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7 types of natural weed killer to use in your yard

Natural weed killer
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Natural weed killers are a great alternative to man-made options. They're particularly useful if you’re switching to an eco-friendlier way of gardening, but still want to keep your weeds at bay.

Along with many natural weed killers being pet-friendly, you probably already have many of the products used to rid weeds the natural way at home. From using salt and vinegar to hot water and newspaper to one of the best electric weed eaters (opens in new tab) – if you’re looking to control your weeds naturally, there is no shortage of ways to do it. 

Sold on natural weed deterrents? If you answered ‘yes’ to that question, here’s everything you need to know about the different types of natural weed killer and how they can stop weeds in the tracks. 

Natural weed killers

1.  Use mulch to suppress weeds

You might have heard of the term, but what exactly is mulch? Mulch refers to sheets of material or loose coverings which are placed on the surface of soil. It keeps your soil cool and eliminates light from reaching the soil below. This makes the soil a difficult place for weeds to grow. 

But don’t just take our word for it. According to the RHS (opens in new tab): “Mulching is generally used to save water, suppress weeds and improve the soil around plants but it also gives your garden a neat, tidy appearance and can reduce the amount of time spent on tasks such as watering and weeding. Mulches help soil retain moisture in summer, rain to penetrate the soil in winter, prevent weeds from growing and protect the roots of plants in winter.”

2.  Pour boiling water on weeds

One of the best ways to rid young and tiny weeds from your garden? Good old boiling water. The hot water scalds the weeds, stopping them from growing – and growing back. And best of all? You’ll see the results pretty instantly, with experts confirming it should usually take around a couple of days. Use this handy hack on driveways and paths but we’d avoid using it on your grass. After all, you don’t want to scorch your perfectly manicured lawn.

3.  Add salt to your weeds

Whether it’s table salt or rock salt, sodium chloride can stop weeds from taking over your outside space. Again, while we would advise keeping salt off your lawn or in places one of the best gas lawn mowers (opens in new tab) can reach, this is a brilliant natural weed killer for lawn edgings and patios.

4.  Use old newspapers

Instead of throwing away out of date papers, recycle them and cover low growing weeds with it. Much like mulch, putting newspapers on small weeds works by stopping light from reaching them. 

Just like any form of plant – be it a wildflower or a weed – both need sunlight to grow. So, if you remove vitamin D from the equation,  it will prevent pesky weeds from taking over your life (and outdoor space). 

5.  Sprinkle weeds with vinegar

While normal store cupboard vinegar will work on some weeds, buying a super strength (around 20% acetic acid) vinegar will leave no weed unturned. That’s because vinegar is very acidic. As well as needing sunlight and water to grow, weeds also need a balanced pH level in the soil. If you douse them in vinegar this will upset the balance and cause them to die. Just remember – don’t use vinegar on your lawn as it will end up killing your grass too.

6.  Invest in a weeding trowel

Go back to basics and to a time where weed killers weren’t invented by using a good old-fashioned weeding trowel.

A trowel is used to loosen stubborn soil where any weeds are growing. Use the pointed tip to dig into the soil and be sure to take the weed out from the root. This will stop it from growing back. An electric weed eater (opens in new tab) is also a great option if you don't fancy stooping down to the ground for long periods of time. 

7.  Crowd your space

When it comes to weeds, just like the other plants in your garden, they are fighting for the same resources. 

From water and plant food to sunlight and nutrient-rich soil. One of the top ways to banish weeds from your yard naturally? Plant strong flowers and crops that will thrive, spread and take over the soil, meaning there’s no room or nutrients left for your weeds. It’s survival of the fittest, after all.  

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Becks is a freelance lifestyle writer who has worked extensively for Top Ten Reviews during the past year. She started her career in print journalism at a local newspaper and has since then worked across digital and social media for food titles and home interior magazines. When she’s not writing, she’s reading and when she’s not reading, she’s writing.