Small wonder, extensive survival skills are as important as a well-packed survival bag to help a person withstand severe conditions. Proper survival gear and your knowledge of how to act in a particular situation are simply must-haves. A survival garden can significantly increase the volume of your food storage and help you sustain yourself for a considerable amount of time. Let us have a look at what survivalists and homesteaders pay attention to when it comes to survival gardening.
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Whether you are a prepper or surviving an economic collapse or, say, TEOTWAWKI, if you have your own garden, you will face the huge problem of bad weeds in it for sure. There is nothing more upsetting to see new weeds appearing when you are gardening and do everything to make your garden look gorgeous. In addition, bad weeds stop plants you have planted for a specific purpose, whether shrubs, trees, vegetables, or fruits, from thriving.
We bet you know about the problem almost everything. However, how do you get rid of bad weeds? The best decision would be to use a weed killer. Many people purchase a weed killer from garden stores.
On the one hand, it is pretty convenient, and there is an extensive variety presented almost in every shop. There are some well-known brands that many people would recommend. On the other hand, it is undoubtedly true that every manufactured weed killer is based on chemicals. For instance, dangerous chemicals found in Monsanto’s Roundup Ready have resulted in health lawsuits. It was revealed that these components could harm humans and insects that live in your garden.
Do you really want to put some dangerous components in the ground? If the answer is no, then you will need to prepare your own homemade weed killer.
Use science to solve problems.
Pulling out weeds is also not an optimal solution. First, most likely, you will not be able to pull out the weed completely from its root. In this case, it will grow again since the source of the problem has not been eliminated. Secondly, even if you manage to pull out weeds by the roots, then you will agree, that this is arduous physical work. Periodically going through the whole garden, bending your back in search of weeds takes a lot of time and effort. Your efforts are not worth it. Believe us.
Continue reading this article to find out which tools kill weeds quickly and effectively, how to make a DIY weed killer yourself, and which components are crucial for a natural weed killer.
The Best DIY Weed Killer to Choose
One major disadvantage of manufactured weed killers is that they are made from a complicated mix of chemicals. Not only do you need to protect yourself while using it but also be ready that powerful toxic chemicals might damage the ground, and some of the plants may die.
Another effective method is to use natural weed killers in your garden’s ground since they are safer, you know from which components exactly were added, and these weed killers are just as effective as manufactured ones.
In this part of the article, we will teach you some easy homemade weed killer recipes that you will surely like and find useful. Typically, natural weed killers are based on natural ingredients that will not be dangerous for other plants in your garden if you spray directly on the bad weed. Homemade weed killers are based on all-natural components that you can usually find at home.
The first natural weed killer that we will cover is Listerine. This remedy is known to many as mouthwash water, but a mixture of Listerine and warm water will perfectly help you fight unnecessary young weeds. In its composition, it has ethanol and other substances that will help your garden breathe new life, just add this solution to a spray bottle and apply it to weeds.
2. Vinegar plus the essential oil
Vinegar weed killer that is included in the top ten of homemade weed killers that perfectly kill broadleaf weeds is a mixture of a mug of white vinegar and a tablespoon of clove or orange essential oil. It’s simple, mix it and spray it on the weed, just be careful and don’t kill your herbaceous plants.
3. Vinegar mixed with salt
Another type of vinegar weed killer is based on a mixture of vinegar and salt. To prepare this one, you will need one gallon of vinegar mixed with table salt. Two cups will be enough. You will have to mix these two components actively for some time. The salt may not dissolve absolutely, but it will be better if you do not see any particular salt particles.
However, the mixture of vinegar and salt might be dangerous for your garden since acetic acid in vinegar is a powerful component. After a liquid is poured into the ground, no plants will grow in this particular place for some time. You will have to wait for more to plant something else instead of bad weeds, so think twice before using vinegar and salt.
4. Vinegar mixed with borax
The last vinegar solution on our list is vinegar used together with borax. To make this vinegar weed killer, you need to add borax (one cup only) to one gallon of white vinegar. Be careful when mixing; we recommend using a long-handled spoon. Use a spray bottle to splash the mixture on the entire plant.
