I'm a gardening pro – 4 easy ways to kill weeds and the time of day you need to avoid doing it | The Sun

A GARDENING expert has revealed her best ways to kill stubborn weeds, as well as the time of day to avoid the task.

"It's important to use effective methods for weed control and to stay persistent in keeping them under control," J. Parker's expert Shannen Godwin told The U.S. Sun.

She shared a few easy and cheap ways to kill weeds while not harming other plants in the process.

Her tips and tricks include pulling them by hand, using a hoe to remove them, and more.

First, she suggested applying vinegar directly to the weeds.

"Ordinary distilled white vinegar with 5 percent acidity is a cheap and effective option," she offered.

She added that a higher acidity, of up to 20 percent, is going to work faster, but the end results will be the same.

Shannen recommended smothering them with cardboard or newspapers, and landscape fabric to help in controlling the situation but also make the soil more fertile.

Whatever covers or smothers weeds are classified as mulch, including cardboard or newspapers.

It encourages earthworms to come and stay and aids with conserving moisture. 

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Another way is to create a natural herbicide for weeds by mixing vinegar and water in a spray bottle and applying it to the weeds.

One more option is to use boiling water to kill them off.

"However, it is important to note that boiling water will not kill all types of weeds and it may take multiple treatments to completely eradicate them," she said.

Shannon also suggested using corn gluten meal as an effective way to kill weeds.

This unusual option is high in nitrogen and can also be used as a source of protein in animal feed.

"When using corn gluten meal as a herbicide, it is important to apply it before weed seeds germinate for best results," the expert explained.

Regardless of your preferred method, Shannen said that the best time to weed is in the morning when the soil is still damp from dew and the temperatures are cooler, which makes them easier to pull out.

She suggested not weeding during the hottest part of the day to avoid damaging nearby plants.

According to her, weeds typically grow during the spring and summer months, from March to September.

This can affect your garden by competing with your plants for sunlight, water, and nutrients, which often leads to stunted growth and reduced crop yields.

In addition, they can also harbor pests and diseases, and make your outdoor area look untidy.

Although some weeds can have benefits such as providing food and habitat for wildlife and having medicinal properties.

Shannen said that it's also important to note that the majority can be harmful to humans and animals, so it's best to research and properly identify the types of plants you have in your garden.

Some examples of beneficial weeds include yarrow, dandelion, and clover, which can help improve soil health and attract insects.

When it comes to extinguishing them, it's useful to differentiate between perennial and annual weeds.

The perennial ones are plants that live for more than two years and can be difficult to control because they regrow from their deep roots.

Annual weeds, on the other hand, complete their life cycle in one year and are easier to control.

"Weeds can be persistent and frustrating, so it's understandable to feel overwhelmed by them," Shannen said.

Dealing with this issue is most effective until June, so Shannen suggested weeding once a week, and people will notice that the frequency of your maintenance will shortly decrease.

Some common mistakes when killing weeds include not targeting the roots of the weed, which can cause it to regrow.

If you decide to use herbicide, Shannen said to avoid windy days, which can cause the chemicals to drift.

"Use too much, and you can also harm nearby plants and animals and potentially contaminate soil or water sources," she added.

Shannon also said to be wary of advice that mentions using salt.

While it is true that it kills plants, including weeds, it can also poison the ground for many years and move into groundwater sources after rain or watering.

It's a bad idea to use it anywhere in your garden, so steer clear of homemade weed-killer recipes that call for salt or Epsom salt and dish soap.

"Both the salts and soap are toxic to the environment and should be avoided," she claimed.

Shannen also shared several safety precautions to be mindful of when gardening.

When using herbicides or other weed killers, it is important to wear protective clothing such as gloves, long sleeves, and pants.

You should also avoid spraying on windy days to prevent the chemicals from drifting onto unintended areas.

Be sure to follow the instructions on the label, and keep children and pets away from treated areas until the product has dried.

Additionally, properly store and dispose of any unused herbicides or weed killers.

After dealing with weeds, Shannen said that it's a good idea to dispose of them properly to prevent them from spreading.

You can use your local green waste bin, compost them, or take them to a waste recycling center. 

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