Want to kill weeds without destroying the soil? If you do, well, it can be effectively done with household items that won’t cost you nearly as much as the name brand options. There are many DIY homemade weed killers to choose from. Here we have collected 13 recipes for you to try. Let us know what you think!
While it has been said that the only difference between a weed and a flower is perspective, I think I’ll stick to having a weed-free yard! So, learn how to make you own weed killers and rid your garden of weeds while maintaining cost efficiency!
13 DIY Homemade Weed Killers To Improve Your Gardening
There are lots of common weeds that can be either medicine, food, or just plain unwanted visitors to the garden. Regardless,it is still far better for your soil, your local waterways and for you to get rid of them.
The most cost effective method to get rid of weeds is to pull them up, uncover the roots, let it dry in the sun and then include them in a mulch or compost. But this method requires a bit of time and effort, so if you want a faster way to effectively get rid of weeds, one or two of these homemade weed killers might be the best approach.
While this may seem bizarre, like any good homesteader, you should always consider how you can use something on your homestead instead of just getting rid of it. Before killing your weeds, it is best that you get to know them. Many weeds are actually edible, like chicory, dock, and dandelions. Like traditional vegetables, several weeds can be eaten raw in salads or cooked like spinach. Dandelion Recipescan actually be quite delicious!
Weeds normally prefer poor soil that is acidic, so adding healthy nutrients to your soil may help to prevent the weeds. Get your soil tested and find out what elements you’ll need to add to make it healthy. Learn how to improve your soil and not only will you be minimizing your weed growth, but you will also be improving the growing conditions for the plants that you want to grow in your garden!
3. Boiling Water
Yes, you read it right! Plain boiling water is an extremely efficient weed killer. Pour pots of boiling water into the weeds that infests your garden. Make sure to pour it only to the weeds that you want to get rid off since boiling water in not selective. It will also instantly kill any plants that come in contact with it, so be careful to target your weeds and be very careful not to get your healthy plants or yourself burned. Click here to read more.
Douse weeds with either white or cider vinegar. Vinegar’s acetic acid works to kill the weeds but may require repeated application for more established weeds. As the vinegar kills the leaves but not the roots, it works great on young plants because it does not have enough energy stored in its roots to regrow the leaves, eventually it will reduce energy reserves and die. Learn more about this method here.
Bleach is known as the great spot remover, but it is also a perfect weed remover. Put some bleach in a spray bottle and spray only on the weeds that you want to remove, as bleach can kill anything. However, this is not quite as irreversible. If you do accidentally spray on your favorite plants, just wash it off. Do be cautious as bleach is a toxic substance and is very bad for you as well as the weeds.
Remember when you would get a cut as a kid and your mom would dab rubbing alcohol on it to dry it out and disinfect? Rubbing alcohol destroys weeds by sucking the water out of them, causing their death. Spray rubbing alcohol on the weeds but do it with caution as it may harm the other plants too.
You can also dilute 1-2 tbsp of alcohol with 1 liter of water. Spray directly on weeds that you want to get rid off and just increase the amount of alcohol for tougher weeds. Click here to read more.
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7.Cover Them Up
If you want something that does not require any chemical solution, cover weeds with a thick layer of newspaper. This way the weeds cannot get enough sunlight and will eventually die. This approach is effective, but slower than other options. However, if your are looking for a chemical free solution, then you’re in luck with this simple solution!
Lemon juice works exactly the same as vinegar. Lemon is a very acidic fruit that can be detrimental to other living plants. The intensity of lemons destroys weeds and prevents any further growth as well. You can use either plain lemon juice or mix halfa cup of lemon juice with 1 quart of vinegar and spray it on the unwanted weeds. Click here to learn more about this method.
Spread some corn meal in the portion of your garden where weeds grow. This is a great option if you want to avoid traditional herbicides which can be bad for your garden and your health. Corm meal is interesting because is stunts the growth of weeds and prevents sprouting. Corn meal will prevent the new weeds from growing again.
