Natural weed killers

24

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  • NollieNollie Girona, Catalunya, Northen SpainPosts: 2,583
    The only ‘natural’ weedkiller apart from myself and a weeding tool/hoe is a one of those gas canister weed wands. Burns off the tops of weds on paths and steps - needs going over a few times but they do give up and die. You don’t need to incinerate, just singe, but that would probably melt your plastic mesh...
  • ObelixxObelixx Vendée, Western FrancePosts: 18,199
    We have inherited a very fine gravelled drive.  I sprayed it once but hen it still looked dreadful and needed hoeing to remove the dead material and there are enough seeds blowing around for it all to come back very quickly.   No more spraying then.

    The last 2 years we've had early droughts which turn the weeds brown as effectively as weedkiller and then we go and hoe them up with a Wolf double edged hoe blade.  We have a gas gun but it's no good on green stuff.   I shall try it on the larger grade stony gravel at the back.
    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
  • From what I have read it seems that flame gun types just burn off the tops of the weeds but not the roots. At least the plastic grid was recycled, also it is black which I believe isn't easy to recycle apparently.  In many ways I do regret having had it laid in the first place although the pot holes in the often muddy and very uneven driveway were almost impassable for most vehicles and when our daughter with motorbike moved in next door we had to had something that was safe and what we thought was easy to maintain.  Thank you for all your suggestions and we will have to rethink this vinegar mix.
  • ObelixxObelixx Vendée, Western FrancePosts: 18,199
    Roots need leaves to feed them so burning off the tops will be as effective as hoeing.
    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
  • glasgowdanglasgowdan Posts: 572
    From treating soil areas with glyphosate for a decade, I can confirm the soil remains full of bug life when dug. 

    Sadly, the same cannot be said for beds treated with salt/vinegar or brown sauce. 
  • TopbirdTopbird Posts: 5,053
    I firmly believe that strong salt and / or vinegar solutions used as weedkillers are really, really bad for soil health.

    Personally I keep on top of driveway weeds (pea shingle - perfect seed bed...) by hoeing but, usually, I reach a certain point in the year when I resort to a single application of glyphosate. (Haven't had to do that this year because it's been so dry even weeds have failed to germinate). I have not noticed any reduction at all in bug life with this treatment.

    If you really do not want to use glyphosate there is now a 'greener' version of Roundup available from garden centres which contains an alternative 'greener' chemical. Roundup was one of the commercial names for glyphosate products but, as I said, the same company now make the 2 versions of weedkiller - one with glyphosate and one without.

    I have no idea how effective the new version is.
    Heaven is ... sitting in the garden with a G&T and a cat while watching the sun go down
  • WillDBWillDB Posts: 1,965
    edited 11 August
    Glyphosate is probably the least environmentally damaging garden weedkiller (including "natural" ones like vinegar and salt). Especially if you wipe or paint it on the leaves rather than spraying. I'm sure I read that the most harmful part of roundup was the surfactants which help it coat a plant's leaves. Surfactants in washing up liquid are presumably also harmful. 
  • glasgowdanglasgowdan Posts: 572
    Topbird said:
    I firmly believe that strong salt and / or vinegar solutions used as weedkillers are really, really bad for soil health.

    Personally I keep on top of driveway weeds (pea shingle - perfect seed bed...) by hoeing but, usually, I reach a certain point in the year when I resort to a single application of glyphosate. (Haven't had to do that this year because it's been so dry even weeds have failed to germinate). I have not noticed any reduction at all in bug life with this treatment.

    If you really do not want to use glyphosate there is now a 'greener' version of Roundup available from garden centres which contains an alternative 'greener' chemical. Roundup was one of the commercial names for glyphosate products but, as I said, the same company now make the 2 versions of weedkiller - one with glyphosate and one without.

    I have no idea how effective the new version is.
    It's based on vinegar!!!
  • HelixHelix 704m altitude...Posts: 598
    I’ve been using a gas gun on our gravelled area for a while now.  The first year was a battle, as the heat seemed to make even more things germinate!    However now (year 3) a quick and light fry every few weeks keeps it clear, with the occasional removal of a deep rooted perennial that has crept back in.  I use a baby gas bottle that’s easy to lift and it lasts a long time. 

    If you has some more gravel spread to hide the plastic then perhaps it would be protected from the heat?
  • I am more confused than ever now.  Whatever we do will be wrong for some, - however I am wondering if the majority of the weeds will die down in the winter - and a new crop grow next Spring/summer?  Is it worth bothering with the weeds at all, or just turn a blind eye.  Luckily there is no bindweed, mares tail or cooch grass growing there (yet).
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