Alternatives to using Roundup and other commercial brands. Here are tips from the ThriftyFun community, post your own here.
It would be tempting to go on an extended tirade about the consequences of using synthetic chemicals like Roundup on your yard and garden, but I won't. Instead, I'm going to suggest some alternatives to controlling the weeds in your driveway cracks and rock garden. I will say, however, (and this is my advice for all gardeners) that for the sake of your health (and that of your family's, your neighbor's and the environment), please consider organic alternatives to these synthetic chemicals. There is a lot of conflicting information out there regarding their safety, but scientists do know that several of the "non-active" ingredients in Roundup (ingredients other than the "active" ingredient Glyphosate) have been linked to serious health effects. These include reproductive failure, kidney failure, endocrine disruption and a decline in our global frog population (some ingredients kill the tadpoles). The EPA also lists Glyphosate (the active ingredient) as a drinking water contaminant that can cause serious long-term health effects at elevated levels. What constitutes "elevated" to each individual remains unclear.
Now, on to some alternatives. The following recipe is cheap and effective. You might have to re-apply it if it rains immediately after your initial application. Apply this on a hot sunny day and you should be weed-free for a while.
Combine the ingredients in a bucket. Stir to blend. Pour or spot spray over weeds. This mixture is non-selective, so do not apply it to ornamental plants. The vinegar can also bleach out dark-colored asphalt or brick when with sun exposure, so apply it at night to avoid discoloration if your circumstances require it.
Another treatment that works on some weeds is simply to cover them with baking soda. Do not combine this with water/rain or it will not be effective. If it's working, you should see black weeds within 24-48 hours.
Other effective methods include killing weeds with boiling water or burning them with a propane torch. These methods may have to be repeated a few times throughout the season, but they are far safer and much less expensive then synthetic chemicals.
Hope these ideas help!
Here are some facts about the long term affects of Roundup and Glyphosate.
It may not cost much but it is very bad for the ground water, amphibians, earthworms and people.
Using a Weed Dragon or weed burner is very effective for clearing ground and keeping it weed free with much less harm to the environment.
By Susan from ThriftyFun
For as much of the open areas as possible, I put down a 3-4 layers of black/white newspaper down under the mulch. It helps block out the weeds better than mulch alone. It needs to be redone every year or two, but that's fine by me.
For sidewalks, driveways and areas that edged in stone, I torch the weeds with a special propane torch designed especially for this purpose. I don't use it when it's extremely dry out and I always have water available in case something catches fire that shouldn't.
I use straight vinegar when dealing with some weeds (I am concerned about adding too much salt to the ground). But if you don't need the above solution very often, then it is perfectly fine to use.
I also hand pull, but laying the newspaper down under the mulch greatly reduces that. Just make sure you get as much of the root as possible.
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