How to use sugar to reduce weeds in your garden

Sugar can be used to get rid of weeds, which reduces the germination rates of some weeds

He is about to end up run over, his mother saves him

Weeds risk ruining our gardens and vegetable gardens and for this reason it is necessary to find solutions to keep them at bay. Of course, it is good to avoid chemical herbicides, especially glyphosate. What to do then? Sugar might help!

The controversy over the use of chemical herbicides (especially glyphosate) has grown around the world in recent years, and concern for health and the environment has given the impetus to find alternatives that are as natural as possible.

Also Read: 10 Ways To Get Rid Of Weeds (Without Using Roundup)

Liverpool City Council, in southwestern Sydney, has made a truly green choice by experimenting with the use of sugar as a weed-killing alternative.

The sugar-based treatment starts from a study a few years ago that discovered how this substance, generally used for food purposes, is able to reduce the germination rates of the seeds of some weeds. 

Based on this scientific evidence, Liverpool City Council has sprinkled sugar on two test plots. The soils were treated with a thin layer of white sugar (half a kilogram per square meter) before being mulched. Thus it was seen that in the first three months there were only a few weeds and after six months none of them germinated anymore.

Gilchrist, city hall restoration ecologist, said:

Generally native plants prefer soils with low nitrogen content… so where they compete with weeds it is good to bring nitrogen to levels that favor native plants. Sugar causes soil microbes to go through expanded growth and metabolize available nitrogen, which is what weeds love and cause them to grow.  

The results of the Wattle Grove Lake proving grounds, before (left) and after (right) speak for themselves. 

@ Liverpool City Council

The team is applying this methodology in several other locations and will continue to monitor progress over the coming months.

Gilchrist states that sugar is recommended for herbaceous annual weeds: Plants with soft green stems, fleshy green leaves, and exotic herbs but warn against trying weed control sugar in certain areas around the house, including paths or other paved areas.

Not in all cases, therefore, is sugar recommended as a natural alternative for weed control.

Because sugar depletes nitrogen in the soil and can affect other plant species you want in your garden. 

Therefore, if you want to use sugar in your garden, first have an expert assess whether it is the case, based on the characteristics of your soil, the plants that are there and the results you want to obtain.

Fonte: Liverpool City Council

Read also:

  • How to learn to 'read' weeds to understand soil health
  • If you want a fabulous lawn but have zero desire to cut it, plant Dicondra
  • A natural herbicide against weeds made from essential oils (from the weeds themselves)
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