We all marvel at the resiliency of nature. Seeing that once scraggly Monterey pine grow tall and stout, or a sunflower sprout up improbably in an alleyway can’t help but bring joy.
Unfortunately, Mother Nature also produces some pests that are especially resilient, including weeds – an unwelcome guest taking up space in and around your landscaping. Weeds, once settled in, are hard to remove.
California has a variety of common weeds, and some species can be toxic to people and their pets. The more benign varieties trigger allergic reactions that can leave you sniffling all year long. Weeds thrive in just about any condition – even drought. And, with their seeds hitching a ride on anything that walks, flies, crawls, or even just surfing the wind, weeds can appear in every nook and cranny of your property.
Unless you’re one of the few homeowners around who isn’t bothered by weeds, you’re probably wondering how best to deal with them. There are a variety of commercially-available products sold to do the job, but also plenty of good reasons to avoid them. At the top of the list is the fact that these products use harsh chemicals that, although effective, are a danger to people, pets, and the environment. These compounds work their way into the soil and leech into the aquifer. Runoff takes them into streams, lakes, and San Francisco Bay.
You don’t want any part of that!
Fortunately, there are natural solutions that are effective and pose no environmental threat. Most use products you likely have in the cupboard right now. Others might require a trip to the store. Here are some easy-to-use suggestions:
- Vinegar: Is there anything as versatile as plain, old white vinegar? You can use it in cooking, cleaning, and weed control. Mix one gallon of vinegar with one cup of salt and a tablespoon of colorless, fragrance-free dish soap and apply it to the leaves with a spray bottle.
- Table salt: You also can kill and control weeds with just a saltwater solution, though this method is more effective on weeds that are not waxy or hairy. Simply combine one-part salt to eight-parts of hot water and spray on leaves.
- Boiling water: This is as simple as it sounds. Boiling water is as unpleasantly fatal to weeds as it is to most other living things. So, just put the kettle on and pour!
- Vodka: Too much alcohol leaves you dehydrated, right? It works the same way with plants. Mix an ounce of vodka (no need to use the good stuff!) with two cups of water and spray the leaves. This is particularly effective on a sunny day because it will dry out the weeds faster. For good measure, you can mix in a tablespoon or two of dish soap.
- Corn gluten meal: You think only humans are going gluten-free? Despite the name, this corn byproduct doesn’t contain gluten. Nonetheless, it is an effective eco-friendly weed killer that you spread around the base. There are corn gluten meal products available in garden shops and other retailers, but if you know a farmer or live near a mill, you might be able to score what you need at a lower price.
While these are all good alternatives for the environmentally-conscious property owner, there’s an even better, long-term solution for keeping weeds out of your lawn and backyards – artificial grass. Making the choice to install artificial grass comes with many benefits.
Whether you cultivate grass for landscaping, as a space for entertaining, or for your kids and pets to romp and play on, artificial grass has every advantage over the real thing. Besides being virtually weed-free, your custom yard or lawn will be evergreen. It will never require mowing or any of the other laborious, expensive, and environmentally-damaging maintenance natural grass needs. That includes no watering!
Not only does allergy-free artificial grass look and feel like natural grass, Heavenly Greens has products designed specifically for pets and kids. It means no more exposing them – as well as you and your neighbors – to the dangers of pesticides and other toxic chemicals used to maintain real grass.
Don’t you have better things to do than deal with weed control and the rest of all that yard work? Not only is your natural lawn expensive to maintain, but it contains allergens as well. Making the switch to artificial grass takes care of all those problems we mentioned above. Check out your options at Heavenly Greens. You might even be able to skip the neti pot routine!