Gardening is a great way to save on your food bill, for living lightly on the earth and consuming the freshest food possible. Gardening also means some work is involved, including weeding. Here are some ways to deal with weeds in an organic way, with an eye on keeping within a frugal lifestyle budget.
1. Pulling weeds, especially before ether blossom and set seed seems like a no brainer. However, not only is it an organic and frugal approach, it allows you to be up close and personal with your plants. This ensures you know when is a good time to harvest and not lose out on valuable food rotting away and also can nip things in the bud by watching for pests that may be trying to feast on your plants. It is also a really good feeling to hear that ripping sound as the weed gets pulled free of the soil, knowing it will not draw moisture and nutrients away from your garden plants. Who says gardening is always gentle?
2. Smothering weeds with layers of newspaper will exclude sunlight to the weeds, causing them to die. The newspaper also will eventually rot away, adding to the fertility of your soil. Occasionally some weeds may make it through the newspaper but they are very easily pulled up.
3. Pouring boiling water on the smaller weeds should cause them to die within a few hours. Be careful not to accidentally splash the water on yourself or desirable plants. Instead of boiling water specifically for this task, using leftover water from cooking pasta or potatoes can be used for even more savings.
4. Salting weeds with regular table salt can cause the weed’s foliage to curl up and die within a few sunny hours. This will need to be repeated as it does not initially kill the roots, however after several applications usually the roots are so weakened the weed will eventually die. Be careful to not salt desirable plants as the salt does not discriminate. This is an inexpensive way to get rid of thistles and burdock.
5. White vinegar is useful to spray or pour onto weeds growing by foundations or in sidewalk cracks. You can also put a few drops of liquid dish detergent into the vinegar creating a sticky solution that adheres to the weeds.