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Homemade Weed Killer Recipes

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.

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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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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.

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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.

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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, 2008

Here is a natural weed killer recipe.

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June 1, 2004

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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38 Questions

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March 19, 2014

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.

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March 25, 20144 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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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.

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By Norma (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.
GG Vi

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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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March 9, 2016

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


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April 1, 2010

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

Hardiness Zone: 8a

By Cynthia Randall 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.

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April 1, 20101 found this helpful

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

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April 2, 20101 found this helpful

Vinegar:
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!

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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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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

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April 13, 2012

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

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March 31, 2012

Is there a formula for homemade weed killer?

By Pat H.

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What is the best homemade weed killer?

By Diane Willett from Center Point, IA

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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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