Why Use Homemade Weed Killers
Natural weed killers are an alternative to using chemicals on your lawn, flower beds, or vegetable patch. Many gardeners prefer using natural ingredients in homemade products to reduce the environmental impact of pesticides and herbicides. Apart from the environmental harm that commercial weed killers can cause, homemade weed killers wont put kids or pets health at risk. Also, they dont pollute the food chain.
Organic DIY herbicides are an alternative to products containing chemicals such as the controversial glyphosate, which is used in Roundup. Natural weed killers could also replace selective herbicides such as 2,4-Dichlorophenoxyacetic acid that are used for pre- and post-emergent weed control. Even though these chemicals are deemed safe for use, many people prefer to go down the natural route to get rid of weeds.
Salt Is A Safe Way To Get Rid Of Weeds
Salt is a naturally-occurring product that can also kill weeds. One of the advantages of using salt to kill weeds is also its greatest problem. Salt kills all plantsnot just weedspermanently. When there is too much salt in the soil, nothing will ever grow in that patch again.
So, salt can have an environmental impact if you dont use it carefully. Rainwater could allow the salt to affect the roots of nearby plants if there is too much in the ground. However, salt has limited use in getting rid of weeds as a non-toxic, pet-safe method.
For example, mixing salt with boiling water can treat problematic areas of your garden where you dont want anything to grow. Pour a salt solution in cracks on your driveway, between decorative bricks in pathways, or other areas where you want to kill plants for good.
How To Use Corn Gluten To Suppress Weeds
Unlike the aforementioned approaches to weed control, corn gluten does not kill weeds but rather helps suppress them when applied at the right time.
It is most commonly used to keep crabgrass at bay in the lawn, but can also be applied in garden beds between plants to help keep weed seeds from germinating.
For this method to be effective though, it must be applied with crabgrass seed germination.
How do you know when that is?
In spring when the forsythia starts blooming in your area until the last bloom drops, is the right time to apply it.
Simply spread it over the soil and water it in well after.
Although its important to water it in after applying it, youll want to apply corn gluten on a dry day with a few dry days in the forecast so it has a chance to work without getting washed out by inclement weather.
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Why Choose A Pet
If theres one thing we all know about chemicals is that theres always a downside to spraying them around. Pets are curious by nature, and your dog or cat would often sniff or lick the chemicals. That could lead to some serious health problems that would require an immediate visit to the vet. But these are not the only reasons that youd want to make your own pet-friendly weed killer instead of buying a commercial one.
- Chemical herbicides make the area not safe for children for at least 24 hours or more.
- The toxins in the commercial weed killers also kill the other plants, including flowers and perennials you grow in the garden.
- If you spray chemicals in your garden, chances are you will have to get rid of all the veggies that might get contaminated as well.
- Even commercial weed killers that are labeled as safe to use still pose a health risk for pets and children if they touch or ingest the material.
- Toxic chemicals in herbicides stay in the soil for a long time and might even break down into more hazardous materials over time.
- No matter how careful you are, pets will end up touching the chemicals, absorbing them with their paws, and licking them. So its not worth taking the risk with chemical herbicides.
Natural Weed Killer Recipe
Combine ingredients in a spray bottle and treat weeds at the sunniest time of day for best results.
When looking for a natural alternative to herbicides, a cocktail of vinegar, salt and liquid dish soap has all of the ingredients needed to quickly kill weeds. Acetic acid in the vinegar and the salt are both very good at drawing moisture from weeds. Dish soap acts as a surfactant, which is an agent that will reduce the surface tension that can cause the weed-killing concoction to bead on the leaves instead of being absorbed by the plant. On a warm, sunny day, the results of this homemade spray will be obvious in a matter of hours as weeds turn brown and wither.
Depending on the weeds and the season, the results can be speedy and effective. But there are downsides. Unlike some chemical solutions, this formula is not built to work its way into the root system, meaning multiple treatments will probably be necessary to keep weeds at bay. Additionally, when looking for a quick fix, sunshine makes a big difference and the 5 percent acetic acid in most household vinegars may fall short of expectations against hardier weeds.
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Homemade Salt And Vinegar Weed Killer
This is the DIY homemade weed killer that I use all the time, again it uses 5% white vinegar.
For this DIY weed killer recipe you will need the following
- 1 L white vinegar
- three large spoons of salt
- three large spoons of washing-up liquid
- spray bottle
how to use
Add the vinegar and salt into a spray bottle and give it a shake, once the salt has dissolved, add the washing-up liquid and give it another shake.
This DIY homemade recipe kills any weeds or plants indiscriminately and may turn your soil slightly acidic for a bit. For best results apply on a dry day when the sun is shining, before midday.
This is a natural weed killer that one can use in the UK and also the best homemade weed killer that kills everything.
CAUTION: 20% and above acetic acid white vinegar is considered an industrial herbicide and can cause chemical burns and even blindness if gets into your eyes.
