Use spot treatments for weeds.
One way to stop over-fertilizing and over-pesticiding is spot treatment. That is, attacking one problem in one area instead of blanketing all of your anti-weed and pest techniques over the entire yard. Pour boiling water as a weed killer for walkways or sidewalks. Barbara Pleasant, author and contributing editor at Mother Earth News, suggests using a serrated knife to sever the roots of plants in a weedy patch. Cut into the dirt at a 45-degree angle, pull out the plant, and then repair the patch with grass from another section of the yard. "If you just chopped the head off a dandelion, it's going to come right back but if you sever it below the soil, it's less likely to come back and if it did, it's going to have to come back through this new grass that you just planted," says Pleasant.