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Homemade Weed Killer Recipes

Category Weeds
Homemade Weed Killer Recipes
Having weeds in your garden and lawn really detracts from the look of your yard. Avoid using harmful chemicals by making you own weed killer. This is a guide about homemade weed killer recipes.


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By 18 found this helpful
March 22, 2012

I have used the same method for many years now. Who would know that a huge mistake could turn out to be something useful years later? Maybe many ideas come to use that way, this one for sure did.


We were boiling shrimp with some friends when I lived in Louisiana. Being young and trying not to show it, actually taught me two things in the same weekend. One: do not put shrimp down the garbage disposal. Two: the hot mixture of spices kills your grass almost instantly! I do pretty much everything I can organically. If I still lived in the South where you boil shrimp or crawfish often, I would just use the left over water to pour on all my weeds. Since I have moved from there, now I make a special "brew" to kill all of those weeds, without hurting the environment. The ones that come up through cracks in driveway or close to the steps can't hide from this hot and spicy weed killer.

You take Cajun pepper (red pepper will do) and hot sauce, vinegar can also be added if you have extra. Bring it to a boil and pour directly on any area where you want everything to die. Be very careful not to get it on grass you want to stay alive. Anything this hot mixture is put on will die (ants don't like it either). If you make more then you use at any given time, put in bottle for next time. This works cool, but I have found it works faster when boiled, steaming hot. If you aren't wanting to see results immediately, know it works after mixture has cooled off.

I add a half jar of Cajun or red pepper and half a bottle of hot sauce to a large pot of water. You just know it is ready when your eyes are watering and the room fills with the smell of the mixture. I have added left over pickle juice, vinegar, even jalapeno juice to this, depending what is left over in my fridge or cabinets. This works and works well without hurting anything in the air; animals tend not to eat in that area but it doesn't hurt them.

If you do boil shrimp, crab or crawfish, please drain the water where any unwanted weeds are so you get double use out of something you would just throw away. At most markets that sell seafood, they have bags with seasoning already in it. I always ask this time of the year to let me know if any are past the selling date. A couple of times I got lucky and was able to get the boil in bag seasoning for a dollar. Any of these ingredients can be found at the Dollar Store. With no more worries about pulling weeds, maybe you will have more time to enjoy this beautiful time of the year.


By Luana M. from San Diego, CA

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By 12 found this helpful
March 7, 2011

To kill dandelions, pour vodka into spray bottle and spray on dandelions on a sunny day. Add a little dish liquid for more stubborn weeds.

By duckie-do from Cortez, CO

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By 4 found this helpful
April 15, 2009

One can just pour hot water on plants to get rid of weeds. But, I wish people would really look at all the plants growing in their yards and ask why.

Plants like dandelions have deep tap roots. They break up the soil and bring minerals up to the top soil. Why not just mow them down after they've bloomed. They are pretty. Plants tell you a lot about the condition of your land.

We've been taught to prefer manicured, scrubbed yards. There are no fruit trees anymore which could have something to do with the bee problem. No berry bushes, and a few set apart plants. Why not go crazy and go for lush? Weeds would get crowded out.


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By 2 found this helpful
August 17, 2015

Instead of using harsh chemicals that can be lethal to children and animals and quite expensive, grab a nice big pot and fill it with water. Bring water to a rapid boil and pour on weeds. This literally fries the roots and the active growing weeds nearly instantly.

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August 31, 20083 found this helpful


  • Vinegar
  • Liquid Soap
  • Orange Oil


Use 10% vinegar per gallon of water. Add 2-4 oz orange oil (citrus Orange oil) and 1 Tablespoon liquid soap (not germacide type but real soap).

and if you have a really bad weed problem:

Use 2 cups dried molasses, 2 cups sugar with 1 Tbsp chili pepper and 2 Tbsp garlic powder - mix it and lay around base of weeds.