Use A Salt And Water Spray
If you don’t want to take the time to mix a more complicated weed-killing spray, try something simpler, like salt and water. “It’s well-known that salting the Earth can have devastating effects on plants. However, when mixed with water, you can create an all-natural weed killer,” says Lewis Peters of Online Turf, who relies on this blend to provide weed-free products. However, he cautions users to apply the spray “gradually over time, as applying too much salt can have devastating effects on your soil.”
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Wild Onion And Garlic
These perennial weeds smell like their namesakes, and theres no mistaking their presence when you mow over them. Wild onion has flat leaves, while garlic is round. They both grow from bulbs and form clusters similar to chives. To remove them, avoiding hand-pulling. It only serves to separate the main bulb from the tiny bulblets surrounding it, which remain in soil and sprout. To dig wild onion or garlic, excavate about 6 inches deep to get the whole bulb. Otherwise, spray with herbicide. The kind that kills nutsedge works on wild onion and garlic. In late spring, these weeds produce small bulbs atop long stems. Snip these and destroy them. They contain new bulbstheyre this weeds way of spreading and covering new ground.
Drench With Boiling Water
This homemade herbicide is by far the simplest to prepare, and unless you happen to spill boiling water on yourself, is also the least harmful to both people and the environment.
Simply bring a big pot of water to boil on your stove, then pour it over the leaves and stems of the weeds you wish to get rid of. Using boiling water is an effective method for killing weeds in places such as sidewalk or driveway cracks, or over a larger area that you’d like to replant after the weeds are gone, as it doesn’t leave any residue or have any harmful long-term effects.
As with all of these homemade herbicides, it’s still important to only apply it to the plants you wish to get rid of, as they can easily also kill your flowers or vegetable plants.
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Simple Vinegar & Castile Soup Based Weed Killer Recipe
This homemade weed killer recipe is so powerful that you wont want to spray it anywhere near your garden. Yes, it will kill weeds, but it will also eliminate any other plant it touches! It is useful because the ingredients work together to break surface tension so that the active ingredient can get the job done.
Natural Weed Killer Recipe
- 1 ¾ Cups White Vinegar
- ¼ Cup Liquid Castile Soap
- 3 Drops Wintergreen Essential Oil
- 3 Drops Clove Essential Oil
- 3 Drops Cinnamon Essential Oil
- 3 Drops Orange Essential Oil
Combine all essential oils and the soap in a spray bottle and mix. Pour in the vinegar, replace lid, and shake to combine. Spray on any pesky weeds or unwanted plants, but avoid plants you want to keep living. This natural weed killer recipe may be best for sidewalks and driveways.
Propane Torch Method To Killing Weeds
Ive tried this method before and it takes a little more doing so its my least favorite. And to be honest, I prefer not to do it.
If you want to try it though, youll need a propane torch like THIS that is specifically made for killing weeds.
The idea behind it, is you burn the weed down to the root.
Last year, I tried this in my driveway where lots of weeds were sprouting and found the process to be a bit laborious.
It took a while to burn each weed, I had a lot of weeds to deal with, and you go through the propane pretty quickly.
Plus, it took some doing to get the torch going.
Now it could have been the amount and/or type of weeds I had, but to me, it was more work standing there holding the torch and waiting for each weed to burn and die before moving on to the next one.
This method just wasnt for me.
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What Does Capsicum And Methyl Salicylate Do
Capsicum comes from peppers. It is provides that heat feeling in rubs, so it is very common to see in things for joint pain or arthritis. I was excited to find this particular rub because it also has methyl salicylate. This is wintergreen oil! Again, it gives that icy hot burn which is great for topical treatments.
Adding some of this to the weed killer, just intensifies the reaction and works better on those thick and hearty weeds. I have read literature that mentions pepper sprays for weed killing being very effective. Having the methyl salicylate is just a bonus!
I found this particular brand at my local grocery store for a few dollars. You can us almost any brand that contains the capsicum and/or methyl salicylate! It is amazing how many different products contain this in the first aide section of your store!
You can see from the picture the weed just keeps shriveling up. It will eventually just turn to dust like it does with store bought weed killers! It actually rained about 12 hours after I applied this solution, so I was curious if it would still work. And it did! With the capsicum rub, it really speeds this up!
Please read this section below:
Cheap Homemade Natural & Organic Weed Killer Recipes
Looking for a cheap, natural way to kill weeds? Here are 6 recipes you can use.
1. Boiling Water
No recipe here. Simply pour boiling water over the offending weed and it will die. Be careful though. Boiling water cant tell the difference between a good plant and an evil weed, so pour with discretion. This can be the cheapest weed killer by far if you use boiling water left over from cooking.
Vinegar mixed with a bit of liquid soap is quite effective as a weed killer. The general ratio is one ounce of soap to one gallon of vinegar. If youre mixing up a smaller batch, just use less soap. The vinegar is made of acetic acid, which will remove the moisture from the plant. The soap just helps the vinegar stick to the plants leaves. Vinegar thats 5% acidity will work OK, but 10% or 20% acidity is better. You can find the stronger vinegar at garden supply stores.
