Herbicides are products that you put on unwanted weeds to kill them, but many of the commercially-produced herbicides are toxic to your pets, plants and family, as well as to your weeds. The solution to nontoxic weed control is a combination of manual labor--in the form of hoeing and digging the weeds up--and the application of nontoxic, holistic remedies that you can easily create at home.
Mix 1 gallon of white vinegar with 1 cup of table salt and 1 tbsp. of liquid dish soap. Shake the solution until all of the salt has completely dissolved. Pour the solution into a spray bottle, and spray it directly on the weeds you want to kill. It is best to do this on a hot, dry day. The weeds will quickly soak up the solution, which will dehydrate them and cause them to die. Be careful not to spray it directly onto the soil or on plants that you do not wish to kill. The mixture will stay in the soil for up to 2 years and will kill or inhibit the growth of "good" plants, as well as "bad" ones.
Sprinkle corn gluten meal over weedy areas of your garden. This will prevent new weed seeds from germinating. It will also provide extra nitrogen to your soil, which helps fertilize it. Because corn gluten will not harm your existing plants and only keeps new seeds from germinating, it is a good herbicidal solution for densely grown gardens. A study at the University of Wisconsin demonstrated that using corn gluten on a garden can reduce crab grass by up to 86 percent 1 year after application and up to 98 percent 2 years after the gluten has been applied. Over a period of 4 years, a dandelion infestation was completely eliminated by the use of corn gluten.
Mix a solution of 2 tbsp. of baking soda, 1 gallon of water and 1 tsp. of vegetable oil in a large container. Shake the mix, and pour it into a spray bottle. Spray the weeds in your garden once a day, preferably when it is hot and dry. This recipe is also good to help cure "black spot" malady on roses. Spray it directly on the leaves.
Mix equal parts of alcohol and water in a spray bottle, and spray only on weeds that you are trying to kill. Protect neighboring plants by putting plastic or cardboard around them, and do not spray the alcohol mixture directly into the soil.
Pour boiling water directly onto a patch of weeds you are trying to kill. Take care not to pour the water on the plants you do not want to kill. Wait 24 hours, and return to see if the weeds are completely dead. If not, repeat the action once more. Remove the dead weeds and burn them.
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