Weeds are a nuisance each spring in our gardens, and many believe there is only one way to get rid of them. Fortunately for us, Roundup is not the only way to kill unwanted plants. Although Roundup is highly effective for many weeds, it is also very dangerous. The main ingredient in Roundup is a chemical called glyphosate, which kills weeds by interfering with the synthesis of certain amino acids. This causes a disruption in the plants growing cycle and eventually kills all of the living cells. Although Roundup is marketed as being safe, significant research suggests that there are dangers associated with use of the product. French researches discovered that 4 types of glyphosate-based herbicides caused deterioration in human cells within 24 hours. Read more here about the hidden dangers of Roundup.
In order to avoid using a dangerous glyphosate-based product, try using some of the greener options listed below. They may seem more difficult, but at least they are safe and non-toxic.
Option 1: Vinegar
Instead of spraying chemicals all over your yard, try using this household staple. You can spray it just like any herbicide from a pump-action sprayer. Vinegar works because it contains acetic acid. This acid will draw moisture out of the plant, which will cause it to dry up and die. Please remember that it will work on all plants, so be careful not to spray anything you do not want to remove.
Option 2: Boiling Water
This may seem strange, but boiling water is an effective weed killer too. When you apply boiling water to the foliage of a weed, you are basically cooking the plant. After the plant has been cooked/killed, it will no longer grow. This is a very time-consuming approach, but can be very effective. Once again, watch out for the desirable plants…you don’t want to cook them too!
Option 3: Salt Solution
For weeds that grow in your driveway, sidewalk, or patio, you can use a strong solution of salt and water. It is best to not use this solution in areas with other plants because salt has a tendency to seep and linger in the soil. It can even harm plants that have not been sprayed because of the residual in the soil.
Option 4: Vinegar/Salt Spray
This recipe is probably the most effective. Combine 1 gallon of vinegar, 1 cup salt, and 1 tablespoon of dish soap. The dish soap acts as a surfactant to make the solution stick to the plant. It is quick and effective, and also completely safe to use.
As you can see, there are reasonable options for green weed control. Try some of these methods and let us know if they work for you. Feel free to share your thoughts and ideas for green weed control.