Chemical weed killer does not have a good reputation. It must be said that herbicides such as glyphosate, by contaminating the soil down to the water table, are not good for the environment. They also pose many dangers to human health. They are indeed endocrine disruptors and substances with a “probably carcinogenic” effect, according to the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) associated with the WHO. In addition, they are dangerous for our pets as well as for the local fauna (insects, birds…). Based on this observation, finding ecological alternatives for your garden or vegetable patch seems natural, but which ones? Friends of gardeners, here are some recipes to make an ecological natural weed killer that won’t let you down on unwanted plants!
1) mulch, very simple
Ideal after weeding and hoeing, mulching helps protect soil and flower beds by preventing weeds from forming. This is usually done in the spring. However, mulch can also be applied in summer, this time on watered soil to protect it from drought. For smother unwanted weeds, you can use wood chips, slates or tiles, terracotta rubble, pozzolana…. It allows you to kill weeds and wild plants without endangering your plantations.
2) Boiling water for pasta or potatoes
Boiling water is a natural weed killer that doesn’t cost a round (or almost!). It can be used both in the garden (be careful not to pour it on the plants you want to keep) and between the tiles of the patio or courtyard to remove moss. It is enough to use the still hot water from the pasta (salted or unsalted) or the potatoes. It contains starch which has the effect of highly effective weeding. You can use salted water or not, the salt can burn the roots of invasive plants. However, remember to be sparing, be salty and coarse salt harmful to microbiodiversity in large quantities.
3) White vinegar, a natural weed killer for your garden
This one contact weed killer effectively burns the aerial parts of seedlings to be eliminated. However, it leaves the roots intact. The acetic acid works wonders on walkways and patios. Still, it should be used sparingly at the bottom of the vegetable garden, because even though it is biodegradable, it can acidify the soil. As a result, it can have a detrimental effect on the microbiological life of your garden. There is no shortage of vinegar-based recipes. In general, however, we recommend a use pure or diluted in water 50/50. Some also add a little black soap to help the natural weed killer stick to the leaves. The key to making this work especially well is to spray your product in the morning, preferably when the weather is nice and warm. This makes it possible to good herbicidal effect while drying out any vinegar residue that could get into the soil.
4) baking soda
Like all salt, this herbicide, in addition to weeding, will slow down weed regrowth. So you can use baking soda on your outdoor spaces, preferring walkways and patios over cultivation soil. To do this, count 20 g (or 4 teaspoons) to sprinkle per m² of soil. Then let it soak in without watering. The dew provides the necessary moisture. If it rains, you have to start over. Repeat the application once or twice a year, preferably in the spring or fall.
5) Nettle fertilizer, a very powerful natural weed killer
Whether in the vegetable garden, in your beds or to treat flower beds, nettle manure is your ideal ally. And in addition, you can take advantage of the nettles that grow in the garden! To make it, let it macerate between 3 and 7 days, 2 kg of nettle leaves in strips and 10 liters of rainwater. Don’t forget to mix daily! Then check for the presence of bubbles: when there are no more bubbles, it is ready to be filtered. Save especially what has been filtered to add to the compost (this speeds up the breakdown of the material). And as for the slurry, you can sprinkle it on the weeds to get rid of it.
6) Angelica fertilizer
Less known than nettle fertilizer, it is nevertheless a very powerful natural weed killer to replace conventional phytosanitary products. How to reach it? Let macerate a kilo of cut angelica leaf in the sun on ten liters of rainwater. Then, just like with nettle fertilizer, wait until there are no more bubbles. It takes about ten days. Then all we have to do is filter and spread the slurry. Once the weeds are dry, weed by hand to remove the roots.
Bonus tip: Use plants as green manure
The combination of crops can be a gardening technique that can be used to control weeds, among other things. Certain plants do indeed deliver poisonous substances that control weeds. For example, plants such as mustard, clover or phacelia have rapid growth, both in leaf and root. This will help prevent weeds from developing that do not have room to develop. Buckwheat is cleansing: the substance it produces inhibits the formation of cannabis seeds. As for the marigold, the marigold or the Indian rose, the substances emitted are toxic to various bad herbs, including quackgrass.