Monday, June 30, 2014

Dog Friendly Weed Killer

(Ends 6/21/15)

While removing all the weeds that exist on my property is something I would never dream of doing, I do have a few "manicured" areas that I maintain, keep the dogs off of (for the most part) and *try* to keep the chickens out of.  Even with fresh mulch, weeds come through.

There are few weeds hiding amongst the Bee Balm (I think?) and Hostas.
While I know Roundup is supposedly safe, especially after it has dried, I try to use as few chemicals as possible in and around my home.

My friend Geri gave me her "recipe" for weed killer, and I have been using it with great success.

The Ingredients
  • 1 gallon white vinegar
  • 2 cups Epsom salt
  • 1/4 cup Dawn dish soap
Mix all together.  I simply poured all of them into a pump sprayer, and shook it like crazy, much to the bewilderment of my dogs.

It becomes a lovely blue color.
Vinegar is recognized as a standalone weedkiller.  Epsom salt is actually magnesium, but can act as a weaker standalone weed killer as well.  Mixed together, they work better, and the dish soap is a binder of sorts, and also allows the mixture to stick to the leaves/base of the weeds.

This is non selective, and works by dehydrating the plant.  Use care with plants you wish to keep.  Depending on the plant, this may or may not kill the actual root system.  In that case, digging it up is best.

How Well Does it Work?
It works well.  On larger, sturdier weeds, the best plan of action is to dig them up.  But for smaller weeds, or weeds whose roots cannot be accessed, it works well.

Weed before
Weed three hours after application.  As you can see, I accidentally sprayed some on the Hosta leaf as well...
Some were growing between the stones of our pond overlook, and it took care of them too.
This, along with manual removal, are the only methods of weed control employed in my household.  

A word to the wise:  As with all cleansers, keep out of reach of dogs and children.  While all the ingredients in this are "harmless", they can all cause gastrointestinal upset and diarrhea when consumed in large amounts.


  1. I have used this for many months. While it is very effective on weeds, it doesn't work so well on wayward grasses. We have a lot of Bermuda grass that invades every place and I'm still looking for a way to get rid of it without Round up which is effective, but I would like to limit its use.

  2. Pretty cool! I have heard that dish soap is also good for keeping bugs off of your plants... from my mom anyways.. My dad always uses roundup, but he has a huge area at the nursery to deal with weeds. He carries his little pump and sprayer around on a cart. Seems like he's always spraying weeds =/

  3. Wish it didn't have vinegar! The smell makes me so, so nauseous.

  4. Very cool! I could have used this at our last house! So many weeds! Luckily at our new place (well, lucky for us, not for Rita...) we have a lot of hard scape, and not a lot of places for weeds to grow! I'll share this with my sis though. She's always looking for ways to use less chemicals!

  5. That is a good alternative. We do use Round-up but very sparingly. We quit using fertilizer or weed killer on our grass years ago because of the dogs.

  6. Interesting! Thanks for sharing!
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