Weekend project: kill weeds

May 27, 2011|By Liz F. Kay

I have been fighting a war against nature --- and losing.

The rear of my home sports a sad, sad patch of greenery.

Ever since the temperatures got warm, I have been spending more free time than I'd like pushing my manual mower over it. It gets plenty of sun and thus perfect fuel to cultivate fast-growing, hardy weeds.

That's why I was intrigued by the suggestions in these non-toxic household weeding and cleaning experiments, which I found via Lifehacker.

You can spray weeds with household vinegar to kill them. This takes care of the green stuff above ground, though it may take a good soaking or several applications to get the root. Be careful to avoid windy days for this task, though, because it also will harm plants you're encouraging to stick around (like grass).

The site also suggests pouring boiling water on isolated areas where weeds sprout, such as in cracks in your pavement. Salt will also do the trick.

Jim over at Bargaineering recommended last year the boiling water technique as well as a secret lawn weed killing formula.

Depending on the location, you could put down cardboard or some other opaque barrier --- weighed down, of course --- for a while to block the light. But that wasn't an effective means of getting rid of the out-of-control monkey grass in the back of my house, and I can't say that my neighbors appreciated it. 

Any low-cost lawn-and-garden tips? Please share in the comments.

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