I’ve been working on my lawn and in my yard quite a bit lately and this year I am really trying to use less harsh chemicals. It’s better for the environment, my little critters, and my wallet.
I’ve had really good luck with a homemade vinegar solution as a weed killer. I use it heavily on those nasty little weeds in my beauty bark and sparingly directly on the weeds in my lawn (be careful here though, apply directly to the weed itself and watch out on windy days, you don’t want the overspray to get on the lawn grass because it will kill the grass too).
This solution has been most effective between my walkway pavers and driveway cracks where those pesky weeds sprout up and I can’t get my tools in between to pop out the weeds. On the walkway, you can literally dump the solution on and around the pavers and let it drain off into the cracks and crevices where the weeds like to grow.
The acidity in the vinegar kills the weeds by drying them out so it is optimum to let the sun help the process along. It’s best to apply when you know it will be sunny for a day or two. Also, the vinegar you get at the grocery store is for cooking so the acetic acid levels are pretty low. I have had to reapply my solution several times to really kill the weeds entirely.
Salt is also a great desiccant (draws out moisture). Some homemade weed killer recipes include salt but I prefer to omit that. It does leave behind a residue and I think it is too harsh on the soil plus you risk burning nearby plants or grass when salt is added to the solution. It’s really up to you and depends are where you are going to use it. I would certainly add this if I were going to spray weeds growing up through some lava rock or a gravel driveway.
Adding dish soap (not laundry soap, dishwasher soap, or hand soap) helps with absorption. With the soap, the solution stays on the leaves instead of just running right off.
Here’s my recipe:
½ gallon vinegar
2 tablespoons of salt (if you like)
1 ounce of dish soap (that’s about two good squirts)
If you give it a try, let me know how it works for you. Good luck! -Wendy