If your preference is to avoid the use of herbicides on your lawn, then there are some organic DIY weed treatments which are claimed to work against particular weeds. Some work well, some take perseverance, some may not actually work at all and are nothing but an old wives’ tale.
Here’s a few we’ve come across that you might like to try:
Boiling water is like the organic version of glyphosate (Round Up or Zero). It works great at killing weeds, but like glyphosate, it is non-selective and will kill your grass as well. This organic remedy is a really good option for concrete areas where you have weeds growing through cracks, but it’s best kept away from your lawn if you don’t want to end up with dead patches everywhere you poured it.
High amounts of salt will dehydrate plants and throws their internal water balance out of normal function. If you dilute a fair amount in water and apply it, you will likely get the result you are after. Once again though, unless you have a turf variety that can manage a high concentration of salt, it too may be affected. In addition, the salt will stay within the soil for a while before it eventually leaches away, so growth in this area may be stunted and prevent initial re-establishment.
If you’re a fan of salt and vinegar chips, why stop at just salt? Vinegar too is another organic weed killer which has showed to receive quite positive results. If you mix the two together in theory, you should see even better results.
This one is a specific treatment in the prevention of clover. Clover creates its own nitrogen, so as a result it tends to thrive in under-nourished lawns. If you apply a good quality nitrogen-based fertiliser to your lawn regularly, you will help your grass grow thicker which will help to crowd out the clover.
Lawns can handle an oversupply of iron quite well, but some weeds like Bindii can’t. A home remedy requires 2 tablespoons of iron sulphate mixed with 4 ½ litres of water. Spray the bindii with the solution and if all goes to plan, the bindii should die off within 24 hours.
Corn Meal Gluten
This organic weed killing option is believed to prevent the weed seed from germinating, much like a pre-emergent herbicide. The one issue with this treatment is that corn meal gluten has a high nitrogen concentration, so you can actually be feeding existing weeds at the same time and in most cases the weeds get a lot worse. If you completely eradicate existing weeds, then there is some case that it can be an option for suppression of new germination, but studies have found little to no reduction in germination after an application.
This one is a common active ingredient that you will find in most organic herbicide products. Nonanoic acid in it’s ammonium salt form acts as a natural herbicide, stripping away the wax like coating of the weed, unbalancing cell function ultimately leading to death by loss of moisture or desiccation.
The best advice we can give to anyone looking at having a completely organic herbicide regime, is firstly to choose a weed resistant turf variety. Then with regular mowing, decompaction of the soil and a proactive approach of removing weeds by hand as soon as they appear, you will find that the need for organic or chemical treatments for the most part won’t even be required.