How to Manage Weeds Without Weedkillers

Got weeds? Of course we all do--and they make us nuts. I count six ways to manage weeds without bottles of chemicals. 

The non-chemical methods include both offensive and defensive techniques. The methods include 1) scalping weeds, 2) keeping the weed seeds locked up by leaving soil undisturbed, (3) cooking the seedlings under black plastic, (4) placing root barriers around aggressive spreaders, (5) shading them out beneath shrubs with dense canopies, and (6) squeezing them out by planting lots (lots!) of desirable plants. 

Spring is the best time of year to use these non-chemical techniques. The plants are young and, if they are perennial plants or vines, they haven't yet rebuilt the nutrients they lost to winter depletion. 

Want more details? See my article in Zip06/TheDay. If you're having trouble with the link, download the article PDF below. 

Crown vetch weed in meadow   After weed whacker "scalps" crown vetch

I monitor the meadow at my home for the invasive weed crown vetch. Then I "scalp" the young plants in spring with a weed whacker. Scalp weeds all the way to the ground, shown on the right.