|Thursday Techniques: Natural Weed Killers|
|Written by Heleigh Bostwick Thursday, 23 August 2012|
Home gardeners interested in environmentally-friendly weed killers will be happy to know there are a couple of options that really work. The first is corn gluten meal, a byproduct of making cornstarch that inhibits the germination of weed seeds. It works wonders on crabgrass and dandelions, and other annuals, but will not kill weeds that are already thriving. Corn gluten meal should be applied at 20 pounds per 1000 square feet in very early spring. Recommended: Weed Prevention Plus for Gardens
If weeds are already present, try vinegar, which is technically an acid. It’s possible to use store bought vinegar, which is 5% ascetic acid, but it may not be as effective as vinegar that is 15 or 20% ascetic acid. Studies have shown that the age of the weed determines what strength works best. For example, a weed that is in its first two weeks of life can easily be killed by several spray applications of a 5% solution; whereas an "older" weed needs a stronger concentration of 15 to 20% ascetic acid applied to it. At stronger concentrations there is an 85 to 100% success rate for complete eradication of the weed.
Vinegar does not discriminate and will kill all plants, not just weeds, so be sure to spot spray only the weed you want to get rid of. There are a couple of natural weed killers sold on the market as well, the most popular--as well as tried and true--being Nature's Avenger Organic Weed & Grass Killer