You can mix the dried mix with orange oil and 1 cup vinegar but be sure you are outside as it is bad to breathe. Be sure not to get it on you when spraying and not in your eyes at all.


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June 3, 20161 found this helpful

You can mix up a homemade weed killer solution using salt and vinegar. This page contains a salt and vinegar weed killer recipe.

Salt and Vinegar Weed Killer Recipe

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June 1, 20040 found this helpful

I feed all of our wildlife here in the yard. I have a feeder for peanuts for the squirrels, they make a mess with the peanut shells, so I got the bright idea of using them for weed control. I put them around the flowers, and have started using them around my vegetable plants.

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April 16, 20140 found this helpful

A common kitchen product that can be helpful to kill unwanted plants, but you need to be careful around plants you want to keep. This is a guide about killing weeds with vinegar.


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Ask a QuestionHere are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community or ask a new question.

March 19, 20141 found this helpful

We would like to try the solution of vinegar, Epsom salt, and dish soap, but are concerned if it will kill everything. We do not want "volunteers" oaks, coffeeberry, etc. to be killed. Thanks!

By Maria R.

Answer Was this helpful? 1


March 25, 20143 found this helpful
Best Answer

First of all, you'd use regular salt; epsom salt is actually a plant food. Vinegar will render the soil sterile, meaning that nothing at all will grow there, maybe for decades (it stays in the soil). It will also render the soil sterile if a rain washes it to another place. It is best NOT to use it if you ever want anything to grow, ever. And yes, it will kill "volunteers." Just lightly spray the leaves with soapy (blue dawn dishwash soap) water on a really sunny day or use boiling water.

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By 0 found this helpful
May 20, 2008

I've misplaced a very effective recipe for an natural weed killer. It used Pine Sol as one of the ingredients. Would greatly appreciate if anyone is familiar with this recipe.

Answer Was this helpful? Yes
By guest (Guest Post)
May 20, 20080 found this helpful

You can use cheap white vinegar, just pour it directly, out of the bottle, on the weeds. The next morning... dead weeds. It works. I use it on cracks in the driveway and not in big spaces. But it works!

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May 20, 20080 found this helpful

I use 1 gallon white vinegar, 1 pound of salt, and a generous squirt of lemon dish detergent mixed in a watering can. Stir the mix well and sprinkle on the unwanted weeds. They are dead by the next morning and the best part is that it won't hurt my dogs!

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May 25, 20080 found this helpful

Tea kettle with boiling water also works. Just be careful and not spill it on your toes.


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March 26, 20090 found this helpful

You can spray your yard with Dawn Dish detergent, and Pine Sol. Equal amounts of both. Use a sprayer bottel hooked to your hose. This mixture takes care of fleas, beetles, and destroys ant hills. It also makes your grass greener, is safe on your flowers and plants,I have not used this,good luck.

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April 13, 20090 found this helpful

I love Pine Sol for everything. I make a house cleaner out of it in a spray bottle using 4 parts water to one part pine sol. I am now going to use the recipe above in the yard. Thanks! Robyn

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June 19, 20130 found this helpful

I use white vinegar, the cheaper the brand the better. Save the pinesol mixes to spray your trash cans, theones you put out for pick up. The pine sol smell makes the trash less nasty to your nose and totally nasty to the critters like racoons and skunks who may be in search of a free meal.

Be Careful with the vinegar. Don't get it on any plants you want to keep. Otherwise it's totally safe for you, your pets, and the environment.

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By 0 found this helpful
April 1, 2010

I am looking for a recipe for organic weed and grass killer.

Hardiness Zone: 8a

By Cynthia from TX

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April 1, 20101 found this helpful

Dandelion foliage withering, just 24 hours after a vinegar application.

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For organic gardening, vinegar can function as a handy natural weed killer. It's the acetic acid in vinegar that gives it the power to kill weeds. The higher the percentage of acetic acid in the vinegar, the better it will operate as a natural weed killer, technically speaking. Vinegar used for culinary purposes is relatively low (5%) in acetic acid, so repeated applications will be necessary when using it as a natural weed killer.

