Thursday, April 21, 2016

An Organic Weed Killer That Really Works!

I started seeing them pop up in the warm weather last week.

They're baaaack!

The thistle weeds that were five feet tall when we moved into the Fixer Upper House last summer? The very same thistle weeds that I spent tons of hours and back breaking work trying to eradicate last summer and fall?

Right back and happily growing in the garden beds where we carefully spread three inches of dark mulch last fall.

I wanted to cry.

My husband's first instinct is to reach for the Roundup. But I finally have birds visiting my garden now, along with bunnies and chipmunks and squirrels. And Jemma. Did I mention that she likes to eat the flowers off the dandelions? I can't spray pesticides willy nilly throughout the yard.

I did a little research on homemade organic weed killers. One popular recipe uses white vinegar, Dawn dish soap, and salt. But I knew that if I started spraying salt in my garden nothing would grow in that soil. I really like my flowers, and my hope is that I can add to the garden and crowd out the weeds one day.

Then I read another recipe that said to just use straight vinegar, and spray directly on the weed. I had a bottle of distilled white vinegar and an empty Febreeze bottle, so I thought I'd give this method a try.

Wow! An hour after application, and the thistle weeds were already shriveling up and browning! Hooray!

Safe for puppies, deadly for weeds. Vinegar, you are my new best friend!

Peace restored!

Thanks for visiting the cafe today!


  1. Speaking of weeds....little Jemma is growing like one! Glad you found something that works on the bad weeds. Looking good! M.L.

  2. I know, Marylynn! She's now almost 40 lbs, and still growing into her huge paws! ;)

  3. Oh my gosh I didn't realize vinegar would work by itself. I'm trying it out tomorrow on the weeds I've got sprouting up.

    1. Let me know if this works for you! I think I may need to re-apply several times, but I'm hoping it will do the trick!

  4. I am certainly no gardener - but I am a fan of the natural method of weed removal. I tried a few different recipes and found that water, white vinegar and a little dish soap work best. The soap really helps show you where you are spraying and what you have covered. But boy, don't get it not the grass! LOL Dead city!

    1. I've heard that the soap helps it cling to the weed, too. May need to add that next time. I'm usually pretty old school with weed removal...I dig them out!

  5. Oh, almost forgot, you can buy two packs (gallon each) at Costco. Best buy I have found. Also there is a Zep branded spray bottle at Home Depot that has a great handle/trigger/spray adjustment and holds more fluid for less refills.

    1. I'll have to look for that! Sounds like it would work better than an old Febreeze bottle! ;)

  6. We are blessed here in N TX to have Howard Garrett to advise us on all things organic. You can find him at - lots of good recipes and information. Here is his recipe to kill weeds. I need to go make up a batch. (Thanks BlueInks for the spray bottle leads).

    Herbicide Formula:
    1 gallon of 10% vinegar
    Add 1 ounce orange oil or d-limonene
    Add 1 tablespoon molasses
    1 teaspoon liquid soap or other surfactant (I use Bio Wash)
    Do not add water

    Shake well before each spraying and spot spray weeds. Keep the spray off desirable plants. This spray will injure any plants it touches. This natural spray works best on warm to hot days. Vinegar sprayed the bases of trees and other woody plants will not hurt the plant at all.