Alright, so the title of this article may be a bit deceiving. When I say “non-toxic” what I mean is that it is not toxic to animals or people. It is safe to use around your children and it won’t harm you if you accidentally spray yourself or breath it in. This non-toxic weed killer is safe around your pets too.
Truth be told, this weed killer is incredibly toxic to the plants and even the soil underneath. This weed killer is very effective, but does not discriminate against one form of plant over another. It will kill everything and leave the soil ph levels so out of whack that, unless you really put the work in to treat it, this stuff won’t allow anything else to grow for a long time.
Now that you’ve read my quick disclaimer, here is what you will need:
- Manual Pump/Spray (you can find these at wal-mart for really cheap)
- 1 Gallon of White Distilled Vinegar
- 1/2 cup Epsom Salt
- 1 Tablespoon of Dawn Dish Soap
Simply mix all three ingredients together. Make sure that the epsom salt has become completely dissolved into the vinegar and the dish soap is also completely mixed. Then spray the affected areas. The vinegar and the salt will kill the plants. The dawn dish soap will coat all the plants and prevent everything from washing away.
*because this stuff can be so bad for soil, I suggest only using it on areas you do not plan to grow anything (i.e. Between sidewalk cracks, rocky landscaped areas, etc.)
Make sure to spray liberally and on a day where you don’t have any rain in the forecast. The vinegar needs to go down to the roots to kill the plant. If you do not spray liberally enough, the vinegar will burn the plant/weed but will not actually kill it. Now the vinegar kills the plant, but what does the salt do? The salt seeps into the soil and prevents the soil from allowing anything else to grow. If you have a bare piece of dirt with no weeds, but you don’t want weeds to grow, you can actually just spread salt on the patch of dirt. This will change the PH of the plant and nothing will grow there, at least not very well.
The process takes up to about a week, but will kill all of the plants/weeds you spray. If something didn’t die, you probably didn’t spray liberally enough. If it rains right after you spray, you may need to spray again. Once you spray though, it should last a long while, as the salt makes the soil uninhabitable for plant life.
The before and after below shows about 4 days after I sprayed. As you can see, most of the weeds are dead or dying. After a week, I will probably spray once more for good measure.
Anything with deeper roots may take more than one treatment, but this non-toxic weed killer is safe, cheap and easy to do! I encourage you to make this at home and try it out. Please feel free to let me know how it worked for you!
Remember, not only is this stuff safe around your kids and pets, it also won’t poison your rain water as it seeps into the soil. One more reason to do things at home instead of buying toxic chemicals at the store.