An Eco-Friendly Way to Win the War against Weeds

Keeping weeds from crowding your squash crop doesn't have to mean lots of harsh chemicals. Here are some natural, easy solutions from DIY.
lemon juice and vinegar make a great weed spray

lemon juice and vinegar make a great weed spray

Lemon juice and vinegar make a great weed spray. Be sure to shield plants with newspaper or cardboard as you spray.

Make a vinegar solution to spray on unyielding weeds. Using a spray bottle, fill it with 4 parts of vinegar and 1 part lemon juice. A 32-ounce bottle would take 3 cups of vinegar and 3/4 cup of lemon juice. To protect plants, place a sheet of newspaper or a piece of cardboard in front of the plants to shield them from overspray or drift. You want to spray only the weeds, not the plants.

Spray the weeds in a narrow stream, dousing the weed's leaves and crown. Take care not to splash the spray on the turf or any plants because the vinegar will kill grassy plants as well. Lightly spray the weed treatment — too many repeated applications of vinegar will acidify the soil so that nothing will grow in it.

Another way to use vinegar is to add salt instead of lemon juice. Salt and vinegar is great to use in areas where you won't be growing anything for a while. The reason you can't plant for a while is because the salt will decrease water uptake, which could cause your plants not to grow properly.

Buckwheat offers other benefits besides killing the weeds. Its fragrant blooms will draw swarms of bees and other beneficial insects to the garden that can aid in pollination. And at the end of the season, you can turn it under to enrich the soil with nutrient-loaded organic matter.

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