Will Blue Tarp Kill Weeds?

Beautifying your yard and preparing your garden bed is a formidable job that takes a lot of effort for the best results. Removing the weeds and grass is one of the challenging tasks in preparing garden beds. Will blue tarp kill weeds and grass? Let's find out as we dive into the topic.

A blue tarp is a natural, eco-friendly way of killing weeds and grass without tilling and digging. Trapping the heat for several weeks will help to kill even the seeds and newborn weeds.

This method is used to trap the heat underneath the tarp while preventing airflow. Continue reading to learn how to use a tarp and other ways to get rid of weeds.

blue tarp on grass or lawn with brown leaves. - Will Blue Tarp Kill Weeds

Do Blue Tarps Kill Weeds And Grass?

swimming pool with wooden curb closed and covered with blue tarp in Spring green meadow rounded by mountains in Nature in Asturias Spain Europe

A blue tarp works by using a process called solarizing. The tarp traps heat and moisture underneath while blocking the sun from reaching the weeds and grass. The weed seeds will quickly germinate due to the trapped excessive heat. This process will kill the weeds and the newly germinated weed seeds.

If the weed types are especially persistent, you may need more time to kill them. You can lay out the blue tarp for three weeks or more to eliminate the weeds during the growing season.

The youtube channel EverCrest experimented with using a blue tarp to prep a new garden bed and left the tarp on the weeds and grass.

  • Choose the spot for the new soil bed.
  • Lay three blue tarps and place heavy rocks on top to keep the tarp in place.
  • Leave the tarp for up to three weeks and see if prepping this way could work.

EverCrest replied in the comment section that it works but believes the black tarp could work better.

Watch the video to learn how to prep a soil bed using a blue tarp.

Different Kinds of Tarps

Tarps are useful in agriculture because of their universal usage. Tarps are breathable and effective to use as curtains or covers.

Aside from using blue tarps to kill weeds and plants, you can also use them as a cover for your plants to keep them away from too much exposure to sunlight. Blue tarps are made of polyethylene and are sturdier than standard tarps. A blue tarp is UV-resistant, waterproof, tear-resistant, and stretch-resistant. Blue tarps vary in size, thickness, and weight.

Blue tarp is the most popular color among tarps. Its use is for outdoor protection and is known as the sturdiest color of tarp. Other tarp colors are silver, clear, white, black, red, and camo.

Blue Tarps

Blue tarps are an all-purpose material in agriculture, camping, and industry. As we mentioned, the blue tarp can be used in prepping soil beds and killing unwanted grass and weeds.

Click here to check blue tarp on Amazon.

Black Tarps

Black tarps are perfect for trapping heat. It can be used to heat the pool or a cover on a pool heater during the winter season. Using a black tarp helps trap heat and light, which can cook the soil and control weeds and grass.

Click here to check black tarp on Amazon.

Clear Tarps

Clear tarps are used in outdoor spaces to trap or protect while allowing full sun exposure. Most gardeners and farmers use a clear tarp in prepping. Some farmers use clear tarps instead of blue tarps to kill weeds and grass. Gardeners also use clear tarps ins greenhouses and balcony gardens.

Click here to check the clear tarp on Amazon.

Silver Tarps

Silver tarps are best for the reflection of light, and like white tarps, can be used as a cover and extra protection from direct sun.

Click here to check silver tarp on Amazon.

Red Tarps

Red tarps have the same function as orange tarps. This tarp is commonly used to cover holes.

Click here to check the red tarp on Amazon.

Can You Use Blue Tarp To Cover And Protect Your Plants?

Snow covered blue tarpaulin. Waterproof surface.

A blue tarp is helpful for your plants during winter by blocking frost and trapping heat inside the tarp. It is a cost-effective solution to protect your plants.

  • Trap the warmth from the sun and set up the tarp before sundown and before the cold night comes.
  • Prevent the tarp from touching the plants because its weight might damage them.
  • Secure the tarp edges to ensure no cold wind could enter and expose your plants. You can place rocks or stones to put some weight on the edges.

What Are Other Ways To Kill Weeds?

Aside from using blue tarps to kill weeds and unwanted grass, these are other methods you can use:


salt and copy space on a gray background

You may need a lot of salt if you have a huge garden full of weeds. Grab a discounted bag of salt from any store. Mix it with water and use a spray bottle to apply the mixture. Spray all over the garden bed where you want to kill weeds and grass. Avoid spraying on plants you don't want to harm.


Vinegar is a natural weed killer. You can pick vinegar with 20% acidity for a faster effect. Spray the vinegar directly on the soil with the weeds you want to kill. Be careful in spraying because vinegar can kill any green plants.

white vinegar on the wooden table top


Surround your garden bed with lawn edgings or mulching to keep the weeds away from your plants.


Business Newspaper isolated on white background, Daily Newspaper mock-up concept

The cheapest way to kill your weeds is to grab your old newspapers and cover the weeds in your lawn. Newspapers block the sun and reduce airflow, and will control the growth of weeds and kill them. Place heavy things on top of the newspapers to hold them in place.

Boiling Water

Boiling spaghetti in pan on electric stove in the kitchen

Pouring boiling water is another way to kill weeds. Although, you need to be careful handling boiling water as this is dangerous to your skin and on other plants. The weeds will quickly wilt and have their roots killed in the next few days.


Selective focus of a bottle of borax chemical compound or sodium tetraborate beside a petri dish with solid powder substance. White Chemistry laboratory background with copy (1)

Borax is toxic to any plants, so it is advisable to be careful of using this because you may harm other plants around the weeds. Sprinkle only on areas without other plants around.


Great Value concentrated bleach big bottle, disinfection of home and bathroom, sodium hypochlorite

You can kill weeds and grass using bleach. Put the liquid bleach in a spray bottle and spray directly over the weeds. Do the process within 2 to 3 days to destroy weeds and grass.


Bottle of vodka with splash shot glass on concrete background with copyspace. Vertical format.

If you have excess vodka at home and want to kill some weeds around your garden beds, you can use it as a weed killer. It might be costly, but this is also effective. You can also mix vodka with dishwashing soap and two cups of water.

Place the mixture in a bottle, then apply it to weeds. It is best to spray the vodka mixture in the daytime as the sunlight intensifies the effect of vodka on the weeds.

Mow Down

Trimer gascosis with a leaf for mowing grass and shrubs.

Mowing weeds and grass is the most effective way of removing them. It could be a lot of work, especially if there are too many weeds you need to cut.

Cutting the head and body of the weeds doesn't kill the roots and seeds beneath the soil. Weeds and grass will surely regrow. You will have to mow the weeds every time they grow back.


Spraying herbicide from the nozzle to Para Grass weeds

Using commercial herbicides can make your job easier in getting rid of weeds. However, you need to be careful in handling and spraying. Make sure that you won't spray over other nearby plants.

Read the label and follow the instructions on how to apply herbicides to plants. Also, there are types of herbicides that you can use for specific plants. Some herbicides are harmful to humans.

To learn more about herbicides and how to use them, you may read this article, "When Is It Too Cold To Spray Herbicide?"


Using a blue tarp helps kill weeds in an eco-friendly way by trapping the heat and preventing air from getting through. This method will take a while but an easy job to completely remove the weeds and unwanted grass.

If you want to learn more helpful tips on gardening, you may read these posts:

19 Weeds That Look Like Grass [And How To Get Rid Of Them]

Neighbors Weeds Growing Into My Yard – What To Do?

Will Blue Tarp Kill Weeds?

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