This solution works best on a hot, sunny, dry day. Youll kill anything you spray, so be careful around the plants you want to keep. Vinegar as weed killer will only kill the foliage of the plant not the root. So repeat applications may be necessary for success. But hey, its cheap so it wont cost much to do it a few times.
Finally, dont add salt to the solution. Some recipes tell you to do so, but youll make the ground unsuitable for just about any growing thing for quite some time. You dont need it to successfully kill the weeds.
4. Rubbing Alcohol
5. Corn Meal
6. Elbow Grease
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The Rubbing Alcohol Method
If youd rather go with a solution, a rubbing alcohol mix is pretty straightforward to make.
To prepare it, simply mix one quart of water to dilute two tablespoons of rubbing alcohol.
Note: Before applying this method to weeds, wear gloves and protective eyewear.
Simply apply the rubbing alcohol mixture on a dry sunny day without wind. Saturate the foliage, stem, and plant base to get at the roots.
For me, I dont typically use this method but it does work.
How To Make Homemade Weed Killer
You can mix this weed killer directly in the spray bottle you plan to use it in, or just in a large glass or plastic container with a lid.
Dissolve the Salt in the Vinegar. First, pour the salt into your container, and add the vinegar. Shake the salt and vinegar together. Its best to let this mixture sit for an hour or so, to let the salt completely dissolve.
Add the Dish Soap. Next, add the dish soap. Shake again, gently. Once all the ingredients are combined, you are ready to spray your weeds!
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Rather Than Spending Money On Chemical Treatments To Kill Weeds Mix Up A Natural Diy Weed Killer With Ingredients You Already Have In Your Pantry
I hate weeds. Dont you? If you walk down the gardening aisle at your local nursery or big box store, you will see all sorts of weed killers to choose from. But, what if you could kill weeds using natural ingredients without having to run to buy one of one of those expensive weed killers. Did you know that you probably have a perfectly good weed killer in your cupboard? Its vinegar! Yes, its truevinegar does kill weeds, especially when used along with dish soap.
Dish soap, vinegar and a spray bottle are all you need for making your own weed killer. The acetic acid in vinegar sucks out the water from the weed, which dries it up. The dish soap helps to break down the outer coat of the plant , which helps that vinegar to work best. Heres how to identify weeds in your garden.
Below is an example from my own landscape to show how it worked.
Just 24 hours later.
I must admit, that I am really impressed with the results. Here is the formula for making your own vinegar/soap weed killer:
Plant Robust Plants Densely
A garden landscape is all about survival of the fittest. Very often, the best way of getting rid of weeds in a non-toxic and natural way is to grow robust, hardy plants. Plants that have a bushy nature can block out sunlight to prevent weeds from growing. Or, you could use dense planting techniques so that weeds have no room to sprout.
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Bonus Tip: Corn Gluten
Available in granules, a fine powder or pellets, this natural byproduct of milling corn also works to keep weeds at bay. As a “pre-emergent” weed suppressant, it won’t kill established weeds or plants but will prevent new weeds from growing. Established plants and transplants with strong root systems will not be harmed by corn gluten meal, so long as you don’t over-apply.
Kill Weeds Using Boiling Water
Boiling water can kill weeds. This is a particularly useful technique on paths and paving, where you dont have to worry about nearby plants being affected. You can also use it on a group of weeds in a border, taking care not to pour it onto nearby plants that you want to keep. Save energy by using the water that youve just used for boiling vegetables.
Useful for: Paths, patios, paving, cracks in driveways, borders, isolated patches of weeds
Our verdict: Very easy, convenient and cheap.
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Lawn Aeration Is Key To A Healthy Lawn
The aeration process is critical to keeping your lawn healthy and happy. By understanding the importance of the aeration process, you can keep your own lawn thriving.
At Lawn Love, we take pride in our community of experts who specialize in the lawn aeration process. Whether you have a commercial lawn or a residential yard, your Lawn Pro can help you with all your needs. To learn more about our process and get a free estimate, feel free to contact us today.
How Effective Is Natural Weed Killer With Epsom Salt
Different people have had different experiences working with this weed killer. Naturally, it depends on the hardiness of the weeds that youre trying to kill.
However, even considering this, you cant expect this natural herbicide to be as strong as more toxic products like Roundup. Nonetheless, its much more responsible and wholesome to use something natural. In this way you wont damage your garden or any of the animals who live nearby.
Furthermore, some proponents such as this from Southern Living, are vehemently opposed to the use of such natural weed killers. Since natural weed killers arent actually absorbed into the plant and carried down into the root system, they claim that theyre as good as worthless.
Nonetheless, these natural weed killers can certainly kill the top, leafy growth of a plant. This makes them highly effective for plants that dont have hardy or established root systems.
The author also expresses concern about the fact that Epsom salts which are chemically known as magnesium sulphate have actually been used as plant food for decades. She cautions that this might actually help your weeds grow rather than hinder them.
In either case, as long as you werent expecting a cheap DIY weed killer to be as effective as the highly toxic Roundup, you may still be in for a pleasant surprise.
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