Natural Weed Repellents You Can Make at Home

There’s nothing quite as heartbreaking as watching insidious invasive forces strangle the life out of the garden you’d built from nothing.

Well, there are plenty of things more heartbreaking than that, actually. But feeling powerless and impotent against the crawling, vining, strangling red-headed step children of nature isn’t ideal.

And though modern science has brought us tons of industrial-strength chemical weed killers, we’ve learned in time not to trust them. 

Those weed killers can often imbalance the pollinators, bad-bug eaters, plant protectors, and bacteria in your garden. It’s a whole ecosystem, see, even if it looks like you’ve tamed nature. (You haven’t. You never will. Nature finds a way.)

Plus, the more “tame” your garden looks, the more likely it is that certain weeds will love to grow there. Crabgrass, dandelion, and other seeded weeds find manicured lawns and freshly clipped grass ideal for their purposes – total domination. (As good a reason as any to let your lawns grow a little more – homogenized front yards are out!)

If you’re experiencing problems with weeds overtaking your yard and garden, start there: just a little bit more length to your grass to give those weeds a tough time.

And if you’ve got the energy, crawling around your yard with a bucket and gloves pulling weeds where you see them is a fantastic way to get…

  1. Vitamin D
  2. Exercise on little-used muscles
  3. Exposure to dirt microbes.

Don’t forget newspapers are great for preventing a flare-up as well – simply lay them down after you weed whack and cover them with mulch. No sunlight, no weeds!

But let’s say you’ve already got a major weed problem and preventive or soft measures simply won’t cut it.

You don’t want those weeds snatching water, sunlight, and soil space from your flowers and vegetables. And you definitely don’t want them choking the life out of your thriving garden!

Try a few of these natural, organic, home-made weed repellent recipes to free your garden from the treacherous grasp of unwanted plant pests!

Vinegar Blend

Grab a spray bottle, a cup of coarse salt, a gallon of vinegar, and tablespoon of dish soap.

You can also use Borax in place of the salt. However, even though it’s a naturally occuring substance, it’s a bit harsher and can have negative effects on the quality of the soil long after it’s been sprayed.

Mix it up, pour into the spray bottle, and give it a good shake. Wait for a good and hot day, and spray as directly onto the weeds as you can. This mixture kills greenery, so avoid your vegetables and flowers. 

The acid in the vinegar burns the plant matter, and the salt helps it to shrivel by the end of the day.

Boiling Hot Water

This won’t work for all situations, like creeping weeds or hugely infested areas, but for minor situations like weeds growing up through cracks in pavements or at the edges of cement or stone gardens, it works like a charm.

Boil water and pour it directly onto the weeds as close as you can.

It won’t prevent them from returning – but it will kill them right then and there!

Lemon Juice

Lemon juice has a similar effect on weeds as vinegar – it’s the acid contained in both.

For a quick fix on weaker weeds, a spray bottle full of lemon juice will help kill weeds in a day or two, as long as you really douse the guys.

Rubbing Alcohol

Two tablespoons of rubbing alcohol mixed with a quart of water can help disquiet leafy weeds. 

Mix it up and pour it into a spray bottle to spray on the leaves of weeds, so that the leaves die off and so does the rest of the plant.

There are a million and one ways to prevent weeds or to stop them once they’ve started – there are even decent organic weed killers on the market, with high iron content to overfeed and thus kill weeds. Or organic weed killers that only kill weeds and don’t mess with the rest of your plant life.

But there’s never a good reason to use chemicals that are harmful to the environment, to your skin, to children, to pets, and ultimately, the food we eat when we’ve got so many other options!

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Dr. Pedram Shojai

NY Times Best Selling author and film maker. Taoist Abbot and Qigong master. Husband and dad. I’m here to help you find your way and be healthy and happy. I don’t want to be your guru…just someone who’ll help point the way. If you’re looking for a real person who’s done the work, I’m your guy. I can light the path and walk along it with you but can’t walk for you.