A huge amount of profits from big garden centres is on chemicals and fertilisers that have very harmful effects to both humans and animals (pets and wildlife). Did you know that dogs have a much higher rate of bladder cancer, if they are near a garden that uses pesticides (even from neighbours)? Here are safer ways to remove weeds. See make your garden safe for pets to know toxic plants and mulches to avoid.
Weedkillers have been associated with many illnesses, the most recent concern being one possibly thought to be linked to Parkinson’s disease. As well as believed to be involved in some cancers and hormonal illnesses, chemical weedkillers also harm the water supply and are harmful to children, pets and wildlife. They also keep farmers trapped in a viscous cycle of having to pay big companies to remove weeds, once used. Glyposate (a common ingredient in weedkillers) is often used by farmers, which can result it in turning up in foods we eat like bread.
Weeds are flowers too, once you get to know them. Winnie the Pooh
Although they may not be as pretty, all weeds usually have a purpose. For example, the long-tap-rooted dandelion is good to make coffee and wine! And like all plants, weeds usually help wildlife of some kind.
Weed-Free Gardening presents a clear plan to get the most tenacious weeds under control, with no need for harmful synthetic herbicides. Weeding is not anyone’s favourite chore, but not everyone can afford a landscape crew to keep them at bay, and spraying chemicals is not a smart solution for eco conscious homeowners or pet parents.
The organic approach hands you methods to prevent weeds early in the growing season, and manage weedy intruders year-round. Learn how to control annual weeds by disrupting their natural lifecycle, learn about mulching techniques, how to eliminate deep-rooted perennial weeds (like dandelions), find the most effective weeding tools, and create a plan to identify weeds, and get rid of invasive plants. Includes dozens of weed hacks, and ideas to handle areas completely overtaken by weeds.
One weed that is often noted is ragwort, as it’s poisonous to horses and livestock. However, it also supports that habitats of a native caterpillar. If you have it near horses or livestock though, you can use a Ragfork to remove it in 4 easy steps. World Horse Welfare has info on safe disposal.
Annual weeds are best removed before flowering, as they can release many seeds, meaning they go out of control. The perennial weeds will continue to grow, if the roots are not removed. All weeds can be controlled without chemicals, it just requires a little more work.
Common weeds are nettles (good to make soap and soup and dandruff remedies) and dock leaves (there is no proof that they help nettle stings, but some people sweat they work). But the leaves do provide food for small copper butterflies. Japanese knotweed is very invasive, and there is environmental legislation covering its removal.
Simple Ways to Remove Weeds Naturally
- Grampa’s Weeder has been around since 1913, and is one of the world’s most popular manual weeding tools. It removes weeds without bending, pulling or kneeling and is sold with a lifetime guarantee. Made with a bamboo handle and steel head to last 100 years, it is only 3lb and easy to carry and hold. Invented in Seattle, just centre over a weed, press into the ground, lean in and remove.
- Xact Weed Puller has three serrated stainless steel claws, to firmly grabs weeds and roots, with an easy-eject mechanism on theh andle, to clear the tool without forcing you to bend over, and remove by hand. The long handle makes weeding easy for anyone, who has trouble kneeling or bending.
- One way to prevent and control weeds is to use a barrier mulch. Never use toxic mulches near pets like cocoa mulch (poisonous), pine mulch (can puncture) or bark mulch (can choke). A good way to prevent weeds is to simply fill raised beds with peat-free soil and grow your own food that way.
- Hoeing is the main manual method that can remove most seeds. Best done on dry days with little wind, or use a small hand fork, taking care not to harm worms or baby stag beetles (those big grubs you find in soil). Or simply use your hands!
- Weed knives have a special hook, and are useful if removing weeds between paving stones. There are also tools to dig out specific weeds like dandelions, which have long deep tap-roots.