If you’ve ever worked in a restaurant, you’ll know the phrase to be “in the weeds:” to be behind in the work and overwhelmed! Sad to say, this seems to apply to many aspects of my life, so I use the expression all the time. And even sadder to say, it is the literal state of our lawn… worsening since we got our dog two summers ago.
The soil in our area is heavy clay, and our Large Breed really gets his ya-yas out in the yard. What was once a fairly decent lawn is now compacted turf full of clover, dandelion, plantain and creeping Jenny. The clover I don’t mind as it’s a “friendly” weed: it stays green even when grass browns during times of drought, and it attracts lots of bees. But the dandelion, plantain, and lovely miss Jenny… well they’re the bain of my existence and they must cause my dear ol’ dad to turn over in his grave. He kept a lawn with velvety grass just begging for bare feet; dense and soft and perfect for an afternoon nap on a blanket in the shade. Our lawn: um, not so much.
I’m determined to turn it around starting this fall, and the first step in the process is combatting the weeds. But I garden organically, so caustic products that are kryptonite to weeds are out of the question. There is a great weed killer made by St. Gabriel Organics, but it’s about $35 a gallon at my local Agway and I would need… well gallons and gallons. So today I brewed a homemade weed killer which I’ve used in the past, and within an hour the weeds were turning brown and shriveling before my eyes! It may take a couple of applications to eliminate the strongest roots, but I’ll be able to make as much as necessary- it’s so basic, and the ingredients cost just a couple of bucks. This killer is particularly effective on weeds that sneak through gravel, and between cracks or flag stones.
Organic Weed Killer Recipe
2 gallons boiling water
4 cups rock salt*
1 gallon white vinegar
In a five gallon bucket, dissolve rock salt in boiling water. Stir in vinegar. Pour into a dispenser** using a funnel. Apply to weeds and WATCH THEM DIE!
* I’m using rock salt left from de-icing last winter, but it’s also available this time of year as an ingredient for homemade ice cream.
** I have a jug saved from a previous St. Gabriel purchase. It has a wand which can be turned on and off, which helps direct the weed killer at the base/root of the weed. Garden centers sell sprayers and dispensers, but even a household spray bottle will work!