Home Remedies for Killing Weeds

A gardener's annoyance level skyrockets at the invasion of weeds into a carefully planned flower bed. Weeds might be a fact of life when gardening, but these nuisance plants often smother flowering plants in a garden. Weed removal requires constant effort and diligence to stay ahead of these garden pests. Applying commercial herbicides often risks nearby plants, causing die off of prized perennials, annuals and shrubs.

Topical Applications

The pantry and garage house a wealth of products to assist in killing weeds around the home. A mixture of one part apple cider or white vinegar and two parts water in a sprayer will tackle weeds along walkways, driveways and garden borders. Add 2 tbsp. of dish detergent and shake the mixture. The addition of the soap will help the vinegar adhere to the leaves of the weed. To tackle those annoying weeds in sidewalk cracks, sprinkle rock salt into the crack, and add a small amount of water with a watering can to activate the salt. The vinegar and rock salt will leach down to the roots and kill the plant. These methods may require repeated application and shouldn't be used near ornamental plants.

Manual Removal

Weeding is a gardening fact of life. The opportunistic tendency of weeds requires considerable effort by the gardener. For this reason, manual removal of the weeds often presents the most efficient option for removal. Make sure to use a sharp trowel to remove the weed roots. Try to conduct weeding sessions before the plant grow over 3 inches tall and reach maturity.


The application of a thick layer of mulch will work to smother juvenile weeds. The mulch layer also benefits the garden by preserving moisture in soil layers. Mulch will break down over time, creating a rich layer of organic material on the garden surface. Mulch layers should be at least 3 to 4 inches to smother leaves and should be monitored to add mulch if needed. Spread a layer of newspaper before placing mulch on the garden surface for added assistance in smothering weeds.


Solarizing weeds involves the literal burning of foliage using plastic. This home remedy works best in garden areas without existing ornamental plants. Solarizing requires the placement of a layer of plastic tarp securely fastened down at the soil level. The weeds under the plastic tarp heat up to extremely high temperatures, frying the foliage and roots to a crisp. Success with this home remedy requires a thorough soaking of the soil to a depth of 12 inches. Leave plastic layers in place for eight to 10 weeks during the hottest part of the summer.

Keywords: weed control, home remedies for weeds, homemade weed spray

About this Author

S.F. Heron is an avid gardener with three years of experience in online writing and a working background in aviation and earth and ocean sciences. She is published on various sites, including Helium, eHow and Xomba. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in journalism from the University of Maryland.