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You want to take care of your lawn, and take care of your pets.
There are lots of weed killers on the market for keeping a garden and lawn weed free. However, many of these weed killers are not safe for pets – cats, dogs, and typical backyard wildlife. Furthermore, commercial weed killers can be very costly.
Luckily, there are lots of weed killing alternatives that are safe, effective, cheap, not toxic, and easy to make.
In this article, we will share some ideas and easy recipes to help you make your own kid and pet safe weed killer. Read on to learn more.
There Are Lots Of Good Reasons To Say NO To Commercial Weed Killer
Most of the weed and grass killers you find and buy at the store are filled with chemicals. Some of these are very harsh and damaging to plants, other kinds damage living organisms and the environment.
Many “weed preventer” products contain active ingredients making them quite dangerous. Although labeled as “safe” weed control materials, the term is very subjective.
While this weed control product may technically be “safe” under very narrow usage guidelines, this does not necessarily mean the weed killer is safe for your dog, cat, and other pets, kids, wildlife or you to touch, breathe or accidentally ingest.
Furthermore, no matter how “safe” chemicals are, its residue will eventually end up in the water system. Chemicals buildup in our waterways causing great harm to all life on earth.
Think about this: If commercial chemical weed killers are “safe” for dogs and cats, why do professional lawn service personnel wear impressive protective gear and set up hazard warning signs all around treated areas?
The reason is that if pets, kids or incidental wildlife come in contact with the grass killer poison within the first 24 hours, it can be absorbed through the skin.
Little children may put hands to mouth and ingest the poison. Pets and wildlife may actively lick it off. If the poison comes in contact with eyes, it can do a great deal of damage.
Clearly, chemical herbicides or commercial weed killers are not actually safe for use around living beings.
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What Can You Do For A Pet Friendly Weed Killer?
There are many truly safe ways to manage weeds in your yard, lawn, and garden. Here are 8 simple, easy safe, pet-friendly weed killer ideas you can try!
Pull them up by hand!
It may seem old-fashioned and it may involve quite a bit of work, but it’s absolutely safe and you’ll get a bit of a workout pulling weeds.
If you stay on top of it, it’s really not very hard to pull weeds by hand in your flower and veggie gardens.
For weeds embedded in your lawn, invest in a special digging fork that will make it easy to grab and pull their long tap roots from the ground.
Use a layer of compost and/or mulch to suppress weeds.
Keeping your flower and veggie beds well-fed with compost and well covered with mulch is a natural way to control weeds and weed seeds.
Landscape fabric blocks weed growth.
You can install landscape fabric under stones and pavers as a weed preventer in walkways. It can help protect the roots of trees and shrubs and keeps roots cool when covered with mulch. Note that weeds may try to grow in the mulch on top of the landscape fabric, but their roots will be shallow. Pulling these upstarts is a simple matter.
Note that weeds may try to grow in the mulch on top of the landscape fabric, but their roots will be shallow. Pulling these upstarts is a simple matter.
Douse weeds with boiling water.
Just boil water in a kettle and pour it carefully on the weeds you wish to kill. This is an especially dog-friendly weed killer and a good method for eradicating the weeds that grow up between the cracks in your patio, driveway or sidewalk.
Naturally, you must be careful not to come in contact with the boiling water, and be sure to keep kids and pets out of the way while you are at work.
Pure white vinegar is a great organic weed killer.
Simply decant white vinegar into a spray bottle and mist the weeds you want to kill. You may need to apply the vinegar several days in a row, but it will do the trick.
It’s best to apply your spray bottle of vinegar in the morning on a sunny day because the rays of the sun amplify the effectiveness.
Take extra care with over-spraying vinegar on your lawn and garden. Vinegar in high amounts will also kill your garden plants if you aren’t careful.
A little bit of salt will kill weeds.
It doesn’t take much for a quick and easy weed control. Just a generous sprinkle at the base of the unwanted weed will make the soil unsuitable for growing.
Be sure to use it carefully and only in the areas of the weeds you wish to eradicate.
Don’t strew it around in areas where your pet may walk because salt can be irritating to pets’ paws.
Sugar can be used in the same way as salt.
Applying it at the base of a weed will make the soil unsuitable for grass and plant growth. One downside is that sugar may attract ants or other sweet-toothed animals.
To avoid this, mix sugar and chili pepper powder 50/50. This is a good combination for killing off plants that have very deep roots. You can use it to kill weeds or “trash tree” saplings before they become too big.
You can use it to kill weeds or “trash tree” saplings before they become too big.
Prevent weed growth with corn meal.
Strewing cornmeal in areas where you don’t want weeds to grow will stop their seeds from germinating in the soil.
It won’t have any effect on mature plants, so you can sprinkle it around your established veggie garden and flower bed without fear of harming your crops. Corn gluten meals also offer a non-toxic plants and grass protection against weed.
Make Your Own Pet Safe Weed Killer Spray
If you have a large area to address, such as a fence-line, you may wish to make a spray solution you can apply with a standard weed killer sprayer. Here is a very easy DIY homemade herbicide recipe:
White Vinegar & Essential Oil Weed Killer
- 2 cups boiling water
- 1 cup white vinegar
- 1 teaspoon clove or lemon oil
- 1 drop of dish soap
(Multiply amounts as needed to make more.)
Combine all the above organic ingredients in a heat proof bowl. Note that if you don’t have any essential oil on hand, you can use dishwashing soap instead.
Allow the mixture to cool somewhat and then decant into a spray bottle or weed killer sprayer.
Carefully spray this mixture directly onto the weeds you wish to kill. As much as possible, avoid spraying it over expensive grass and nearby plants. It’s best to spray on a dry, bright, sunny, still day.
Avoid using this mixture on a windy day because over-spray may cause unwanted results. Don’t apply before or soon after a rain. Don’t water the soil within 24 hours after application.
Be Safe & Save Money!
Kid, wildlife and pet safe weed killers are easy and affordable to make at home. You may already have all the ingredients you need in your kitchen cupboards.
Understand that the smartest way to use these methods for lawn care is to combine them. Don’t just rely on one ingredient or one pet-friendly weed killer recipe.
Mix it up and use other organic techniques, such as pulling and mulching to present a safe, strong, natural defense against weeds.