Natural weedkiller: 8 safe tips against unwanted weeds

Need a natural weedkiller to limit the weeds that invade your garden? To avoid glyphosate or any other harmful chemical, there are several alternatives. An ecological weedkiller can perfectly remove unwanted weeds from your flower beds, vegetable garden or patio. Discover and test these 8 simple tips to make your own organic weedkiller.

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A natural weedkiller with 8 simple and ecological tips

Weeds that are not always weeds

Wrongly called “weeds” in everyday language, they are above all wild plants useful for biodiversity.

Also called weeds, these weeds are necessary for the balance of an organic garden. Some grasses provide shelter and cover for helper insects and pollinators.

Others are used to determine the nature of a soil, to balance it and to enrich the humus. For example :

Red dead nettle – White chickweed – Ravenelle
Red dead nettle and white chickweed, like other nitrophiles that take up excess nitrogen from soil.
The ravenelles which take in the subsoil of the potash unassimilable by the other plants and release it during their decomposition, thus enriching the soil.

If, however, these herbs, which are sometimes too invasive, disturb your crops: there are natural tips to eliminate them. Indeed, ecological weedkillers made at home have an effectiveness proven by generations of gardener!

Ban chemical weedkillers

Among the large variety of chemical weedkillers, the most well known (unfortunately) is glyphosate. Dangerous, toxic, harmful to the environment and to humans, there is no lack of qualifiers for chemical weed control …

Many of these chemical herbicides are classified as “endocrine disruptors”. The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) attached to the World Health Organization (WHO) also classifies this substance as “probable carcinogens”.

A poison that impacts everyone

The use of these chemicals represents a danger to the inhabitants of the premises as well as to domestic animals.

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They also contribute to the disappearance of insects and microorganisms present in the garden.

Among other dramatic consequences: we are helplessly witnessing the worrying decline of small birds in our towns and countryside.

The consequences on our health, environmental pollution, ecological impacts on soils and groundwater, make chemical weedkillers real dangers.

To take care of your garden and remove unwanted weeds, you don’t need chemicals. Besides hand weeding or hot water weeding, there are other solutions for weeding your garden.

Homemade natural weedkiller for safe weeding

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To eliminate the weeds that are invading your vegetable garden, flower bed, driveway, yard or patio, all it takes is a few common ingredients. Easy to use, these 8 natural weedkiller tips are available to everyone:

1. The pasta cooking water

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This tip is ideal for eliminating weeds between paving paths, terraces, yards, etc.

The still hot cooking water of the pasta (salted or not) works perfectly against weeds and moss. Indeed, the starch, present in the pasta, is harmful for the plants and the salt burns the roots of the unwanted ones.

Pour lukewarm water to the bottom of the weeds, being careful not to spill it on other plants.

Beware of excess salt: if it is effective as a weedkiller, in large quantities it kills micro-biodiversity.

2. The cooking water for the potatoes

eau de cuisson patates - Natural weedkiller: 8 safe tips against unwanted weeds

This tip is also very useful for removing weeds between paving paths, terraces, yards, etc.

Very rich in starch, the cooking water of potatoes acts as a very effective natural weedkiller.

Pour hot water over the weeds, being careful not to spill it on other plants.

3. Angelica manure

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This tip is useful for flower beds, vegetable gardens, etc.

Liquid manure, also called fermented extract, is a liquid preparation obtained from plants. Easy to prepare and economical, plant manure is ideal for replacing certain phytosanitary products used in the garden.

To prepare an angelica manure, you need 1 kilo of angelica leaves and 10 L of water (collect the rainwater, it is more economical).

Angelica is easily grown in the garden, in a pot or in a planter.

4. White vinegar

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Favor its use on terraces, paths and other inert soils not intended for cultivation.

The acetic acid in vinegar acts as a herbicide. White vinegar, sold commercially, is a dilution of acetic acid to about 10% typically. It is a contact weedkiller. In other words, it burns the aerial parts of weeds, without attacking the roots.

