With the increasing controversy surrounding the health effects of glyphosate, why not skip the Roundup and try this 100% natural weed killer?
Glyphosate, the primary active ingredient in Roundup, the world’s most popular herbicide, has been classified by the World Health Organization as a Group 2A carcinogen. (See the previous post The Health Hazards of Glyphosate.)
Why take a chance when you can effectively kill weeds naturally?
Many DIY weed killers use white vinegar. I have found the weeds in the Arizona desert too hardy for white vinegar. I have had better success with horticultural vinegar!
What is the difference between white vinegar and horticultural vinegar?
White vinegar is a 5% acetic acid compound while horticultural is a 20% acetic acid product. White vinegar is obviously much cheaper, but I have found a little goes a long way with the 20% solution.
You can also dilute the 20% with an equal amount of water to create a 10% solution. (10% may be enough for your weeds and may be advisable as 20% is quite strong and will burn skin on contact.)
DIY Weed Killer – Recipe #1
- 2 cups horticultural vinegar (dilute with equal parts water if desired)
- splash of citrus oil
The citrus oil contains d-limonene, which naturally strips away the waxy plant cuticle, adding to the dehydration of the plant. (I don’t use my expensive orange or lemon essential oils for this. I like this affordable natural orange oil.)
Blend the two in a spray bottle and apply directly to weeds. Be sure to spray only the plants you are seeking to eliminate as this will kill any living plant in its path.
DIY Weedkiller – Recipe #2
- 1-gallon vinegar (10-20% acetic acid is recommended.)
- 1/2 c. liquid soap
- 2 tbsp. salt
Combine and shake. Place in spray bottle and spray leaves and stems of weeds only.
For either recipe, be sure to pick a dry time to spray. You want the weeds to be thirsty! Apply in the evening and let them drink all night. In Arizona, I have had success by spraying in the middle of the day. Either way, you want them to be parched.
Given the health impact of chemicals like glyphosate, why not give this natural solution a try?