You just finished a long day of manicuring your garden and lawn. It’s nearly perfect, ready for Instagram and Pinterest, and you are even considering writing a blog post about how you tamed nature. Little did you know that impeccable lawn care is more prone to weeds like dandelion, crab grass, or anything with a seed. No matter how meticulous your gardening skills, weeds will always ruin your hard work.
Weeds are the bane of every gardener’s existence and they never give up. They don’t need water, soil (they even grow in the cracks of the sidewalk!), and they thrive during every season. Weeds never give up, and that’s an admirable trait, but they need to die. Since scouring every inch of your garden or lawn and pulling weeds can be quite tedious, you may benefit from strong, non-toxic weed killers that get the job done.
A Brief History
Let’s take you back to 1970 for a brief moment. Love was free and John Franz was a chemist for Monsanto. He discovered that glyphosate kills just about every plant material you can imagine. Using this chemical, Monsanto developed the miracle weed killer known as Roundup. Farmers began spraying it on all their crops to get rid of weeds, but they ran into a problem: all of their crops died along with the weeds. So what do you think Monsanto did next? If you were thinking that they had scientists develop “Roundup ready crops” with genetically modified DNA that was resistant to glyphosate, then you were right. Now, people can spray Roundup on crops without killing them.
Well, as nice a story as that is, we value our health and don’t want to spray glyphosate, which has been known to cause cancer in animals and asthma in humans, on our gardens. To avoid exposure to more toxins, consider spraying several of the following DIY weed killers on those pesky weeds.
This is probably the simplest, inexpensive, all-natural weed killer that is free of chemicals. If you have weeds that creep through the cracks in the sidewalk or your driveway, take a pot of boiling water and pour it on the weeds. The result is immediate death. Pour the boiling water slowly to avoid splashing. One important thing to note is that boiling water doesn’t kill the weeds from their roots, so you may need to repeat and keep yanking the weeds out until the spots clear up.
Vinegar Lemon Weed Killer
Some weed killer recipes only call for distilled white vinegar and a little salt, but this recipe goes for the roots by adding fresh lemon juice.
- 1 gallon distilled white vinegar
- 1 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1 cup sea salt
- 1 tablespoon all natural dish soap (optional)
- Garden sprayer
- Add all of the ingredients into a garden sprayer and shake well to thoroughly combine.
- The amount you use will depend on how many weeds you have. Spray the mixture directly on the weeds. They should be dead within a week.
- Store the sprayer in a cool dry place.
You may think that it is silly, but professional landscapers use newspaper to prevent weeds from growing. After cutting the weeds down with a weed whacker, lay down the grocery advertisements or yesterday’s headlines to cover the weeds. This essentially starves the weeds of sunlight and air. Cover the newspaper with some mulch and the weeds will go away.