Killing weeds organically: sometimes you just need a little elbow grease

I thought it might be time to check in on my little weed-killing project. If you recall, this was an area of the yard that we are trying to reclaim for a bit of grass. It was overrun by weeds, primarily creeping Charlie, dame's rocket and garlic mustard weed.

If you look back at this post from a couple weeks ago, you'll see that I have been attempting to kill all these weeds in the most organic way possible. That consisted mostly of a combination of the weed torch, spraying full-strength vinegar on them and cutting them very short. I followed that process twice and I think I doused them with vinegar three times.

And here's what it looked like after not touching the area for about two weeks. You can see that a good amount of weeds are gone, but, especially in the front, several were doing just fine. For the most part, the creeping Charlie seemed to be the most resistant and a few dandelions were being sticklers as well.



There are chemicals that can deal with creeping Charlie, especially if you're in a situation where you can kill everything and don't have to be selective. Still, for reasons spelled out in the original post, not to mention satisfying my own curiosity, I wanted to give an organic approach a try. Certainly this isn't the easy way out, but you can see that it at least sort of worked.

After I took this picture I went in with a hoe and rooted out almost all the remaining weeds. Since this is very sandy loamy soil. I was easily able to get the hoe into the root zone and really attack. We raked up all the leaves and finally planted some grass seed.

I know we'll continue to deal with weeds in this area, but part of my master plan is to grow healthy grass that doesn't make a nice place for weeds to live. Just as weeds provide competition for the things we want to grow, grass can do the same to weeds. So that's the goal. 

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