The Best Natural Way to Kill Weeds

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Want to get rid of weeds in your yard and garden for good? Follow a garden's expert advice for the best natural way to kill weeds.

Woman Removes Weeds from Garden BedGrace Cary/Getty Images
Woman hand-pulling weeds from a garden bed

“Weeds have overtaken my mulched borders. I cleared them by hand and treated the area with vinegar, but they keep coming back. I’m looking for a natural way to kill weeds. What should I do?” says Pat Northington of Austin, Texas.

Vinegar just kills the tops of existing weeds. This may be enough to kill young seedlings, but it does not prevent weed seeds in the soil from sprouting. Also, since vinegar does not move from the leaves down into the roots, more established plants and perennials resprout from the roots of underground rhizomes.

Several commercial organic herbicides use essential soaps and plant oils to kill weeds. Most just burn the leaves, are most effective on small plants and require repeat applications.

Check out 12 ways to win the war on weeds.

Corn gluten meal may also help you keep weeds at bay. It’s sold under several brand names as a treatment that prevents seeds from sprouting.

For the best natural way to kill weeds, consider a combination of these options. You’ll likely have the best results. Also keep in mind that compost and mulch help healthy plants outcompete the weeds.

Next, learn everything you need to know about mulch.

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Melinda Myers
Melinda Myers is a nature and gardening writer whose specialty is attracting wildlife, especially birds, to the garden. She contributes regularly to the magazine Birds & Blooms, and lectures widely on creating gardens that please both human and avian visitors.