Thursday, May 5, 2011

Kill Weeds Safely, Without Poisoning YOU or Your Pets!

In my last post I wrote about why it's not advantageous to use pesticides or herbicides. I here to talk about how to get rid of weeds without the harm of poisons. Sometimes we need a weed killer in the case of poison ivy, but in most cases, we don't.

1-Vinegar
Vinegar will kill weeds, but you will have to protect anything else. It isn't

selective. The stronger the better. Household vinegar is 5% acetic acid, if you can get 20% acetic acid, the better. Some stores sell this pre mixed. If you can get this near dandelion roots, it will kill those also, although dandelions are one of the most useful, medicinal plants on the planet.
I have heard a warning that vinegar and acetic acid may stain concrete and some kinds of stone, so if you are concerned, do a spot-test before spraying around patios and flagstone pathways.

2-Lemon Juice
Lemon Juice works on weeds between stones. I haven't tried it on free growing weeds. (Plus it whitens your laundry) Douse the weeds with lemon juice and they will likely shrivel within a day or two. They rarely need a second treatment.

3-Salt
Salt will get rid of your weeds but will also kill other plants. Great for between
bricks or stones. Salt will remain in the soil, so only use it where you don't want anything to grow.

4-Citrus Oil
Citrus oil, orange and lemon oil, and similar products are acidic and use the same MO as the vinegar. Although more expensive, they are considered by some to work better, it may be partly from the oil factor.

Here's a recipe with a mix of vinegar, salt and detergent. The soap will make the other ingredients adhere to the leaves longer. Note that if it rains, the spraying will have to be repeated.

* 1 lb. Table Salt
* 1 gallon White Vinegar
* Liquid dish detergent

Dissolve the salt in the vinegar, then add 8 drops of liquid dish detergent. Store in a labeled spray bottle.

I hope you do try some of these natural methods to kill weeds. It's safer for the planet, you, your children, your pets and the wild critters in your neighbourhood.

5 comments:

  1. Thanks for these, I think I'm going to try the lemon juice on some stubborn weeds.

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  2. Thanks for the recipes, Chris! I've tried a few of these before and look forward to trying the salt, detergent and vinegar one on my gravel areas.

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  3. Very cool. Might try the salt on same english ivy I am trying to kill. Since I am planning on putting a patio in the spot don't really want anything to grow there. My husband planted the ivy years ago and talk about invasive. It is a forbidden plant in Oregon, can't buy it anymore thank goodness. Getting rid of it is a chore.

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  4. I hope it works for you. The ivy sure is invasive. For exercise, I usually pull it. It's on my neighbors side, so I can never permanently get rid of it. Let me know how it goes.

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