9 Types of Organic Weed Killer For Lawns

The 9 Types of Organic Weed Killer For Lawns 

Many of Which You Will Find Already in Your Kitchen Cabinets

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A beautifully manicured lawn with no weeds in it

Can you get rid of weeds organically without having to manually pull them all out?

NOTE: Looking for manual weeders to compliment an organic weeding schedule? Here are the best we could find online.

IS YOUR LAWN CURRENTLY home to a growing number of weeds you simply can't seem to get rid of?

If you are like me, the last thing you want to introduce to your lawn is any form of chemical weed killer. Not only is there a definite risk of these chemicals spreading to your gardens, contaminating the soil and groundwater, as well as potentially poisoning members of your family and your pets.

The best way to treat this problem and take care of Mother Earth (and of course your family), is to find and use an organic weed killer for lawns.

Why Use an Organic Weed Killer?

There are many reasons why you should be using an organic weed killer for lawns. As an organic gardener, I know that there is no such thing as an instant fix or magical spray weed killer for my lawns and gardens.

But at the same time, I know that by using a variety of all-natural weed control methods, I have been able to keep the weeds under control for several years since I put the chemicals away for the last time.

One way of weeding without using chemicals or herbicides is the old fashioned way with gloves and a manual weeding tool

Manual weeding is the purests way but it isn't always practical for people with busy lives

If you are like me and have a vegetable garden as well as plenty of beautiful green lawn around your home, the last thing you want is to be using toxic chemicals to kill weeds. No matter how careful you are, some of these chemicals are going to end up in the veggies you and your family are eating.

All you have to do is watch the news or read gardening magazines to see just how much harm these chemicals (like Roundup that has been proven to cause cancer) can do.

The 9 Top Types of Organic Weed Killer for Lawns

I have spent a lot of time researching organic and natural weed killers in my quest to find those that work the best. My goal has always been to have a fully organic garden capable of growing enough fruits and vegetables for my family that I no longer need to shop for them in the stores.

To date, I have managed to be quite successful and only shop for some fresh veggies during the winter months. So, let's take a look at those that I have tried and how well they seem to work.

1. Boiling Water

using boiling water as an effective organic weed killer for lawns

This homemade organic weed killer may be the oldest and simplest trick in the book. There is no "magic" here only a pot of boiling tap water. As long as you don't accidentally spill boiling water on yourself or someone else, it is perfectly harmless.

To apply, simply pour the boiling water directly onto the weeds you wish to kill and stand back. Results are almost instantaneous and there is no residue left behind for you to worry about. For more killing power add a tablespoon or two of table salt to the water.

ProsCons
Water is cheapResults are temporary
No chemicals or additivesRisk of injury from boiling water
Instantly effective

2. Organic Dish Soap

organic_soap_weed_killer

Image courtesy of Raining Hot Coupons

Organic dish soaps mixed with water and sprayed on weeds can be an effective way to get rid of them. However, there is one small problem that you should not overlook. Not only will this mixture kill off any unwanted weeds, but you may find that your "weed killer" kills some of the plants in your garden.

Be very careful how and where you spray this mixture to avoid killing your garden at the same time. You can also use non-organic dish soaps like Dawn and Palmolive but again these are not organic and may not fit into your organic lifestyle.

ProsCons
Very effectiveKills everything it touches
Most organic dish soaps can be used as they contain citrus oilsOrganic dish soaps tend to be expensive
Harmless to humans and petsMust use a strong concentration to be effective

3. Vinegar

vinegar_weed_killer

Image courtesy of Walmart

Vinegar contains "acetic acid" which is well-known for its weed-killing abilities and is great for use as a "non-selective" weed destroyer.

Bear in mind that household vinegar contains only about 5 percent acetic acid (You can find 10 and 20 percent vinegars that are recommended for killing weeds, like this one here). This means you will probably have to repeat the application process several times in order for this organic weed killer to be effective. You can buy stronger mixtures often sold as organic commercial weed killers.

Bear in mind that the term "non-selective" means the vinegar will kill anything it touches, so spray with care.

ProsCons
Very effectiveWill kill everything it touches
Vinegar is cheapCan burn eyes, skin, cuts
Easy to useVinegar stinks

4. Salt

salt_weed_killer

Sodium chloride or as it is more commonly known, salt, can be used as an effective weed killer. Salt also has a long history of being used as a weapon.

There are countless stories of the fields of conquered peoples being laid waste with salt. The salt keeps anything from growing for many years.

