Lawn & Garden Lawn Care

7 Weirdly Effective Ways to Weed

There's nothing more frustrating than seeing weeds flourish in your garden while the veggies and flowers languish. Even worse is seeing weeds pop up in those hard-to-pull areas between flagstones or within concrete expansion joints. Yet, while we hate weeds, we're just not comfortable dousing our yards with harsh, weed-killing chemicals to take care of the problem. That's where these effective and affordable options come in.

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Table salt, while great for seasoning, is not good in large amounts for plants—or any of us, really. Using a ratio of three parts salt to one part water, dilute the salt until it’s thoroughly dissolved, and pour it directly on the weeds you want gone. Be incredibly careful where you pour, especially if the weeds are close to plants you want to keep alive. Too much sodium can damage the root structure of surrounding plants.

Related:  9 Natural Ways to Kill Weeds


If you’re still a fan of the print newspaper, give yours a second life in your garden. First, douse the plot with ample water. Then, lay your newspaper down around your plants on top of the weeds, and wet it with the hose (this will prevent it from blowing away). Cover the newspaper with a few inches of mulch, and you’ve got a very happy and weed-free garden!


Vinegar is one pantry staple that does so much, but still manages to stay so humble. Take an empty spray bottle, and fill it with vinegar. Then, using the stream setting on the nozzle, spray vinegar on the weeds, even in those hard-to-weed areas like the crevices between flagstones or on your sidewalks.

Burn Them

Yes, really—killing weeds with fire is safe and controllable with a weed burner. Rather than wasting precious time pulling weeds, walk about in early spring and summer burning tender seedlings. Burning weeds requires the least effort when the plants are small, so start early. For best results, wet the soil thoroughly before using a weed burner.

Related:  8 Top Tools for Taming Your Landscape


One of your easiest options? Spreading three inches of bark mulch over your garden beds. The mulch will block the sunlight, and the weeds will lack the strength to push through. Just don’t try to skimp on how much mulch you layer. Too little, and you’ll soon see sprouts popping up here and there.

Related:  The Invincible Yard—12 Ideas for Lazy Landscaping


Here’s another household liquid that will do the job just fine. Pour undiluted bleach right on the weeds. It will help dry them out and lead to their ultimate demise. As with some of the other substances on the list, you’ll want to take extra care if you’re pouring bleach around plants that you do want to keep alive.

Walnut Sawdust

Wood shavings work similarly to mulch. Walnut sawdust, specifically, contains a chemical called juglone that is toxic to plants. This is good news for anyone trying to stamp out weeds. Simply sprinkle it anywhere you don’t want weeds cropping up.

Weed 'Em Out

Chemicals and expensive landscaping treatments aren’t necessary when you have these clever and effective weed removal tips.