Green Herbicides and Pesticides for your YardGreen Living
Spring has sprung and so have the weeds! Here are a few of the tricks I used around my yard this past weekend to control the growth and save myself loads of time, with no chemicals – only green herbicides and pesticides!
Clove Oil Based Herbicide
With so much rapid growth in your flower beds, it’s important to be able to spray once in a while to control the undesirable plants to save time and your back! It’s also convenient to spray around the bases of trees in the yard to simplify seasonal mowing duties. Perhaps you weren’t aware that clove oil can be used as a strong, yet nontoxic herbicide in your yard. It is stronger than the vinegar and salt based herbicides that you may have tried in the past. It is very expensive to buy clove oil based herbicides at the organic nurseries, so be aware that you can make them yourself much less expensively.
8 TBL clove oil (this would equate to one 4 oz bottle for about $10 available at your healthfood store)
1 gallon water
12 drops dishwashing liquid (nontoxic adjuvant which helps clove oil more easily penetrate the leaves)
Spray this mixture on all undesirable plants early in the morning after the dew dries making sure it will not rain at all that day. Take care not to spray desirable plants as this mixture will burn any plant’s foliage, not just weeds. Weeds should begin to wilt and die within 8 hours or less! I sprayed around my yard on a Saturday morning and many of the weeds were wilted and dead by dinnertime. Plus, my yard smells fabulous from the lovely clove scent!
Be aware that clove oil will burn your skin if it comes into contact, so it is wise to use gloves and protective goggles if applying on a breezy day.
Once you have eliminated the weeds with your clove oil herbicide, you can prevent them from coming back by sprinkling corn meal in your flower beds and other areas to control new weed growth. I usually reapply every month or so, and it sure does save a lot of time and effort preventing the weeds from growing in the first place! You will find over time that using corn meal will result in less and less weed growth. The effectiveness of this treatment definitely grows with long term use.
I use a boiling tea kettle of water to eliminate those pesky weeds that spring up between bricks, pavers, and concrete seams. It also works quite well to eliminate ant piles from your yard! It may take 2 or even 3 treatments before the ant pile is completely dead, but I have found this to be the best nontoxic way to get rid of those little critters without using any poison.
I hope you find these green yard tips helpful in your neck of the woods. It is so nice to know that your children are playing in a yard that is pesticide and herbicide free!
Sarah, The Healthy Home Economist
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