However, because salt is so destructive, it must be applied directly to the leaves of the plant, DO NOT get it on any other plants or in the soil!

You should also avoid spraying your salt/water mixture on concrete driveways or sidewalks as it can damage or discolor them.

ProsCons
Salt is cheapMust be applied directly to each weed
Salt has a long history of being effectiveSalt will kill anything it comes into contact with
Salt is readily availableSalt can render your soil unable to grow anything

5. Fire

Red Dragon VT 2-23 C Weed Dragon

Red Dragon VT 2-23 C Weed Dragon

Light "em up! By applying heat and flame directly to the leaves of a weed, you will cause the leaves to wither and die off. Doing this repeatedly will not only kill off the leaves but will eventually destroy the roots.

Weed-Flamers are rapidly gaining in popularity as this simple propane powered burner is designed to focus the heat directly on the weed without affecting any nearby plants.

You should be aware that using fire to control weeds when the surrounding grass or plants are dry can lead to a widespread fire. Be sure to have a garden hose nearby!

ProsCons
You burn each weed one at a timeYou burn each weed one at a time
Instantly kills weedsMay require multiple applications
Everyone likes to play with fire!!Fire can spread rapidly if area is dry

6. Newspaper and Water

water_and_newspaper_weed_killer

Image courtesy of A Garden For The House

You can cover large areas of weeds with a thick layer of newspaper and then keep it nice and wet. The wet newspaper will keep the weeds in the dark causing them to wither and die.

Doing this can be a very effective form of weed control, but it will kill everything under it. I don't recommend using this method of weed control for your lawn unless you are trying to kill off a large patch of your lawn!

Of course, if you do, you can always turn the area into another garden.

ProsCons
Great way to use your old newspapersYou need to keep it wet to help keep it in place and to make it effective
Newspaper decomposes and fertilizes the soilNot good for individual weeds
Kills everything it is placed overKills everything it is placed over

7. Citrus Based Weed Killers

citrus_weed_killer

Creating your own DIY weed killer using a mixture of white vinegar and citrus peels can be very effective. The white vinegar does contain acetic acid that by itself is not the most effective weed killer.

Adding the citrus peels makes a huge difference.

The essential oils in citrus peels contain d-limonene, which is used as a commercial grease cutter.

This grease-cutting property will strip the "cuticle" or protective coating completely from the leaves of every weed it touches. This allows the acetic acid to literally "burn" the leaves and the citrus acid supercharges the acetic acid to make it more effective.

ProsCons
100% organic weed killerVinegar still stinks
Strips protective layers and lets vinegar work betterWill kill anything it touches
Nothing special to buy simply use ingredients you should already have at homeMay burn eyes and skin

8. Corn Gluten Meal

corn_gluten_weed_killer

Image courtesy of Masters' True Garden

Corn gluten is considered to be a pre-emergence weed killer, which is a fancy term for killing weed seeds before they have a chance to become plants!

While corn gluten is generally considered pretty useless, it's useful when you are looking for an organic weed killer for lawns.

Corn gluten will not cause any harm to existing weeds or your lawn as they meal has an oily outer coating that will not allow seeds to develop roots.

As an added advantage, corn gluten meal is very high in nitrogen and makes an excellent fertilizer.

ProsCons
Corn gluten is an inexpensive by-productWill not kill existing weeds
Kills weeds before they growIt is possible to end up with too much nitrogen in your soil which may burn your lawn
Adds plenty of nitrogen to soilOrganic corn gluten may not be readily available

9. Hitch Up the 20 Mule Team

mule_team_borax

Image courtesy of Amazon

Borax has been sold for use a laundry soap virtually forever and while it may no longer be transported by the wagon load pulled by a team of mules, it can definitely give you a hand with those weeds. All you have to do is add 10 ounces of Borax to 2 1/2 gallons of water and spray it on the weeds to be terminated. It works very well but will kill literally any plant life it touches.

ProsCons
CheapKills anything it touches
Readily available in most large grocery storesCan cause skin and eye irritations
Very effectiveCan poison the soil in heavy amounts

Down to the Last Weed

I have not used chemical herbicides in years, the last thing I want in my garden is a load of toxins that will make me and the family sick. Each type of organic weed killer for lawns that has been mentioned works very well.

Rather than tell you which of them is my favorite, let me say that I use most of them in one or more areas of my yard and gardens. I hope you found something of value in the information above and go on to enjoy a weed-free lawn.

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