A Weed Killer That Lasts Forever?

Are you searching for a “permanent” weed killer? “natural” weed killer, an “organic” weed killer?

magic weed killer

“Kills weeds, not lawns”

“6 months of control with one application”

“New chemistry effective on over 200 weeds”

Don’t be fooled. There is no silver bullet to make weeds magically disappear.

Sure chemicals work. They work really well. But their effect is not limited to the weed itself, regardless of marketing claims. There’s a downside.

An herbicide will make a broadleaf “weed ” disappear from your lawn, but at the expense of the soil and biology beneath (and maybe your evergreen trees, as we saw with imprelis).

Read: The ecosystem in your lawn’s soil and why it’s important

And then there’s the organic weed killer solution of white vinegar and dish soap . Spray it on an annual weed, and most will slowly die back, but it’s not effective on perennial weeds like thistle. It’s less harmful than a registered herbicide, but also a poor long term strategy. Use too much and the soil becomes too acidic to grow anything for months. I only recommend the white vinegar solution for use between pavers, cracks in cement, driveways, or stone paths where no plants at all – weeds or otherwise – are wanted.

And don’t get me started on fabric weed barriers. Worse than useless.

Read: The weed barrier myth

Chemicals in a vegetable garden are a terrible idea, unless you’re fond of ingesting them. This includes mulches with pre-emergent chemicals added (like preen). The best way to “kill” weeds in your flower or vegetable garden is to pull them by hand or use a tool like a stirrup hoe. Then mulch the beds with organic material.

In your lawn, you can control weeds by creating soil conditions in which grass will not only grow, but thrive. More grass equals less weeds. The only sure, lasting way to control weeds in your lawn is with simple, cultural solutions: corn gluten meal, a mulching blade for your mower, cutting the lawn at the proper height, proper seeding in fall, and organic amendments like compost.

Pull weeds as soon as you see them and they rarely get out of control.

Read: Tips on weeding your garden and lawn

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About Todd Heft

Todd Heft is an organic gardener and freelance garden writer who lives in the Lehigh Valley, PA and has gardened for most of his life. When he isn't writing or reading about organic gardening, he's gardening. His first book, "Homegrown Tomatoes: The Step-By-Step Guide to Growing Delicious Organic Tomatoes In Your Garden" is available on Amazon now. Google

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