Monday, May 17, 2010

A Safe Weed Killer?

Yes. I have a terrible problem with poison ivy here, and really hate the idea of using a toxic weed killer. After a bit of searching, I found a recipe that sounded safe, and amazingly, it actually works! I didn't really think to write about it here until I read my niece's blog where she wrote about using a similar homemade concoction to kill weeds successfully. My recipe is nearly identical to hers, but mine includes the addition of liquid dish soap (hopefully an environmentally safe soap!) which acts as a "sticker".

With poison ivy, you need to spray it while it's still young, otherwise it doesn't work well at all. Some weeds it works great on, others it takes several applications. Don't spray this stuff on plants if there is rain in the forecast as that will just wash it off and you'll have to re-apply.

Here is a before and after photo of a particularly nasty weed that I have to deal with in my garden, and for the life of me I can't remember what it's called just now. I'll look it up tomorrow (hopefully), and make a note of what it is. It smells like mums, so it's not ALL bad, but it spreads like wildfire and is a bear to get rid of.

Moments after homemade weed killer was sprayed on the weeds--they're already starting to droop!

The first photo was taken just a few minutes after I sprayed my homemade weed killer on it. The second photo was taken a couple hours later. Amazing how fast it works! I don't think this actually kills the plant right off the bat, but several sprayings will be in order to eradicate it.

Several hours after weed killer was sprayed. Gotcha!

Here's the recipe:

1 gallon vinegar
1 cup salt
8 drops detergent

mix together and shake until salt dissolves, pour into a sprayer and go to town killing weeds!

This is great to use on our brick patio where little weeds grow up between the bricks. And I can feel good about using something that isn't harming life or the environment.

1 comment:

  1. I too have that same dreaded mum infestation - and it is that - and infestation! We have fought them for going on 13 years now - in the same area. I'm going to try your concoction and promptly get some weed barrier installed ON TOP!

    NOW, for the potential good news! Check with your extension office because if it is a certain type - it's edible! Yay for weed salads!!