Even though vinegar is rapidly bio-degraded, it still risks acidifying the soil and attacking microbiological life. Be sure to use it sparingly in your flower beds and vegetable gardens.

Many natural vinegar weedkiller recipes exist: they differ in their dosage, pure, diluted or even mixed with black soap:

White vinegar diluted with water:
Start with a 50% dilution: one part vinegar for one part water.
Spray your herbs or water them with this preparation preferably in the morning on a very sunny day to accentuate the effect of the vinegar.
White vinegar and black soap:

To make the vinegar stick to the weeds more, you can add black soap. The vinegar will thus be less washable in rainy weather.

For 1 L of vinegar, add 2 tbsp. to c. of liquid black soap.
Dilute in a sprayer and spray weeds in the morning on a hot day.

The heat helps the vinegar residue to evaporate to keep the fertility of your soil intact.

5. Baking soda

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Baking soda is an excellent natural weedkiller, which inhibits the regrowth of unwanted weeds.

Like many salts, bicarbonate is harmful to plants above 1% concentration. Therefore, favor its use on terraces, paths and other inert soils not intended for cultivation.

20 g (or 4 level teaspoons) are sufficient for 1 m².
Sprinkle baking soda directly on the areas you want to weed.
No need to water, instead let the dew take over which will dissolve the baking soda. Repeat the operation if it rains too much.
Repeat once or twice a year, ideally in spring and / or autumn, this is more than enough.
6. Nettle manure

This tip is useful for flower beds, vegetable gardens, etc.

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Nettle manure is a very good ecological weedkiller, like angelica manure.

Nettle manure recipe
2 kg of nettles and 10 L of water (preferably rain).
Cut the nettle leaves into thin strips and put them in the water.
Leave to macerate for 3 to 7 days until no more bubbles form in the liquid.
Mix the mixture once a day.
Filter the mixture.
Pour it pure on your weeds to destroy them.

The nettle maceration gives off a rather strong odor. It is therefore preferable and even strongly recommended to manufacture it as far as possible from the house.

>> Good to know: keep the nettle residues collected during filtration and add them to your compost. They will constitute a very good accelerator for the decomposition of matter.

7. Green manure against weeds

To simplify the maintenance of flower beds, areas reserved for plants and shrubs, there are durable and effective solutions.

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Association of crops and green manures

Some plants, called “green manures” are known to grow quickly and produce toxic substances against unwanted weeds.

Phacelia, clover, mustard, etc. : these green manures grow quickly and produce a mass of foliage and roots which prevent the growth of weeds.
Buckwheat: this is a so-called “cleaning” green manure whose roots emit a substance that inhibits the emergence of weed seeds.
French marigold, Indian roses and marigolds: these plants produce toxic substances against quackgrass, for example, and other unwanted grasses.

Combining crops is one of the basic techniques of natural gardening, to protect crops from weeds. Planting green manure provides good soil cover and works as a green manure.

Consider sowing green manure between your flower plants and shrubs. The selection of the species will depend on the time of sowing.

8. Mulching
To avoid weeds in your vegetable gardens or flower beds, the mulching technique is effective.

However, mulch must be applied to level ground that has been cleared of weeds beforehand. Mulching restricts and stifles the growth of unwanted weeds.

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Mulching vegetable and flower plants can be done in different ways:

Organic mulch: straw, flax, lawn mowing waste or torn up and dried grasses, hemp fibers, etc.
Mulch with recycled materials: wood chips, terracotta shards, slates, tiles, etc.
Mulching is applied as soon as the soil has warmed up sufficiently (early spring). In the middle of summer, make sure you never cover a ground without having watered it beforehand.

After a good hoeing, lay a 10 cm layer of mulch.
It is good to know that there are healthy and environmentally friendly alternatives to natural weedkillers. It’s true that sometimes you need to spend a little more time on it, but having a respected garden where healthy produce grows is priceless!

Cultivate soilless to limit the workload …
Have you ever considered cultivating your soil-less vegetable garden? You might find it of some interest. Indeed, the working position is much more comfortable for the back. Another advantage: as the plants are tighter, there is little surface left for weeds.

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