Any and all of these alternatives to harmful chemicals are worth a try, remembering that integrated pest management for any pest, including weeds, may require more than one method for adequate control. Mulch Deprive weeds of sunlight to deprive them of life! Biodegradable film is great on annual veggie beds, and an alternative to plastic based fabrics. Red mulching film has proven to increase tomato and strawberry production. Coconut Fiber chips are beautiful, retain moisture, and reduce weed growth.
A great tool for scorching weeds into submission! Just a quick wave of the fiery wand breaks down cell walls, effectively killing the plant. Flamers are highly effective on young, annual weeds, but perennial weeds with taproots or woody stems may require reflaming.
An herbicide that inhibits seeds from germinating (see Corn Gluten Meal).
Synthetic herbicides can "select" which types of plants the chemicals will effect. Organic herbicides cannot do this and so are "non-selective."
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Transparent polyethylene plastic placed on moist soil during the hot summer months for approx. 6 weeks increases soil temperatures to levels lethal to many soilborne plant pathogens, weed seeds, and seedlings (including parasitic seed plants), nematodes, and some soil residing mites.
Ingredients include concentrated d- limonene, clove oil, cinnamon oil, vinegar, and citric acid. These herbicides are non-selective and non-systemic, meaning any plant sprayed will be affected, and they kill the above surface foliage of plants.
Synthetic herbicides go into the system of plants, organic herbicides do not, and so are "non-systemic."
Note to Certified Organic Farmers: While we do our best to stay current with product OMRI listings, be sure to check with your certifying organization for a current list of approved (or banned) products.