7 Easy Ways to Kill Weeds in Winter


Ah, the great British winter has arrived. All your weeds will die and you won't have to do any weeding or lawn mowing until the Spring, that's one benefit of winter... Right?


Sorry to break it to you but those weeds are stronger than you think. The freezing cold may be bad for some varieties but other such as Docks, Chickweed & Bittercress all thrive through winter, left unchecked they can and will quickly colonise if left untreated.

Weeds aren't just unsightly, they can and will fight for their survival, they will spread, they will take nutrients from the soil & what seems like a small job now in winter can quickly turn into a huge job in the Spring if they are left to there own devices.

Procrastination is a gardeners worst enemy (weeds are #1).

Without further ado, let's get started, here are 7 easy ways to kill weeds in winter.

1. Pick or dig them out

Probably the safest and fastest way to eliminate your winter weeds is to pick them out, root and stem. All you need is a good pair of garden gloves and your set to go.

  • GET THE ROOT: When picking out weeds make sure to grab them by the stem and pull out the root. Many varieties will simply regrow from the root if you don't get it all.
  • DISPOSE: Put them in your garden waste bin. Don't just throw them elsewhere in the garden, they may simply grow there instead.
  • CLEAN: Pulling out weeds in your path or driveway? Clean away the soil to prevent new weeds from colonising the area (bare soil will attract weeds).

2. Try vinegar

Yes, this household staple can be used as a weed killer - even in winter! Vinegar doesn't just taste good on chips, it is an effective weed killer.

Acetic acid is the reason why, it will burn away the visible part of weeds, works tremendously well on small shallow rooted weeds not so much on large deep rooted perennials like Ivy & Brambles.

Simply spray undiluted vinegar onto the weeds and your done.

 TOP TIP : Find out how to use vinegar as a weed killer...  

3. Mulch it

Weeds need sunlight and space to grow, deny them both and you have dead weeds.

If you have areas of bare soil with lots of weeds a quick and effective way to kill them is to cover them! You don't need fancy weed fabric, cardboard boxes, newspaper & bark all make great mulches.

Not only will it kill weeds already present a good mulch will prevent new weeds from taking root - Read this article about mulching for more information.

If you have weeds growing between paving or slabs, once removed scrape out any soil and fill the cracks with kiln dried sand - this will stop new weeds from growing.

4. Salt works too!

It elevates every dish but did you know salt is also an effective weed killer? It can be used in a variety of ways, pour it straight on the weeds, dilute with water and spray.

Once applied the salt will "dry out" the weeds and they will shrivel and die - how long does it take? It depends on how much salt you used and the type of weed.

Just like vinegar, salt is effective against small shallow rooted weeds not so much against larger, deep rooted weeds. Be warned salt can also persist in soil, preventing plants from growing, it is not suitable for use in lawns.

Combine salt, vinegar, water and dish soap for the ultimate homemade weed killer.

5. Spray them

Does weed killer work in winter? Some of the strong ones won't work but there are weed killer that will work in winter if you time it correctly.

Salt and vinegar are useful weed killers but they won't kill weeds permanently nor will they kill larger, deep rooted weeds like Ivy, Brambles, Horsetail etc.

Sometimes the only solution is to reach for a strong weed killer. Here's how to get the best from your herbicide in winter:

  • ON A DRY DAY: Almost all weed killers are diluted with water. Weeds absorb the solution and it disrupts the plant, killing it from the inside out. If there is lots of moisture your weed killer will be a lot less effective (if at all)
  • GET THE RIGHT ONE: Some weed killers do not work in the winter. Some are designed specifically for the winter months. Be sure to read the label (and grab this one
  • BE PATIENT: It's winter, it's not going to work the same as it would on a warm summers day. Give the weed killer time to do it's job & always use caution / read the label.

A weed killer for winter that kills ALL weeds & stops new ones growing : get it today.

6. Keep paths clean

A clean, well brushed path is one with little or no weeds. Why is that? It's simple, bare soil will quickly be colonised with weeds, if you have soil or debris on your path weeds will grow in it.

You can use all the weed killer you want but if your paths or hard surfaces are covered in dirt, they'll be back. There are many path cleaners and if you have a pressure washer this can help too but a stiff brush and some elbow grease does the same job.

7. Get them early

Remember when I said earlier procrastination is a gardeners worst enemy? It really is!

It's easy enough to walk by some weeds and say "ach, I'll get them later" but do it later and there will be more weeds, they will have spread there seeds turning a 2 minute job into a 10 minute job or worse if neglected for too long a whole days worth of back breaking effort.

Whatever way you decide to get rid of your weeds this winter, make sure you do it now!

About the author 


Hey there, I am founder and editor in chief here at Good Grow. I guess I've always known I was going to be a gardener. I'm on a mission to share my UK based weed control & lawn care tips with you all. If you have any queries please post in the comments below.

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