Clearing Ground with Household Chemicals?

I'm looking into means of clearing of weeds, shrubs, poison Oak and Ivy, and other nuisance plants on an older property using agents that:


1) are CHEAP!!!
2) are commonly available
3) will wash out of the soil over time
4) will have a minimum impact on the local environment
5) are INSTANTLY effective.

On the boards are Vinegar, Clorine Bleach, Rock Salt, and lye (drain cleaner)

Now, some of these are hazardous to mix together. Salt and Chlorine will produce clorine gas, which is extremely toxic for example.

Some may have a longer lasting effect than I necessarily want - I don't know how long it might take for "Salted Ground" to recover.

There are some trees involved in part of the area, but they are unwanted trees and the fall lines are of no great concern if they die. We have 'Thorn' trees in this region - and they are both persistent and miserable to deal with.

Comments please?

Greywolf from Tennessee


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May 29, 20050 found this helpful

I used to keep my gravel drive clear with boiling water.

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May 29, 20050 found this helpful

Get someone with a tractor and a front end loader to come and clear out the trees and shrubs or rent a tractor/bobcat yourself. Fast way of cleaning it up.

As for the poison oak and ivy, after the area is flattened, see that comes up and then ... round-up works great. It doesn't remain in the soil like salt would. We buy the large 10 litre jug for use on the acreage. Cost is very minimal per litre then when I mix some up to spray an area of weeds/grass. Plus, it is very safe to use, just follow the directions. So much easier than boiling water and cheaper than vinegar. Vinegar is an acid, I believe, and if you would pour it onto your soil...what effects would that have? Lye would also cost a lot, effects that are lasting in the soil?


Poison ivy likes the bush and when we cleared a path down to the river, by mowing it each spring and once in the summer, the poison ivy did not come back. I don't know about poison oak though.

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By Coreen (Guest Post)
June 1, 20050 found this helpful

Please remember that whatever you put on the soil will end up in your water supply.

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By Ann4 (Guest Post)
June 7, 20050 found this helpful

I would definitely use vinegar. I wouldn't put round-up in my yard, no matter how cheap. Some soils are naturally acidic, so if the vinegar causes this, you could just use whatever the county extension agent suggests for acidic soil if you plan to plant.

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