4 Eco-Friendly Weed Killers That Work
Summer in Connecticut may as well be synonymous with weeds. Between spring’s ample rain and the heat and humidity that have blanketed our beautiful state this year, weeds are having some of their best days ever. If you’re anything like us, you’ve become increasingly exasperated with how prolific the weeds in your yard are. But before you reach for that harsh conventional weed killer that won’t be safe for bare feet or paws (not to mention pollinators!) consider these easy, effective and eco-friendly weed killers, instead.
Add a little lemon
You probably already have this secret weed killer in your home! A squeeze of lemon in your ice water is a perfect pick-me-up, but it also contains naturally occurring acid that can help kill your weeds without any of the dangers of conventional weed killer.
To create a lemon-based weed killer, squeeze your fresh lemons until you have enough juice to fill a spray bottle. Spray on weeds until they’re saturated so the leaves and the stems will dry up and die off. This should happen in a few days, so feel free to reapply if you don’t see the leaves browning and showing signs of distress. Short on lemons but long on weeds? You can also substitute freshly squeezed lemon juice with a bottle of RealLemon from your local grocery store–but we prefer the real deal, whenever possible. Added bonus? The scent of lemon is a natural mood brightener, so go ahead and breathe in its uplifting citrus scent as you spray away!
Read the fine print
When you’re done with The Sunday Times crossword puzzle (we’re impressed!), don’t throw your paper into your recycling bin. Instead, take it into your yard to use as a weed killer. Hear us out: Using biodegradable newspaper in your yard isn’t just an eco-friendly move, it also works. Cut back the offending weeds, then lay down the newspaper as a “liner” to keep light and heat out. Then, top your newspaper weed killer with mulch, and voila! No more weeds poking up. One more reason to show your local paper some love.
Make this eco-friendly weed killer formula
Formulating a safer weed killer is as easy as 1, 2, 3 ingredients. But as with any type of weed killer, where you apply it matters! Be wary of spraying too liberally, lest you take out some of your flowers by accident. A targeted application is always best.
To begin, gather these ingredients, ala realsimple.com:
-1 gallon vinegar
-1 C. salt
-1 TBSP dish soap
Using a bottle with a nozzle that allows both streaming and spraying, mix ingredients together and shake to combine. Then, apply to your weeds, preferably during the day so the sunlight will help dry up the weeds. If it’s a big area, use the sprayer option on the bottle; for more targeted application, stream the solution onto the weeds.
A sprinkle of baking soda
Baking soda actually works wonders on weeds, as well! The weeds will need to be damp so the baking soda can adhere to the leaves, so give weeds a quick spray of water. Then, sprinkle your baking soda directly onto the leaves of the weed (1 tsp per weed should do it) and let it go to work. While applying baking soda to weeds in the spring and fall is the most effective way to kill them, it will still work in the summer, albeit a bit slower. Baking soda is also effective at killing weeds in sidewalks, driveways, and walkways. Just sweep it into the cracks!
Weed killers don’t have to be dangerous for us, our pets, or the planet. Just a quick peek into your pantry or refrigerator can yield eco-friendly weed killers that keep your Connecticut yard looking exactly as you’ve envisioned.