An organic garden has a plethora of benefits, providing both food and happiness in droves for those who grow them, but as with all types of gardens, weeds can sneak in when you least expect them. To combat weeds, we recommend these 5 natural methods to kill weeds in an organic garden: vinegar, cornmeal, vodka, boiling water, and weed burners.
All of these methods have their benefits and shortcomings, but whether you use them alone or in combination with one another, you’re sure to see an improvement in the number of weeds in your organic garden.
Table of Contents
1. Vinegar: Does Vinegar Kill Weeds Permanently?
Vinegar is a staple item in most household kitchens, but as a weed killer, is it a permanent solution? Yes! Weeds with shallow root systems can be killed permanently by vinegar.
Vinegar contains an acid called acetic acid that, when sprayed onto weeds, dries them out and eventually kills them. One important thing to remember when using vinegar as a natural weed killer is that vinegar can’t tell the difference between flowers and weeds, so you’ll need to be careful to only spray the weeds when using it.
Vinegar is one of our favorite organic weed killers because it’s safe for humans, pets, and all matters of wildlife that may frequent your garden.
How Do You Use Vinegar To Kill Weeds?
Follow these steps to use vinegar as a weed killer:
- Wait for sunshine.
Vinegar doesn’t adhere to plants, so make sure your vinegar has ample time to kill the weeds once it’s applied. Rain will wash vinegar away, so wait for a few days of sun before using it.
2. Mix the vinegar solution.
Vinegar is a strong chemical, even if it is natural. Combine 4 parts vinegar to 1 part of water for the best weed-killing results.
3. Apply the vinegar directly to the weed.
Use either a spray bottle with a very direct stream or a paintbrush to apply your vinegar solution. Even a small breeze can spread vinegar to your precious plants when applying and harm them, so careful application is key.
2. Cornmeal: Can Cornmeal Kill Weeds?
Cornmeal, especially the type used in animal feed, works to prevent weeds from sprouting if applied before the weeds begin to grow.
Cornmeal may seem like a strange solution for keeping weeds away, but it’s becoming more and more popular in organic gardening communities as a safe, effective pre-emergent weed killer.
Not all cornmeal is created equal, though. The cornmeal we buy at the grocery is not an effective weed killer. Instead, we need corn gluten meal, which is a byproduct of the grain milling process that is commonly used in animal feed. The oils on the corn gluten meal prevent weed roots from taking hold.
How Do You Use Cornmeal To Kill Weeds?
Using cornmeal to kill weeds isn’t difficult, but don’t forget the activating ingredient, water! Follow these steps for the best results:
- Make sure you’ve got the right cornmeal
Only corn gluten meal will prevent weeds, but the good news is that corn gluten meal is both inexpensive and can be bought in bulk at most feed stores.
2. Spread the cornmeal
To use cornmeal as a weed killer, spread it on the ground where you want to stop the weeds from growing. Try to leave a small area around any new plants uncovered, but cornmeal typically won’t bother established plants.
3. Wet the cornmeal down
Using a hose, lightly wet the cornmeal once it’s spread. This will activate the weed-preventing oils, allowing them to soak into the ground.
3. Vodka: Will Vodka Kill Weeds?
Don’t just use vodka as a celebratory drink after a successful growing season, use it as a weed killer! Vodka will kill weeds if used in conjunction with sunlight.
Another surprising weed killer you might already have in your kitchen is vodka. This high-alcohol content libation banishes weeds when applied during a sunny day by removing the waxy coating that protects the weed’s leaves.
Once the waxy coating is gone, the sun will do the rest of the work, drying out the weed until it perishes.
How Do You Use Vodka To Kill Weeds?
Vodka is a wonderful organic weed killer, but without the right weather, it’s all but useless. Use these tips for the best results:
- Check the weather
Vodka needs nice weather to kill weeds for two reasons. First, the sunlight works to dry the weed out once the vodka removes the waxy leaf coating. Second, vodka won’t adhere to the plant, so it can be easily washed away by rain.
2. Apply with a spray bottle
Vodka is best applied with a spray bottle. This thin liquid will run off plants when poured on, so a fine mist is the best method of application. Make sure to cover all the weed with the vodka to remove as much of its protective coating as possible.
4. Boiling Water: Will Boiling Hot Water Kill Weeds?
Yes, boiling hot water is an effective weed killer as long as we use it while still at near-boiling temperatures.
For the most natural weed killer possible, look no farther than boiling water. When applied to weeds, the intense heat of the water will both kill the roots and strip the leaves of their protective coating.
How Do You Use Boiling Water To Kill Weeds?
Boiling water is simple to use as a weed killer, but be careful! To avoid burning yourself and successfully kill weeds, follow these steps.
- Use a tea kettle or heat proof carafe
Boiling water can cause debilitating burns and injuries if you spill it, so always use a heat-proof container to hold your water. Tea kettles are perfect since the water can be brought to a boil in the kettle and then brought directly out to the weeds.
2. Apply the water as soon as possible
For the boiling water to kill the weeds in your organic garden, it has to be poured onto the weed when still boiling or at nearly boiling temperatures. Without the heat, the water won’t kill the weeds.
5. Weed Burners: Is Burning A Good Way To Get Rid Of Weeds?
Along with water, using fire to kill weeds is one of the most organic ways of controlling weed overgrowth. Using a weed burner, also called a weed torch, will kill weeds in a flash.
If you don’t want to bother mixing solutions and spraying weeds, or you just don’t feel like waiting for a sunny day, weed burning might be the perfect method of weed-killing for you and your garden.
Only use weeding burning if you are comfortable with open flames, and in areas not prone to wildfires
How Do You Use Weed Burners To Get Rid Of Weeds?
Using fire should always be done with caution, so to stay safe while killing weeds with a weed burner, follow these steps:
- Clear the area of any combustible materials
Before weeding your garden with fire, clear the area of any dry brush or other materials that could inadvertently catch fire. It’s also a good idea to have a water hose turned on and nearby.
2. Use a slow, sweeping motion
You may have heard that weed burners vaporize weeds into ash, but this simply isn’t true. The flame will kill the weed, but the burned plant will remain until removed. To kill the weed fully, pass the burner over it with a slow, sweeping motion. If you are too hasty, you risk burning things that you had no intention of burning.
Here are our 5 natural ways to remove weeds in an organic garden. Which method are you going to try?
We at The Walled Nursery recommend using Vinegar on your weeds as it’s one of the most researched methods to remove them permanently with any chemicals. As this method doesn’t use Harsh chemicals it isn’t a risk to humans or animals.
Reminder! Vinegar can’t tell the difference between weeds and plants. If sprayed on plants it to will dry out their roots and destroy them.