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Large Area Weed Killer

By Ellen Brown

Q: I want to use a homemade, non-toxic weed killer to kill off weeds in two large garden areas in my back yard. Spraying with a small spray bottle is not reasonable. Could someone give me a recipe or a conversion that would work in an Ortho bottle that I can connect to my garden hose?


KJV from Wisconsin



This recipe is very strong and will essentially kill the soil, and everything growing in it, wherever you apply it (including any beneficial microbes). It is not selective, meaning it will kill your ornamentals along with the weeds. If used heavily, you may have trouble growing new plants in areas where it's used unless you bring in some new soil. Don't use it on or near concrete or apply it on windy days. For best results, apply on a hot day and wait at least 24 hours after applying.


  1. Mix 1 pound of salt with one gallon of white vinegar.
  2. Stir until the salt dissolves.
  3. Mix in one teaspoon of liquid soap.

About The Author: Ellen Brown is our Green Living and Gardening Expert. Click here to ask Ellen a question! Ellen Brown is an environmental writer and photographer and the owner of Sustainable Media, an environmental media company that specializes in helping businesses and organizations promote eco-friendly products and services. Contact her on the web at



Large Area Weed Killer

Well, I know that if you pour ordinary salt and water on weeds they die off after a few days. Maybe you could use a strong salt solution? It would be eco friendly and cheap too.
Let me know how it goes if you try it.

Chicky (09/03/2004)

By chickybiker

Large Area Weed Killer

I know that I have taken vinegar and put it in a spray bottle and sprayed it on the weeds and in a couple of days the weeds were gone. Just be careful that you don't spray it directly on the plants. (09/13/2004)

By Jenny

Large Area Weed Killer

This isn't exactly what you're looking for, and it's not a quick fix, but you can lay down wet newspaper (at least six sheets thick, in my opinion). Cover with sticks, rocks, dirt, etc. so it doesn't blow away. Next year the area should be clear of weeds and ready to be worked for a garden, lawn, or whatever. Good luck. (05/02/2009)


By editornj

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