Our pets are like members of the family. Naturally, we want to protect our best friends and not expose them to any unnecessary dangers. You can protect pets from sticky burrs, thorns and other issues by following these simple guidelines to rid your yard of weeds.
Pet-Safe Weed Killing – Tip 1
Read And Follow Label Instructions. If you do use a herbicide, carefully read and follow the label instructions. Not only are you required to do so by law, but following the label is the best way to use herbicides safely, and to protect you and your pet. It’s also the best way to get the results you expect.
Pet-Safe Weed Killing – Tip 2
Let Herbicides Dry Before Using Area. After spraying weedy areas or your lawn, allow the herbicide to dry completely before allowing pets to enter.
Pet-Safe Weed Killing – Tip 3
Hand Pull And Hoe. What could be more pet-safe than a little elbow grease? Hand pulling and hoeing weeds is good exercise. Check nurseries and garden centers for the best weeding tools. The right tools can make the work easier. Tackle weeds when they are young and easy to pull, and then make sure you get them out, roots and all.
Pet-Safe Weed Killing – Tip 4
Mulch, Mulch, Mulch. A 2- to 3-inch layer of organic mulch, such as bark chips or compost, smoothers weeds seeds, reducing or eliminating the need for herbicides. Plus, any weeds that do appear are easier to pull. And mulching has other natural benefits. Organic mulches cool the soil and conserve water, and as they breakdown they add organic matter to the soil.
Pet-Safe Weed Killing – Tip 5
Use Landscape Fabrics. If you can prevent weeds from ever reaching the light of day, you can also put away the herbicides. Landscape fabrics, which are widely sold in nurseries and garden centers, are woven materials that allow water and air to pass through but smother weeds. You roll them out before planting, secure the edges, then use a knife to cut x-shaped holes to plant through. Install drip irrigation on top of the fabric, then cover it with a few inches of organic mulch to make it look good. Even weeds need sunshine to grow. By planting through landscape fabric, they never get it.
Pet-Safe Weed Killing –Tip 6
Install Drip Irrigation. Drip irrigation delivers water directly to plant roots. Unplanted soil, which would be wet from overhead sprinklers, remains dry. Weed seeds won’t sprout in dry soil, so naturally, no need for herbicides. A great pet-safe weed killer! And with drip irrigation you’ll save a lot of water.
Pet-Safe Weed Killing –Tip 7
Space Plants Properly. As a well-planned landscape, vegetable or flower garden matures, properly spaced plants grow tip to tip, shading any open soil in between. Weeds are less likely to grow in shaded soil and are reduced naturally. Add a thick organic mulch and leave the synthetic herbicides on the shelf. What could be a better or more organic weed killer?
Pet-Safe Weed Killing –Tip 8
Torch Weeds. Propane-fueled weed flamers use the blow torch technique to kill weeds. This practice is popular with many organic gardeners and those looking for pet-safe weed killers. But, as with many other natural weed killers, the flames may only kill the top of the plant, allowing it to resprout. You may have to torch the weed more than once to kill it completely. Weed flamers are available in many nurseries, garden centers and on-line. Obviously, keep your pet indoors or a safe distance away when using a weed flamer and follow directions carefully to avoid starting a fire.
Pet-Safe Weed Killing –Tip 9
Use Sun-Power to Kill Weeds Naturally. Soil solarization is a time-honored natural weed control technique that can eliminate the need for herbicides and is a good pet-friendly weed killer. Simply roll out thick, clear plastic over the planting area, seal the edges with soil and allow the summer sun to bake it for at least 6 weeks. The heat will kill any existing weeds, weed seeds and even disease organisms. Solarization works best when the soil has been tilled, wet and cleared of weeds. However, some gardeners will mow or cut-down weeds before laying down the plastic and let the heat kill everything naturally.
Pet-Safe Weed Killing –Tip 10
Maintain A Healthy Lawn. A vigorous, well-maintained lawn that is properly watered, fertilized and mowed will resist weed invasions and is the most natural, pet-safe weed killer for lawns. For tips on how to maintain a healthy lawn go to: How to Grow a Weed-Free Lawn.
Pet-Safe Weed Killing – Tip 11
Be careful of using homemade, pet-safe weed killers. Even though homemade herbicides may be called natural, it doesn’t mean they can’t harm you or your pet. Vinegar to kill weeds, for example, is an acid and if not used carefully, can harm people or pets. And also keep in mind homemade weed killers have not been EPA registered and have not gone through the rigorous testing.