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Lawn Care 101

How to make homemade weed killer

4 min read

The benefits of homemade solutions

For almost any gardener, weeds can feel like the bane of existence. They are a blemish on an otherwise perfect lawn or garden, and worse, they’re persistent. The most effective method to keep them at bay is manual weeding, but it’s a time consuming project and a major pain in the neck. Nobody likes to spend hour after hour doubled over in their garden in the hot sun.

Herbicide can be an attractive alternative, allowing you to kill weeds by simply spraying a product from a bottle. But what if you’re hesitant to use such hardcore chemicals? What if you want to kill your weeds without having to make a trip to the store? Is there a way to make an effective weed killer right from home?

Luckily, there is. With a few basic ingredients you probably have in your kitchen, you can kill those weeds in no time. Here we have a basic explanation of how to make homemade weed killer.

Homemade weed killer ingredients

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. The dish soap, meanwhile, reduces the surface tension in the mixture so that the liquid enters the pores of the leaves rather than remaining harmlessly on the surface.

For a healthy supply of this man-made concoction, mix a gallon of white vinegar, one cup of salt, and one tablespoon of dish soap. Make sure it is properly stirred, then put the mixture in a spray bottle for easy use. You can stash the bottle in your house for repeated use.

It is best to apply the weed killer during the sunniest part of the day, as they sun and heat help dry out and kill the weeds. Spray the weeds from close range, making sure they are entirely soaked. Remember that the solution makes no distinction between weeds and desired plants, so be sure to spray it only on what you’ll be happy to see killed.

Spraying weed killer

When to apply the weed killer

For the mixture to be truly effective, it is best to wait for a bright, clear afternoon. On a sunny day, the effect of the weed killer should be evident in a few hours. You’ll likely notice the leaves of the weeds turning brown. The leaves should get darker and darker before eventually withering away.

Getting those stubborn weeds

One downside of this homemade weed killer is that it does not seep down into the roots of the weeds like some chemical products do. This means that some tougher weeds might survive the initial onslaught. Be prepared to make multiple passes over your garden over the course of a few days to really kill the weeds.

Lemon juice also has acidic qualities that can help kill weeds, and if you mix it with white vinegar it can be especially potent. Like the mixture described above, it will not attack the roots of the plants, but burns the leaves when applied on a sunny day. The withering of the leaves might take a day or two, so be prepared to show a little patience.

Alternative home remedies

If you want an even simpler method, you can use boiling water to kill weeds. This is especially effective for areas like the cracks in pavement, as you can toss the water on and avoid doing damage to anything fragile nearby.

What makes this solution so magical is its simplicity. There is really nothing more to it than boiling water on the stove and tossing it on the weeds. Boiling water can of course be dangerous, so exercise extreme caution. Hold the pot far away from you as you pour, and avoid wearing sandals in case the water spills or drips.

Weed sprouting

Preventative measures

Killing weeds is a major pain, which is why the best option is to try to minimize their growth in the first place. Many savvy gardeners treat their soil before weeds appear to stop the problem before it starts. This is something you can also do with natural, homemade solutions.

Corn gluten is a natural product of milling corn, and can be purchased in the form of pellets or powder. It doesn’t kill larger plants, but by applying it around your garden you can suppress the future growth of weeds.

Weeding a garden might be annoying, but there are plenty of tricks to help you out. And don’t worry, there are plenty of homemade solutions for killing weeds that don’t involve constant trips to the store for nasty chemicals. Now that you know how to make homemade weed killer, you can keep your garden in tip top shape without even leaving the yard. Good luck, and happy gardening!

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