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boiling water to kill weed seeds

Did you know that corn gluten meal is birth control for seeds? Sprinkle it on your garden and it will keep weed seeds from germinating and growing into plants. Of course, corn gluten meal will keep any seed from germinating, so don’t try this on your vegetable garden until your plants are established and you’ve finished planting seeds.

Smother weeds and prevent new ones from growing by covering them with old newspapers. A thick layer of newspaper will keep sunlight from reaching weed seeds, so they can’t sprout. Wet the soil first, and then lay your newspaper down, wetting it thoroughly again before covering with mulch. This is a great way to recycle, and as a bonus, you’ll encourage earth worms to come and stay.

By Hand

You can rid yourself of weeds the old fashioned way—pulling them by hand—if you’re vigilant. Wear a dedicated pair of gardening gloves for the task to avoid inadvertently transferring seeds elsewhere. Good gardening tools like a claw or sharp trowel can help you loosen the weed roots from the soil first. Pulling a weed completely out by the root is the only way to ensure it will not return.

Cover your planting areas with mulch and you’ll keep weed seeds from coming into contact with the soil in the first place. Mulch will also keep sunlight from reaching seeds that are already underground, so they won’t get a chance to sprout. Mulch offers the added benefits of retaining moisture and breaking down to enrich your soil. And it looks really pretty, too.

Apply vinegar with a spray bottle, pump sprayer, or brush. Like other natural herbicides, vinegar cannot differentiate between weeds and other plants. Do this early in the morning, when there’s little wind, to avoid contaminating nearby plants. Vinegar’s killing properties are activated by the sun, so try this on a cloudless day, which also ensures that rain won’t wash it off before it works its magic.

The boiling water will begin to cool as soon as you take it off the burner, so it’s important to transfer it to the weeded area as quickly as possible. With that being said, be incredibly careful when moving the boiling water as it can easily splash or spill.

You could consider using an outside propane burner to boil the water near the area of weeds you plan to eliminate for optimal safety.

Killing weeds with boiling water is a simple process and only requires a few items. You can follow the steps below.

Cut the Weeds Down First

It’s important to remember how dangerous boiling hot water can be if it comes in contact with your skin. We don’t recommend pouring hot water on weeds in shorts and flip flops as you could easily injure yourself. Wear pants, long sleeves, and closed-toed shoes to make sure you don’t accidentally splash any water on yourself.

Continue reading below to learn how to apply boiling water to weeds.

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Boiling water is one of the best natural options, but it will also kill any plants it comes into contact with, so a tea kettle can be easier to pour if you have desirable plants in the area you want to preserve. An electronic tea kettle can be a great option if you have an electrical outlet outside near the weeded area.