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4 Homemade Weed Killers Using Everyday Items

Homemade weed killers typically use natural ingredients, making them safer for you and the environment.

Are weeds staging a relentless invasion of your garden? It’s time to arm yourself, not with harsh chemicals, but with everyday household wonders.

Let’s delve deeper into the world of homemade weed killers that not only eradicate those stubborn plants but also offer a safe and eco-friendly solution.

White Vinegar and Salt

Ingredients and Preparation

  • 1 cup of cooking salt
  • 1 litre of white vinegar

Mix the salt into the vinegar until it dissolves completely.

How It Works

White vinegar is acidic, and when combined with salt, it becomes a lethal potion for weeds.

The acetic acid in vinegar draws moisture out of plant cells, while salt adds an extra punch, dehydrating and killing the weed.

How to Apply

Use a small paintbrush to apply this mixture to the targeted weeds.

Be careful not to get any on other plants as it’s not selective and can kill anything it touches. It’s a perfect solution for isolated patches of weeds.

Boiling Water

How It Works

Boiling water works by literally cooking the plant tissues. It breaks down the cell walls of the weeds, causing them to wilt and die almost instantly.

How to Apply

Pour boiling water directly onto the weeds in paved areas like driveways and paths.

Keep the kettle away from prized plants to avoid accidental damage. It’s a great solution for those hard-to-reach cracks and crevices.

Vegetable Oil

How It Works

Vegetable oil acts as a suffocating agent for stubborn bulbous weeds. By injecting it into the soil around the bulbs, it deprives them of oxygen, causing them to die.

How to Apply

Carefully inject the vegetable oil around the bulbs of weeds like oxalis and onion weed. Avoid getting the oil on the roots of desirable plants, as it can be harmful to them too.

Iron Sulphate

Ingredients and Preparation

  • 2 dessert spoons of iron sulphate
  • 1 litre of water

Mix these ingredients in a watering can or sprayer unit.

How It Works

Iron sulphate, while commonly used as a plant nutrient, has a burning effect on broadleaf weeds in lawns. It reacts with the plant cells, causing them to dry out and die.

How to Apply

Spray the mixture over your lawn, targeting problem areas with broadleaf weeds. It may leave temporary dead patches, but the grass will regrow in time.

Pros and Cons of Homemade Weed Killers

sprayer | Weed control

Considering homemade weed killers? It’s important to weigh the benefits and potential drawbacks to decide if they are the right choice for your garden. Here’s a look at both sides of the coin.

Pros

1. Environmentally Friendly

Homemade weed killers typically use natural ingredients, making them safer for the environment compared to chemical herbicides. They won’t contaminate the soil or water sources.

2. Cost-Effective

Most homemade solutions utilise everyday household items. This makes them an economical choice, as you don’t have to spend extra on specialized products.

3. Health Safety

Using natural ingredients in your weed killer means less exposure to harmful chemicals. This can be especially beneficial if you have children, pets, or edible plants in your garden.

4. Selective Targeting

Some methods, such as the vinegar and salt solution, can be applied with a brush, allowing you to target specific weeds without harming surrounding plants.

Cons

1. Potential Harm to Other Plants

Some homemade weed killers are non-selective, meaning they can kill other plants if not applied carefully. For example, boiling water or vinegar solutions can harm desired plants if accidentally splashed on them.

2. Temporary Solutions

Certain methods may offer only temporary relief, with weeds returning after some time. Regular application might be needed to keep weeds at bay.

3. Labor-Intensive

Some of these methods can be time-consuming and require manual application or careful preparation. This can be considered a drawback for those looking for quick and easy solutions.

4. Possible Soil Imbalance

Overusing certain ingredients like salt can lead to an imbalance in the soil, affecting its overall fertility and structure.

RELATED: How Long Does Weed and Feed Take to Work?

Prevention: Mastering the Art of Weed Control

Organic Mulching

Cover the soil with organic mulch up to a depth of 7 cm. The mulch blocks sunlight, preventing weed seeds from germinating, while also retaining moisture for your desired plants.

mulch around plant | Weed control

Solarisation: Nature’s Oven

Cover the soil with clear plastic and let the sun cook the weeds for at least 8 weeks. This method heats the soil to temperatures that kill both the weeds and dormant seeds.

Sheet Composting: A Long-term Solution

This method involves layering organic materials to smother existing weeds and create a nutrient-rich soil for planting. It requires planning 3 to 6 months ahead but ensures an entirely weed-free bed.

Weed Mats: A Barrier Against Growth

Weed mats block sunlight and smother weed seeds, preventing growth. They can reduce weeds by up to 90%. If traditional plastic weed mats aren’t appealing, weed mat alternatives like mulch, newspaper, or cardboard offer similar benefits.

Photo of author

Steve Kropp

Based in Melbourne, Steve's passion is vegetable gardening, and he’s been writing about it for almost 5 years. He also loves all things DIY and is always looking for a new project. When not working on his own garden projects or blogging, Steve enjoys spending time with his family, cooking meals with produce harvested from his garden, and coaching his son’s footy team.

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1 thought on “4 Homemade Weed Killers Using Everyday Items”

  1. There’s a tool that you can attach a gas cylinder can to and you control the flame. This is excellent for killing weeds. Best to use as they pop up

    Reply

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