How to Get Rid of Weeds Without Weed Killer: Boil Them Away

Intolerable weeds! I’m planning my attack with boiling water….you can see a few boiled weeds on the lower part of this photo from a water attack earlier this week.

I’ve had ENOUGH of these weeds growing through the cracks of my front walk. No matter how much we weed, they double in size and it looks terrible. Since we refuse to use weed killer spray, we just kept pulling weeds. But this year they just blossomed out of control. Off to the Internet I went in search of something, anything that could get rid of these sidewalk weeds. I found some solutions with baking soda, vinegar, and other ideas. But, the best, cheapest solution I found was to pour boiling water over the cracks and over the weeds to scald the roots. Since this couldn’t hurt to try, I did, and it worked (so far). Never in a million years did I think of using boiling water to get rid of weeds, but then again, I’m not a gardener.

This is another section of our walk that we boiled two weeks ago. It’s 99% weed-free right now. I’m keeping my eye on it and will update this post if it’s truly successful.
Here’s what a scalded weed looks like. I read that you should “behead” the weed first for optimal results, but I didn’t here. I carefully poured boiling water on this weed — you are NOT supposed to use this method in a garden bed. But this particular weed haunted me for a couple of years! R.I.P.

It’s not as easy as it looks, believe it or not. You have to boil a lot of water! You have to watch your toes and make sure that the water doesn’t splash into roots you want to keep (on the edges of the sidewalk, for instance). But by this time (two weeks later), I would have already spotted more weeds, and it looks clean so far. I did read that I’ll have to pour some water over the walk every so often to kill off any weedlings. I’m happy to do so! And, after you boil the weeds, you have to pluck them up but they come out of the ground much easier.

Next I need to research how to get rid of chipmunk holes in our lawn! Don’t worry, I won’t pour boiling water down the holes!


Any other weed-killing tips are welcome here!

Update: July 26th: Still 99% clear! I see some violet weeds peeking through the cracks so I will get some boiling water down as soon as possible to thwart any growth. Violets spread like wildfire!


Stop Stereotyping Couponers: The Majority Frugally Shop the Outer Perimeters of the Grocery Store

There was yet another article about couponing, this time in “The New York Times Magazine,” (May 3, 2012) featuring the folks at Fabulously Frugal, and yet again, I’m astounded at how a topic like couponing can get people so riled up (read the comments, they are more entertaining than the actual article). Many of the misinformed comments that come after the article prejudge people who use coupons as unhealthy hoarders who are a burden to those who don’t use coupons.  Continue reading “Stop Stereotyping Couponers: The Majority Frugally Shop the Outer Perimeters of the Grocery Store”

Free Seed Packet Area Now Open at Fairfield Woods Branch Library

seed drawers
A patron looking through the vegetable seed packet drawers. The top one holds "easy" seeds for beginner gardeners. Photo: TFF

Don’t miss this annual springtime opportunity to gather free organic (and some heirloom organic) vegetable, herb and flower seeds at the Seed-to-Seed Library in the Fairfield Woods Branch Library in Fairfield. The Seed-to-Seed Library has seed packet donations from Comstock Ferre in Wethersfield, CT, the oldest operating seed company in the U.S., and other generous seed companies. There’s plenty to share.

The area is on the first floor near the Resource Desk and is run in partnership with the Fairfield Organic Teaching Farm. The drawers are categorized with seeds that are easy to difficult to plant, there’s a sign in sheet, tutorials, handouts and more. Open a packet, take out a few seeds and place in the little envelopes provided by the library.

flower seed packet drawer
Some of the packets of flower seeds at the Seed-to-Seed Library. Photo: TFF

Please remember to sign in so the library can track how well-loved the program is for future grants.

Funding for this program was generously provided by Fairfield Earth Day Committee.  Seeds for the Seed-to-Seed Library were graciously donated by Baker Creek Heirloom Seed Co., Mansfield, MO;  Comstock Ferre in Wethersfield, CT, oldest continuously operating seed company in the U.S.; and Renee’s Garden—Gourmet Vegetables, Kitchen Herbs, Cottage Garden Flower in Felton, CA.  A grant from New England Grassroots Environment Fund has helped to establish the seed library.


~Marilyn, TFF

Frugal Recipes Organic Style

Aimee’s cooking is frugal and fabulous (a little editorial by Marilyn who has tasted many of her organic creations). Here’s a whole dinner recipe from the kitchen whiz herself:

Easy Dinner Biscuits 

2 c. flour (can combine 1 c. all purpose with 1c. whole wheat.  I combine spelt with whole wheat)

¼ c. sugar  (optional)

1 Tbsp. baking powder

½ tsp. Baking soda

½ tsp. Salt

1 c. buttermilk (regular milk or almond or soy milk work fine, too)

3 Tbsp. Canola oil

2 Tbs. Vanilla extract

Preheat oven 425 degrees. Combine dry ingredients together, then add wet ingredients.  Mix with a fork until blended.  Careful not to overmix or the biscuits will be tough.  Using a couple of spoons, arrange one spoonful of dough on a greased baking sheet.  One batch makes about 12 biscuits.  Bake for 10 – 12 minutes.

Honey Mustard Chicken 

½ c. olive oil

½ c. honey

¼ c. mustard

Salt and pepper

Up to 3 lbs. Of chicken cut up into bite-sized pieces.


Preheat oven 350 degreees.  Mix first four ingredients in a bowl.  In a shallow baking dish, cover chicken evenly with sauce. Baste every 15 minutes for 45 minutes to 1 hour, until golden brown.