By consuming plant produce sprayed with chemical-based pesticides, we have turned our body into a lab. When ingested, these chemicals do more harm to humans than to the intended pests. The best way to eliminate weeds in your garden is to use an environmentally friendly herbicide, which is better for humans, the earth, and our water sources.
It is vital to consider the long-term effects of using them and switch to gentler herbicides, which don’t contaminate our water sources and the soil. Even the so-called “natural” herbicides can be harmful to the soil, garden, and humans. Herbicides are substances that are toxic to plants, which makes even our garden plants just as vulnerable to these weed-killers. They can pollute the soil if applied in large quantities and may cause harm to humans if misused.
How To Prepare Homemade Herbicides To Destroy Weeds
Many non-toxic household products are often effective in keeping away gardening pests, including hostile weeds.
1. Liquid Detergent-Alcohol Spray
To prepare this eco-friendly herbicide, all you need is a spray bottle, a teaspoon of liquid dishwashing detergent, a cup of rubbing alcohol and a quart of water. Mix the detergent, rubbing alcohol and water in the spray bottle. You may also use white vinegar instead of rubbing alcohol. Test the herbicide on a few leaves to ensure it doesn’t irritate the plants. Spray it directly on the plants you don’t want growing.
2. Boiling Water
This is the easiest herbicide to prepare and is also the least harmful to humans and the environment. Boil some water and pour it over the leaves and stems of the weeds you wish to eliminate. Boiling water is an effective way of culling unwanted plants especially in places such as sidewalk or driveway cracks, or over an area that you want to replant after the weeds are destroyed. It does not leave any residue or have any harmful long-term effects. But ensure that you pour it only over the plants you wish to eliminate.
Applying direct heat to the foliage of weeds will make the plants wilt immediately. Repeated application will burn the leaves that may resprout from the roots. A flame-weeder tool is ideal for this and is easily available at home and garden stores. It allows you to direct the flame and heat on the weeds without burning the surrounding area. Take extra precaution in areas that are fire-prone.
4. Douse With Salt
Common table salt is another powerful herbicide. Salt has a detrimental effect in the soil and must be only applied directly to the leaves of the weeds and should not soak the soil, especially on garden beds with other useful plants. Mix 1 part salt, 8 parts hot water, and a small amount of liquid dish soap in a spray bottle. To make it stronger, you may add 1 part salt to 3 parts water. Before spraying, cover or tie back useful plants around the area and then spray the leaves of the weeds with the solution. Multiple applications may be necessary. Ensure not to soak the soil, and avoid spraying on cement sidewalks or driveways as it may discolor them.
5. Salt And White Vinegar
Another homemade herbicide solution can be prepared using table salt or rock salt and white vinegar. Add 1 cup of salt to 1-gallon vinegar, and then spray this solution on the foliage of weeds. To improve its effectiveness, consider adding a few drops of liquid soap or certain oils, such as citrus oil or clove oil.
Borax is also known as sodium borate, sodium tetraborate, or disodium tetraborate. It is an important boron compound, a mineral, and a salt of boric acid. Powdered borax is white in color and consists soft colorless crystals that easily dissolve in water. It is sold as a laundry and cleaning product in many grocery stores. Mix 10 ounces of powdered borax with 2.5 gallons of water spray this solution on the leaves of unwanted plants using a sprayer. Avoid spraying on useful plants and do not saturate the soil with the solution. Ensure that this solution does not come in contact with your skin.
7. White Vinegar
Applying white vinegar to destroy weeds is another effective method. White vinegar contains about 5% acetic acid, which is usually strong enough to kill most weeds. Using an industrial strength version that has almost 20% acetic acid can be harmful to skin, eyes, or lungs. Spray it on the leaves of the weeds and avoid spraying it on useful garden plants and nearby soil. Spray repeatedly if necessary. Again, adding a few drops of liquid dish detergent helps improve the effectiveness of this solution.
8. Liquid Detergent And Olive Oil
Another simple homemade herbicide can be prepared using liquid dishwashing detergent and some olive oil. Mix 1 teaspoon of natural liquid dishwashing detergent with 1 cup of olive oil and add 1-quart tap water to it. Pour it into a spray bottle and spray it on useful garden plants to ward off aphids, spider mites, white flies, and other pests.