Ryan Womeldorf has more than a decade of experience writing. He loves to blog about construction, plumbing, and other home topics. Ryan also loves hockey and a lifelong Buffalo sports fan.
Best Way To Remove Weeds From A Large Area
In a well-manicured yard, there is nothing quite like dealing with weeds. Those ugly sprouts can bring down the overall aesthetic of any yard and can make for a huge pain to have to contend with. The larger the space, the larger the pain in the rear.
Make a solution that is 20% vinegar and 80% water, spray the large area for weeds, and avoid healthy plants. Spread cornmeal gluten around the area with weeds to help kill them and prevent future growth. Lay newspaper on the soil beds where you have weeds so that they cannot grow in a large area.
Table of Contents
Why Go Natural?
There are plenty of chemical weed killers out there, but there is one major caveat involved in using them. If there is too much of the mixture sprayed in a given area, it can damage the grass or other plants. Getting rid of the weeds is optimal and it defeats the purpose.
A natural weed killer is also generally safe for use around children and pets. Weed killers can be harmful if ingested and offer a new set of challenges when there are kids or pets present that will unknowingly consume those chemicals.
1. Vinegar and Water
One of the most popular natural weed killers is a mixture of household vinegar and water. This is because household vinegar contains acetic acid (about five percent or so) and will actually burn the leaves of a plant whenever it comes into contact with them.
For large applications of weed killer, using something in the 10-20% solution range will work much better. Keep in mind that this will also kill any plants that are in the area so either spray carefully or use this for large patches of concrete that have weeds poking through.
The upside here is that using vinegar won’t leave any kind of residue that could potentially prevent new plants from sprouting up. For reference, an acre-sized lot would require an 80/20 mixture of vinegar and water.
Quick Tip: In addition to vinegar and water, you can also try a mixture of baking soda and water, or bleach and water. Both options are effective household remedies for getting rid of weeds. Simply place the solution into a spray bottle and saturate the affected areas.
2. Corn Gluten Meal
If you’re looking for an herbicide that won’t kill existing plants, corn meal gluten is the way to go. When spread before weed seeds germinate (and after your grass or other plants have become established), sprinkle out some corn meal gluten.
Even better is the fact that the corn meal gluten will act as a fertilizer, adding a good deal of nitrogen into the soil as well. Corn meal gluten can be purchased as pellets or as a powder. The best application is to use a seed spreader to get even coverage over the entire lot and can help quell weed growth over very large areas.
Keep one thing in mind: you don’t need to mix the powder with water, but if there is no rain during the first five days after application, apply about a quarter-inch of water over the applied areas.
3. Use Newspaper
I’m sure most of us have piles of old newspaper or paper ads from the mail lying around our house. Not many are aware that paper can actually be used as a remedy for weeds. Plants cannot penetrate paper and it blocks both oxygen and sunlight from penetrating into the soil. By placing pieces of old newspaper on your lawn, you can smother already present weeds and also prevent new ones from sprouting up.
For best results, layer the newspaper with at least ten sheets, wet it a bit, and then cover with an inch or two of mulch. If you notice weeds start to pop out of the mulch, add more layers of newspaper, water, and mulch. Overtime, this will eventually decompose, cultivate the soil, and keep weeds away!
4. Pull Them!
While this may seem like the most obvious way to remove weeds from your yard, there is a proper way to do it in order to prevent them from coming back.
Always pull weeds when you first notice them, as when they are small they have much weaker roots. You can also remove weeds right after you’ve watered them or had a rain shower. With moist soil, you are more likely to get all of the weed out by the roots.
For best results, grab at the base and pull slowly to ensure that you get all of the roots out. If you are a gardener that finds tools easier and speedier to remove weeds, make sure that you choose the right ones. Select the ones that suit your particular weeding method, whether it’s kneeling or standing.
For Large Clumps of Weeds
Should you be staring down large patches of weeds, there is one completely natural remedy that will do the trick: boiling water. Before using this method, be aware that boiling water will damage and probably kill any other plants nearby, so only use this method on larger clumps of tall weeds.
Simply heat a container of water to boiling point. Wear proper protection to prevent burns and pour the boiling water directly onto the weeded area. It will kill the weeds and then simply requires cleanup after the fact.
1. Weed Flamer
Fire is to be respected and handled with the utmost care, so keep that in mind before using this application. A weed flamer is specifically used for the burning and control of weeds and is available at local hardware stores, generally speaking.
The heat will kill the weeds during each of the stages of their development. Simply hold up the flame of the weed flamer above or to the side of the weed itself. The heat generated by the weed flamer will not only burn the leaves of the weed but permeate into the stem and even down into the roots depending on how hot it gets.
This is a great permanent control method, though it can take a little bit longer to apply than some other methods. Keep that in mind with larger lots of land, though it can make for a highly effective solution.
2. Use Salt
Salt is a natural weed killer, but it does not discriminate. Sprinkling it vigorously over or around other plants will likely kill them as well. Keep this in mind before applying; heavily sprinkling an area with salt will create a nasty surprise if you aren’t expecting it.
Sprinkling the salt will have to be done by hand to provide greater control and selection. This can be time consuming with larger lots of land, so keep that in mind. Still, it is a great, cheap way to keep weeds under control without introducing nasty chemicals to an area.
There is also a noticeable difference in the different types of weeds. The smaller ones tend to be easier to manage and offer less issues when removing. Overgrown weeds, however, can wind up smothering existing plants and even create seed pods that can fall, germinate and create new weeds.
If you are dealing with overgrown weeds, begin by assessing the situation. Look for any seed pods or heads and remove them before starting as you could be facing weed growth issues in short order if they are allowed to germinate.
Step One: Cutting Down Overgrown Weeds
When you’re confident that the seed heads and pods have been removed and that there are no plants worth saving laying underneath, begin by pruning and cutting down as much of the growth as you possibly can. A scythe, machete, weed whacker, or pruning sheers should all work adequately.
After cutting down the majority of the growth, rake up and remove anything that you have cut down. This allows for easier management of the root systems, the true problem when it comes to weed growth in a larger area.
Step Two: Killing the Roots
When the problem has been brough to a manageable level, it is time to eliminate the roots. Use the weed killer of choice or simply pull the weeds by hand if you feel that it is easy enough to deal with. Be thorough in your application to ensure that the roots will be eliminated.
It may take an application or two of your preferred method to ensure that the weeds and their roots have been dealt with effectively so keep an eye on the area after the first application.
Step Three: Cover the Area
When the weed problem has been sufficiently handled, the key is to prevent any potential growth from returning to the area. Cover the impacted area using an old carpet or rug; you can also use thick black plastic as well.
The goal here is to prevent water and light from reaching the weeds should any of their roots be left over. Weeds can be quite persistent and stubborn, but this method should be effective over time of eliminating them from the area.
All of these make for effective measures of removing weeds. Use the method that fits your lot size best and you will have a cleaner-looking space free of weeds.
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