Natural Weed Killer
Try A Natural Weed Killer Next Time
Maybe you haven't tried a natural weed killer around the house because you thought there was no such thing. It would seem that if natural weed killers were readily available, we wouldn't see boxes, bags, or jars of them stocked in home improvement centers or nurseries and garden stores.
Admittedly, if you have a large weed infested area, the proper approach would seem to be that of spraying it with a commercial weed killer, and there's certainly nothing wrong with that. When working with commercial insecticides, pesticides, or herbicides, the labels always caution us to proceed with care, and usually for good reason. Of the three, herbicides are usually the safest to work with, from a human perspective, although some commercial mixes can be quite concentrated, presenting a problem if coming into contact with the skin or the eyes.
The primary reason for seeking out a natural weed killer is most likely economic. Weed killers can be expensive, and doubly so if on has to repeat the application later. What then would a natural weed killer consist of? What we would look for is something that would either attack the roots of the weed, killing the plant that way, or keeping nutrients from reaching the roots, another way to kill off a plant. Roots and foliage work in synergy, one providing nutrients to the other. If just the foliage is killed off, the weed may just be set back a few days, weeks, or perhaps until next year. Kill the roots, and the weed is done for.
The Natural Way - One way to kill the roots is to remove them from the ground, by pulling out the weed. Pulling weeds probably isn't what you were thinking of in your search for a natural weed killer, but it's as natural as you can get. The secret here is to get the ground good and wet so the roots will come out easily and completely.
Gasoline? - Looking for something other than manual labor? Gasoline is effective but should naturally only be used in small or spot areas. Spraying a half acre with gasoline isn't being environmentally friendly, and not real smart either, but if you have an especially troublesome weed, that keeps on coming back, pour a little gasoline on it when no one's looking, and that should take care of it.
Boiling Water - There are four other substances which are really much better than gasoline, and just as effective. They are household bleach, vinegar, rock salt, and boiling water. Taken in reverse order, pouring boiling water on a weed will usually kill it, especially broad leaf weeds. Boiling water is good for spot areas or places such as cracks in driveways or sidewalks. A coffee pot full will go a long way, and costs virtually nothing.
Rock Salt - Rock salt is about as sure fire a natural weed killer as you can get, and is an excellent solution for graveled parking areas or driveways. Rock salt isn't good for use in spot weeding or on lawns and in the garden. If too much salt accumulates in the soil, nothing much will grow, possibly for years. Rock salt then has to be looked at as a more permanent solution in areas you want absolutely nothing to grow, unless new dirt is hauled in, which still may not work.
Vinegar - Household vinegar is the natural weed killer choice of many. It is one of the few herbicides that can also be used as a household cleaner and can be safely ingested as well. Plus for some, it has a pleasant smell, especially if one likes pickles. How does vinegar kill weeds? Vinegar contains ascetic acid, which is what does the trick. When the ascetic acid is poured on the leaves of the weed, it works its way into the root system. The weed dies as a result in being in a much more acidic environment than it can survive in, and dies fairly quickly. Bear in mind that vinegar does not target weeds, but will kill any plant it comes into contact with. Vinegar works in much the same way as does Roundup, in fact for all practical purposes, it works the same as Roundup. Just pouring it on the soil won't work, as the acid will quickly dilute to the point it is no longer effective. Vinegar needs to come into contact with foliage and/or roots to do the job.
Household Bleach - Bleach works much the same way as vinegar, but at the same time in an opposite way. Whereas vinegar places the weed in a highly acidic environment, bleach creates a highly alkaline environment. Either way, the weed finds itself in an environment it which it cannot survive. Like vinegar, bleach will kill what it comes into contact with, so it needs to be applied with caution in the lawn or garden.
Boiling water would appear to be a good way to rid a lawn of a few dandelions, as it can be applied as a "spot" weed killer. Vinegar or bleach would have to be used with care, and using rock salt in the lawn is of course out of the question. Otherwise, water the lawn well, and hand pull the weeds.