Many traditional weed killers and herbicides, such as Round Up and Spectracide, contain harmful chemicals that are not good for the environment. 

These chemicals can pollute ground water, pollute the soil (especially important if you grow edible plants in your garden or have kids or pets that play in the dirt or roll around on the grass), and cause serious health problems in animals and humans. 

Instead of using a commercially available weed killer or herbicide, you can make your own that is safer for you and the environment.

Non-toxic weed killerphoto courtesy of niicedave flickr.com/photos/33671002@N00/3404974120/Vinegar Spray Solution
One weed killer option is to make a vinegar spray solution. 

Fill an empty spray bottle with 1/2 cup of salt, a generous squirt of dish washing liquid and fill 3/4 full with vinegar. 

You can even add clove oil and lemon juice if you wish. 

Shake the solution until the salt dissolves. 

Spray the solution on your weeds on a dry non-windy day. 

If the plants were recently watered or it just recently rained, wait 1 day before spraying the solution. 

Avoid spraying plants you want to keep. 

Try to apply the weed killer solution during the warmest part of the day. 

Wait 3 days and apply again if needed.

 

Cover with Newspaper or Cardboard
If you have a large area that you want to remove weeds, cover the area with cardboard or newspaper. 

If covering the weeds with newspaper, wet the newspaper first, lay the newspaper with overlapping seams, and cover the newspaper with mulch to keep it from blowing away in the wind. 

If covering with cardboard, make sure to put something heavy on top of the cardboard to keep it from blowing away, such as mulch or bricks. 

If your weeds are truly out of control, consider mowing over them or weed wacking them, then using the vinegar spray, then covering them with newspaper or cardboard.

 

Boiling Water
You can pour boiling water on weeds to kill them. 

This method can be dangerous, so make sure to not spill any boiling water on you or other plants you wish to keep.

 

Torch Weeders
Fire will kill weeds, but once again, this is quite dangerous. 

Torch weeders were made specifically for killing weeds, but can be quite pricey. 

Research torch weeders to find one that suits your needs.

 

Infrared Weeders
Similar to torch weeders are heat weeders. 

Heat weeders stick a heated rod into the ground and destroy weeds. 

They are usually powered by propane, which can be quite pricey.

 

Corn Gluten Meal
Corn Gluten Meal is a byproduct of corn processing. 

It kills weeds that are just emerging, not weeds that are already established. 

 

Herbicidal Soap
Herbicidal soaps break down the glossy coating on leaves that protects the plants, causing them to lose moisture and die. 

 

Store Bought Herbicide
There are several non-toxic store bought herbicides and weed killers available. 

Many labels can be misleading, so make sure to research and make sure your weed killer is really non-toxic. 

Look at the instructions for words such as "danger" or "warning" to determine if it is truly non-toxic or if it is just pretending to be.

 

Mulch
Mulch will not kill weeds, but it will deter weeds. 

Some of the best much is shredded dried leaves, straw, and grass clippings from a lawn that does not use chemicals.

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