It’s no secret that home improvement is an expensive hobby. That’s why it’s important to save money whenever possible. And since Spring is officially here, I thought it would make sense to share one of my favorite tricks that saves me about $100 every year. This “trick” is to ditch your expensive, eco-damaging weed-killer and get rid of those invasive species on your own, with products you already have lying around your home. Like the chemical versions available in stores, some DIY weed killers can also be harmful to the environment. Therefore, I always recommend always avoiding such products whenever possible.
Eco friendly lawn care is important to me, and I highly recommend you adopt this attitude as well! Not only is it important to keep your yard safe for the earth’s sake, but for the animals and children in the area as well! In addition to green weed killers, I use green pesticides and repair my own lawn equipment which keeps it out of landfills and saves money.
I’ve personally used and test the following homemade weed killer recipes and ranked them from most effective (1) to least effective (5).
“Salt the Earth” (1)
Need: 1 Cup Salt, 2 Cup Water
Bring the water to a boil on the stove, then add the salt and mix well. Once the salt has dissolved, dump mixture over targeted area. Results are usually visible within 24 hours.
If you’re looking for a more drastic method to kill those annoying plants, dump salt directly onto their roots and stems. This has always killed the weeds I’ve used it on, however, it can cause serious damage to the surrounding soil and plants. Avoid using this method unless completely necessary.
Burn ‘em (2)
For those of you that like fire and dead weeds, this method is for you. Simply light those suckers on fire. Most weeds have a hard time recovering from this trauma.
Need: Newspaper, Mulch/Dirt
This ‘au naturale’ method may seem simple enough, but it works wonders. Simply ‘smother’ the area of weeds with 10-15 layers of newspaper. You may want to get the newspaper wet to add additional weight, then cover with some mulch/compost. You typically will see results in a couple of days.
I recommend only using this method if you have large areas of weeds that you’d like to kill. It can be a chore to cut out newspaper to cover an 2×2” area.
Need: Spray Bottle, 1 Gallon White Vinegar, 1 oz. Liquid Dish Soap, Salt (optional)
Combine the vinegar and the dish soap into your spray bottle and mix-well. Soak the targeted weeds thoroughly while avoiding overspray on neighboring plants. Most weeds will shrivel and die within a couple of days with one application. Those stubborn weeds may require a few more sprays.
I exclusively use this mixture. It’s relatively safe for the environment and effective for all my applications.
Liquid Dish Detergent (5)
Need: Clear Liquid Dish Detergent, Pine-Sol
Mix equal parts dish soap and Pin-Sol into a spray bottle and apply generously to the targeted area. In addition to the killing of weeds, the Pine-Sol it helps prevent and kill ants and other small insects in the same area.
Keep in mind that these are only a few of the hundreds of DIY weed killers out there. I chose these recipes because they’ve worked for me, with little problems. Hopefully this article, if nothing more, got your creative juices flowing. There are plenty of things you can do this Spring and Summer to save money, while improving your home.
Happy weed killing!
About our guest…
Rachel blogs at eReplacementParts.com, a repair and do-it-yourself company. She has a passion for all things home improvement, home decor and DIY projects. Check out more of her work on the eReplacementParts.com blog! Blog | Facebook | Twitter