Vinegar As Natural Weed Killer: Limitations

If you're battling lawn weeds, take care to apply the vinegar directly onto the weeds themselves, not letting it come into contact with your grass. Why? Because the fact that vinegar is a natural weed killer doesn't mean it can't be harmful if misused. Vinegar is non-selective, and this natural weed killer can harm your grass!

To avoid damage to grass, consider "painting" the vinegar directly onto weeds with a brush. If you do spray with vinegar, don't pull the trigger until you're right up close to the targeted weed. Don't spray on a windy day, as the wind could carry your vinegar spray where you don't want it to go -- on your grass.

Because of this limitation, I don't think of vinegar as being an especially effective natural weed killer for lawn areas. It makes more sense to use vinegar in areas where lawn grass and other landscaping plants won't be in the way, such as on patios or walkways (where you have weeds pushing up through cracks).

But if you're already in the process of digging a dandelion out of the lawn, it wouldn't hurt to supplement your efforts with vinegar. After you've removed as much of the taproot as possible, carefully pour some vinegar into the hole. The vinegar will seep down into the soil, killing any portions of taproot you may have missed. Afterwards, shovel soil into the hole and sow grass seed on top, lest any opportunistic weed seeds should fill the vacuum.

There's another limitation in using vinegar as a natural weed killer, but this limitation extends to chemical weed killers, as well: namely, that you'll probably have to re-apply the vinegar to get the job done, as weeds often refuse to go quietly. This is especially true of established perennial weeds, toughened by years of coping with environmental challenges; vinegar will be more effective on younger weeds.

But considering that vinegar is safe and relatively inexpensive, this objection is hardly a telling argument against the use of vinegar as a natural weed killer. If your goal is to use a natural weed killer, one assumes that you'll be motivated to make repeated applications, as necessary.

Vinegar As Natural Weed Killer: When to Apply

When practicing natural weed control, take to heart the dictum, Know thine enemy! Study up on the weeds you're battling before you use the vinegar on them. Target annual weeds with your vinegar natural weed killer before they set seed, to prevent them from spawning a new generation to give you headaches next year.

By contrast, early fall is the best time to use this natural weed killer on perennial weeds. Early fall is when you'll want to apply vinegar to dandelions (but snap off the flowers whenever they appear, to prevent them from going to seed in the meantime). Dandelions, although their leaves die back in winter, do live on through their roots. So preventing them from going to seed isn't enough.

Fortunately, knowing a little botany can help you considerably in your battle with perennial weeds like dandelions. You see, in early fall, nutrients are transferred from the dandelion leaves down to the roots. This transfer, which continues until the first killing frost, presents you with an opportunity to hit dandelions where it really hurts! Vinegar natural weed killer applied during this time is absorbed by the leaves and passed on to the roots, following the same path down as the nutrients. The plants are killed -- naturally. Repeated applications may be necessary.

Vinegar As Natural Weed Killer: How to Apply

Listen to your local forecast, and find out when your region will be experiencing a few continuous days of sunshine. At the beginning of this period, spray or paint the vinegar onto the weeds you wish to kill.

Why is a sunny period required? Two reasons:

1.You need to saturate the weeds' leaves with the vinegar, and rain would wash too much of the vinegar off the foliage.

2.The real damage to the sprayed weeds begins the next couple of days after the application, when the sun hits the leaves.

Some people who use vinegar as a natural weed killer like to boil the vinegar, prior to application. Through such boiling, you may actually be able to gain a concentrate higher in acetic acid, although I haven't yet experimented with this option in any scientific way. But it certainly can't hurt to boil the vinegar; in fact, many folks report success killing weeds by simply pouring scalding water on weeds! So I suppose the use of boiled vinegar allows you to attack weeds on an additional front.

