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Sunday, 22 June 2014

Weeds! Get rid of them naturally for next to nothing.

Its coming up to that time of year. The warm weather is looming... supposedly, Nottingham hasn't caught up yet, so we all want our gardens looking amazing. Nothing worse than sunbathing and turning round to see ugly looking weeds staring right back at you!

When we moved we ended up with a mahoosive 20ft garden which we have spent the last 2 years trying to make look nice. Heres how it looked when we moved in!

It was just a huge mass of trees and brambles. You actually can not see the back of the garden as the brambles were taller than me! (im 5ft!) 

Here is our garden so far now. 

It has an ending :D 

I have spent a ridiculous amount of money over the last year buying all sorts of weed killers. Some worked within 2 weeks and some were just a complete waste of money. We hit a financial block last summer, with only 3p to our name, more weed killer was out of the question. After talking to some family and chatting away on some gardening forums i was given a few tips for  a more natural weed killer, which i thought i would share with you all :) All have been tried personally by me and are made using household ingredients so really cheap. 

Vinegar - 

I adore this stuff, i use it for pretty much every cleaning job in my house. 
  • 4 parts hot water 
  • 1 parts salt 
  • 1 part white vinegar
  • some washing up liquid, just a squirt (any kind - i use Tesco own brand) 
I make this up in batches and fill squirty bottles with the mixture. Give it a shake to dissolve the salt and squirt onto the weeds. 
*Be warned it kills grass too, recommended for patios and paths and using too much salt with prevent anything from growing in that area* 

I found that it took around 2 days for the weeds to start wilting. It didn't touch the brambles at all but after 4 days the weeds were that dried up, i could use a stiff bristled broom to just sweep them away. No weeds appeared for around 8- 10 weeks. 

All vinegar is suitable if i'm honest. I have used vinegar from jars of pickled onions and gherkins before as it is much stronger. 

Boiling water - 

Pretty standard one this one. Boiling water kills weeds almost instantly. Be warned that this will also kill tender plants, young plants and possibly grass (i haven't tried it on grass yet) I tend to recycle my water, alot of my grey water (waste water from baths, washing up bowl etc) waters the good plants in my garden during the hotter summer weeks but obviously in the spirit of murdering the weeds that is not advisable as warm water will do nothing at all. 

Salt - 

As mentioned prolonged use of salt will kill the soil preventing anything from growing in it. For the patches in my garden that i have no intention of growing anything in, i sprinkle some salt on the base of the weed. I found that this takes a good week to actually work but also killed the weed seeds. 

Vodka - 

Sounds strange but it does work. My main issue with this is actually parting with my once a year treat to pour onto weeds! I tend to save the dregs of the bottle for this job :D I found that vinegar produced much faster results though but it did work fantastically on dandelions. 

If you are looking for natural ways to prevent weeds i was given these tips. 

Newspaper - 

Im a newspaper horder. The girls love paper mache and i use it to cover the table when painting etc. The pile was getting quite large so i laid sheets around 6 sheets thick, over the section i had cleared and wet them slightly. I then put top soil on and put raised flower beds on top of it. When i dug this over the newspaper had gone but the weeds had started appearing again so it is not a permanent solution. 

Cardboard also has the same effect. I did not wet the cardboard though and found that it lasted a little longer than newspaper did. 

Fabric - 

I have not personally tried this. A man on the gardening forum recommended this but i had no old sheets spare at the time and was not going to run out and buy one specifically for the garden. Landscaping sheets are expensive, but i was told that biodegradable sheets work for years at keeping weeds at bay. As i do not plan on staying in this house for many more years i didn't feel it was fair on the next tenants to try this. 

Thats all the tips i have for now. As i will now be in gardening mode for the next few weeks i would love to hear any one elses tips on how they keep their gardens looking lovely :D 


  1. Thanks for sharing this! Very useful. x

  2. Bleach slightly diluted is great for killing off weeds, the really stubborn ones. I was told put the bleach at the bottom on the weeds or things that you don't want growing and it kills them off. Diluted bleach is also really good for cleaning up stones, rocks or anything else you want to stay in your garden. Great post.




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