June 13 is national "Weed Your Garden Day." I'm not one for spraying nasty chemicals all over the place. You've undoubtedly encountered a formula for "homemade" natural weedkiller floating around the Internet. Does it really work in our climate?

My yard was overtaken by weeks sometime back in March. As of June 8, I've already filled my trash can three times with weeds. I'm more of a weed puller than a sprayer.

This weekend shows signs temperatures will approach 100 degrees. That's perfect weather for weed killer. Not only that, but 100 degrees is way too hot to be out pulling weeds. It's probably best to spray. There's still this matter, however, of not liking chemicals all over the place.

First things first. Let's determine what constitutes a "weed." According to Merriam-Webster -

Weed - a plant that is not valued where it is growing and is usually of vigorous growth; especially : one that tends to overgrow or choke out more desirable plants

 

The popular natural formula is regarded by many on the Internet as a miracle. The gallery above shows several shots, embarrassing shots, of my backyard last year. Despite what it looks like, I do occasionally do a little yard work. Unfortunately, things are bit out of control.

These weeds were sprayed with a homemade mixture of the following components:

  • vinegar
  • Dawn blue dishwashing soap
  • salt

The area was sprayed with a household pump sprayer on two occasions, each a week apart. Cost of the mixture, about 50 cents. These photos were taken a week after the second spraying. As you can see, not much has happened. As a matter of fact, I think the weeds actually liked it.

After a week-long break, the area was sprayed again, this time using a residential quality weed spray purchased from a local home improvement store. Cost for this product: about $13. The mix was applied using the exact same weed sprayer.

The photos below were taken 96 hours after the application of the purchased weed spray product. As you can see, there is a noticeable difference.

Let me assure you, I'm not receiving kickbacks from the Round Up corporation. Secondly, I am aware the purchased weed spray was applied to weeds that had already been hit twice by the homemade mix. After three applications of spray, it's not hard to understand why the weeds would eventually throw in the towel and give up.

When it is all said and done, it seems as though the homemade mixture really didn't work as well as the Internet would have you believe. Several of my friends experienced the same results. Granted, I probably mixed the ingredients a little too conservatively. I'm cheap.

There very well might be something to be said for the homemade mixture. Maybe I didn't get the proportions correct. In any event, for whatever reason, the homemade mix did not seem to produce the rapid results shown by the purchased product. I would like to give it another try. Give it a shot yourself, and see if you experience the same results. A slightly stronger concentration might be in order.