Getting rid of weeds is a common issue most gardeners face.
If you decide to pull them out one by one, these undesirable plants can become a time-consuming problem and frankly, backbreaking work.
That’s why most gardeners prefer to use synthetic or natural weed killer options instead.
As you might know, herbicides are the most effective option to deal with weeds.
But there’s one problem:
The good news is that you can make your own natural homemade weed killer with safe ingredients you already have at home, like salt and vinegar!
Want to know how?
In this article, we’ve put together the best homemade weed killer recipes to help you keep weeds at bay without affecting your health or harming wildlife.
Plus, you’ll also find some safety considerations and tips to use your homemade weed killer like a pro!
Weeds are basically unwanted plants that grow beside other wanted plants. They are unwanted mainly because they compete with the other plants for sunlight, water, air and space and sometimes just because they are not as pretty as other plants.
So, let’s jump right in.
Best Homemade Weed Killers to Use in Your Garden
Commercial herbicides aren’t a safe option to use in your garden and unfortunately, eco-friendly weed killers are difficult to find.
If you’re not a fan of pulling weeds by hand, making a homemade weed killer with naturally-derived ingredients might be the best option for you.
Take a look at the best natural weed killer recipes you can try:
Use Boiling Water to Kill Weeds
Let’s start with the easiest eco-friendly weed killer option: Boiling water.
With this simple and natural alternative to herbicides, you won’t need to mix anything.
You just need to boil up some water and pour it on the weeds.
Make sure to use enough water to kill the weeds at their roots.
If you want to make boiling water even more effective, you can add salt to this simple homemade weed killer option.
Keep in mind that salt can prevent future growth, so don’t use it in areas where you’re planning to grow things later.
This natural weed killer is useful for areas like pavement cracks because it won’t affect the plants you want to keep.
Pro-tip: Reuse water from boiling vegetables to kill the weeds in your garden and save energy at the same time.
Additionally, use a kettle with a spout to target the unwanted weeds.
Eco-Friendly Weed Killer Recipe with Salt
Salt can be a strong homemade weed killer if applied in high enough doses.
That said, you should choose carefully the areas where you’re going to apply this weed killer.
And that’s because applying too much salt in your garden can kill all types of plants, not just weeds.
This homemade weed killer can even make it difficult to grow new plants for a long time, so keep it out of your flower beds.
The good news is that it’s a good option to kill weeds on paths and drives!
To make this natural weed killer recipe, you’ll need:
- One part household table salt
- Two parts water
- Spray bottle
Add the salt and water to the spray bottle, mix and wait until the salt has dissolved. Then, spray this DIY weed killer directly onto desired weeds.
Pro-tip: If this natural alternative to herbicides doesn’t work as expected, you can increase the strength of the solution.
Use Newspaper as an Eco-friendly Weed Killer
You don’t need to use toxic chemicals to kill weeds in your garden, just block sunlight and you’ll get the same results.
As you’re probably guessing, all plants need photosynthesis to grow. If you block sunlight, they will die sooner or later. It’s as simple as that.
For this DIY homemade weed killer, you only need newspaper or cardboard.
Here’s how to use this natural weed killer:
Once you’ve removed tall weeds, you can lay down thick newspaper or cardboard over the areas you want to cover.
This DIY eco-friendly weed killer option will help you prevent new growth from seeds or roots.
And the best part is that cardboard and newspaper will eventually disintegrate and provide your soil with nutrients.
So, this is one of the best homemade weed killer options for your garden!
Remember that you’ll need to apply more cardboard or newspaper once the original layer breaks down.
Spray Lemon Juice as a Natural Weed Killer
Mild household acids, like vinegar or lemon juice, can act as natural alternatives to herbicides.
Their acidic qualities will help you kill weeds without using harsh chemicals.
You can either use one of them or mix lemon juice with white vinegar to make a strong natural weed killer recipe.
To make this homemade weed killer, you can juice as many lemons as you need or use ready-squeezed juice from a bottle.
