Our world is so full of chemicals and toxins and we wonder why the cancer rate is so out of control . . . not only in humans but in us dogs. While we cannot completely avoid the chemical toxins, we can certainly care for our lawns and gardens in a way that is responsible and healthier for us both.
Mom uses gypsum, lime, and/or bone meal . . . depending upon what the lawn needs. These are all great fertilizers and are completely safe for us furry kids. With proper watering, our lawn is amazing . . . beautiful green color and thick.
If you still want the convenience of a commercial prepared fertilizer, mom found two that seem to be the safer bets:
For her garden pathways, sidewalks, etc. she refuses to use Roundup as it is extremely toxic and just dangerous. She makes a natural weed kill with vinegar, salt and a bit of Dawn dish soap. This really works well . . . but she says to be careful where you spray it because it is non-selective, like any weed kill, and will kill all plants . . . including your beautiful flowers.
Before you waste time, effort, and money on products that don’t work or that may pose a risk to your pet, put some thought into your level of tolerance for lawn and garden weeds. On one hand, a few lawn weeds aren’t problematic; as long as you work to keep the grass healthy the weeds aren’t likely to take over. Mulching garden beds well and regularly will keep weeds from taking over ornamental plantings. Alternatively, if you have no tolerance for weeds, then you’ll need to think carefully about what methods or chemicals to use in your yard. Here are the best weed control options to consider.
Weeds need sunlight to thrive, and if you limit their access to light, they'll die. This is just one reason why the use of garden mulch is such a widespread practice. A thick layer (3-5 inches) of organic mulches such as wood chips or pine needles allows water and air in but keeps sunlight out; soil stays healthy but small weeds and seeds hidden under the mulch do not survive. Spread mulch over garden beds to help mature plants thrive while keeping new weeds at bay. If widespread plant-killing is required (when you’re creating a new garden, for example) opaque plastic sheeting, layers of cardboard, or carpet scraps can be laid over the area where you want to kill all plants. You’ll need to leave it in place 4-6 weeks during the growing season to get the job done. Avoid tilling the soil afterward to prevent buried weed seeds from germinating.
1. Weeding by Hand
The most effective means for eradicating lawn and garden weeds is still removing them by hand. It can be tedious work, but it's the best way to ensure that the root of the weed is gone, as both toxic and non-toxic weed killers might leave it behind to regenerate (dandelions have particularly long roots). There are lots of handy weeding tools on the market that help speed up the process, so if your problem is sporadic weeds popping up, this is one way to handle them without using chemicals. It’s best to think of hand-weeding as an ongoing practice and it’s most effective when begun in spring. In garden beds, weed seedlings can be eradicated by hoeing.
These options will keep unwanted plants in check without harming your furry (and non-furry) family members.
The other primary benefit of weeding by hand is that you can be selective; only the plants that you want to kill will be damaged. Most environmentally-friendly herbicides and weed-killing methods are not selective; they’ll kill or damage any plant they touch.