A beautiful and well-manicured landscape is every gardener’s dream. But then, weeds happen, and in a short while, they become challenging to manage. While chemical herbicides may seem like the go-to products to eradicate weeds, they can be potentially harmful. They’re toxic to the soil, impact groundwater quality, and are unsafe for humans and pets.
If you’d like a chemical-free way of eliminating weeds, there are natural strategies to employ. Some of these methods involve using ingredients that you’ll find lying around your home, so you won’t need to spend so much on weed control. Here’s how to kill weeds with a homemade weed killer.
Vinegar is very efficient in drying out and killing even stubborn weeds like dandelion. You can use household vinegar, which has 5% acetic acid. For quicker results, however, it’s best to purchase a vinegar with 20% or 30% acetic acid from a garden store.
Mix the vinegar with a surfactant-containing item like dish soap to help the vinegar penetrate the weed. Then pour the mixture into a spray bottle and apply directly to the weeds. It’s best to use this method during sunny periods so that rains don’t wash off the vinegar.
Borax is not only useful for cleaning clothes, but it can eliminate weeds like ground ivy. Its weed-killing nature is a result of the sodium borate compound in the powder. You can prepare the solution with water, transfer it into a spray bottle, and apply it to the weeds.
Gluten cornmeal helps suppress the growth of weed seeds from their roots before they spring out from the soil. You can spread the powder over an area and spray some water on top.
Rubbing Alcohol Solution
Just like vinegar, rubbing alcohol can dry up weeds and kill them. Prepare the solution with one quart of water and two tablespoons of rubbing alcohol, and apply with a spray bottle. It’s best to use this solution on a sunny day for better results. When applying homemade weed killers, be careful not to spray them on other plants as they’re non-selective.
Other Natural Methods
Besides homemade mixtures, there are different natural and creative ways to kill weeds. Some strategies include:
- Boiling Water: Pouring a kettle of boiling water over the weeds is beneficial, especially for weeds growing in pavement cracks and garden paths.
- Newspapers: Put your old papers to work by covering weeded areas with them. They’ll deprive the weeds of sunlight, inhibit their growth, and eventually kill them. You can also use landscape fabric and other organic mulch in place of newspapers, and you’ll get the same result.
If you’ve been battling with weeds, you can try any of these natural and homemade weed killers. You may as well hire a weed control professional to give your landscape an impressive look.