Q: What is a weed?
A: A weed is a plant that you don’t want growing in your yard.
That’s the fact, Jack.
For some of us, weeds are nuisances that are just dealt with, possible food sources that are gathered, and for others, they are the bane of a nicely manicured lawn or garden.
Our family is a dealer. We would prefer not to have milkweed or chicweed or bermuda growing in our yard, but we’re not willing to create a monoculture of one kind of grass or use chemicals to get the ‘weeds’ out of our yard. We mow.
We do, however, work at keeping the ‘weeds’ out of the cracks in our driveaway (we live in Texas on super clay soil – eventually your driveaway is going to crack and the seams separate) and in our sidewalk. We pull any errant plants in our beds.
What are the most common weed types?
It really depends on the part of the country you live in and what really bugs you. For us, these are the most common types in our area:
But if you ask my neighbor, they might say bermuda grass and clover. We happen to love clover and don’t consider it a weed (we even over seed it into our late winter lawn).
You may have a whole different list for your area. The funny thing is, though, that many of the things considrered ‘weeds’ are also various plants that can be used as food and medicine. Sometimes, things are worth a second look!
The key to this homemade weed killer is the vinegar
How to Make a Homemade Weed Killer
1 gallon of 10% (100 grain) pickling vinegar
Add 1 ounce orange oil
1 teaspoon liquid soap (Dawn is good or a bio-friendly soap will work as well)
Do not add water
Some people also add epsom salts to this to help with the killing, but we choose not to.
The best choice for herbicide use is 10 percent white vinegar made from grain alcohol. It should be used full strength. Avoid products that are made from 99 percent glacial acetic acid. This material is a petroleum derivative. Natural vinegars such those made from fermenting apples have little herbicidal value. — Howard Garrett, The Dirt Doctor
Use a garden sprayer to spray onto your weeds during the highest heat point of your day. Do not do it on a day you are expecting rain as it will just wash away the spray, and you’ll have to reapply once it’s dry and hot again. Repeat daily if needed. The vinegar will be absorbed into the leaves of the plants you are trying to kill and the heat/sun helps faciliate the process.
Honest Statement #1
I’m gonna be honest with you before we even get started on this post. This homemade weed killer doesn’t work as fast as the commercial killer we’re all used to seeing. It just doesn’t.
BUT….and there’s a big but in this.
Taking 2-3 days to kill the weeds in my driveaway with the stuff I make which only takes 3 minutes to spray is well worth my sense of taking care of my family by not spraying poisons on my lawn that have been linked to dozens of health issues and bee collapse. We’ll never really know the true ramifications of the commercial weed killer as almost all studies are done by agenda-seeking companies on both sides, but I know, for a fact, the less harmful chemicals we spray into our landscape that could eventually make it into our food supply, the better off we are.
Honest Statement #2
This will kill any leafy plant you spray it on, so be careful about where you spray. While it doesn’t work well on vines and thick branched bushes and trees, it will be absorbed by most leafy plants and can kill them. We tend to only use this on driveaway cracks, around our air conditioning unit, etc. Weeds that pop up in the yard are mowed, and in the garden pulled.
I would show you a before and after, but we didn’t think of that before we began treating our driveway earlier this year. It’s only after that I thought..hey, we should share that! So by this time in 2016, I’ll have before & after pics for you – and you’ll just have to promise to come back!
YOUR THOUGHTS: What do you use in the yard to help get rid of your weeds?