Weeds are one of the biggest problems faced by gardeners as they can wreak havoc in your garden especially during the warmer months of the year. The weeds can easily find a way into your precious flower bed which is an absolute nightmare for gardening afficionados who spend months for getting the perfect bloom. Weeds can claim their territory in every inch of your garden and commercial pesticides might seem like the only way out. But then again, you will have to think twice before spraying such harmful chemicals if you have pets or kids around. In such a scenario, organic weed killers might serve as the safest bet. People often try to manually pull out the weeds or opt for a ground cover or mulch to prevent them from digging into the flower beds at the onset of the spring season. But such manual procedures might seem impossible in the case of dealing with hard to reach spots and keeping such things in mind, we have come up with our today’s discussion topic of the best homemade weed killer which is bound to stun you with the results.
The foremost ingredient of this weed killer is household vinegar which contains 5% acetic acid. This can draw out the moisture content of leaves and stems for turning them brown in shade. However, vinegar doesn’t hamper the roots of the plant on being sprayed properly. It is effective against shallow-rooted annual weeds which cannot sustain if their foliage gets torched. Horticultural vinegar is needed for killing perennial weeds as it contains 20% acetic acid. You also need to be very careful as the vinegar can kill many good things present in the soil such as beneficial microbes and earthworms. We often use acidic vinegar for killing the weeds present in our driveway or sidewalk. But this can make the vinegar eat away the concrete.
Next in line comes Epsom salts which consist of magnesium sulphate. They can enrich the plants with a rich stock of sulphur and magnesium, which are two highly essential plant nutrients. This has led to its massive popularity amongst gardeners since time immemorial. Epsom salts are also fed to plants like peppers, tomatoes, and roses. The best thing about Epsom salt is that it doesn’t inflict any negative impact on the plants and rather help in its growth. Using table salt on the other hand can poison the soil and prevent future growth unless the plants in question are salt-tolerant. Table salt is also infamous for ruining the soil structure and prevents it from draining properly.
The last ingredient of our list if Dawn liquid detergent although you can use any other liquid detergent in its place. Liquid detergent is basically a surfactant which helps both salt and vinegar to attach with the leaves of the weeds. However, you need to keep in mind that liquid detergent can burn foliage when applied under the direct sunlight.
Once you have gathered all these ingredients, you will have to mix 2 tablespoons of Dawn dishwashing detergent with 2 cups of vinegar and 1 cup of Epsom salt. Next you will have to shake the mixture so that all the particles get properly dissolved in the solution. This mixture should ideally be sprayed over the weeds during the sunniest part of the day. These three simple ingredients can work wonders in getting rid of weeds and prevent their recurrence. While the stubborn weeds might require multiple applications, it surely is worth the trade off as you get to avoid the nasty chemicals. This natural weed killer can also be used on weeds which spring up on the pavement cracks. You can deal with them without having to put in any manual effort following early application of this natural weed killer. But for best results, it is always advisable to store the solution in a cool and dark place which shall be away from direct sunlight. It should also be properly shaken prior to use.
Safe to Use
This completely natural weed killer doesn’t pose any potential harm to children and pets. Thus, you don’t need to be too worked up with its storage. The results of spraying on this weed killer is directly proportional to the amount of ambient heat and sunlight at the time of spraying the same. It works more efficiently on a warm and sunny day.
Epsom Salt and Apple Cider Vinegar
Some gardeners also use a mixture of Epsom salt and apple cider vinegar in the place of white vinegar and by eliminating Dash detergent. Here 2 cups of apple cider vinegar are poured inside a spray bottle and ½ cup of Epsom salt is mixed with it using a funnel. Once the mixture is ready, it can be sprayed on weeds and the result starts appearing within a day. If you wish to treat larger surface areas such as a mulch bed patio, then you can spray a mixture of 1 tablespoon of salt and 1 pot of water. This recipe is less harsh than the ones mentioned above and works well on new growth weeds. Here you will simply have to boil some water and mix a tablespoon of salt. This boiling water must be poured on top of the weeds for instant results.
Most natural weed killing solutions have high salt content, and this causes the salinity level of the soil to increase in areas where these solutions are sprayed. This might not be sustainable for all plants and you need to take special care before sowing the seeds. The salinity level can obviously be reduced by adding water, but this is also a considerably time taking process. Whatever be the case, this recipe can work wonders if dandelions have already covered up your lawn. Simply prepare this mixture following the proportion listed above and pour it into a spray bottle having a stream setting. This will ensure a direct shot at the weeds. The spray will do the job by killing the dandelions but won’t affect the grass if the mixture doesn’t spread onto the lawn.