(This post has been contributed to. You can learn more about my sponsored and contributed posts in my disclaimer.)
When it comes to family life, nothing beats a garden your kids can play in. Families in apartments and even in some homes would do anything for an outside space. And, those of us who have this benefit should remember how lucky we are. Every kid deserves the opportunity to play outside when they want to. Time spent outside is good for exercise, education, and a myriad of other things.
(Related post: 6 Things Every Kid Should Do Before They Grow Up)
But, if you don’t take proper care of your outside space, you’ll soon find that you can’t leave your kids to play there. The area will become overcome and riddled with weeds which you don’t want kids getting hold of. This is especially the case for those with toddlers. You don’t need us to tell you that your little one will put things in their mouth the moment they get hold of them. Certain garden weeds are toxic and could do real damage if ingested.
With that in mind, it’s essential to keep on top of the weed situation in your backyard. There is, of course, one small issue. Use of toxic weed agents can do just as much, if not more damage if your little one gets hold of them. So, you can hardly spray the garden in the same way you would have before. Instead, you need to turn to natural ways to whack weeds into shape. Luckily, we’re going to look at a few of the methods you might want to fall back on.
It’s getting hot out here
In truth, there’s no need to turn to toxic methods when you have a kettle and some water to put in it. Boiling water is a fantastic way of stopping weed growth in its tracks as it kills plant growth on contact. In no time, you’ll be able to rid yourself of those pesky weeds. All it takes is pouring water straight from the kettle onto the problem areas. This is especially useful for annual weeds at certain times of the year. It can be helpful in getting rid of perennial weeds as well. Even better, you should start to see results as little as an hour after use. The hot water will kill the plants if poured on the leaves and stem, and cause them to wilt. Then, you can pull them up easily.
Bear in mind, though, that this method is best left for weeds in pavements and oily areas of your garden. Boiling water will also kill your grass. So, pouring from the kettle straight onto those pesky lawn weeds would be a costly mistake for sure. Mud garden, anyone?
You’ve got the power
If hot water doesn’t heat up your weed battle, you could always attempt to overpower the weeds in question. This works exceptionally well on lawns, using a method called aeration. This service is offered by companies like Atkins and involves punching holes into the soil on your lawn. These holes then provide space and nutrients for your grass to grow strong and healthy. These, in turn, will help your lawn fight weeds. If you enjoy the results, it’s also possible to buy aeration tools of your own and keep the practice going. The method is especially useful in fall and spring. These are the times in which your lawn could do with a little helping hand for the coming season.
Equally, simple lawn care tips, such as watering your grass and mowing, can help tackle weed worries. The healthier your grass, the more chance it has of beating weeds to all that nutritional lawn-packed goodness.
Weeds which can’t breathe
Smothering weeds also seems to be a favorite non-toxic option. You don’t need us to tell you that any plant needs water and light to survive. Without these conditions, it doesn’t stand a chance. The weeds will wither, much like your houseplants do when you don’t put them near enough to the window. Only, in this instance, that result would most definitely be desirable.
Again, you need to bear in mind that this isn’t a practical option for lawn weeds. You would only manage to smother your grass as well. But, for plants on the periphery or sprouting from bare soil, this could be the ideal solution. You can even make this work in your flower beds by making holes in the paper for your flowers. Then, all it takes to achieve the desired effect is some wet newspaper, and mulch to spread on top of it.
The long haul
And, of course, you could always remove those weeds by hand. Sometimes, you can’t beat getting down on your hands and knees and tackling the issue this way. It’s undoubtedly one of the most reliable means of addressing the problem. If you get to the root of the issue (pun intended), then you shouldn’t have to worry about those weeds again for some time. Tools such as weeders can make this task easier to tackle, as can softening the ground before you begin. Make sure you aren’t leaving anything behind which could lead to regrowth, too.
Aside from keeping your lawn healthy, this is one of the only ways to tackle lawn weeds. And, after you’ve done this one, you’ll find that it isn’t quite the task you’re expecting. Weeds may spread fast, but you can act more swiftly by checking your lawn each morning. That way, you can pull weeds as soon as they appear, and save yourself being out there tugging roots for hours on end.
A final word
In truth, few of these are long-term fixes for weed growth. But, the same can be said for toxic weed killer alternatives. Even so, returning to these methods whenever you spot an infestation can ensure your kids are safe to play whenever the mood takes them. Even better, you won’t have to wait until the area is safe to let them out again. With a method like the boiling water technique, they can head back out in a matter of hours.