How to control weeds organically

Weeds are one group of plants that no gardener likes, with many of them aggressively taking over the minute we turn our backs. Luckily there are plenty of organic ways to keep weeds at bay without the need for nasty chemicals. Here are some top tips from Eco Organic Garden.

Prevention is the best cure

Weeds love bare soil so keep yours covered to prevent many weeds from colonising your garden. By densely planting your garden beds there’ll be little room for pesky weeds to appear. Low-growing ground covers are particularly handy to fill any gaps between larger shrubs. Also, remember to mulch around plants to help further prevent weeds growing, but be clever and use materials such as sugarcane and pea straw that’ll break down and improve the soil.

Weeds are known to thrive not only in poor soil, but also in soil with an extreme pH range. So, test your soil and if it’s too acidic, apply eco-flo lime or eco-flo dolomite to correct it. If it’s too alkaline, add sulphur. In addition, you can improve soil quality with manure, compost and regular doses of Eco Organic Garden’s eco-seaweed. Then your plants will thrive and the weeds won’t stand a chance.

Pull weeds when they’re small and before they seed

Monitor your garden regularly and remove weed seedlings as soon as they appear. They’re not only easier to remove when young but it stops them setting seed and spreading further. Hand weed smaller areas or grab a hoe and rip through larger areas in no time. Weed after rain when the soil is moist to make the job easier. For most weeds, you need to remove both stems and roots otherwise they can re-sprout. This is especially true for stubborn weeds like oxalis and nutgrass.

Solarisation and sheet mulching

Treat large weed-infested areas with solarisation. This is where lengths of black plastic are laid over the weeds and left covered for a few weeks. The combination of blocked sunlight and built-up heat results in a good kill. Mow or whipper snip tall weeds to make the job easier and pin down the plastic with bricks, rocks or clumps of dirt so it stays firm.

Another method is to lay down a thick layer of wet newspaper on weed-infested areas. Ensure there are no gaps and then mulch over the top. The covered weeds will die and as the newspaper breaks down, it’ll improve soil.

Use organic weed spray

If you need to spray, then use Eco Organic Garden’s slasher weedkiller, which is a fast and effective registered organic herbicide. It’s made from plant oils that burn and desiccate weeds but without harming the soil. Slasher weedkiller is also safe for people and pets. Just remember to spray the weeds thoroughly for the best results. Woody weeds and those with underground bulbs and stems may reshoot and need a follow up spray. Slasher weedkiller is also great for controlling moss, algae and lichen.

Get your garden under control

View the full Eco Organic Garden range available at your local Bunnings.
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Health & Safety

Please make sure you use all equipment appropriately and safely when following the advice in these D.I.Y. videos. You need to be familiar with how to use equipment safely and follow the instructions that came with the equipment. If you are unsure, you may feel it is safest to consult an expert, such as the manufacturer or an expert Bunnings Team Member.

Grave health hazards are linked to asbestos, which may be in homes built up to 1990. Health hazards may result from exposure to lead-based paints in older materials and copper chromium arsenic (CCA) treated timber. For information on the dangers of asbestos, lead-based paint and CCA treated timber and tips for dealing with these materials contact your local council's Environmental Health Officer or visit our Health & Safety page. You can also use a simple test kit from Bunnings to indicate the presence of lead-based paint.
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