Team: The invincible
《Start boiling a pot of water now and you'll understand why in a minute.》
Stop dandelions and crabgrass in their tracks or really, their roots. These pesticide-free tactics let your garden grow in all its glory, minus annoying eyesores. Common household supplies like salt, vinegar, newspaper, and even water can killunsightly weeds pretty much instantly, but mulch and landscaping fabric can save you from future yard
Weed control starts way before you spy intruders. "Consider laying down landscape fabric topped with a layer of mulch or straw," advises Missy Henriksen of the National Association of Landscape Professionals. The physical barrier stops unwanted plants from sprouting up in the first place.
With or without fabric, experts agree mulch is a must. "Mulch is such an easy fix and helps keep your soil cool, wet, and eliminates light that weeds need to grow," says Kris Holland at Black River Landscape Management"Keep it around two inches deep and off your lawn, since it will also kill your grass.
Plain, old tap water can do the trick too. weed killer for cracks in sidewalks and driveways is boiling water," says Paul James, "The Gardener Guy." "This works really well on young weeds, and results are immediate. If you add a tablespoon of salt to the boiling water, it's even more effective."
Stock up on discounted rock salt at the end of winter and sprinkle it on garden paths to fight weeds in the spring (table salt works too). Salt also makes a good weed barrier along lawn edgings and other places a lawn mower can't reach, but apply it carefully. It can erode concrete surfaces and can leave the ground barren for a long period of time.
Cover low-growing weeds like clover and crabgrass with newspaper and eventually the lack of sunlight will exterminate them. Putting down sections and covering them with mulch can also prevent new ones in the first place. "As the paper decomposes, it also feeds the soil, making this a tip no gardener should be without," says Ciarlo.
Douse weeds with vinegar and they'll be DOA. James recommends using the horticultural kind, with a whopping 20% acetic acid. "It's non-selective, meaning it'll kill anything green, but it's not all that effective on grassy weeds," he says. "Also, realize that vinegar is acidic, which means you run the risk of lowering the pH of the soil." Just take care to wear protective clothing and eye protection.
For a big swath of unwanted vegetation, enlist the cutest herd of landscapers around. "Goats can reach areas that machinery and people simply cannot, and their hooves actually rototill the soil as they graze," Ciarlo says.