Vinegar As Natural Weed Killer: The Stronger Stuff

It is possible to buy products with a higher acetic acid content than that found in ordinary vinegar. Such products can be purchased at farmer's stores or from restaurant supply businesses. But the potency of these acetic acid products can render them less safe to use than household vinegar. To me, that puts them at odds with the whole concept of using "natural weed killers." Besides, you have to go out of your way to find these products, and the idea behind the present article was to introduce a handy natural weed killer, something you can just pull off a kitchen shelf and experiment with.

Other Uses for Vinegar

Those of you who have held an ongoing grudge against vinegar for its ability to make your mouth pucker may finally be able to grant vinegar forgiveness. For that same sourness makes vinegar the natural weed killer of choice for organic gardening. Vinegar can also be used for cleaning purposes around the home, as an alternative to chemical cleaners.

So if you rarely open that vinegar jug for purposes of seasoning your food, don't despair: The uses for vinegar extend well beyond the culinary.

good luck.

Reply Was this helpful? 1
April 1, 20101 found this helpful

I like the painting it on scenario! Will try it this spring.

Reply Was this helpful? 1
April 2, 20101 found this helpful


Put it into a cheap $12 garden pump-sprayer & spray the area... Or you can pour it directly on to the ground. If your heat the vinegar up it works even better... The very best vinegar is a special stronger-acid type that's sold at plant nurseries, but any kind of vinegar will work.

Boiling Water:

If you may want to plant something there later on, you can simply use boiling water... It kills the grass & weeds, but won't keep the area from growing plants in the future. You can simply set up a propane camper stove outside & boil your water on it...

* Keep your animals inside while using the stove & watch out for your neighbors animals that may wander into your yard, you don't want them to be scalded!

Reply Was this helpful? 1
April 2, 20100 found this helpful

I believe corn bran is now used to kill weeds, used like mulch. Covering grass with a mat, boards, or black plastic will kill it. How much grass influences the choice.

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April 13, 20120 found this helpful

I thought I saw a homemade recipe to kill vegetation and weeds using rubbing alcohol. Can you help me? Or is there any other recipe that would kill thistles, etc.?

By Norrene

Answer Was this helpful? Yes


April 13, 20120 found this helpful

Vinegar. I read something about vinegar with a mix of epsom salts. But now I can not re-find the link! Shucks. But try looking it up on gardening sites that have a dot.ORG ending. That may help. In the meantime I will look again.

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October 11, 20150 found this helpful

apparently you should use regular salt, as the Epsom salts are a fertilizer for plants. I did not know this, lol. Could have had megaweeds growing everywhere on my little lawn. I found by accident a wonderful weed and grass killer one time as our dog and house was sprayed by a skunk. So after spraying the house, I noticed later that same day that all of the grass on my lawn and ditch area, we lived in the countryside, it all turned an orangey colour and poof it died in two days. Amazing stuff, only problem is, the computer that it was on died and now I cannot find the recipie, oh crap.

It had glycerine included, it allows the mixture to stick to the leaves of the plant, plus if you use a nice smelling dish soap then your yard smells nice as well, bonus, lol.

Anyway, Take care Tracey and good luck.


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March 31, 20120 found this helpful

Is there a formula for homemade weed killer?

By Pat H.

Answer Was this helpful? Yes
March 31, 20120 found this helpful

Vinegar works well as a weed killer. Put it in a spray bottle, turn the sprayer so it shoots out in a stream, and aim it at the bottom of the plant.

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March 31, 20120 found this helpful

Here's a good one I came across the other day!

http://www.thri  f001328.tip.html

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By 0 found this helpful
May 8, 2010

What is the best homemade weed killer?

By Diane from Center Point, IA

Answer Was this helpful? Yes
May 9, 20100 found this helpful

I've used bleach, but I don't like to because I doubt it's safe for the environment.

