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weeds_dandelions(MCT)—If there is one thing gardeners everywhere hate, it’s weeds. However, many times the solution to getting rid of weeds can actually be more of a problem. In fact, it can be downright dangerous because there are growing health concerns about one of the chief ingredients, glyphosate, used to kill weeds. Do Your Part when battling weeds where you live and find safer solutions. Not only are the alternatives healthier, they are much easier on your wallet.

In my own garden, I make my daily newspaper do the dirty work. It’s easy and effective. Simply lay out five or six stacked sheets of newspaper in the area where you don’t want weeds. Then, give them a good soak with the hose so they don’t fly away. Once the newspaper is in place, it won’t let the sunshine through and that means the weeds can’t grow. Cover the soaked papers with mulch or grass clippings if you like. Eventually, earthworms will break down the newspaper and the end result will be healthier soil.

Another effective option when it comes to blocking out sunlight is a roll of landscape fabric. A few years ago, finding eco-friendly landscape fabric was a nearly impossible task. Now, you can find landscape fabric made of recycled paper that gets the job done without any plastic or any unwanted chemicals. This recycled fabric can be found at all the major home improvement stores or online.

I also use white vinegar on pesky weeds that sprout in the cracks of my sidewalk and driveway. Be careful though because vinegar can kill most anything you spray it on. For best results spray the weeds during the hottest part of the day. Hot water is also effective when it comes to killing weeds in those same areas.

This summer, don’t poison your lawn and garden. Instead, Do Your Part to get rid of those unwanted weeds in a much safer way.

Terri Bennett is a national speaker, eco-expert, and author of “Do Your Part: A practical guide for everyday green living” available at

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