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Weed killers are toxic to more than just plants, especially Roundup. Using alternatives to Roundup to kill weeds will reduce your exposure to glyphosate.
Animal and human studies of exposure have found that glyphosate can affect your health in a bunch of different ways. It's an endocrine disruptor, affects your gut health and is a possible carcinogen.
YOU are the best alternative to Roundup. And by that I mean – hand pulling those suckers out is the most effective way to remove garden weeds.
It’s quicker than going around the yard with a bottle of herbicide, spraying the plants and waiting hours or days for them to die. And it gets the roots out. You just have to arm yourself with the right tools.
My favorite garden tool is a Hori-Hori knife. It is an all-purpose weeding tool that makes it easy to get weeds out root and all. The easiest time to pull out weeds is after it rains when the soil is looser. To avoid all the bending try a stand up weeder.
Weed killing sprays, whether homemade or store bought, are the least effective herbicides. They work best on young weeds, and often require several applications.
I don’t recommend using the 20% to 30% vinegar concentrates that are available to kill weeds. They are strong acids that can burn your skin and damage your eyes.
However, there are some natural weed killing sprays made with ingredients like oils, soaps and citric acid. Bonide Burn Out Weed and Grass Concentrate Killer is made with citric acid and clove oil. Avenger Organic Weed Killer is made with d-Limonene and castor oil.
Based on the research I’ve read, I came up with an original formula that I use as an alternative to Roundup. The oil-based option will coat the leaves of plants longer, so it is more effective on older weeds.
SoyBean Oil Weed Killer
To 1 cup of soybean oil add 11/2 teaspoons (150 drops) of Cinnamon oil, 1 teaspoon of Clove oil (100 drops) and 1 teaspoon of Eucalyptus oil.
Mix well and place in a spray bottle. Spray directly on weeds. Avoid over spray onto
other plants. Works best in sunny locations and on young weeds.
Vinegar Weed Killer
To 1 cup of vinegar add 11/2 teaspoons (150 drops) of Cinnamon oil, 1 teaspoon of Clove oil and 1 teaspoon of Eucalyptus oil.
Mix well and place in a spray bottle. Spray directly on weeds. Avoid over spray onto other plants. Works best in sunny locations and on young weeds.
Corn Gluten Meal
An alternative to Roundup that prevents weeds from emerging (a pre-emergent) is corn gluten meal. Corn gluten can be used anywhere you don’t want seeds to germinate, including sidewalks and veggie and flower beds.