It can be tempting to use a weed killer on your garden to reduce the amount of work involved in keeping it weed free. Don’t do it. You should never apply weed killer to a vegetable garden for a number of very good reasons. Also known as herbicides, it’s important to understand how weed killers work.

The chemicals used in weed killers linger in the soil for months and some remain for years. The spray can drift to kill nearby plants and they can be especially dangerous when it rains. Soil that contains the chemicals can be washed downhill during heavy rains which it affects gardens, lawns, native plants, and waterways. It can also enter the water storage systems that supply drinking water and aquifers.

Some weed killers work by inhibiting or destroying root formation. Others block protein production or photosynthesis. Individuals need protective equipment to apply them. People, pets and wildlife can become sick when exposed to them and they even have the ability to affect DNA. Even after they’ve dried, the residue from weed killers are dangerous and can be tracked into homes and other locations by people and pets.

There are alternatives to weed killers, but they do require more effort. Other options can be highly attractive compared to the dangers and toxic effects of weed killers. Pulling weeds when they’re small prevents them from maturing, flowering, and spreading seeds far and wide.

Home remedies of vinegar, water and dish soap are effective on weeds, but the spray can affect nearby plants. Unlike commercial preparations, the formula doesn’t remain in the soil very long and typically breaks down in 2-3 days – less if it rains.

However, one of the most effective ways to prevent weed growth is mulching. It reduces evaporation and helps retain moisture in the soil, which means less irrigation and reduced water bills. As it decomposes, it adds nutrients to the soil and increases the ability of soil to hold water.

RCH Landscaping is a full-service landscape company based in Boca Raton, Florida. We design, install and maintain Commercial and Residential landscapes all around Boca Raton, Delray Beach, and The Palm Beach areas. Our team of highly skilled landscape technicians has an undisputed track record of creating and maintaining beautiful commercial and residential landscapes all over South Florida.

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