Keep in mind that borax is dangerous for animals. Be careful when applying it in the garden. If you know that your dog or cat can approach this area, it will be safer to choose another homemade weed killer instead.
If you want to get rid of weeds, we will recommend trying an alcohol-based weed killer. How to prepare the mixture? Combine rubbing alcohol (two tablespoons) with water (one quart). Spray the whole weed with this liquid carefully.
After using rubbing alcohol, most weeds will die in the garden since they will be left with no water that is essential for further growth.
Natural weed killer based on vodka is a great tool that helps to kill pesky weeds in your garden. It even requires less time and effort than a homemade weed killer based on rubbing alcohol. To effectively use this one, simply splash vodka over the weeds but do not pour too much.
Vodka is a strong tool, especially when it is sunny. The rays activate vodka, and it burns weeds completely. When used correctly, weeds burnt with vodka will never grow in your garden again.
7. Baking soda
Baking soda is a great way to kill weeds that you do not want to see in your garden. Moreover, it might be the easiest homemade weed killer to make and use. All you have to do is to spray baking soda precisely on the weeds that you want to get rid of. The only ingredient you need is baking soda. Another helpful tool is a spray bottle.
Ensure that you spray soda on the entire weed, but it does not approach any other plants. In addition, for the same reason, we hardly recommend using this homemade weed killer only on a sunny day. Rain or wind will worsen the situation and bring baking soda to the other trees that you do not want to hurt with chemicals.
This way of getting rid of unwanted garden weeds is a little bit unusual. If you care about the environment and collect newspapers or cardboard at home to recycle them later, you will be able to try this method.
You will need to pull out the weeds and place some of the newspapers in the place where the roots of the weeds were located. Add some mulch over the newspapers. They will prevent weeds from growing again and also make the soil better. It happens because both newspapers and cardboard are great for making mulch. They are putting mulch in the place of unwanted grass results in soil being rich with bacteria that is crucial for plants to thrive.
9. Lemon juice
If you want to stop weed growth and make your garden weed-free, lemon juice as a homemade weed killer is a great choice. The best thing about this natural weed killer is that it is extremely affordable. We are pretty sure you already have some lemon juice at home. Even if not, you will be able to purchase it in the nearest shop for a few dollars.
Another advantage of using lemon juice is that it has acid in it that is strong enough to kill widespread weeds, too. Use a spray bottle to splash lemon juice and pour more on the stem to get a better result. If it is not enough, add white vinegar in the same proportion as lemon juice.
10. Just water
You will be surprised, but sometimes you do not have to pour a toxic liquid into the ground to kill weeds. All you actually need is a bottle of boiling water. Boiling water is not the most effective weed killer, but it is the easiest one to make among all the natural weed killers.
You do not need to add anything to the water. All you have to do is to boil water and pour it on the weed you want to kill and its roots. Do not expect it to kill widespread weeds, but if you want to kill garden beds or little weeds, it may work.
11. Corn gluten meal
Corn gluten meal can also be used as a weed killer. Cornmeal is a strong pre-emergent herbicide that works as fast and effective as commercial herbicides, so there is no point in overpaying and putting dangerous chemicals into the soil. Cornmeal helps with killing grass weeds and broadleaf weeds since it contains oil that prevents further growth and seed germination.
12. Liquid dish soap
We have already proved that you can make an effective leftover weed killer from various ingredients that you might find at home. The last solution we would recommend trying is a weed killer made from liquid soap, salt, and vinegar. The best dishwashing soap to use is called Blue Dawn.
How to Use a Homemade Weed Killer
Now we would like to inform you about some safety measures that should be taken into account when preparing and using a homemade weed killer. Obviously, when we talk about using boiling water to kill unwanted weeds, you will not have any special rules to follow. But working with vinegar and especially mixing vinegar with something else might be more dangerous.
So, what do you really need to know before you start?
