7 Natural, Chemical Free Ways To Kill Weeds

June 8, 2015
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Warm weather and sunshine helps our flowers and trees blossom but it also coaxes weeds to pop up in our garden beds and from the tiniest cracks in the sidewalk.  You can kill those pesky weeds without spending a lot of money and without using harmful chemicals on your lawn.  Try these easy natural, chemical free remedies.  The weeds will likely shrivel in a day or so; resilient ones rarely withstand a second treatment.

Vinegar

Apply 1 part vinegar and 1 part water with a spray bottle, pump sprayer, or brush. Spray weeds in walks, driveways, terraces and carefully spray weeds in beds or lawn, keeping the spray off desirable plants.  Like other natural herbicides, vinegar cannot differentiate between weeds and other plants. Do this early in the morning, when there’s little wind, to avoid contaminating nearby plants. Vinegar’s killing properties are activated by the sun, so try this on a cloudless day, which also ensures that rain won’t wash it off before it works its magic.

Dish Soap

Add some dish soap to the vinegar mixture to help it stick to the plants or you can use the dish soap on its own.  Mix equal parts dish soap and water in a spray bottle.  Douse the weeds with the mixture.

Salt

Regular old table salt is very effective at killing weeds. Put just a pinch down at the base of each plant. It will kill the weedy offender and get diluted within a couple of rainfalls. Salt will render the soil uninhabitable for several months, so make sure you apply just a small amount and only where needed. Avoid getting it on your grass or other plants.

Combine the above

We’ve heard the above items alone will work but for large areas and pesky weeds, try this combination we found on Pinterest:
1/2 gallon of plain white vinegar
1/2 cup of salt
2 tablespoons of dishwashing liquid

keurig & weedsBoiling Water

Scald those pesky weeds with boiling water. Just grab your kettle off the stove and bring it to the garden. Pour a stream of water carefully on the crown of each unwanted plant. Tough perennial weeds with long tap roots may take two or three applications, but will eventually stop coming back. Use your hot pads, of course, and definitely take the precaution of wearing long pants and close-toed shoes.  If you have a Keurig coffee maker, use the boiling hot vinegar you use to descale the coffee pot and pour it over your weeds.  You’ll get a two for one by re-using the water needed to rinse out and descale the pot.

Cornmeal

Sprinkle it on your garden and it will keep weed seeds from germinating and growing into plants. Of course, corn gluten meal will keep any seed from germinating, so don’t try this on your vegetable garden until your plants are established and you’ve finished planting seeds.  This a preventative measure:  It won’t kill existing plants or weeds, but will stop new ones from growing.  A bonus – Cornmeal not only stops weeds from sprouting, but also breaks down into nitrogen which will fertilize your lawn and garden!

Alcohol

Mix 1 – 5 tablespoons of alcohol with about 4 cups of water into a spray bottle.  Spray the weeds with the mixture to kill them naturally.

Let us know how these methods work for you.  Do you have a favorite chemical free remedy you can share?  Let us know in the comments.

– S.O.