Ways To Do It Naturally

Now that I have your attention, I want to proclaim that summer is here and inspite of the drought in much of the country, weeds may be growing in your outdoor play garden. Instead of reaching for a toxic chemical for that weed that could be very harmful to both children and wild life, try one of these easy and natural ways to kill weeds. Some of the ideas would even work with children’s help.

The impetus for these tips comes from seeing one of my neighbors, who is a doctor by the way, use one of the backpack chemical weed sprayers in his yard while the children (4 of them), the dog and the wife (a pharmacist) laid on the lawn at the same time. Needless to say I was horrified! Please use this to educate your parents about protecting children’s health These ideas were taken from the blog created by Healthy Child Healthy World, http://www.healthychild.org They have great resources for parents and early childhood professionals on keeping our children safe from chemicals.

  • Use engineered wood fiber to smother weeds. We prefer engineered wood fiber to mulch as it makes the plants ADA accessible to all. If you are not required to be ADA compliant you can use 2-3 inches of wood mulch, shredded bark, straw, gravel (not pea gravel-goes in ears and noses of children!) or rocks to keep the moisture in and weeds out.
  • Don’t let weeds grow. You can use corn meal gluten as a pre-emergent herbicide and fertilizer and to keep weeds from sprouting. We use it at home and have had success against most weeds.
  • Give them a soapy bath. Mix 5 tablespoons of liquid soap, preferably organic, in one quart of water in a spray bottle. Let the children spray the weeds on a sunny day. P.S. Even Target now carries organic dish soap, such as Seventh Generation, at competitive prices to the toxic stuff.
  • Give them a hot water bath. Not a great idea for children’s participation since the water needs to be boiling!
  • Pickle those weeds with vinegar. Pour either household vinegar or pickling vinegar into a spray bottle. Coat weeds with the spray but be sure to miss other plants that you will want to live.