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Natural and organic weeding, which of these methods work for you?

Natural weeding techniques

Weeding has always been the starting point of many questions. How can undesired growth be removed without polluting the Earth and our environment?

Can we weed naturally and efficiently, without using noxious herbicides that would seep into our plants and our bodies?

There are a great many ways today to succeed without using chemical products at all!

Also interesting: crowd weeds out with ground cover plants!

Mulch – weed-killer, ornamental, top performer!

mulchThe new trend of mulching, with its many colors and materials to choose from, adds a touch of aesthetics to the garden while dealing with the undesired weed problem.

Mulch can stem from a plant-based source like pine bark, flax, hemp, poplar bark and cocoa hulls, or it can come from mineral materials, like pozzolana, shale, slate or crushed shingle shards.

  • Its main advantage is to create a light-blocking opaque barrier between the soil and the air, which reduces weed growth.
  • It is perfect for shrub and perennial flower beds, for the vegetable patch or your garden boxes.
  • Mineral mulch is extremely durable and long-lasting.
  • Plant-based mulch must usually be renewed every 2 or 3 years.
  • As an added advantage, plant based mulch also doubles as a source of food for your plants and soil.

→ Read also: our report on mulch.

Thermal weeding

Even though it is gas-powered, we can still consider thermal weeding to be much cleaner than using chemical herbicides.

Thermal weederWhen you heat the superficial air-born parts of weeds, it usually kills the plant. The weed is browsed with the flame, which creates a fatal thermal shock.

This system is one of the most recent developments in manual weeding and should have a golden age ahead since its advantages are many.

  • Apart from the need to purchase the equipment (startup cost), this method is one of the cheapest in the long run.
  • Clearing weeds from terraces, walkways and walls certainly has the cleanest and quickest results.
  • Not recommended for wooden terraces or decks…
  • The technique is to run the flame for 1 or 2 seconds on the weeds.

Disadvantages of thermal weeding

  • The impact isn’t immediate since plants must still wilt and die, and sometimes a second run is required 10 days later.
  • Usually, propane and butane are derived from petroleum, but newer sources from natural gas are appearing.
  • It’s an open flame, which is dangerous and can set things on fire.

Blocking out with geotextile sheets

Geotextile films are an effective way of dealing with the proliferation of weeds.

Landscaping fabric against weedsWidely used by municipalities to create shrub and plant beds, weed control fabric can be environmentally friendly if materials used are biodegradable such as coconut fiber or burlap cloth. It’s convenient and durable. Less so than plastic sheeting, but at least you’re feeding the soil, not killing it.

All you need to do is to spread the fabric on the ground and make a hole in it where you wish to plant, and you’ll be fine for a few years.

.Although the price is a bit expensive at the beginning, it is very economical because it lasts for several years.

  • Easy to use, it also lets rainwater and excess watering seep in.
  • Not as appealing as traditional mulch, it still is possible to play on colors.

Tilling devices and manual tilling for weeding

Rototiller to chop up weedsRototillers, either electric or gas-powered, are an effective means to fight weeds.

But not all of them! Don’t use it against either bindweed or quackgrass!

Even if a gas-powered engine isn’t so eco-friendly, it still helps avoid using chemical products.

So if you’re up to it and are a die-hard eco-warrior, go ahead and weed manually using a hoe.

manual weedingFor larger areas, tools like a grelinette or a spading fork are a big help, too. This it certainly the best way to rid yourself of weeds without having any impact whatsoever on the environment!

Images: 123RF: dolgachov, Gabor Tinz; Pixabay: Ivan Ilijas, Radoslaw Kulupa
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