Time for Toxic Free Weed Care
Updated: Sep 29
September 28, 2022. The rains came early in Sonoma County this year and the grasses have sprouted! Right now is the best time to steward areas where tall grass is not wanted. Properly timed weed care is the best way for us to keep beautifully landscaped areas without chemicals.
Our favorite way to discourage weed growth is to cover areas with cardboard. This method can keep an area weed-free for years! It will help to keep your soil healthy, allowing it to naturally sequester carbon and moisture. It's also an awesome way to re-use shipping boxes. Just break the boxes down, remove tape/labels to the best of your ability, and lay them over spaces where unwanted grass is growing. This is perfect for fence lines, pathways, and around structures. You can cover the cardboard with wood chips or gravel for a more manicured effect. You can also use this method for larger areas or areas with significant slopes using purchased corrugated cardboard rolls. Landscape fabric is not a good choice for a variety of reasons unless it is being used under stones.
What if you are trying to maintain a gravel or crushed rock area where you can't layer cardboard? While the grasses and weeds are small and tender, DIY or purchased organic herbicide sprays work exceptionally well. Other good options for this time of year are weed burning torches. It's also super easy to hand pull weeds while they are small and the ground is soft.
An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Enjoy these beautiful fall days by taking care of your future weed problems now!
DIY Herbicide Recipes
For the recipes below, mix and spray weeds early in the day and spray on hot, sunny days for best effect. Wear goggles and gloves when handling vinegar. Remember that this mixture is deadly for amphibians like frogs, lizards and salamanders so check your weeds before spraying!
Vinegar / Epsom Salt Weed Be Gone -Sonoma County Beekeepers
1 gallon 10% vinegar
2 cups Epsom Salt
1⁄4 cup Dawn dish soap
Vinegar/Orange Oil Weed Be Gone -from Kathy Tresch
To make a gallon:
~20% orange oil
1 cup Dawn dish soap