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May 13, 20100 found this helpful

Vinegar works or boiling water but then you will kill the good things growing around it too. If you have individual weeds you want to kill, the best thing to do is take one of those sponge paint brushes (preferably a small one) and dip it in Roundup and "paint" the leaves of the weed. It takes it down to the root and does not affect the grass around it. It is time consuming but it works.

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By 0 found this helpful
March 25, 2016

How do I kill a large patch of Agapanthus using only natural ingredients? I want to plant there afterwards as well. Any suggestions?

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August 7, 20170 found this helpful

There are two methods to remove Agapanthus bulbs from your yard.

First, wait till the season has ended and start digging up the bulbs. The best time to dig up the bulbs is in late fall to early winter. The plants have stopped growing by this time.

Second, prune your Agapanthus plants to the ground. Afterwards, spread a sheet of plastic over the area and secure it in place with rocks around the edges of the plastic. Leave your plastic in place for one growing season. When you see Agapanthus shoots growing around the edge of your plastic, pull them out. Now it should be easy to dig the ground and remove the remaining bulbs.

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August 8, 20140 found this helpful

Does anyone know where corn gluten can be purchased? I have been told it is used in Oklahoma, spread like grass seed. It apparently feeds the grass and kills the weeds.

By Jaci

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August 14, 20140 found this helpful

You may want to read this and other articles before you spend time and money on corn gluten.  ry-is-still-out/

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By 1 found this helpful
August 5, 2010

What is the best homemade remedy to kill weeds permanently around the house.

By samsosa35

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August 21, 20110 found this helpful

This is a video showing how to make homemade RoundUp http://www.reci  data_player.html

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By 0 found this helpful
February 1, 2005

I am looking for a cure to kill the bind weed around my farm. I haven't minded it too much except that it is moving into my flower beds and that is a no, no. I've tried digging it, but there is just too much of it.

Donna Marie

Answer Was this helpful? Yes
By guest (Guest Post)
February 2, 20050 found this helpful

try using just staight vinegar.....I use it on my sidewalks on pickers and grass but try to get the root area and try not to get other plants as it may damage their roots also....kid and animal safe

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By 0 found this helpful
March 9, 2016

Is there a homemade recipe for killing weeds in the lawn without killing the grass?

Answer Was this helpful? Yes

By 0 found this helpful
July 9, 2014

I have a lot of grass right up next to my house and azaleas not too far from the house. Will the homemade Roundup seep over into the azaleas? I have already killed some of the grass. So far, the azalea is still alive, but I was wondering if anyone knew about this because I have more grass to kill with several more plants.

By Sandy M. from Tyler, TX

Answer Was this helpful? Yes

July 9, 20140 found this helpful

How do I make my own weed killer?

By Bill from Ajax, Ontario

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By 0 found this helpful
June 4, 2014

Will the recipe of 2 cups Epsom salt, 1 gallon white vinegar and 1/2 cup blue Dawn detergent kill my centipede grass or flowers?

By Jackie

Answer Was this helpful? Yes

August 6, 20130 found this helpful

I use vinegar, ammonium sulphate, salt, and liquid soap to kill my weeds. Is that better or not? What is the most highly effective homemade weed killer?

By Ansa from Nigeria

Answer Was this helpful? Yes

February 29, 20120 found this helpful

What is the best thing to use for Florida betany weed commonly known as rattlesnake weed grass? It is very invasive and spreads fast.

By Glenda

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By 0 found this helpful
August 31, 2011

What is the weed killer recipe that includes gin?

By Barb Jean

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ThriftyFun is one of the longest running frugal living communities on the Internet. These are archives of older discussions.

March 7, 20110 found this helpful

For weed killer, mix 2 cups table salt with 1 gallon white vinegar (5% acidity) and 8 drops dish soap. Label and store. This will kill any and all vegetation. spraying this multiple times will sterilize the soil so nothing will grow there for a long time. Good for areas like sidewalks.

