Friday, March 16, 2012

A Better Way To Eliminate Weeds

It seems the warmer weather and abundant rain this season have elevated the weed level.  I don't know about you but I can feel the effects.  Weeds are not only unsightly and drain vital nutrients from soil, they also reek havoc on allergies.  Most people will use the first line of defence and grab some chemical weed killer.  There are better ways to tackle a weed infestation.

The most amazing coincidence is that the safer products available
for weed control are some of the same I've mentioned to help fight insects and clean your home.  Basically you get a three shot punch with one product.  How many of your chemical solutions can make that claim?   Being environmentally conscious is not only beneficial to the air we breath, but it is friendlier on the pocket book as well.  In addition you can create safer surroundings for children as well as pets. Isn't it something we should all practice?

Although pulling a weed may seem the most practical solution to removing it this isn't always true.  The chances of leaving a portion of the root system in the ground are good. If you don't keep vinegar as a staple in your home you might want to invest.  It's not just for cooking anymore.  This acetic acid not only works as a cleaning solution*, it also helps in insect** and weed control.  Fermented from ethanol vinegar contains properties that will dehydrate a plant.  This process not only destroys the plant, but the root system as well and keeps your weeds from growing back.  Be cautious though.  This process not only eliminates weeds but all other forms of foliage as well including grass.  Use vinegar strictly on sideways and driveways.  Use a product with a higher acidic value to control larger weeds.

Salt is another natural absorbent that drains fluids necessary for a weed to survive.  Salt can be used in one of two ways.  Mix 1 part rock salt to 2 parts boiling water and spray the infected area.  Again, this will eliminate all forms of growth.  However, if you take a pinch of table salt and place it directly on the weed itself, preferably just before a rain so the salt dissolves, it will kill the weed and spare most of the plants around it.  If you save your paper towel holders place the weed in the tube before you spray it to protect any lawn you need to spare.  Rock salt and boiled water work very well on larger, over infested weeds.

The detergent in dish soap is useful when sprayed directly on the leaves of weeds.  Mixing 1 cup of soap to 10 cups of boiling water its best to apply the soap when the sun is at it's brightest.  The direct heat dries the soap quickly and pulls fluids from the leaves and roots.  Always use a high grade dish soap that contains a valid amount of detergent.  Using bath or laundry soaps is not effective in removing weeds.  Don't forget to surround the weed with a tube to protect your grass.

Rub a layer of isopropyl alcohol on the leaves of  the plant, again when the sun is highest.  It will quickly dehydrate the plant and kill the roots.  For quickest results use a high grade of alcohol.  Pouring boiled water directly on sidewalk and driveway problems kills the weed quickly.

Keep in mind if you choose to utilize any of these methods for weed control you must protect any vegetation you wish to spare.  Contain and cover grass before adding any of these products. If you intend to use these methods on garden insects in order to protect you harvest* you will use a very diluted solution.  These methods will take more than one application on weeds, and do not work as quickly as standard chemical weed killers.  However the benefits of using home based products highly outweighs the use of chemicals that harm our environment and are not safe for pets.

*See my article Easy Cleaning Tips From The Cupboard
**See my article More Pests To Eliminate

1 comment:

  1. I usually newspaper in area to reduce the weed growth. I haven't tried salt but haven't found much luck with vinegar.