Ever feel like weeds are your worst enemy? If you’re spending too much time on a war you’re not winning, this homemade weed killer is for you. Three easy to find, inexpensive ingredients make up this war winning weed killer.
This Post Contains
- Weeds and Wishes
- Win The War Against Weeds
- How The Ingredients Work
- Make Your Homemade Weed Killer
- Using Your Weed Killer
- Printable Weed Killer Label
Weeds and Wishes
Recently I found myself thinking “If I just had more time, my yard would look nicer. I’d have more time to weed.” Whoa! Hold up. What? More time to weed? I’d had this same thought many times over the past several years but this was the first time I hit the brakes on that thought. No. I don’t want more time to weed.
We have A LOT of garden and flower beds. These areas constantly need weeding. Constantly hand-weeding a half-acre? It’s obvious that I will never get a handle on weeds by using my hands to handle the weeds! I really don’t like the idea of using chemicals to combat weeds but at this point I feel like it’s a war and the weeds are definitely winning.
I daydream about wandering through my beautiful, manicured yard… admiring the lovely flowers, fruits, and vegetables we work so hard to grow. Then I come back to reality and find myself surrounded by weeds, weeds, and more weeds!
Win The War Against Weeds
Vinegar alone is an effective weed killer but like most commercial herbicides, it’s nonselective, meaning it kills weeds and flowers alike.
Vinegar is environmentally friendly and won’t harm people or pets. Vinegar’s downfall is that it has no residual action, so new weeds will pop up shortly.
For areas you want permanently weed free, such as gravel drives and garden paths, cracks and crevices in walkways and sidewalks, vinegar is still a good choice but with a little help.
Adding common table salt to vinegar will destroy weeds and keep them from returning any time soon. Keep in mind this mixture will prevent anything from growing in the area for a very long time. Never pour the salt solution on soil where you may want to grow in the near future.
How The Ingredients Work
Vinegar, acetic acid, kills most vegetation by drawing all the moisture out of the leaves. Spraying full strength vinegar on a plant in full sun will produce a withered, brown plant in a matter of hours. Vinegar alone will only kill the foliage of weeds, not the root, allowing it to regrow fairly quickly.
Salt restricts moisture intake of a plant’s root system, dehydrating the leaves of the plant and limiting root growth. Eventually it kills the plant. As long as the salt remains in the soil, no other plants will grow there.
Soap, a surfactant or surface-active agent, causes the vinegar and salt solution to adhere to weeds more effectively. Liquid dish soap serves this purpose well. For those who love using castile soap, it’s important to know it won’t work in this weed killer recipe. Castile soap and vinegar cannot be mixed effectively.
Good To Know There are recipes all over the Net listing ingredients for weed killer as vinegar and Epsom salt. Epsom salt is magnesium sulfate, which is beneficial to many plants. Table salt, kosher salt, even rock salt, is composed of sodium chloride. Sodium chloride stops root growth.
Make Your Homemade Weed Killer
- spray bottle or high-capacity sprayer
- long handled spoon
- 1 gallon white vinegar
- 1 cup salt
- 1 Tbsp liquid dish soap
Step 1 Pour 1 gallon of white vinegar into a bucket. Common 5% distilled white vinegar, or 6% cleaning vinegar, works great for weed killer.
You don’t need higher, more expensive concentrations such as 10 or 20 percent. It may take two or three days longer to kill the weeds with the lower concentration, but they will die.
Step 2 Add 1 cup of salt. Stir the solution with a long-handled spoon until all the salt dissolves completely.
Step 3 Stir in 1 tablespoon of liquid dishwashing soap. Blend thoroughly.
Step 4 Funnel the weed killer into a plastic spray bottle or pour into a large capacity sprayer.
Using Your Weed Killer
Drench weeds with the solution on a dry, sunny day. Coat all surfaces well with the spray. Any plants soaked with this solution will die within a few days. They won’t be back and nothing else will grow there.
Funnel any leftover weed killer into an empty plastic container. The original gallon vinegar container works well. Label it clearly and store in a cool, dark spot indefinitely.
Tip Stock up on rock salt when stores discount it near the end of winter, pool salt near the end of summer, or water conditioner salt. Substitute 1 cup of rock salt for 1 cup of table salt.
Printable Weed Killer Label
Hint You don’t need special label paper, just run a glue stick along the edges and smooth onto your container.
↓ Click printer to print.