Pesticides and herbicides are widely used by gardeners everywhere. They can be helpful in eliminating unwanted pests and weeds, as well as keeping your garden looking its best.
But while pesticides and herbicides are regulated by the government, that doesn’t necessarily guarantee their safety. Some pesticides can be harmful to your health as well as the health of your garden and the larger ecosystem.
Next time you find an unwanted pest or consider spraying those pesky weeds with herbicides, consider some of these environmentally friendly alternatives:
• Coffee grounds can provide soil and plants with nitrogen. Nitrogen is an essential part of fertilizing for flowers, grass and vegetables. So instead of throwing them into the garbage after you’ve finished your coffee in the morning, try sprinkling them over your flower beds and vegetable gardens.
• Spray the ground around your hostas with a mixture of equal parts water and vinegar to keep slugs at bay. For best results, spray them with this mixture before their leaves have opened.
• Boil some water and, along with a sprinkle of salt, pour it carefully over weeds.
• Aerating your lawn is a great alternative to herbicides and helps you maintain a thick and healthy lawn. The more dense your lawn, the less opportunity there is for weeds to take root.
• Use mulch in your beds. Mulch not only blocks out the sun needed by weeds to grow, but it will improve the overall structure of your soil and give it nutrients. You may consider putting landscaping fabric underneath mulch for added protection.
Nothing is foolproof when it comes to preventing weeds—they’re a necessary evil of gardening. Sometimes the most effective way to get rid of weeds is the old fashioned way: pull them out!