kill weeds

My daughter loves exploring outside so we always spend a lot of time in the yard. Where we live, with the 2016/17 winter being NO exception, we have loooong wet winters with lots of rain. While it gives us beautiful lush green forests…it also brings a lot of weeds!

I don’t like the idea of using toxic chemical weed killers, especially since my daughter is at the toddler stage and still seems to want to put E.V.E.R.Y.T.H.I.N.G into her mouth. So I spent some time over the last couple summers trying and testing different homemade options – perfect for keeping little ones and pets safe! Below are the ones I found work best!

Boiling Water

This one I found worked great initially, but you will probably find you have the repeat the process a 1-2 times a month to keep the weeds at bay. After all – it is just water and isn’t actually changing or damaging the soil and preventing anything from growing back right away. But it is a great option if you are wanting to kill off weeds in an area that you plan on planting anything soon after!

Vinegar/Salt/Soap Mixture

Mix 1/2 gallon plain white vinegar with 1/4 cup of salt and 2 tbsp regular dish soap (not hand soap) in a spray bottle (while the soap may not be non-toxic, depending on the kind you use, the diluted amount in this mixture still beats out using full strength store bought weed killers in my mind).
I found this one to be best to kill off weeds and make them easy to pull from the ground once dead. Will dry up and kill weeds and patches of grass growing through sidewalk cracks when sprayed. Recommended to soak soil at the root in order to completely and permanently eliminate large established weeds. If you are planning to plant in the area shortly after, you will want to try and avoid soaking the soil as the mixture will affect the soil and make it difficult for future plants to grow.

Baking Soda

I had never heard of this technique before, but it seriously is amazing for longer term removal of weeds! For permanent removal of weeds in areas you don’t want anything to grow, like on sideways, driveways or cracks, just sprinkle baking soda. Do not use on lawns or near garden areas as rain water may cause run off to damage them.

What household or non-toxic items do you use for making weed removal easier? I am by no means a gardening guru or have a green thumb (its a family joke that I can keep our daughter alive and healthy yet kill off every house plant I’ve ever owned!), so share your tips and suggestions below so I can try them out!