Weed killers are used to eliminate what we consider weeds, usually growing in cultivated land, gardens and other places. Weeds affect the growth of the primary plant in this situation.
Organic weed killers are prepared from natural organic products. They are preferred over the synthetic or chemical weed killers as they are not poisonous. Most of these organic weed killers are basically acids designed to lower the pH value level on the targeted weeds and kill them easily.
The acid will act for a few minutes when it comes in contact with plants or soil and then quickly oxidize. The residues that are left behind by the organic weed killers are harmless. Some of them may be even be useful for plants as a fertilizer.
How to Make an Organic Weed Killer
You can make an organic weed killer quite easily yourself. They are far less harmful to the soil, to the little creatures in the soil and to human beings. By using organic weed killers you will wipe out the weeds but will not kill off all the friendly creatures that make the soil better and help to make plants healthy.
How Does a Weed Killer Work?
Weed killers are actually herbicides. They work in several different levels to control weeds.
Systemic weed killers kill the weed from inside. You may not see the effect for a few days but it will kill them off.
The other type of herbicide will immediately kill the part of a plant that comes in contact with the weed killer. These types of weed killers sometimes only act only on the top portion of the plant, thus the weed can sprout again.
There are two common ways to use weed killers:
- Pre-emergence and
The pre-emergence method is applied to control weeds as they sprout, meaning they are killed at germination. This type of weed killers should be used only for permanent plantings and where you want to transplant seedlings.
You should never use the pre-emergence herbicides on land where you want to sow seeds. An example of a pre-emergence natural organic weed killer is corn gluten. You can get it commercially.
Post-emergence weed killers are used on weeds that you can see are going to take over your primary plants . The weed may be small or it may be a fully grown weed, which will be more challenging to kill organically. If you use organic weed killers as early as possible you will have the best chance of eradication.
Vinegar as Organic Weed Killer
Generally, homemade organic weed killers are based on vinegar. Vinegar is an organic and natural product derived from apples, grain, or grapes. You can buy vinegar with 5% acetic acid, which is its killer active ingredient.
Acetic acid can kill most plants and vegetation by extracting the moisture from the leaves. It also acts very quickly. If you spray strong vinegar on a plant in the sun, it will often whither the plant and turn it brown in only a few hours. Tougher plants may take a day or more. It is important to control the overspray of vinegar, which easily happens if it is windy.
Homemade Weed Killer Recipe
Simple – Vinegar (5%) 1 gallon : Soap 1oz
Mix them thoroughly together.
It is better to use a small sprayer with a small spray pattern that can be easily controlled and confined to your targeted area. Weeds react to this the fastest in full sun.
Vinegar will not reach the roots of plants so this means that tough weeds can grow back. It is best to repeat this as necessary. Try to not get too much vinegar on the soil as you will change the chemical makeup.