By duckie-do from Cortez, CO


Homemade weed killer

Here's something I've used: Combine one ounce gin, one ounce dish soap and one ounce vinegar. Put into a 32 oz. sprayer and fill with water. Spray just the weed. You can also put baking soda on just the weed. They turn black and shrivel up. To kill weeds in sidewalk cracks, pour boiling water on them. (04/20/2001)

Homemade weed killer

1 gallon white vinegar plus 1 pound of table salt (03/25/2004)

By noname

Homemade weed killer

Here's a great weed killer you can make yourself for about $2 a gallon: Dissolve 1 pound table salt in 1 gallon white vinegar (5% acidity is ideal) Add 8 drops of liquid dish washing detergent (helps plant material absorb the liquid) Label and keep out of reach of children. You can use this in an ordinary spray bottle. This non-toxic formula acts as a temporary soil sterilizer, so don't spray near roots of trees, shrubs, or plants you'd like to keep. This is especially effective on a gravel driveway. (03/25/2004)

By oops

Homemade weed killer

Get a gallon sprayer at a Home Improvement store. Mix equal parts of vinegar and lemon juice in the sprayer and spray directly on the weeds. It works best if the temp stays above 70 degrees at least for a couple of days. Watch the weeds turn brown and die in no time! Repeat as needed! (02/25/2005)

By Jason from Gilbert, AZ

Comment Was this helpful? Yes

August 9, 20100 found this helpful

How do I make weed killer?

Hardiness Zone: 7a

By Charlie from Dayton, TN


Recipe for a Homemade Weedkiller

I have 2 very old remedies;

1) Use straight bleach.

2) Mix 1 part liquid dish soap, 2 parts vinegar, 2 parts water.

By ang253

Recipe for a Homemade Weedkiller

I'd think the bleach would stain or wash out the other grass around it. I've heard of the vinegar route, but haven't tried it. Worth a shot! (07/13/2010)

By Allison5

Recipe for a Homemade Weedkiller

I tried this suggestion: mix 1 part liquid dish soap, 2 parts vinegar, 2 parts water.


fter a week, no dead weeds. Sprayed them again, nothing. Perhaps my using apple vinegar is the reason. I'll try it with a different kind of vinegar. By the way, one recipe similar to the one I mentioned, had you adding a tablespoon of gin to the mixture. What a waste of perfectly gin, and it did not help (grin). (07/13/2010)

By duanedv

Comment Was this helpful? Yes

August 5, 20100 found this helpful

I am looking for a homemade weed killer recipe.

Hardiness Zone: 6b

By Roberta


Make Your Own Weed Killer Recipe

I killed my frogs, thousands of them. I used Roundup because I did not know. Agent Orange. Now it is cut, pull, and spray with vinegar if I have to. Because of having no frogs, my garden is loaded with bugs. (06/05/2010)

By muttmom

Make Your Own Weed Killer Recipe

Re: Vinegar for killing weeds.

We've used vinegar for killing weeds around the garden, for several years now. It's a great way to get rid of weeds in cracks in cement or in a paved driveway. You can pour it on directly from the jug or put it in a spray bottle (use full strength). Just a word of warning, if you don't want it to die, then don't go near it with the vinegar. If using in a flower garden, be careful around the plants you want to keep. The vinegar will leach to the other plants through the roots and kill them, so it may be better to pull these by hand.

Hope this helps. Good luck! (06/07/2010)

By Pam in Beeton

Make Your Own Weed Killer Recipe

Use pickling vinegar instead of regular white or malt vinegar since it contains 7% acetic acid and not the usual 5%.
The ratio of 1 teaspoon (5 millilitres) of liquid washing soap to 1 gallon (4 Litres) pickling vinegar is fine. (06/29/2010)

By sofblend

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July 13, 20100 found this helpful

I'd like to use some kind of natural weed killer that I can make myself to use in and around my flower and vegetable garden without killing off my vegetables and flowers. What do you recommend?

Comment Was this helpful? Yes
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