In the past several decades, more and more people have become aware of the dire consequences of large-scale agriculture. This not only includes the dangers posed from the runoff of phosphates and other chemicals into groundwater, it includes the dangers of handling these types of chemicals as well.
Across the globe, wherever agriculture is being produced, workers use herbicides to mitigate the growth of invasive and native weeds and grasses which can encroach and choke off the life support system for agricultural produce.
These chemically based compounds can cause humans serious harm. For example, Paraquat, an agricultural herbicide, has been linked to Parkinson’s disease in humans. And, many people suffering from this are considering taking legal action against the producers of Paraquat.
Because of all the harm herbicides can cause, many have looked to natural alternatives when attempting to keep invasive weeds out of agricultural areas and home gardens.
Here, we’ll explore a few natural alternatives to using herbicides.
Overall Garden Design
The placement of your garden has a lot to do with the ability of invasive plants to encroach on your plants and produce. Many people don’t consider this fact when planting a vegetable garden, but the placement and the design are critical to mitigate the nuisance of invasive plants.
Instead of simply digging in the ground and planting among presently growing grasses, you can lay crushed gravel down underneath fruit or vegetable-bearing plants. This will help to deter the growth of invasive plants
Additionally, by making your garden design as maintenance-friendly as possible, you’ll have a much easier time when you do need to tend to any weeds growing near your produce. This can be done by paving around the garden, or by planting shrubbery in nearby soil. The less room weeds have to grow, the better your garden will be.
Natural Weed Killers
Weed killers don’t need to contain harmful chemicals in order to be effective at killing weeds. The simple fact is, you can make a solution with natural products that you probably already have in your own home that will work just as effectively when fighting invasive weeds.
A solution of 3 parts vinegar, one part water is a common remedy to spray on weeds. It may take a few days to work, but this will directly kill the weeds without harming any nearby flora.
Additionally, a saltwater solution has the innate ability to kill weeds. Unless your plants thrive in ocean water, which is highly doubtful unless you have a seaweed garden, saltwater will kill weeds over time.
A third natural remedy is to use a combination of dish soap such as Dawn, with water, or you can also combine this with vinegar as well. Spraying this solution onto weeds will kill them in a matter of days, just like with chemical herbicides.
When all else fails, you can pull weeds by hand or using gardening hand tools. Now, this might sound obvious, but it seems that many gardeners have lost sight of the fact that for thousands of years, human beings didn’t use herbicides and removed weeds by hand.
It’s a simple and effective method, it just takes a little dedication.
Regardless, pulling weeds by hand is part of tending to a garden. And, it keeps you active in your garden and on your land. A garden only grows best when it’s tended to regularly, so making this a key practice will not only benefit your garden but will give you something to look forward to.
The Earth has sustained us all for thousands of years, and it will continue to do so only if we’re willing to make the necessary changes to correcting the damage that we’ve caused through agriculture and industrialization.
Though your garden or land only makes up the tiniest fraction of space on this planet, leading by example and doing your part to initiate the healing process will work wonders over time.