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13 DIY Homemade Weed Killers To Improve Your Gardening

Want to kill weeds without destroying the soil? If you do, well, it can be effectively done with household items that won't cost you nearly as much as the name brand options. There are many DIY homemade weed killers to choose from. Here we have collected 13 recipes for you to try. Let us know what you think!

While it has been said that the only difference between a weed and a flower is perspective, I think I'll stick to having a weed-free yard! So, learn how to make you own weed killers and rid your garden of weeds while maintaining cost efficiency!

13 DIY Homemade Weed Killers To Improve Your Gardening

There are lots of common weeds that can be either medicine, food, or just plain unwanted visitors to the garden. Regardless, it is still far better for your soil, your local waterways and for you to get rid of them.

The most cost effective method to get rid of weeds is to pull them up, uncover the roots, let it dry in the sun and then include them in a mulch or compost. But this method requires a bit of time and effort, so if you want a faster way to effectively get rid of weeds, one or two of these homemade weed killers might be the best approach.

1. Eat Them

While this may seem bizarre, like any good homesteader, you should always consider how you can use something on your homestead instead of just getting rid of it. Before killing your weeds, it is best that you get to know them. Many weeds are actually edible, like chicory, dock, and dandelions. Like traditional vegetables, several weeds can be eaten raw in salads or cooked like spinach. Dandelion Recipes can actually be quite delicious!

2. Soil Improvement

Weeds normally prefer poor soil that is acidic, so adding healthy nutrients to your soil may help to prevent the weeds. Get your soil tested and find out what elements you’ll need to add to make it healthy. Learn how to improve your soil and not only will you be minimizing your weed growth, but you will also be improving the growing conditions for the plants that you want to grow in your garden!

3. Boiling Water

Yes, you read it right! Plain boiling water is an extremely efficient weed killer. Pour pots of boiling water into the weeds that infests your garden. Make sure to pour it only to the weeds that you want to get rid off since boiling water in not selective. It will also instantly kill any plants that come in contact with it, so be careful to target your weeds and be very careful not to get your healthy plants or yourself burned. Click here to read more.

4. Vinegar

natural cleaning products

Douse weeds with either white or cider vinegar. Vinegar's acetic acid works to kill the weeds but may require repeated application for more established weeds. As the vinegar kills the leaves but not the roots, it works great on young plants because it does not have enough energy stored in its roots to regrow the leaves, eventually it will reduce energy reserves and die. Learn more about this method here.

5. Bleach

Bleach is known as the great spot remover, but it is also a perfect weed remover. Put some bleach in a spray bottle and spray only on the weeds that you want to remove, as bleach can kill anything. However, this is not quite as irreversible. If you do accidentally spray on your favorite plants, just wash it off. Do be cautious as bleach is a toxic substance and is very bad for you as well as the weeds.

6. Rubbing Alcohol

Remember when you would get a cut as a kid and your mom would dab rubbing alcohol on it to dry it out and disinfect? Rubbing alcohol destroys weeds by sucking the water out of them, causing their death. Spray rubbing alcohol on the weeds but do it with caution as it may harm the other plants too.

You can also dilute 1-2 tbsp of alcohol with 1 liter of water. Spray directly on weeds that you want to get rid off and just increase the amount of alcohol for tougher weeds. Click here to read more.



7. Cover Them Up

If you want something that does not require any chemical solution, cover weeds with a thick layer of newspaper. This way the weeds cannot get enough sunlight and will eventually die. This approach is effective, but slower than other options. However, if your are looking for a chemical free solution, then you're in luck with this simple solution!

8. Lemon Juice

Lemon juice works exactly the same as vinegar. Lemon is a very acidic fruit that can be detrimental to other living plants. The intensity of lemons destroys weeds and prevents any further growth as well. You can use either plain lemon juice or mix half a cup of lemon juice with 1 quart of vinegar and spray it on the unwanted weeds. Click here to learn more about this method.

9. Corn Meal

Spread some corn meal in the portion of your garden where weeds grow. This is a great option if you want to avoid traditional herbicides which can be bad for your garden and your health. Corm meal is interesting because is stunts the growth of weeds and prevents sprouting. Corn meal will prevent the new weeds from growing again.

10. Baking Soda

If your sidewalk or driveway has cracks and weeds have already made those cracks their home, well, just simply sprinkle some baking soda on these determined weeds. In this way, baking soda will prevent them from growing as baking soda sucks the moisture necessary for any plant to grow. This will cause the weeds to eventually dry out and they will die. Click here to read more.

11. Cayenne Pepper

While it is strange to think that something that is perhaps grown in a garden has the power to kill other plants, cayenne pepper does juts that! Cayenne pepper stops many weeds and pests, so it is an incredible way to help your garden grow in a natural way. By mixing cayenne pepper and  ivory liquid soap in a spray bottle, you can make your weed-killing mixture.

12. Salt

Salt is also a great natural weed killer. Salt is effective in drying out plants as it absorbs and retains water, preventing plants from getting the water they desperately need. As salt can have harmful effects on the soil underneath, it is essential to only apply the salt to the weeds and directly to areas where you don’t want anything to grow.

13. Essential Oils

When considering your options, essential oils are also great natural weed killers. Pick cinnamon, clove, or red thyme and mix a couple of drops with water in a spray bottle to make your weed killer. Again, it is surprising that something that is grown naturally can act as a weed killer. However, essential oils can be used as fantastically simple DIY Homemade weed killers.

If you've got time for for another DIY homemade weed killer recipe, check out this video! Then check this video from  The Do It Yourself World

Which DIY homemade weed killers will you try? Let us know in the comments below

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