If left unattended, weeds can grow rampant and take over your garden or yard. But sometimes store-bought weed killers can be filled with chemicals, which can be dangerous for kids or pets. So today we’re sharing 25 of our favorite natural weed killer ideas. Keep reading to check them out!
1. Cayenne Pepper
Cayenne pepper deters many weeds and pests, so it is a great way to help your garden grow in a natural way. Simply mix cayenne pepper with ivory liquid soap in a spray bottle to create your weed-killing mixture. Head over to Bless My Weeds to read more.
2. Essential Oils
Essential oils are another great natural weed killer. Choose clove, cinnamon or red thyme and mix a few drops with water in a spray bottle to create your weed killer. Make your way over to Life Sanity to find out more about this simple technique.
3. Salt, Dish Soap and Vinegar
This post has a two part process to both kill the weeds naturally and prevent new ones from sprouting up. Spray some salt, dish soap and vinegar on the weeds, and then prevent them in the future by using baking soda. Head over to One Part Sunshine to read more.
4. White Vinegar
You can use straight vinegar and a pump sprayer to kill weeds naturally if you prefer the simplicity of only one ingredient. Just fill up a pump sprayer with white vinegar and spray weeds on a nice sunny day. Read some helpful tips and tricks at A Garden For The House.
5. Soap, Table Salt and Vinegar
Here’s a great visual for an effective natural mixture that will kill weeds. Mix up one gallon of white vinegar with one cup of table salt and one tablespoon of Dawn dish soap. Then pour them into a spray bottle and douse all of those pesky weeds! Image found here.
6. Boiling Water
Boiling water is another effective weed killer that is non-toxic. Simply boil a pot of water and pour it carefully over the bothersome weeds on your walkway or in your garden. Be careful not to pour it on your beautiful flowers and vegetables though! Learn more here.
You can also smother weeds with newspaper. This is a good method for gardens with large, mature plants but lots of small pesky weeds surrounding them. Head over to Bob Vila to learn more about this method and to check out some handy tips and tricks.
Cornmeal is also known to be an effective weed deterrent. Just sprinkle it over the cracks in your pavers to prevent pathway weeds. Some have said that it can attract ants, however, so test it in a small area first. Read more about this method at Gardening Know How.
9. Torch Them!
If you have a small propane torch already, try using it as a natural weed killer. The key is to carefully wilt the weeds, not to actually light them on fire. It can also do double duty as a snow melter in the winter. But as always, please use caution when playing with fire! Via Ebay.
And if you don’t feel like mixing up a concoction of your own or buying a torch to kill weeds, buy a store-bought mixture such as BurnOut to kill your weeds naturally. Burnout is made with citric acid, and is people and pet safe when used as directed. But it at Gardener’s Supply.
Bleach can be an effective weed killer for areas like pathways and driveways where you don’t want anything to grow (don’t use it in the garden, as it will affect the pH balance of your soil). Simply spray the weeds with bleach in a spray bottle. Read more here.
12. Sodium Chloride
Sodium chloride, also known as table salt, is also a natural herbicide. As salt can have a detrimental effect on the soil underneath, it is important to only apply the salt to the weeds directly to areas where you don’t want anything to grow. Read more at Tree Hugger.
13. Green it
Here is another natural weed preventer that you can buy at your local home improvement store. Green it is made with corn gluten and is supposed to stop weeds before they even grow to the surface of your garden. Read more about it or purchase a bottle here.
14. Lemon Juice
Fresh lemon juice is another natural substance that is known to kill weeds in your yard. As with many of the other methods, be sure to apply the lemon juice to the weeds directly and not to other plants since the acidity can damage those too. Read more here.
Borax, a naturally-occurring substance, can also be used effectively against weeds. Borax contains sodium borate which is a colorless crystal that dissolves when combined with water. Mix it up according to these instructions and then spray the affected areas.
16. Poison Ivy Killer
Poison ivy, a type of weed, is more problematic than those pesky little weeds in your flower beds thanks to the toxic oils that will make you itch for days. By adjusting the chemical makeup of the soil, you can make it inhospitable for poison ivy. Learn how at Hobby Farms.
Laying down mulch is another great way to prevent weeds from ever growing in the first place. Begin with a landscape fabric that will create a barrier between the soil and the mulch, then lay down a thick layer of mulch. Read more about it at Midwest Pesticide Action Center.
18. Lime Juice
Fresh lime juice combined with vinegar is another mixture that is effective at killing weeds naturally. Make your way over to Modern Mom to read all about these two substances and how to use and combine them to wage war on those frustrating weeds.
19. Apple Cider Vinegar
Although white vinegar is often suggested for destroying weeds, apple cider vinegar is another effect type of vinegar that will get rid of them. Again, it can be mixed with dish soap and salt to increase the success rate. Head over to My Home Lookbook to learn more.
20. Remove Them Manually
You may not want to hear this, but pulling weeds the good old fashioned way may be the most effective way to eliminate them. The key is to make sure to remove the root at the same time. Head over to WikiHow to learn how to pull weeds the right way.
21. Crowd Them Out
Crowd out the weeds by planting ground cover that will take over the area and steal all of the soil nutrients from them. Emerald blue moss phlox is an excellent choice, but there are plenty of other options too. Check them out over at Natural Living Ideas.
Vodka is rumored to be another great way to kill weeds naturally. The key is to spray plants with it on a hot, sunny day so that the leaves start to burn off. Make your way over to Life Hacker to learn all about killing weeds using plain old vodka from your liquor cabinet.
23. Newspaper Barrier
Just like any other plant, weeds need sunlight to thrive. So if you’re creating a new garden bed, consider laying down a layer of newspaper to block the sunlight from the area (thereby killing the weeds). Read all about this technique and others at Penny Pinchin’ Mom.
Avenger Weed Killer is a natural mixture that can be bought at your local garden supply store. It is made from oranges and contains citrus oil, which strips away the waxy plant cuticle and causes the weeds to die. Head over here to read more or to purchase it.
25. Improve Your Soil
Weeds often prefer poor soil that is acidic, so adding healthy nutrients to your soil may help to discourage the weeds. Get your soil tested to find out what elements you’ll need to give it a healthy dose of vitamins and nutrients. Head over here to learn more.