Weed Control from Your Kitchen?

Did you know we can control weeds using some things we have in our kitchens? I had no idea. If you're concerned about the effects of toxic chemicals on our environment, then these suggestions should make your day. Consider these natural approaches to pesky weed removal:

POUR BOILING WATER ON THEM. Drain pots of boiling water directly onto the weeds invading your garden (even leftover pasta and potato water will work-as long as it's scalding hot). A splash will shrivel even the toughest weeds in a couple of days.

SALT THEM . Stock up on table salt when it's on sale (rock salt works well also) and sprinkle on garden paths to fight weeds in the spring. Salt also makes a great weed barrier along lawn edgings and other spots your lawn mower can't reach. But apply it carefully. It can erode concrete surfaces and leave the ground barren for quite a long time.

POUR PLAIN WHITE VINEGAR ON THEM. Dousing weeds with vinegar is effective and an extremely good way to kill weeds with long tap routes (dandelions, dock, and plantain). Even leftover pickle juice will work-vinegar is vinegar.

SPRAY THEM WITH BORAX WATER. That common laundry and cleaning product is also an efficient weed killer when mixed with water. Add 10 ounces of powdered borax (20 Mule Team, for instance) to2.5 gallons water; mixed thoroughly and spray the leaves of all weeds. Avoid saturating the soil with this solution, avoid contact with bare skin, and be careful with overspray (so you don't kill things you want to keep).

KILL THEM WITH HOT PEPPERS. Nothing can hide from this hot and spicy weed killer. Cajun or red pepper added to hot sauce and vinegar make a lethal combination. Bring 1 bottle of hot sauce, 1 gallon of vinegar, and a couple tablespoons of red pepper to a boil and pour directly on any area where you want everything to die. Obviously you'll want to avoid all plants you want to live, because anything this searing mixture touches will die (ants don't like it either). You can make extra, but refrigerate it. It will work cold, but it's more effective if it's steaming hot.

SPRAY WITH A MIXTURE OF VINEGAR EPSOM SALTS AND BLUE DAWN DETERGENT. This also works quickly and doesn't harm the environment. You'll notice vinegar is suggested a few times. This is because it affects the Ph of the soil and makes it almost impossible for plants to grow. The Epsom salts also kills and treats the soil so future weeds can't show up. And the addition of the Dawn Detergent is a pest killer.

It may take a couple of sprayings, but give it a few days and you'll be pleased with the results of any of the above approaches.

Finally, we can always EAT THEM. Many weeds are edible, such dandelions, dock, and chicory (which can be eaten raw in salads or cooked like fresh spinach). Lots are poisonous though, so to be on the safe side, and if this idea interests you, pick up a copy of the classic wild-foods field guide, Stalking the Wild Asparagus Stalking the Wild Asparagus by Euell Gibbons (around $13 on amazon.com) for help in identifying the edibles in your yard.

  •   www.todayshomeowner.com
  •   www.mychamplain.net
  •   www.walmart.com
  •   www.hometalk.com
  •   www.amazon.com

    Alice Osborne
    Weekly Newsletter Contributor since 2006
    Email the author! alice@dvo.com

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