Here’s A Cheap And Fast Way To Kill Weeds
I’m sure at this point in the season, you’re already deep in time-honored spring/summer tradition: fighting to keep your lawn free of pesky weeds. We all have our own ways of eradicating them, from herbicides to manual weeding tools, but there’s no such thing as too many options, in my opinion! :-)
In today’s blog post, I hope to arm you with all of the knowledge, know-how, and tips you need to kill weeds and keep your lawn in tip-top shape throughout the season. In addition to sharing the recipe for my super simple and effective homemade weed killer spray (with just three ingredients!), you’ll also learn more about how and why weeds grow so you can outsmart and outflank them before they become a problem!
Know Your Enemy: All About Weeds
Why Weeds Love Grass And Lawns
When it comes to our lawns, many of us see weeds as a nuisance at best, and at worst, a mortal enemy that must be vanquished at all costs. But in reality, it’s precisely because of our penchant for short, tidy grass that garden weeds become an issue in the first place!
A well-kept lawn provides an almost ideal environment for many types of weeds. Short grass offers easy access to the soil for germinating weed seeds, and they can get plenty of sunshine because they won’t be competing with or covered up by other plants.
Types Of Weeds
The term “weed” doesn’t apply to any one plant, but rather unwanted plants that are considered invasive, problematic, or otherwise undesirable. Here are just some of the perennial weeds that may pop up in your yard:
- Wild violet
- Wild onions
- Wild garlic
- Broadleaf weed
- Garlic mustard
What’s The Best Way To Get Rid Of Weeds?
When it comes to weed control, many people swear by manually removing them from the ground. As long as you remove the weeds completely, root and all, this can be one of the more effective methods of getting rid of weeds and preventing them from growing back. But removing weeds with the root intact is easier said than done, and you can’t always tell how deep the roots actually are.
Herbicides are another popular option for killing weeds, and home improvement and gardening stores offer a variety of commercial weed killers that are easy to use. However, many commercial weed killers are highly toxic (such as Roundup) and can pose a threat to humans and pets when misused, they’re not an ideal solution either.
Luckily, there’s a third option that combines the convenience of a commercial weed killer with the safety, affordability, and effectiveness of manual weeding, and that’s making your own natural weed killer. Get the scoop on this cheap way to kill weeds below!
How To Make A Cheap, Natural Weed Killer
- 2 cups distilled white vinegar (apple cider vinegar also works well)
- 2 Tbsp table salt
- 1 tsp liquid dish soap
Add vinegar, salt, and dish soap to a 16-ounce spray bottle. Replace the sprayer top and shake gently to mix.
Spray onto weeds as soon as you notice them. Be careful of overspray to avoid singeing any grass around the weed. For best results, spray the weeds on a warm, sunny day.
How It Works
The acetic acid in household vinegar fights weeds in two ways. First, it burns weeds on contact, and second, it lowers the pH of the surrounding soil, making it harder for the weed to survive the encounter. And no matter how long your vinegar has been sitting around, it will still be good to use — vinegar has an indefinite shelf life.
The addition of dish soap (like Dawn) thickens the formula, which helps it adhere better to weeds. Undiluted vinegar would likely drip right off the leaves or else evaporate before it could do any real damage.
Finally, a few tablespoons of table salt give this DIY weed killer a boost in the form of weed dehydration. Salt is highly effective at drawing out moisture (particularly on sunny days), and when combined with vinegar, helps to dry out weeds, reducing the chances of the weed being able to reestablish itself.
Together, these powerful, yet widely available, ingredients make a homemade weed killer that is:
- Cheap to make
- Easy to use
- Non-toxic to humans and pets
Other Cheap Ways To Kill Weeds
Weeds need sunshine and air to grow, and you can use that to your advantage when you want to eliminate them. Use a weed trimmer or mower to level them off, then cover the area with newspaper, landscape fabric, or organic mulch. Without access to sun and air, the weeds won’t be able to grow or produce new seeds and will eventually die off.
If weeds are a problem in the cracks of your sideways or driveway, boiling water makes a quick and easy solution! Boil a kettle of water, then take it outside and pour it directly onto them to kill weeds fast.
Note: This method won’t kill deeply rooted weeds, but it’s a quick and easy way to buy yourself a fair amount of weed-free time before they bounce back!
Unfortunately, the fight against weeds in your lawn or garden never really ends. But accepting that fact is a good thing, because once you realize you’ll never eliminate weeds for good, you can cut yourself some slack when you spot a few around your yard!
The best piece of advice I can offer about controlling weeds in your yard is to check for weeds often and address them early. If you pull or spray weeds while they’re young, your efforts will be that much more effective.
More Tips For Your Lawn & Garden
Looking for a cheap, DIY plant food now that you’ve gotten rid of weeds? Find out how to grow bigger plants and save money while you’re at it!
Do you have any other tips or tricks for how to kill weeds?
How To Make A Cheap, Natural Weed Killer
- spray bottle 16 ounces
- 2 cups white vinegar
- 2 Tbsp table salt
- 1 tsp dish soap
- Add the vinegar, salt, and dish soap to a 16-ounce spray bottle, then replace the top and shake gently to mix.
- Spray onto weeds as soon as you notice them. For best results, spray weeds on a warm, sunny day, and be careful about overspray to avoid singeing nearby grass or plants.