Then, spray your mixture directly onto the plants you want to get rid of.
This eco-friendly weed killer won’t attack the roots of the plants, but it will burn the leaves.
So, this natural weed killer will be more effective if you apply it on a sunny day!
Strong Homemade Weed Killer with Horticultural Vinegar
If regular vinegar doesn’t help you get rid of weeds, you can use horticultural vinegar instead, which is 20% acetic acid.
Horticultural vinegar is a strong concentration of acetic acid and is specially designed to kill weeds, so it’s way more effective than regular vinegar as a weed killer.
To get the most out of horticultural vinegar, spray this strong natural weed killer onto young weeds on sunny days.
Safety Tip: Don’t forget to wear protective gear over your skin and eyes when handling this eco-friendly weed killer.
Although horticultural vinegar is a natural product, it can burn your skin and cause eye damage, so be careful!
3-Ingredient Homemade Weed Killer Recipe
And last but not least, let’s learn how to make the best natural weed killer that kills any unwanted plants with 3 simple ingredients:
- 1 litre white vinegar
- 3 tablespoons of salt
- 3 teaspoons of washing-up liquid
Each of these ingredients has special properties to safely kill weeds fast.
When combined, you’ll get a strong homemade weed killer:
The washing-up liquid will ensure the salty vinegar solution sticks to the leaves of the weeds, while the salt and vinegar will dry out these unwanted plants.
Here’s how to make this DIY natural weed killer recipe:
- Add the vinegar and salt to a spray bottle
- Mix these ingredients until the salt has dissolved
- Add the washing-up liquid and stir well
- Spray the weeds from a close range
Like other homemade weed killers, this natural alternative to herbicides makes no distinction between weeds and other plants.
Pro-tip: The sun and heat will help the weed killer dry out undesired plants, so make sure to apply it during the sunniest part of the day to get better results.
Things you should Know about natural weed killers
- One of the disadvantages of DIY natural weed killers is that they can’t tell the difference between weeds and your plants. So, make sure to apply natural weed killers on days with little wind to avoid killing nearby plants.
- If you don’t want to alter your garden soil, opt for boiling water or lay down newspapers instead of using strong weed killers.
- Although high-acidity vinegar, white vinegar, and lemon juice are strong homemade weed killers, they can increase the acidity of your soil when used repeatedly. As a result, it might become difficult to grow certain plants in the areas where you spray these solutions.
- Salt is an effective natural weed killer, but you should never use it in areas where you’re planning to grow plants in the future.
Safety Considerations You Can’t Forget
Even though these DIY homemade weed killers are natural alternatives to herbicides, you still have to be careful when using them.
Here are a few things to keep in mind when killing your weeds with these homemade recipes:
- If you’re going to use boiling water to kill weeds, remember that water spills can cause serious scald injuries in a matter of seconds. Avoid wearing sandals and exercise extreme caution.
- Never leave boiling water or dangerous substances, like horticultural vinegar, unattended around pets or small children.
- Be careful when handling high-acidity vinegar, always wear protective gear over your skin and eyes.
- Homemade weed killers could be harmful to your pets, so don’t use them when they’re around.
Best Time to Use DIY Eco-friendly Weed Killers
For better results, you should apply your DIY natural weed killer on dry, sunny days.
The sunlight will increase the effectiveness of your homemade weed killer and dry out the weeds’ leaves faster.
On the other hand, the rain will wash the solution off the weeds too soon.
Additionally, opt for days with little wind, or your DIY weed killer might end up killing other plants as well.
It’s important to bear in mind that natural weed killers won’t have the same effects as synthetic herbicides, like glyphosate.
You might need more than one application to completely kill tougher weeds.
Yet, eco-friendly homemade weed-killer recipes are the safest options you can use.
They will keep those annoying weeds under control without affecting our planet or wildlife!
Once you have sorted your weeds out you might want to learn how you can get rid of bugs & slugs the natural way.