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Monday, June 02, 2008

State of the Art - Organic Weed Killer

Earlier this week I showed photos of this silly daisy that keeps seeding into my gravel driveway. No matter how many times I try to move the seedlings back on the garden side, they keep coming back on the wrong side.

As you can see, I just don't have the heart to kill them but there are lots of other weeds there too that I just don't want.

Here on Long Island we drink our ground water and we are surrounded by the ocean and sound. Anything we put on our ground runs off to poison all of our water supply. I'm not the worlds most "green" person but I have an issue with poisoning my piece of heaven.

In the past years I resorted to using Round-up in my driveway. You can only pull weeds for so long and then you give up. I can at least admit that I only used it if there was a big tour scheduled for here.

This year I decided I would no longer use round-up on my driveway. I just had to come up with a better solution. Last year I tried spraying vinegar on the plants but that only killed some of them. Some people are talking about mixing vinegar and salt. What! I don't think I'll be salting the earth around here, nope, not me.

Luckily, I found the perfect solution. A weed killer that kills everything as long as you have some patience. Here it is:

Black plastic spread on the ground on a hot sunny day will cook those weeds to death. Our temperatures aren't that hot yet so I've been leaving the plastic in place for three days and then moving it down to cover the next section.

This evening I thought to myself it might take all summer to kill the weeds in my 275 foot long driveway at which time I'd have to start all over again. Then it came to me...wait for about buying some more plastic? It was a true "DUH" moment. I think I'll get myself a long roll of black plastic garbage bags. Roll them out and kill all the weeds in one fell swoop. Then I'll roll those bags up and use them for the trash.

I bet the weeds are trembling with fear right now.


cindee said...

Great idea. Will you have to pull the dead weeds out? We use a weed cloth in the veggie garden and that really works great. I pull weeds around my plants in my yard. I dont have that many any more because I don't have very much bare ground in the area where the flowers grow. The rest of the area I mow and it dies when the temps warm up cuz I don't water it.

Anonymous said...

Hello there,

Good idea! Similar to my going around with a kettle of boiling water. You can smell them cooking ;-)
Need quite a few kettle(s)full(s) though. As soon as the rains stop, and if it finally gets warm over here, I will have a go at your method. Does it do bindweed and ground elder? Probably not.

Anonymous said...

I'm a big advocate of the boiling water method as well. It may take few tries but it does kill persistant weeds.

Melanie said...

Hi Cindee, I don't pull the dead weeds out, they dry up and disintegrate. It takes a bit longer but if I was going to pull them out, then I wouldn't use this method.

Boiling water is great and I've done it in the past for weeds growing out of cracks. The reason I don't use it in my driveway is that the amount of energy (second highest electricity in the USA here) it would take to boil water for a 275 long driveway would be prohibitive.

Gail said...

I was thinking of doing this in a spot in the garden but was sidetracked, thanks for reminding me.

It is so much better than the big gun poisons.

Angie said...

Beautiful gardens, great blog!!!
I'm using old carpet squares to kill weeds in areas that I plan to convert into beds. It takes long this was but it sure is easier and while you're waiting for the weeds to die, you can focus on other projects.

~Angie, FL~

garden girl said...

Amen to the boiling water! But I sure understand it's not practical for some applications - case in point: Melanie's driveway!

Amy said...

Be afraid very afraid!

Great idea. I go nuts every year with weeds growing between the pavers in the path to my front door. Too bad I can't use the plastic idea (when the mailman hits that surface and goes flying I could be in trouble, lol!). Last year I tried boiling water and it worked well, but it took a lot of water and it was a pain to cart it out in the kettle, go in and boil more...over and over...


fabulous! I used this method to kill off some grass in a spot where I am putting a path. I never thought to use it on an already existing path to kill off weeds. I have been struggling with how to kill off weeds between the cracks of brick paths and patios. (I"ll add my DUH here!) I can't wait to get out and try it! Thanks!

Layanee said...

That sounds like a great idea! The unexpected can be a nice surprise as in your volunteer daisies.

Bek said...

Great idea! I really need to try your and also the boiling water one. I haven't heard of either of them before.