weed.
  • Corn Gluten Meal
  • Solarization
  • Hand Torches
  • Mulch


When choosing and herbicide you need to decide if you are green or not.
There are some awesome eco-friendly herbicides available that are said to do a really good job.
Like I said, this is the way to go because the environment suffers when you use poisonous chemicals on your lawn.

Picking Weeds By Hand

If you have a few weeds popping up here and there in your flower bed or around your yard, the best thing you can do is take the time to pull the weeds, one by one, by hand. Get down and dirty and make sure you pull up the roots.
The nice thing about picking weeds by hand is that you see the results instantly. With weed killers you don't really know if it's going to work and even when it does work, it doesn't work right away.
Pulling weeds can be a relaxing and meditative exercise. Turn on some music that puts you in a good mood and lose yourself in pulling weeds. Don't think about how terrible and nasty they are for ruining your yard. Think about how much joy it brings you to kill them! ;)


Some people shoot themselves in the foot because of the way their sprinklers are set up. Some over-water their lawns to the point that weeds are fed more than they deserve. Meander on over to your Orbit water timers and check to make sure you are not running your water for more than 10 minutes a day. If you are watering your lawn every other day or something like that, adjust accordingly. You lawn doesn't need more than 70 minutes of watering a week.

For the Harder to Pull Weeds

Some weeds twist and twine within each other and are just a pill to pull. More still, they are too strong for weed killers like Round-Up and Exterminator.
Some examples of stubborn, unwanted plants are Bermuda grass and Crab grass. If your lawn is over run with Crabgrass, a great organic "weed and feed" product is corn gluten. As an organic preemergent herbicide, corn gluten will suppress crabgrass germination like it's nobody's business!

Just get after those weeds (and maybe hit the gym, too)!


Phil Goold is a retired landscaper of 30 years. He loves being outside more than anything else, except maybe pie. He enjoys connecting with other landscapers and gardeners because everyone brings something new and fun to the table. Connect with Phil on Twitter and Google+.

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