Thursday, April 12, 2012

Homemade Earth-Friendly Weed Preventer

I love when the weather warms and I find myself digging in the dirt of my garden again. And while in the early spring I can't yet plant most of our vegetables and herbs, I can weed.

While weeds in the dirt can usually be removed by a good grip and pull (this works especially well after it has rained), weeds in the cracks of our patio and driveway can be a real pain.

Enter this homemade weed killer. Made of simply white vinegar, lemon juice and dish soap, it does a wonderful job in making weed removal a cinch.

Homemade Earth-Friendly Weed Preventer


1/2 gallon white vinegar
juice of one lemon
1 tablespoon dish soap (*not* dishwasher detergent)

Gather all the ingredients:


Combine in a jug for a good shake and storage. You can write the ingredient list on the bottle for easy refilling:


Add to a squirt bottle or garden sprayer (if you invest in one with a pump it makes life easier, but a regular squirt bottle can work great too--just make sure no little lemon seeds get in the bottle!):



Spray the weed:



Wait an hour or so:


And pull away!

A couple notes:

**This concoction works best on a sunny, warm, preferably hot, day. But I've used it when it is only in the 60s and it still works. But the sun is key.

**Just like conventional weed killers, sometimes nasty weeds require two applications. But feel good that you're spraying something natural and earth-friendly, not a potentially harmful chemical.

**Kids love helping use this spray, and since there's nothing you don't already have in your kitchen, let them spray away!

Life is sweet,
SPC

25 comments:

Anonymous said...

I was wondering if you might have a secret recipe to kill ant beds that is non toxic to pets.

Sweet Pea Chef said...

Hi! I have yet to try it (but I plan to do so), but my neighbor says that you can use simply a bit pot of boiling water. The trick is to make sure you expose the maximum amount of the ant hill, so the boiling water destroys any eggs, etc. If you try it, be sure to let me know if it works!

Anonymous said...

Ants hate marigolds....

boo said...

diatomaceous earth is the BEST bug killer. Non-toxic and all natural. Look for it in plant nurseries and landscaping companies.

Anonymous said...

Mix equal amounts baking soda and sugar and spread around the ant hill. The ants are attracted to the sugar but bring both back to the colony. They can't digest the baking soda. Have used this for many years and it really works.

Sweet Pea Chef said...

Thanks for the other tips! I am going to try the baking soda/sugar idea, and we just planted marigold seeds inside as seed starts!

boo, what is diatomaceous earth? I've heard of it but not sure what it is exactly??

Anonymous said...

Pouring a packet of Equal in the ants' way has always worked for me!!! I won't ingest the stuff myself, as it was formulated as an insecticide, and it works!!!!!

The Homemaker said...

All fabulous tips! Will be testing this weekend. THANKS FOR SHARING YOUR WEEDING/ANTING WISDOM!

Anonymous said...

Boiling water works every time on ants. We used to get them in tree stumps and now under stone pavers. Boil, pour, walk away. Try to find the hole into the nest tho.

Anonymous said...

I heard that boiling water will sterilize the soil. Not good if you are trying to grow something. Would recommend replacing soil afterwards.

Anonymous said...

I'm the crazy doggy momma, if I can't use it around my dogs it very rarely makes it in my house or around my yard...So for your ant problem, Baking soda works wonders. I have used that around my house at one time to relieve my ant problem.

judy said...

cornmeal works for ants. They take it to the nest and blows them up can't digest it.

Miranda said...

Will this Weed Killer work to kill weeds that are in the lawn as well or will it kill the grass too??

Sweet Pea Chef said...

Miranda, this will kill grass, so please just use it on pavement, etc! :)

Jennifer Schroeder said...

I need a weed killer that I can put into my flower beds to kill the weeds but keep my flowers beautiful. Since this will kill grass too, I assume my flowers would be in jeopardy too?

Sweet Pea Chef said...

Jennifer, First, I am sorry I am just now replying...we lost power last week and just got it back this morning!

If you can spray *just* the weed, I think it would be fine, as long as there was space between the weed and the flower. But if not, I wouldn't chance it.

James Mills said...

I know a slight variation in this weed killer concoction. The one I'm currently using is a mixture of vinegar and salt. Any idea as to which is more effective?

Mountain Mama said...

sprinkle a little cornmeal around the anthills. They take it to their nest, eat it and die because it isn't digestable to them. Yes it works but you will have to repeat the process as eggs hatch.

Sandi said...

I have a big portion of my backyard that does not really have grass on it and is covered in weeds. I want to kill off the weeds so I can put down sod to have grass again. I've tried pulling them, but there are just too many and hours of pulling has barely made a dent, so I need a killer. I know using a DIY with salt in it is bad for the soil and can prohibit growth of anything else planted in that area. Would this combo do the same thing, or would it still be safe to plant the sod?

Anonymous said...

Miranda you need Preen Weed and Feed it will feed your flowers and grass but kill weeds, you also need to do this before the weeds start coming up, around February while its still cold.

Megan Smith said...

I use white vinegar without the other stuff, but since acid changes the ph, I'm wondering if it will stay in the soil and inhibit growth of my pants. Anyone know?

Megan Smith said...

Geez. I hate auto correct. That was supposed to be growth of my plants.

Lori said...

is this safe to spray around my lilac's.. I just spent the day getting all the quack grass cleaned out..

Sweet Pea Chef said...

Megan, it is my understanding that you can plant again after the weeds are gone...you may have to use something to make the soil less acidic, by adding an alkaline item like lime or wood ash.

Lori, please be careful with your lilacs! Try to just get the spray on the plants you are trying to kill. This mixture can be fatal to regular plants too.

brenda said...

I need to kill weeds that grow up between my fence and the neighbors fence. Would like to use as a pre- emergent. Can I just pour the vinegar,salt and Dawn on the ground or do I have to wait til the weeds are above ground level and spray them?
Fau