Friday, January 19, 2007

Lawn Care - Organic Weed Removal!

lawn care

Materials you will need for organic weed removal include:

Landscape fabric
Plastic bags

Practising organic weed removal and prevention will not only save you some money, it will also allow you to play in the dirt like when you were a child.

In order to prevent new weed growth, you should consider one of these methods:

Soil Solarization - If you are starting with a bare lawn, meaning that you have built a house and are now trying to grow a lawn, you can try a method called Soil Solarization.

Depending on how big your yard is, you may need to hire some help for a day or put your children to work. Soil Solarization is done by tilling the soil, removing all tree stumps and other growth including thatch, and raking the soil to pull up any weeds that are beneath the ground. In effect, you are cleansing the soil. See why you may need help?

Relax! You do not have to do this for your entire yard. You can choose to use Soil Solarization just in those areas where you will be planting flowers and shrubs; this should cut down on the amount of your yard work.

After you have tilled the soil and removed all sign of weeds, you should place landscape fabric on the area. Landscape fabric is a thin plastic sheet that will allow light, water, and nutrients into the soil, but will prevent new growth of weeds by not allowing the seeds to deposit in the area. You can find landscape fabric in any home garden supply store. You can also use black plastic garbage bags, but be forewarned that these bags will not allow a lot of sunlight or water though the soil and will retain too much heat.

Once the landscape fabric has been positioned, you should secure it with cinder blocks or heavy rocks. Let the fabric sit for six to eight weeks. The sunlight will penetrate the fabric and literally fry any remaining seeds from weeds before they have a chance to grow.

This is an easy, inexpensive way to reduce the number of weeds from the beginning.

Bear in mind that like pesky in-laws, you will always have to deal with weeds. Taking steps like this one will help you reduce the number of weeds in your lawn considerably.

Landscape fabric over existing plants – If you already have plants and flowers on your lawn, but you want to protect them from weeds, you should first weed the area thoroughly. Remove all rocks, twigs, and other debris. Then you should lay landscape fabric down and cut holes so that you can push the plants and flowers through. Make sure the fabric is laying flat.

This should prevent the growth of many new weeds.

The next step for both methods is to lay mulch over the landscape fabric. This will provide nutrients for plants and flowers, but will not encourage weed growth as much as soil does. You have options when it comes to the type of mulch you want to use:

Black plastic
Stone mulches
Organic material mulches

You should only use black plastic as a last resort. Many people will use this instead of landscape fabric. But black plastic may end up harming your plants because of the amount of heat that is trapped between the plastic and the soil.

Stone mulches will also draw in heat, but not as much as black plastic. Stone mulches will not decompose, but are hard to keep clean. This type of mulch will not provide many nutrients and will require more work on your part to keep your lawn looking its best.

Organic mulches are the best type of mulch because even though it will decompose, its rate of decomposition is much slower when placed over the landscape fabric. Not only is it filled with nutrients and moisture, you can use your leaves and other debris from the yard to create the mulch. All you will need is a mulching machine. This is inexpensive and a great source of food for your plants.

Keep in mind that unlike chemical removal, you will have to change the mulch each season and maybe the landscape fabric as well. You should repeat the Soil Solarization process once a year to help irrigate the soil and keep it healthy. Since the leaves will fall each year, you will always have a steady supply of mulch.

Other remedies for weed removal include:

Corn gluten
Baking soda

While these home remedies will only kill certain weeds, it doesn’t hurt to try. Corn gluten will kill crabgrass, while vinegar will kill dandelions. Baking soda can also help to kill dandelions and other broadleaf weeds.

Your war with weeds is not over yet. Learning how to weed can oftentimes be just as effective as using chemicals and organic weed removal methods. By using the methods above, you will be able to spend less time weeding your lawn. Mowing, aerating, and raking will also help, but you will have to be diligent about using mulch, covering your soil with landscape fabric, and weeding those that somehow make it through your protective barrier.

Terry Blackburn. Internet Marketing Consultant, living in South Shields in the North-East of England. Author and Producer of blog Author of "Your Perfect Lawn," a 90 Page eBook devoted to Lawn Preparation, Lawn Care and Maintenance. Find it at

I would be very interested to have your comments on this Article.

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