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DIY weed busters

Harmful weed killers and pesticides are hazardous both for the ecosystem and your kids, if they come in close contact. Here’s how to prepare your very own organic weed killers.

india Updated: Nov 09, 2010 14:40 IST

Harmful weed killers and pesticides are hazardous both for the ecosystem and your kids, if they come in close contact. They are especially bad for bees, which are an integral part of the eco-system, and vital to crops such as strawberries or runner beans, which depend on the insects for pollination. The use of chemical weed killers and pesticides is both indirectly and directly harmful to bees; weed killers reduce the number of garden wildflowers which form the bees’ natural habitat and can easily contaminate the beehive, wiping out the population.

In an effort to increase the bee population, gardeners have been encouraged to plant flowers; however, a study conducted by scientists from the United Kingdom and New Zealand has found that this may be counterproductive due to the use of weed killers and pesticides in gardens.

PlantsThe only alternative: organic weed killers, which can be made by just about anyone with readily available household products such as vinegar.

DIY organic weed killers
Here are five simple recipes for organic weed killers made using common household products.

Vinegar weed killer: Mix 120ml of lemon juice concentrate with one litre of white or cider vinegar, pour into a bottle and spray directly onto weeds — this weed killer is best used during the hottest times of the day.

Egg weed killer: Simply pour the water used to boil eggs directly onto the affected spot.

Gin weed killer: Mix cheap gin with the juice of two lemons and pour into a spray bottle, varying the amount of alcohol used depending on the stubbornness of the weeds. Rubbing alcohol can also be used if gin is not cost-effective.

Vinegar and soap weed killer: Mix one litre of white vinegar with 60ml (a quarter cup) of salt, stir until the salt dissolves, then slowly add two teaspoons of vegetable-based liquid soap. Mix and spray directly onto the weeds. For best results, use on dry days.

Salt weed killer: This recipe only works with weeds that grow through cracks in the pavement. Simply spray the weeds with water, then sprinkle with salt and then lightly wet the weeds again.

First Published: Nov 02, 2010 16:50 IST