Organic Weed Control Guide

By: Monica Resinger

Weeds can spoil the look of a flower bed, rob valuable nutrients from the soil and can be a general nuisance. If you don't keep up with them, they can be even more troublesome to get rid of. While they can be difficult to get under control, don't lose hope, it just takes a little persistence and know how.

Here are some organic methods for controlling weeds:

Use of a stirrup hoe:

The best method I have found for controlling weeds works best in a vegetable garden planted in rows and on young weed seedlings. You use a stirrup hoe to cultivate the ground at least once a week. This hoe is like a regular hoe, but instead of the flat surface, there is a round or squared off metal hoop at the end. The side closest to you has a sharp edge, which cuts the weeds roots as you are hoeing through the soil. It doesn't take much time to go out and work your hoe down each row and by doing this, no weeds can grow because seedlings are uprooted or cut off before they have a chance. You will have to weed by hand up close and in between garden plants because the stirrup hoe can uproot or damage them if worked too close.

Use of a pitchfork:

By using a pitchfork in a new and/or large bed with little or no existing plants, you will be able to get most of the roots of long rooted weeds. It also enables you to cover a large area faster. To use a pitchfork for weed control, push it under a group of weeds and lift them. Shake the soil off the weeds and dispose of them in the compost pile.

Vinegar or boiling water:

If you spot a weed growing in the sidewalk cracks of your sidewalk or in your driveway, try pouring boiling water or vinegar over them. Don't do this in your flowerbeds because it could also kill neighboring plants.


Use lots of mulch. As long as mulch is applied thick enough to keep sunlight from reaching the soil, it will keep new weeds from sprouting. You can use grass clippings, shredded and chipped branches, beauty bark, hay, leaves or compost.

Hand picking:

Take a walk through the yard equipped with a bucket and gloves as often as possible and hand pick weeds. Try to pick them before they flower to prevent them from going to seed and seeding themselves all over the yard. Also, be sure to get all the roots; if you don't, the weed will more than likely be back in a couple of weeks.

I hope this guide can help you in controlling your weeds. The key to getting and staying weed free is persistence. You have to stay on top of it by checking your gardens regularly and maintaining what needs to be done.

Copyright ©, 2000, Monica Resinger

Monica Resinger publishes an e-mail newsletter for homemakers that poses fun questions to readers about organizing, crafting, gardening, frugal living and other homemaking subjects; readers can respond to the questions and receive the resulting, very informative 'tip sheet'. If you'd like to join the fun, send a blank e-mail to: to subscribe.

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