If your sidewalk or driveway has cracks and weeds have already made those cracks their home, well, just simply sprinkle some baking soda on these determined weeds. In this way, baking soda will prevent them from growing as baking soda sucks the moisture necessary for any plant to grow. This will cause the weeds to eventually dry out and they will die.Click here to read more.
While it is strange to think that something that is perhaps grown in a garden has the power to kill other plants, cayenne pepper does juts that! Cayenne pepper stops many weeds and pests, so it is an incredible way to help your garden grow in a natural way. By mixing cayenne pepper and ivory liquid soap in a spray bottle, you can make your weed-killing mixture.
Salt is also a great natural weed killer. Salt is effective in drying out plants as it absorbs and retains water, preventing plants from getting the water they desperately need. As salt can have harmful effects on the soil underneath, it is essential to only apply the salt to the weeds and directly to areas where you don’t want anything to grow.
13. Essential Oils
When considering your options, essential oils are also great natural weed killers. Pick cinnamon, clove, or red thyme and mix a couple of drops with water in a spray bottle to make your weed killer. Again, it is surprising that something that is grown naturally can act as a weed killer. However, essential oils can be used as fantastically simple DIY Homemade weed killers.
If you’ve got time for for another DIY homemade weed killer recipe, check out this video! Then check this video from The Do It Yourself World
Which DIY homemade weed killers will you try? Let us know in the comments below
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The most effective homemade option is a mixture of white vinegar, salt, and liquid dish soap. Each of these ingredients has special properties that combine to kill weeds. Both the salt and the vinegar contain acetic acid, which serves to dry out and kill the plants.What kills weeds permanently? ›
Yes, vinegar does kill weeds permanently and is a viable alternative to synthetic chemicals. Distilled, white, and malt vinegar all work well to stop weed growth. Will table salt kill weeds? Yes, table salt will kill weeds.What kills grass and weeds permanently? ›
A non-selective weed killer, such as Roundup, is a great option for killing weeds and grass permanently. The Glyphosate in Roundup works by infiltrating the plant through the leaves. From there, it attacks all plant systems and kills them completely, including the roots.What salt kills weeds? ›
In short, salt is an effective non-toxic herbicide. However, not all salt is created equal when it comes to weed control. Regular iodized or non-iodized table salt must be used. Check the package to ensure you are using sodium chloride, not magnesium sulfate (Epsom salts), rock salt, or sea salt.What kills weeds down to the root? ›
For it to work, you have to wait for the vinegar to sit in the weeds from your garden for a few days. The vinegar will kill the weed's roots.
Bleach is an effective herbicide. It will kill weeds. Bleach will kill most small weeds. It won't work against larger or invasive weeds like Ivy, Brambles or Knotweed.How do you make salt water weed killer? ›
You can add rock or table salt to water until it dissolves. Make a fairly weak mixture to start with – 3:1 ratio of water to salt. You can increase the amount of salt daily until the salt begins to kills the target plant. Adding a little bit of dish soap and white vinegar helps with weed killing effectiveness.What's the safest weed killer? ›
- Espoma Organic Weed Preventer.
- ECO Garden Pro Weed and Grass Killer.
- Green Gobbler 20% Vinegar Weed and Grass Killer.
- Natural Armor Weed and Grass Killer.
- Doctor Kirchner Natural Weed Killer.
- Dr. Earth Final Stop Weed & Grass Killer.
- Natural Elements Weed Killer.
Dilute 2 tablespoons of rubbing alcohol in a bowl with 4 cups of water. Transfer the solution to a spray bottle, and liberally coat the leaves of weeds in flower or vegetable plots, preferably on a sunny day. As the alcohol dries, it will wither the leaves and eventually kill uninvited vegetation.What stops weeds growing back? ›
Apply a Pre-emergent
Pre-emergent herbicides stop weed seeds from germinating. They're tailored to target specific combinations of weeds or weed families. Simply apply the pre-emergent to your garden before the weed seeds begin to germinate – in early spring or after cultivating.
- Use mulch to smother weeds. Covering garden soil with a mulch blocks weeds. ...
- Douse weeds with boiling water. Weeds, like humans, will burn if exposed to boiling water. ...
- Soap weeds to death. ...
