This natural weed killer recipe is perfect for killing bindweed and other pesky weeds in your flower beds and requires just three common ingredients.
Previously, I’ve shared with you how I learned to deal with all the frustrating weeds that we get growing in our walkway and driveway. For us, that method was just perfect for that location and those particular weeds, but for use in actual garden beds, we needed something a little different. We needed something for killing bindweed and other pesky weeds that keep showing up in our flower beds.
When I was doing my reading around different gardening forums, trying to figure out some good DIY weed killing solutions, one of the ideas I came across was this one I’m sharing with you today. This one really works! You use it in quite small amounts as well, so it’s able to rinse from the soil fairly quickly and allow you to plant there. Careful not to get any on the plants you want to keep though!
Easy Homemade Weed Killer
Here’s the recipe for the potion!
- 1/2 gallon of plain white vinegar (I’ve heard of using apple cider vinegar as well, but I don’t think it’s necessary)
- 1/2 cup of salt
- 2 tablespoons of dishwashing liquid
I keep two big watering cans by my front door, one labelled “feed” for fertilizer and watering, and one labelled “kill” specifically for this!
I’ve been growing a special patch weeds out back, just for you, so that I could show you how well this works.
Pretty impressive, right?
Most of the weeds in this patch are something called hedgewood bindweed. Some people will tell you things like “Oh you have weeds? Well, just use vinegar on it!” Or they’ll tell you hot water, or borax, or whatever solution they’ve found for killing bindweed. Let me tell you, none of those things work on this stuff. But this does!
Time to Test Our Bindweed Killer
I sprinkled the magic potion one sunny afternoon. A nice hot, sunny day really helps speed up the process. It definitely wasn’t hot, but I couldn’t wait any longer, so once we got a bit of sun, I was out there.
Here’s how that patch looked the next morning:
You can see I sprinkled sparingly and there are some spots that I missed, but the weeds that I got shrivelled almost instantly. The dishwashing liquid in the solution works to break down the protective coating on the leaves and allows the salt and vinegar to completely dehydrate the plant. Science is fun sometimes! The best news is that the weeds that I’ve killed with this potion over the last few weeks haven’t come back at all. The hedgewood bindweed will usually show it’s face again about 4 hours after you pull it. Really. So finding something for killing bindweed (and other weeds) to the root without harming my family or pets is a big deal. A big deal!
Here’s that same patch after waiting one more day:
It warms my heart. It really does.
No More Harsh Chemicals
Now let me tell you a few things: Through my readings I’ve found that people are really scared of salt, even more scared than they are of the crazy toxic chemicals that you can use to kill your weeds instead. They’re worried about effects on the surrounding environment. Well, that makes sense, but this is not something you should be soaking your whole yard with, just a little patch here and there every once in awhile. Honestly, I’m a lot more concerned about the effects of the crazy chemicals on the environment and my family than I am about the salt. They’re also very concerned about the effects of salt on concrete and the fact that salt may damage concrete over time. This one seems crazy to me because we use salt on our sidewalks, walkways and front steps all winter around here, within reason of course, and our sidewalks are just dandy. If you have really precious concrete though, make sure you exercise caution! There is a bit of salt in this potion.
I have to tell you, I’m willing to test it out and take a little bit of risk (for my yard, not for my own health) to try to find a good way to get these weeds under control. I think this one may just be the perfect solution for us. It sounds like it’s a big favorite for a lot of other people too! I can see why!
I think one more application should do it and then I can start making things look a little less disgraceful back here.
- The Mother of All Natural Weed Killing Solutions
- How to Use Salt to Finally Get Your Weeds Under Control
- How to Harvest Basil for Healthy and Productive Plants
- The Very Best Homemade Ant Killer
- How to Edge a New Flower Garden
- The Creek Line House gardening archives
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Courtenay Hartford is the author of creeklinehouse.com, a blog based on her adventures renovating a 120-year-old farmhouse in rural Ontario, Canada. On her blog, Courtenay shares interior design tips based on her own farmhouse and her work as founder and stylist of the interior photography firm Art & Spaces. She also writes about her farmhouse garden, plant-based recipes, family travel, and homekeeping best practices. Courtenay is the author of the book The Cleaning Ninja and has been featured in numerous magazines including Country Sampler Farmhouse Style, Better Homes and Gardens, Parents Magazine, Real Simple, and Our Homes.