How to Make Your Own Herbicide

What You'll Need
Table salt
Dish soap
Dish soap
Spray bottle
Boiled water

With rising interest in natural green living, making your own eco-friendly herbicide is one way you can maintain an organic garden. You will probably have most of the ingredients for making natural herbicides in your home because the needed ingredients are common kitchen pantry items.

Basic Vinegar Base Recipe

The most common and frequently used ingredient in homemade herbicides is vinegar. You can use almost any kind of vinegar, including inexpensive plain white vinegar. To make ½ cup of herbicide use:

  • ¼ cup vinegar
  • ¼ cup table salt
  • ¼ cup dish soap

Mix these three ingredients together and place them into a spray bottle and then spray the mixture on your plants. The vinegar kills the weeds and the salt prevents the weeds from growing. Soap permits the herbicide mixutre to cling to the plant.

Another vinegar recipe includes the use of gin:

  • 1 oz. gin
  • 1 oz. dish soap
  • 1 oz. vinegar

Vinegar herbicides are considered broad non-specific herbicides and will kill anything they come in contact with. As a result, it is important for you to pay attention to wind conditions before using the mixture. You also need to know whether there is the potential for rain or mist because a wind or a breeze will spread the herbicide beyond the area where you are spraying it. Moisture,such as rain or mist, will also dilute the herbicide and make it ineffective.

Other Options

Another very simple and basic approach to weed killing is the use of boiling water. Master Gardeners around the world use this extremely effective method.

The process is very simple. Boil enough water to pour over the weeds or plants you want to kill. When the water has reached the desired temperature, pour it on top of the plants and within a matter of days, the plant should begin to turn black and die. In essence, you have boiled it to death. Using this method of homemade herbicide is extremely eco-friendly and safe for pets and children who may be in the area. However, like the vinegar recipe, boiling water is a non-specific approach to weed-killing, so plants near to what you are killing may also be effected by the boiling water.

Salt is also used extensively as a plant and weed killer. A very common and frequently used method to keep driveway seams clear of unwanted weeds is to spread a line of rock salt along the seam. Rock salt will kill any plant it comes in contact with, but this, also, is a non-specific approach. If you use too much salt, you can create a toxic soil condition where no plants will grow. Using salt can be especially problematic if the area where the salt has been placed also receives a great deal of water runoff. Combining the use of salt and the amount of water runoff can increase the area in which plants will not grow.

Homemade herbicides and organic approaches to pest and weed control can be extremely effective. They are less expensive than commercial weed control products and are better for the ecology of the earth.