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5 Alternatives to Toxic Herbicides to Get Rid of Your Summer Weeds Without Killing Bees


If your lawn looks anything like this author’s care, this is the time of year when large-scale weeding is justified. However, there are many common household items that are non-toxic and work well to kill weeds and keep them dead.

I don’t like killing a lot of weeds in the spring as they are often a food source for bees and other nectar drinkers early in the season. Now, however, most of the yellow, white, and purple flowers that once dotted my lawn and garden are gone, leaving only unwanted leaves and roots underneath.

Looking at the first task tomorrow morning, here are our options for a plan of attack, whether weeds are poking through the concrete or splashing the garden.

Totally non-toxic herbicides

Matteo badini

Chemical herbicides and fungicides can contaminate soil and water for miles around through runoff, and many commercial herbicides contain probable carcinogens.

Some compounds that we will see later have side effects that, while harmless to the water supply, can alter the ecology of the garden. First, we will look at some items that are simply safe.

Boiling water

Especially good for sidewalks, driveways, or patios, dihydrogen monoxide heated to 220 degrees or higher is a perfect way to kill every unwanted plant part. If you can use a kettle, so much the better as it makes pouring easier and safer, as well as giving your weed removal a bit more precision.


Using a kitchen torch or fire weeding tool to apply heat directly to the leaves and stem of the weed is a good way to get rid of them, taking precautions not to burn the entire neighborhood. Any place where there is dry material should be removed by flame with special caution.

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If there are areas of the yard you know for sure, harbor weeds, early spring try spreading cornmeal around the area to stop weed seed germination. Note that this method is not possible for weeding, only pre-weeding.

Slightly toxic herbicides

Non-toxic in the sense that they do not cause fish kills or cancer, many household chemicals that are designed to clean things must be safe for people’s hands and skin. They are toxic in the sense that they can kill your favorite flowers and therefore demand a bit of respect. However, these are far better than using popular herbicides that use toxic chemicals like glyphosate.


5% acetic acid white vinegar it’s perfectly fine to kill marijuanaespecially when adding a pump or two of dish soap to the spray bottle. Some garden supply stores sell 20% acetic acid or industrial strength vinegar, which is harmful to the skin and eyes, but is likely over the top.

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Spray it directly on the offending plant’s leaves and be careful not to over-spray. Consider waiting until a strong breeze has subsided, as a little wind can carry the chemicals to other plants that you would like to keep. Also try to avoid soaking the soil as it will make it difficult for anything to grow there.

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Salt is a great herbicide and can be added to vinegar or hot water sprays, but when it gets into the soil nothing can grow.

Add a dash of dish soap to help the salt stick to the leaves and be careful where you point. Spray the ground practically condemn him to sterility, while hitting other plants you like, they can kill them too.

Concrete sidewalks and patios can become discolored, making the salt mix not ideal for them. One website suggests covering the plants around the weeds in question with plastic sheeting to protect them.

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