Project Guide

How to Kill Weeds in Your Lawn Organically

Difficulty: BeginnerTime: 2-4 hours Print

Weeds rob your lawn and other plants of valuable nutrients and moisture. Killing weeds organically without toxic chemicals and herbicides may seem impossible, but it’s not. Some homeowners have had good results from a variety of organic weed control methods such as citrus oil or dish soap in a spray bottle. Use this helpful guide to learn how to kill weeds in a lawn using commercial organic herbicides, organic lawn care and natural weed control.

1. Natural Weed Control

A well-cared for lawn is the first step to killing weeds organically.

  • Apply organic lawn fertilizer regularly to encourage your grass to grow thicker, choking out weeds.
  • Water lawn and bedding plants with underground irrigation systems to deprive weed seeds of moisture.
  • Use landscape fabric and mulch to prevent weeds around trees and in planting beds.

2. Dig Weeds Out

The best organic weed killers are your hands and a good gardening tool. Weeding is an effective, targeted way to kill weeds in a lawn.

  • Dig weeds up by the root using garden tools such as a dandelion digger or sickle blade.
  • Weed seeds can lie dormant for years, so avoid perennial weeds by not digging too deeply.
  • Weed early and often. Start in early spring before weeds can dig in and grow.
  • Hoe planting beds regularly with a dutch or push hoe.

Tip: Wet soil before you weed to make pulling garden weeds out easier.

3. Use Organic Herbicides

Organic herbicides that kill weeds in a lawn can harm grass too, so read labels carefully. Most are sold in spray bottles to make them easier to use and control. Some natural weed killers are:

  • Corn gluten is an organic herbicide that stops specific weeds from growing roots. It is used to control crabgrass and some other lawn weeds before they grow.
  • Acetic acid or horticultural white vinegar kills weeds naturally and fast. It only kills the part of the weed it touches. Wear safety gear and goggles with acetic acid because it can burn your skin.

Tip: Treat gravel areas and the cracks in walkways, driveways and patios at the same time you treat your lawn. This will help keep weed seeds from blowing into your lawn and growing.

4. Use a Flame Weeder

flame weeder is a wand connected to a propane tank that lets you target specific weeds. Flaming kills weeds above the ground but not the roots. You may need to reflame an area several times to rid it of weeds.

Tip: Avoid using a flame weeder during dry seasons or while in a drought.

5. Try DIY Organic Weed Killers

  • Boiling water is a natural way to kill weeds. Heat water to at least 200 degrees and pour directly onto the weeds. This technique of weed prevention may work best with weeds growing in gravel or between paving stones.
  • You may be able to prevent, control or kill certain types of weeds using products around your house such as dish soap, epsom salt or apple cider vinegar.

Tip: Be safe. Use a teakettle for boiling, heating and pouring water.