- Pickle weeds with vinegar. ...
- Give weeds a stiff drink of alcohol. ...
- Don't let 'em sprout!
Just boil up some water in your tea kettle and pour the scalding water to kill unwanted plants. This method works best on younger weeds that are not very well established.How do you get rid of weeds so they never come back? ›
Weed Killer for Areas Never to Grow Again
To kill all vegetation in walkways, driveways and other areas where you don't want any living thing to grow again, mix two cups ordinary table salt with one gallon of white vinegar. Do this in a container that is larger than one-gallon capacity so you have room for the salt.
If you want to attack all species of weeds and grasses in your dormant lawn but don't want to use a glyphosate-based product, Ortho GroundClear is a perfect substitute for Roundup. This non-selective herbicide kills all weed and grass types but contains no glyphosate.Can salt destroy weeds? ›
Table Salt - Using salt to kill weeds is a common do-it-yourself solution. When salt is absorbed by plant root systems, it disrupts the water balance and causes the weed to eventually wilt and die.Which is better for killing weeds Epsom salt or table salt? ›
Both will work and a build-up of both in your garden soil is bad. Too much of any salt can lead to wilting and dead plants, and while using Epsom salts avoids table salt's potential for sodium toxicity, excess magnesium from Epsom salts can interfere with phosphorus absorption in plants (that's bad).Is salt or vinegar better for killing weeds? ›
Vinegar is acidic and will eventually kill most broadleaf weeds, but the acid will kill the leaves before reaching the root system, and the weeds may grow back quickly. For longer-lasting removal, mix 1 cup of table salt with 1 gallon of vinegar. Salt dries out the weed's root system.Which vinegar is best for weed killing? ›
Buy white vinegar.
If you are killing a lot of weeds, you may need to buy more than one gallon, but one gallon will cover a large area. The acid in vinegar is what kills the weeds. White vinegar is most recommended, and probably the cheapest, but you can use apple cider vinegar as well.
After you spray the weeds, it may take up to 24 hours for them to completely die. Bigger weeds may need multiple treatments.Do homemade weed killers work? ›
Homemade, “natural” weed killers do not work in the long run, can decrease the quality of your soil, and pose safety risks to gardeners. However, there are brands of organic herbicides that have proven effective at controlling weeds and are much safer alternatives to “natural” weed killers.
The bottom line is that mixing vinegar with Epsom salts or table salt and liquid dish soap does not make a safe, effective weed killer.Will grass grow back after vinegar? ›
Will Grass Grow Back After Vinegar? Yes, unless the grass seedlings are under two weeks old. In that case, the roots are not developed enough to grow new blades. Broadleaf grasses are more likely to die back to the soil, but the roots will grow new leaf blades anyway.How do you get rid of grass full of weeds naturally? ›
- Boiling water is a natural way to kill weeds. Heat water to at least 200 degrees and pour directly onto the weeds. ...
- You may be able to prevent, control or kill certain types of weeds using products around your house such as dish soap, epsom salt or apple cider vinegar.
Add 1 teaspoon of liquid dishwashing soap (this is to break the surface tension of the mixture so it will stick to the plant material you'll be killing). Pour into an ordinary garden sprayer.How Long Will homemade weed killer last? ›
Weed Killer in Soil
Many weed killers are designed to attack the plant's root system. If weed killer was still present in the soil, you would not be able to grow anything. This is why most weed killers are designed to evaporate within 24 to 78 hours.
Newspaper Over Weeds
While your newspaper mulch prevents seeds from sprouting and kills weeds growing underneath the paper, it also conserves moisture and regulates the temperature of the soil. An additional benefit to putting newspaper over weeds is the fertility that is added as the paper decomposes.
Both will work and a build-up of both in your garden soil is bad. Too much of any salt can lead to wilting and dead plants, and while using Epsom salts avoids table salt's potential for sodium toxicity, excess magnesium from Epsom salts can interfere with phosphorus absorption in plants (that's bad).What happens when you mix Epsom salt with vinegar? ›
Vinegar and Epsom salt would not create anything. Vinegar and zinc, though, would create hydrogen.