Monday, July 14, 2014

No More Roundup: Weeds Away!

An environmentally-friendly answer to weeds in patios and walkways? 
(Updated for Summer 2016)

Get rid of weeds in patios and in edgings without using harmful, poisonous Roundup or other herbicides!  (Though the photo below, from Beaufort Online, names this recipe "Weed-Be-Gone", please be aware that there is an Ortho herbicide on the market named "Weed B Gon".  The following recipe is NOT the same product.)

Don't need a gallon?  Check below for a conversion to a smaller quantity.  And the common salt is called EPSOM salts, not EPSON.

Great discussion of the pros and cons of this recipe at the link.  The crux of the controversy is whether or not Dove is needed and, if so, whether or not it is also a dangerous product due to the policies and procedures of its creator, Proctor and Gamble.  First, use only Dove blue original, nothing anti-bacterial; second, Dove blue, the product that I bought does not contain phosphates.  If you are still concerned about Proctor and Gamble's products or issues such as animal testing, etc., (which are real concerns), you might want to try substitutes or see if this product works WITHOUT the Dove at all and report back.  Based on the comments, some weedy plants do contain oils, and the soap in the Dove will get rid of that.  

Other people want to make it clear that this recipe will kill all plants with which it comes in conrtact, so don't use it in a flower or vegetable bed.

So.. If you want to try this, but you don't need a gallon of it, try this reduced recipe:

  • 12 oz. vinegar
  • 3/8 cup epsom salts  (6 Tablespoons)
  • 1 teaspoon Dove
My review:  I did try this, and it did work... to some extent...  

However, I needed much more than the reduced recipe I printed above just to do a few weeds that popped up between my patio blocks.  Initially I just used a spray bottle, but ultimately, I just poured the stuff on the weeds.  That did the trick for most of the weeds, but it took several days before I noticed any effect.  I did a second batch for the stubborn weeds that didn't succumb the first time.

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