Weed Out Your Worries: 5 Cheap Ways to Combat Garden Intruders

Woman holding a handful of weeds from garden - hands only

Jekaterina Sahmanova/istockphoto

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Woman holding a handful of weeds from garden - hands only
Jekaterina Sahmanova/istockphoto

Weed Control

Landscaping takes time, patience, and of course, money. But there are plenty of ways for green thumbs to save some green. When it comes to weeds — the most obnoxiously inevitable intruder in gardening — you don't have to spend hours pulling each one by hand or spend tons of money to hire a landscaper. Here are some of our favorite cheap weed-control methods. 

mulching garden conifer bed with pine tree bark mulch

Spread Mulch

Weeds thrive with sun exposure and mulch can stifle the sunlight, subduing unwanted plants. As an added bonus, mulch can elevate the appearance of your landscaping, since there are so many colors and types to choose from. You can hire a landscaper to fill your beds in for you, or you can spread the mulch yourself. Just make sure you remove any existing weeds first, and use a thinner layer of mulch around flowers and plants than in open areas of your yard.

Planting strawberry seedling on spunbond

Block with a Barrier

To optimize mulch's ability to starve weeds of sunlight, try using a barrier between the soil and mulch. You can purchase weed block from a local home improvement store or garden center. but newspaper or cardboard accomplish the same objective and are cheaper. While it's best to plant flowers in your beds before laying down weed block, you can always cut a slit in the material and dig beneath it, then tuck any slack around your flowers.

Caucasian Men Fighting Grass Lawn Weeds

Make a DIY Weed Killer

There are plenty of weed killers available for purchase at the store, but they tend to come with sky-high price tags and a long list of chemical ingredients. Try a DIY recipe instead using dish soap, salt, vinegar, and water. 

Water Boiling on a Gas Stove, stainless pot.

Use Boiling Water

While a DIY weed killer is certainly affordable, a pot of boiling water is virtually free. All you have to do is boil water and pour it directly onto any weeds, which will scald and kill them. Just be careful not to splash any of the water back onto yourself as you douse those noxious intruders.

hand sprinkles salt
zhikun sun/istockphoto

Sprinkle Some Salt

Salt can be used to dehydrate — and eventually kill — weeds by throwing off the water balance of the plant's cells. Sprinkle salt on any unwanted guests to your flower beds and wait for the rain to do its job, or you can dissolve some salt into water and pour the mixture on the weeds.