“A weed is but an unloved flower.” Ella Wheeler Wilcox
If I spent every waking hour weeding, I still could not keep up with the weeds on my property. I eschew any form of chemical weed control and pretty much remove weeds by hand. There are not enough hours in the day nor is this the way I want to spend my time! Preventing weeds from growing in the first place would seem to the best plan of attack. Try I did: I had zero success with corn gluten preemergent treatments. I didn’t want to use chemical preemergents. Mulching helps slow down the growth of weeds but is in no way effective as weeds grow right through it or seed themselves via airborne transmission.
With all kinds of recipes for weed control circulating the internet, I thought I would test them out. Plain vinegar was ineffective in killing my weeds. I bought gallons and gallons of the stuff. Boiling salted water left over from cooking corn on the cob works fairly well but is in limited supply and will kill other plants in the same area so needs to be used judiciously. It’s not a practical solution on a large scale or on a regular basis. How much corn on the cob does one boil? I decided to try the Epsom salt-vinegar-dish detergent solution. Now this is not an “organic” weed control system by any stretch because dish soap has chemicals in it and Epsom salts are a mineral(magnesium sulphate) but it is a more natural way to kill weeds and I could live with that. Using it in a spray bottle helped control the application. The theory behind this concoction is that the dish detergent helps the weed killer adhere to the foliage, the vinegar kills the foliage and the Epsom salts prevent the weed regrowth. Use it carefully in areas where you do want other desirable plants to thrive since the Epsom salts will leach into the soil and prevent all plants from growing for a long time. For the best results, spray when you know it will not rain for several days. I am happy to report this weed killer worked like a charm. Dollar stores sell Epsom salts in handy 2 cup pouches. If you’ve got weeds, give this natural weed killer a try!
Three weeks later, after just 1 application, the weeds have not grown back! I definitely will be making this natural weed killer again and again!
Homemade Epsom Salt-Vinegar Natural Weed Killer
- 2 cups Epsom salts
- 1/4 cup dishwashing detergent
- 1 gallon distilled white vinegar
- Mix all ingredients together and shake well until the Epsom salts are dissolved.
- Place in a spray bottle and apply to weed foliage.