Environmentally Friendly Ways to Get Rid of Weeds

At Energy Smart New Homes, we are passionate about building homes with materials and features that make them budget friendly and environmentally friendly. If you are also passionate about incorporating greener practices into your daily activities, we often share some ways you can do that here on our blog. And with Summer coming to a close, we want to share with you some green ways you can keep your yard weed free.

There are several environmentally friendly methods for controlling weeds without resorting to chemical herbicides that can harm the environment and beneficial organisms. Here are some eco-friendly weed control options.

Hand Pulling

The simplest method is to manually pull weeds out by hand. Make sure to get the entire root to prevent regrowth. This method works well for smaller areas or isolated weeds.


Apply a layer of organic mulch, such as wood chips, straw, or leaves, around plants. Mulch helps suppress weed growth by blocking sunlight and preventing weed seeds from germinating.

Vinegar Solution

Mix white vinegar with water (1:1 ratio) and add a few drops of dish soap. Spray this solution directly on weeds. The acetic acid in vinegar can help kill weeds. Be cautious not to spray desirable plants, as vinegar can also harm them.

Boiling Water

Pour boiling water directly onto weeds to scald and kill them. This method works best for weeds growing in cracks or pavement joints.

Salt Solution

Dissolve salt in water (about 1/4 cup salt per quart of water) and spray it on weeds. Keep in mind that salt can persist in the soil and affect nearby plants, so use this method carefully and avoid excessive use.

Corn Gluten Meal

Apply corn gluten meal, a natural byproduct of corn processing, to your lawn or garden. It acts as a pre-emergent weed control by preventing weed seeds from germinating.

Manual Edging

Use an edging tool to create clear boundaries between your lawn and planting beds. This prevents grass and weeds from encroaching on your garden spaces.

Competition and Smothering

Plant densely and use ground covers to shade out and smother weeds. Healthy plants can also outcompete weeds for resources.

Landscape Fabric

Lay down permeable landscape fabric in planting beds before adding mulch. This helps suppress weed growth while allowing water and nutrients to pass through.

Handmade Herbicide

Mix a solution of 1 gallon of water, 1 tablespoon of rubbing alcohol, and 1 teaspoon of dish soap. Spray this mixture on weeds to dehydrate and kill them.

Remember that while these methods are more environmentally friendly than chemical herbicides, they may require more frequent maintenance and multiple applications. Additionally, it's important to target weeds specifically and avoid harming desirable plants nearby. Always consider the context of your garden and the potential impacts on the environment when choosing a weed control method.

By Energy Smart New Homes 8-22-2023