- First and foremost, protect yourself. Use gloves, wear a mask and glasses;
- Do not choose highly concentrated vinegar. 15-20 percent are enough to get a maximum result. A higher concentration might be dangerous. You will have to lower it with the help of water;
- When using a spray bottle, remember that a homemade weed killer is harmful to other trees and plants in your garden, too. Therefore, spray a liquid directly on the weed you are aiming to kill. Otherwise, you will accidentally kill a plant that you have been growing;
- Do not expect the weed to die as soon as you spray a homemade weed killer on it. You will have to wait for at least one hour to notice slight changes. However, it makes no sense to wait for the final result earlier than one full day;
- We recommend using a homemade weed killer only on a sunny day. You might try to spray a liquid during a windy and rainy day. However, as a result, drops of a weed killer will be brought to the other plants, and you might kill them as well. Therefore, we strongly recommend doing everything on a calm day. Remember that the final result depends on the weather.
Why Do Homemade Weed Killers Work?
We have already talked about the best homemade weed killers. But why do they really work? What are the ingredients that are powerful enough to kill unwanted grass?
White vinegar is widely used in natural weed killers, and all of them actually prevent weeds from growing. It can be combined with all-natural components. However, since it is a strong tool, it might damage the ground by drying the plants and soil. Also, be careful when using it and make sure it does not approach other plants in the garden. Use a sprinkling can instead of a spray bottle to prevent this. You can purchase vinegar, Epsom salt, dishwashing soap, and essential oils to mix in all the stores.
We strongly do not recommend using essential oils as the only component for weed control and weed seeds; they can not be as useful as white vinegar. Oils only destroy the special protection of the root but do not affect the root itself in any way. The most popular ones are clove oil and orange oil.
When you add essential or cooking oil to one of these components, it begins to reveal its potential. As soon as the oil helps to destroy the protective wall, acetic acid or salt penetrates into the root and does not allow it to get enough nutrients, thereby destroying the terrible plants.
Essential oils have two disadvantages. The first is that the oil, due to its chemical composition, thickens the resulting solution. This makes it impossible to use a garden sprayer. And the second minus, which comes out of the first, is due to the density of the solution; the shelf life is greatly reduced, unlike conventional mixtures.
Any table salt that you use for cooking has one main component – sodium chloride. It works the same way as the acid in vinegar. When being added to the soil, it dries it and the plant, so it has no more water that is crucial for further growth. As a result, being left without water, a plant dies.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
What is the best homemade weed killer?
Actually, there are plenty of homemade weed killers that are effective and easy to make. The ingredients for the majority of them are straightforward to find. For instance, almost every homeowner can make their own homemade weed killer based on salt and vinegar, lemon juice, and boiling water. All of them are great for killing weeds. You can try a few homemade weed killers and make up your mind.
As a first try, we would recommend trying vinegar DIY weed killer. It is probably the most popular homemade weed killer that has been used and approved by many garden owners. Moreover, it is more powerful than some weed killers, such as boiling water or cornmeal.
Does vinegar kill weeds permanently?
It is undoubtedly true that vinegar kills some grass plants. Any vinegar weed killer is a good option because of the acetic acid that it contains. What this component does is simply dry the roots of the plant. Be careful when using vinegar. When pouring too much into the soil, it might be damaged.
However, it still will not be strong enough if the plant has widely spread roots. In this case, it is better to pull out the rest of the remained roots after applying vinegar. The weed will be burnt, so it will be easier to take them out of the soil.
Does straight vinegar kill weeds?
For perennial weeds, it is recommended to use mixtures. Regular white vinegar might kill small weeds, but if you have a lot of widely spread unwanted plants in your garden, it will be more effective to use vinegar combined with Epsom salt, borax, or essential oil. Remember to use 15 or 20 percent vinegar. You might find apple cider vinegar at home, but it is not strong enough to kill major plants.
How do you dissolve salt in vinegar?
Dissolving salt in vinegar while preparing a homemade weed killer is quite a challenging task. You need to use 15 or 20 percent vinegar and one cup of salt. Stir and mix these components actively for a few minutes. We would like to mention that it is tough to completely dissolve salt in the vinegar, so do not panic if you have some problems mixing. Stir as hard and long as you can, but it is okay if some salt will not be dissolved completely.