(WHTM) – There are plenty of products on the market that consist of a range of chemicals that can be used to kill and keep away weeds, however, there’s no need to use them and cause potential environmental harm. Try these alternative, natural methods instead.

Before diving into the best methods, it should be noted that while salt, vinegar, and dish soap can all effectively kill weeds, they are not good for the environment and should be avoided. Salt will damage the ground for a long time. Do not use any homemade weed-killing recipes that include these items.

How to get rid of weeds naturally:


Cornmeal can be scattered over the top of a garden to prevent seed germination for weeds such as crabgrass and dandelions. However, it is not selective meaning it will stop all seeds from growing. Therefore, avoid scattering this on any garden spots where you have other seeds waiting to germinate. This is a better option for established gardens.

Boiling water

This is possibly the quickest and easiest method for taking care of weeds. Pouring boiling water directly on top of weeds can take care of them fairly fast, although large weeds may require multiple doses of water. This can harm other plants around it, and yourself if you are not careful, so be sure to pour a small amount of water in a controlled manner to avoid splashing.

Grow ground cover

Weeds need sun and water to grow just like any other plant. Ground cover plants deny them of these essential resources, effectively killing them. There are many options for ground cover plants, but native plants are always the best. Penn State has listed these native plants which provide ground cover:

  • Wild Ginger (Asarum canadense)
  • Green-and-gold (Chrysogonum virginianum)
  • Alumroot (Heuchera americana)
  • Dwarf crested iris (Iris cristata)
  • Golden ragwort (Senecio aureus)
  • Narrow-leaved blue-eyed grass (Sisyrinchium angustifolium)

Mulch (and newspaper)

Mulch does the same thing as ground cover plants by blocking weeds from sunlight and rain. It will help kill the current weeds and prevent any more from growing. For the most effective method, lay the newspaper down first and cover the newspaper in mulch. The soil should be made wet before laying the newspaper and the newspaper should be sprayed again before mulch is poured on top.

Pull them out

Go old school and pull the weeds out of your garden by hand. This is the method that will take the longest and requires the most effort, but it gets the job done. Whether you pull them with your hand or dig them up, be sure you remove the weed completely. The best way to ensure this is by pulling it up from its root. This will ensure it does not grow back and that all your hard work is not wasted.

These methods will keep your garden weed-free without doing any harm to your ground, surrounding plants, or the environment.