Lots of blooms in my garden–but weeds are enjoying the spring  weather too.  This past week I  needed to cope with a bunch of grass in the path, a patch of poison ivy under the bench and carpet of vetch in the woods. 

In the old days, I would have whipped out the Roundup.  But we have a new a puppy and while Roundup is pet proof after 24 hours, no way I can keep this pooch inside on a beautiful day. 

This year--pet friendly solutions because our rescue puppy loves the garden too

Here are three ways I tackled the weeds without  chemicals. 

1) Boiling water–I read about it in a great book of organic garden solutions, Rodales’ Great Garden Formulas,  and it works!  Takes a few days to kill, but  it’s beautifully simple.   Great for killing grass in the drive or walk.  Lots of trips with a hot tea kettle so be careful and don’t splash your feet. 

2) Elbow grease-With this cool little weeder (below) and about an hour, I was able to clean up my path–no waiting required.  Don’t overlook the impact that an hour of weeding can bring.

3) Newspaper or Cardboard and Mulch–One of my favorite ways to tame new patches of woods–I plant, lay down sheets of newspaper or cardboard and smother the weeds to death.  Mulch makes it all look good and the paper products break down over time.    It’s a great way to recycle, and another super simple soulution.    Why buy weed killer if you don’t have to.  Buy something that will grow instead.