Homemade Herbicides: Pros And Cons
Pros Of Homemade Herbicides:
1) They are easy to make!
You don’t need any chemicals or equipment. All you have to do is mix up some ingredients and add water. So simple!
(And they work!)
2) They are safe and effective against weeds, insects, rodents, etc…they even kill birds if used properly.
(They aren’t poisonous though. Just not very good at killing them.)
3) They are cheap!
You can get most of the stuff you will need from your local grocery store. (The only thing you might need to buy is bleach, but I would suggest getting it at a hardware store).
4) They don’t require a lot of time.
Most of the things take less than 5 minutes to put together. (
I mean really, just pour out some vinegar into a container and throw in some water? That’s all there is to it?
5) They are fun!
Making your own herbicides is like making your own wine, except you’re actually saving money and enjoying yourself while doing so. (I’m not kidding)
Cons Of Homemade Herbicides:
1) Some of the products contain harmful chemicals such as formaldehyde and acetone.
These can cause cancer, birth defects, or other health problems. (Also they taste terrible and can actually cause physical damage if ingested)
2) Many of the recipes don’t work very well on grass or hard to kill weeds.
(You can only really use these on weeds that aren’t very thick or that haven’t gone to seed yet)
3) You have to buy most of the stuff at the grocery store, and they might ask why you are buying so much vinegar if you are buying a lot of it.
(Just say your mom is into making her own pickles, jams, and jellies)
4) If you get caught by someone with a badge, you could get into a whole mess of trouble.
(Don’t say I didn’t warn you)
5) You have to wait for the stuff to work.
(Unless you use the stuff meant for killing birds)
Just be careful when using these recipes and you should be fine. I have tried most of them on some really nasty weeds in my yard, and they worked just fine. I even got the stuff to kill the birds that were eating my garden plants.
Remember to always read the warning labels and label ingredients! Don’t buy anything that you don’t know what it is!
And remember, I am not liable for anything that happens to you! This information is here as an educational tool and I urge you all to be careful. Enjoy making your own stuff!
Homemade Herbicide: Vinegar, Water, And Salt Recipe
You Will Need:
1) 1/2 Gallon of Plain White Vinegar (I found this works best. Apple Cider Vinegar doesn’t seem to work as well, but it still kills the weeds)
2) 1/2 Cup of Salt (I used Canning Salt)
3) 2 Gallons of Water (You can use less water, but this is what I used and it worked pretty well)
4) A Container that Holds at least 2 Gallons and that you don’t mind ruining (I used a plastic container that held 5 gallons, but I only filled it about 2 1/2 gallons)
5) A Watering Can (This is optional, but if you have one that is a lot easier than pouring)
1) Mix the vinegar and salt in the 2 1/2 gallon container, and then add water.
2) Stir until the salt is dissolved.
3) Wait 2 to 3 days and then it should be ready to use.
(Try to use it within a month, or else it might start to grow things other than weeds)
How To Use It:
For small weeds and ground cover, use 1/2 cup of the solution mixed in a watering can and poured around the perimeter of the weed. For larger weeds, pour the entire gallon around the base of the weed. (Don’t pour it on a really hot day or it will just burn the plant and not kill it)
Just remember, vinegar kills plants by drying them out. It might take a few days for the weed to die and during that time more rain could fall. Keep an eye on it for a day or two after you do this and water it if it starts to look like it is drying out.
You can also pour boiling hot water around the base of the weed to kill it faster, but be careful not to scold yourself when you touch the ground around it.
Other Ideas: (These are just ideas and might not even work, but I’m putting them here anyway)
1) Use of other types of vinegar might work better.
I used White Vinegar, but there are other types such as Apple Cider Vinegar and even Wine Vinegar. Wine Vinegar is supposed to have some benefits as a herbicide too. I might try making this with some Wine Vinegar, but that is a long ways off.
2) Use of Salt Substitutes might work since they have potassium in them.
This would allow for less water to be used, and less salt to be needed. I haven’t tried this yet though.
3) Use of other salts might work as a substitute for salt.
This could be anything from Rock Salt to Grapes Salt to Salt Peter.
Sources & references used in this article:
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Pet Lover’s Guide to Natural Healing for Cats and Dogs by B Fougere – 2005 – books.google.com
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Digging the City: An Urban Agriculture Manifesto by R McAdam – 2012 – books.google.com