Unwanted weeds growing in your backyard are an eyesore and can become a headache rather quickly adding to your maintenance efforts. However, getting rid of weeds is not as much as a task with some natural weed killers found quite easily at your home.
One of the most easiest natural weed killers is some good old boiling water. It is not only a very budget friendly cost-effective option, but also an environmentally friendly way of getting rid of unwanted weeds. Boiling water kills almost everything it comes in contact with, also avoiding regrowth of weeds. Ensure to pour boiling water close to the plant so ensure the burning of taproot and keeping yourself safe from being splashed.
In case of stubborn roots, you can repeat the process until the area is free of weeds. You may use a simple water kettle for the purpose. Wear appropriate clothing and be careful to avoid this practice with kids and pets around.
Rock Salt / Table Salt
Salt is yet another simple and effective option as weed killers. Just put some salt at the base of unwanted plants, and the salts will be absorbed by the plants root system disturbing the water balance of the plant cells thereby killing them. Any remaining particles of salt will be diluted with any moisture in the soil, and will render the soil uninhabitable for quite some time. So ensure to put the salt only where needed, and avoid getting in on any other desired plants or grass cover around. Alternatively, you can use salt water at the base of the unwanted weeds and plants.
Lemon is a natural acid and thereby very effective. Juice up some lemons and fill a spray bottle to use on the unwanted plants and weeds. The organic natural acid will dry out and kill the leaves in a day or two. You can also dilute the lemon juice in part water, however the concentrate works the best. For stubborns perpetrators, or an extra-strong solution, you may also mix the lemon juice with some acidic vinegar. Lemon juice is potent enough to kill any plants, so be careful not to spray any others than the unwanted.
A Mix Of Vinegar, Salt And Soap
One of the most effective home-made remedies is the solution of vinegar, salt and soap. Mix a gallon of white vinegar, a cup of table or rock salt and a tablespoon of liquid dish soap and use this liquid solution to get rid of unwanted weeds. This is quite a strong solution, and can destroy any plantation in touches. So be careful, and shuffle between a spray and a low stream depending on the area you need to cover. A small portion can be effectively cleared with a stream without harming the area around, while a larger portion or an overall area covered with weeds can be easily sprayed and cleared.
Cornmeal is considered one of the effective natural weed killers as it prevents any weed seeds from germinating and sprouting. Be mindful, as cornmeal gluten in fact prevents any seeds from growing into plants at all. All you need to do it scatter some cornmeal gluten over the exposed areas of soil, it is an organic herbicide that is free of toxins and does the job well! You might want to consider using cornmeal gluten on open areas only after the preferred plants have been established well in your garden to minimise any risk of damaging favourable vegetation.
A strong drink that acts as a natural weed killer is the good old vodka. Specifically effective on broad leaf weeds, you can fill up squirt bottle with a pint of vodka, and apply it on the entire weed. Working best with sunlight to burn the plant, you may want to reapply the alcohol if the weather changes after first application. Gin is an alternative solution in case you do not have vodka at hand. After the weeds are dead, pull them out and dispose them off to decrease chances of the seeds re-germinating in the soil.
Baking soda is yet another handy pantry item that can help maintain your garden by acting a natural weed killer. Perfectly suitable for difficult weeds that grow in cracks and crevices, sprinkle some baking soda and get rid of those pesky plants. Be careful when using baking soda in open areas, as it can also kill vegetation and healthy grass.
A solution of clove oil mixed with water can be used as weed killers for weed seedlings and wide leafed weeds. Just about 10 drops of clove oil mixed with tap water in a spray bottle works perfectly fine on a day when there is no direct sunlight. In case the solution is just not as effective, increase the clove oil to about 20 drops in a bottle of water, and use for a week, once everyday.
Mulch and Newspaper
It is quite hard to ignore mulch, although it is a natural weed growth controller. A layer of mulch spread over your garden or planting area will prevent any weed seeds coming in contact with the earth at all. A few inches of mulch also keep sunlight from reaching any seeds that are already underground preventing them from sprouting.
Also, organic mulch retains moisture to enrich the soil below, which is an added benefit while also enhancing the aesthetic appeal of your garden. However, when using mulch, ensure you pick out and get rid of existing weeds as they do not smother those.
Newspaper, with the recent technology having non-toxic ink and paper is another alternative that works the exact way as mulch. What is even better is, newspaper is easily recycled as it decomposes this way, also encouraging earthworms to thrive underneath adding nutrients to the soil.
Bare ground and open soil is an absolute weed-prone site, and having some ground cover is a smart way to ensure weed seeds do not enter the soil below. Small plants that grow upto just a little over the surface of the ground are perfect for managing any unwanted growth in your garden. Besides, an overall layer of ground cover also disallows any sunlight to reach beneath the ground preventing any sprouting of seeds that are already in the earth thus acting as weed killers.
- Do natural weed killers work?
Natural weed killers are often considered more effective and environment friendly than any other chemical based weed killers. Natural weed killers are also quite often some simple items than we use in the kitchen on a daily basis.
- How long does it take for a weed killer to work?
Organic weed killers usually start to show effects after one week. Considerable visible effects may usually be seen after 2 weeks though.
- Why do weeds keep coming back?
Weeds keep coming back because they never truly left. Any roots or seeds left in the soil may cause weeds to come back. If weeding is done after vegetation has flourished, there is a high chance that the seeds may scatter around.