A lush green lawn is every homeowner’s dream, and while it is achievable, weeds will prove challenging. These unwanted plants take up the majority of the nutrients in the soil and grow fast if left unattended. Chemical herbicides may be the easy way out, but these glyphosate-based products harm not only humans but also pets. The safest way to end weed infestation is to stay natural.
What is a pet friendly weed killer?
Pets are more sensitive to chemicals compared to humans. Since plants absorb chemical herbicides, leaving our furry friends in the lawn may expose them to toxins and irritants. Ingestion may lead to vomiting, diarrhea, and lack of appetite. Here are 7 pet friendly weed killer recipes and methods you should try:
- Salt Mix
Unknown to most people, table salt is an ingredient capable of weed destruction. A diluted salt-water mix can easily dehydrate all kinds of plants — a double-edged sword you have to keep in mind when you’re spraying it on a crowded flowerbed. Its overuse can also damage soil and prevent future regrowth, so use it sparingly!
- Vinegar Spray
All types of acid are toxic to plants, including the acetic acid in vinegar. Undiluted vinegar works best over a period of sunny days, and does the most damage if you brush it directly onto the leaves. Some weeds may prove to be tougher than others, such as perennial weeds, and may need a few more reapplications until the roots stop sprouting.
- Cornmeal Gluten
Unlike the first two options, cornmeal gluten doesn’t kill plants — it suppresses growth instead. This method heavily relies on timing: usage before germination and application during a dry period. Once the timings are right, spread cornmeal powder over soil and water it thoroughly. The next few days must be dry, otherwise the roots will sprout.
- Boiling water
Pouring hot water on weeds might seem like a no-brainer, but not a lot of gardeners try it enough. To properly kill weeds with this method, the boiling water has to be enough to reach the roots. Cut off the top part of the desired plant and then carefully pour within its root space, otherwise you might end up harming nearby plants.
- Weed Torch (Burning Weeds)
Farmers use burning of weeds to help in improving crops. This method has repercussions on the environment and will make you think twice. Weed torches are a much effective alternative — the flame tip’s heat causes plant cells to burst, destroying the stem and cutting off water and nutrient circulation.
- Weeding by hand or using a weed puller
Weeding by hand is a laborious way of solving a lawn infestation, and not the most effective if the roots aren’t properly pulled. Invest in a weed puller instead — its long, upright handle doesn’t require you to bend and its claws easily dig into the earth. Step on the foot pedal and pull the tool towards your body to successfully extract the entire root system.
Besides improving soil quality, mulch also acts as a weed suppressor. This organic barrier must be thick enough to block sunlight, and placed before weeds sprout. Add a new layer from time to time, otherwise the old mulch will either rot your plant by holding too much moisture or become thin and weak against weed seedlings.
Quick and Safe Pet Friendly Herbicides
If you want to save time, natural herbicides are here to help. These products combine natural ingredients to create a glyphosate-free weed killer. Listed below are 2 great examples that you should take into consideration when shopping for a pet friendly herbicide.
Richgro Natural BEAT-A-WEED Weedkilller
Made from natural actives, Richgro Natural BEAT-A-WEED is a fast acting herbicide designed to kill common Australian weeds. The acetic acid and sodium chloride formula dehydrates both annual and perennial weeds by preventing moisture to enter the plant cells. The unwanted foliage will start browning within hours of direct application and exposure to sunlight.
Slasher Organic Weedkiller
The Slashes Organic Weedkiller controls the growth of not just weeds, but also moss, algae, and lichen. The natural plant oils in this fast acting herbicide’s formula burn outer leaf cells even with minimal sunlight. It also leaves no soil residue, making it safe to use in pretty much everywhere: vegetable patches, garden beds, lawns, to name a few.
Weeds are the bane of every gardener’s existence, but battling these pesks are best done with consideration for the environment. After all, they’re still a part of Mother Nature. If your pet liked our tips and suggestions, hit the like button and share with your pet-owner friends!