Many of us in this journey called “life” are probably sick and tired of eating toxic chemicals along with our processed food, and pesticides and herbicides in our fresh produce care of Roundup, the number one pesticide being sold in the market today. Roundup, manufactured by Monsanto, is a very powerful herbicide, which means it kills most plants upon contact. And one of the plants it is being applied on are WEEDS.
Now one wants his/her fresh produce to be grown organically. But if we are going to grow our vegetables and fruits organically, we need to find a way to keep the weeds out of our gardens. Roundup’s active ingredient called “glyphosate” makes sure those weeds are kept out of the garden.
But, a study by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology discovered that glyphosate residue in our food may amplify the damaging effects of other food-borne chemical residues and environmental toxins. This can lead to the cessation of normal bodily functions and the development of diseases such as Cancer, Parkinson’s disease, infertility, etc.
So how do we keep the weeds out without using harmful herbicides and pesticides? Here a few suggestions on how to get rid of weeds using organic control farming and not having to resort to Roundup:
Minimize Digging and Tilling
If you turn over the soil in your vegetable patch, this movement will bring new weeds to grow on the surface of the soil. Try not to disturb the soil as much as possible. Dig down as far as you need to plant the seeds and not till the entire bed of soil. This method has been known to improve soil structure and fertility, and has been used by ancient people for so long.
Mulching is covering the top soil with an extra layer of organic matter to inhibit and smother the weeds that tend to grow there. You can mulch with bits of bark, compost, wood chips, grass clippings, newspaper, straw, cardboard, or other organic matter. You can also use ground cloth, old shower curtains that you can position underneath a path made of gravel or wood chips to prevent the weeds from growing up.
Intensify the Competition
Weeds can’t grow in your plant bed if there is no space for them. Try planting ground covers and perennial plants in the beds all year round. Shrubs and trees with heavy root systems can naturally prevent weeds from growing rampantly underneath the soil.
Digging the soil manually with a hand shovel, hoe or other hand tool is an effective way to remove weeds. But the weeds might grow back again so be patient. The best way is to arrest development while the weeds are still young, so they can’t seed and reproduce again.
Grow Dandelions or Thistles
Growing dandelions or thistles in the area of the weeds will weaken their roots and eventually kill them.
Regulate Water and Food
Regulate the nutrients and water your plants will need so there is only enough for everything and nothing for the weeds to grow. Some shrubs and perennial plants can do away with not being watered for some time so check it out. Vegetables may need a bit more, like squash and cucumber. Plan everything beforehand.
Vinegar and Salt
Using 5% household vinegar and applied on the weeds will keep the weeds from growing further. Mix 1 gallon of white vinegar with 1 cup of table salt. Pour the mixture into a spray bottle and spray directly on the weeds.
Solarizing weeds entails covering an area of the ground rife with weeds with a heavy plastic sheet or tarpaulin. This works best on sunny days because leaving the sheet in that place for 4 to 6 weeks will bake the weeds and dry them out.
But in certain countries and locations where the heat of the sun is quite strong, the plastic sheet is totally unnecessary since the weeds get naturally baked under the sun.
The oil in the soap actually breaks down the hairy weed leaves. Just make sure your soap is organic.
This is probably applicable only in small patches of garden weeds, since vodka is pretty expensive unless you live in the Soviet Union. Mix 1 ounce of vodka in 2 cups of water (you can add a few drops of dishwasher liquid, but make sure it does not have harmful chemicals in it). This will dry the weeds out but it’s better to do that when the sun is out.
So, do you have other creative and unconventional ideas or ways to dry weeds out? Share in the comments below.