Why I {Almost} Screamed at My Neighbor (plus Easiest DIY Weed Killer Recipe)

Find out how to make the Easiest and Cheapest Homemade Weed Killer and why this blogger almost screamed at her neighbor.

Before I tell you about this great Homemade Weed Killer, it’s confession time. I can get pretty worked up when I see folks polluting the environment and thinking it means nothing.

What’s a little RoundUP here? Or a little toxic chemical house cleaning stuff dumped down the drain, right?

I mean, I get it. I need grace too. It took me awhile to quit eating sugar (read What is Candida-The Beginning of My Sugar-Free Life) but chemicals have ALWAYS bothered me.

I’ve never done well around perfum-ey cleaners, personal care products (like ultra-stinky hairspray [see my Alcohol-Free Hairspray that Works to see what I use now], cigarettes, or any such chemical nasty offenders.

I clearly remember walking through the perfume department of malls, or the detergent and house cleaner aisles of grocery stores, feeling like I was going to a faint.

You too?

Truth is, there are so many toxins in the world that it is making a HUGE impact on our environment.

And on our health.

I wrote about it some in Could You Have Heavy Metal Poisoning and Not Know It? and Candida, My Childhood, and 5 Causes of Gut Dysbiosis.

That’s why I pretty much refuse to use any chemical or otherwise toxic product on myself–or in our home.

So back to my “anger problem.”

Last week was one such time that the urge to scream nearly overtook me. I was driving down the road (with my sons in the backseat) that I really almost screamed at a neighbor.

He was standing there, in his driveway, seemingly inconspicuous to other passersby—

But to me, he was a health hazard.

Unleashing his poison on the world.

And on my family.

One spray at a time.

There he stood, aerosol can in hand, spraying his driveway weeds.

They had to go, right? So that can was the way to do it.

I slowed down when I saw him, and with each spray I could feel myself getting more and more frustrated.

I wished I had a camera in hand to use him as a feature in this blog post, but alas, the camera was at home.  (good thing for him, eh :)?)

My kids are used to me and my “non toxic thinking.”

Me: “Ugh – look at that!”

Boys: “What, Mom?”

Me: “That guy is spraying his weeds with that icky stuff! Doesn’t he know what that will do to the environment?!”

I almost screamed. But I didn’t. I’m sure my boys were glad about that.

Yes, I get frustrated about this stuff.  The toxins that are being spewed willy-nilly into our environment and onto our food with rarely a thought about the consequences we are going to have to pay for this.

The price tag is big, folks.

Cancer. Autism. Autoimmune disorders. All of these have toxins as part of their cause. I am convinced of that.

And the research says it too.

So–what’s a natural crunchy “paranoid about toxins” mom supposed to do about Driveway Weeds?

Let ’em grow and deal with frustrated neighbors and shame about the progressively more shabby appearance of your driveway?

Nope. There’s a better way.

And it’s super simple.

Sadly, our driveway weeds had gotten pretty out of control. You can see it just fine in the top photo, but here’s a clear shot without the title so you can get the full impact.

Find out how to make the Easiest and Cheapest Homemade Weed Killer and why this blogger almost screamed at her neighbor.

Driveway being overcome with weeds–Eek!

Yes, I was getting pretty embarrassed. My driveway looked like the beginnings of a giant Chia Pet. Sigh.

I did a bit of research about driveway weeds (you can imagine that Google and I are pretty good friends, huh?) and found out a few things:

1.  Don’t try to pull the weeds out.  You likely can’t get the roots out and they will just grow deeper and stronger. Not at all what we want, righto?
2.  There are a bunch of recipes for killing the weeds. I tried one that looked the most promising, and it worked, but I found something easier and cheaper.

Here’s how I got rid of the weeds in my driveway.

No aerosol can.

No toxins.

And it was kind of fun too 🙂 !

Find out how to make the Easiest and Cheapest Homemade Weed Killer and why this blogger almost screamed at her neighbor.

Find out how to make the Easiest and Cheapest Homemade Weed Killer and why this blogger almost screamed at her neighbor.

Driveway Weeds getting pretty brown. Might need spraying again.

Find out how to make the Easiest and Cheapest Homemade Weed Killer and why this blogger almost screamed at her neighbor.

Check out the length of the roots on these babies! Pull gently to get the whole thing out!

 

I must say, I am thrilled with how much better our driveway looks now.

The weeds are gone and so is the embarrassment.

 

Find out how to make the Easiest and Cheapest Homemade Weed Killer and why this blogger almost screamed at her neighbor.I mean, my family is more important than how our house and driveway look, but I still prefer it not look totally neglected, you know?

What natural weed-killing techniques have you used?

These comments do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Whole New Mom.

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  1. I have experienced this all my life … and now that I’ve left the country life for a life as a gypsy …. I see it so often. Humans spraying their yard with something. Weed n Feed, Roundup, grass seed, and it’s all harmful …. what is so important about that patch of anything worth killing everything for …. I will march on and never let go of an opportunity to educate …. thanks for the story.

  2. Vinegar did not work for our weeds (they looked more disappointed than dead), but as noted in the comments, boiling water is great for controlling ants. However, you might need to reseed in spots if they are setting up shop in noticeable areas.

  3. Boiling water works too! After making your morning tea, just dump what’s left in the teakettle onto your weeds! Just make sure your bathrobe is tied shut!

  4. We used vinegar, didn’t work. We used a 50# bag on a 2x10ft section, didn’t work. We used boiling water, didn’t work. Nothing ‘natural’ works, period. Other than using a thick, black plastic film and keeping the grass covered for over 6-8 weeks!! But of course, as soon as the cover is removed, weeds grow back.

    • Ummm…what is growing there?

    • I had a large section of weeds that were in a rocky walkway in Colorado. The vinegar just made those weeds laugh. Ha! Ha!.

      But then I applied more vinegar and covered the area in a large plastic sheet (found in the painting section of the hardware store). I weighed the edges down with bricks to prevent air from getting in. 48 hours later, the heat (it was summer) and vinegar did the trick. But it only works if you are trying to do a large area.

      Vinegar doesn’t work on some of those larger, stubborn western weeds. Sometimes you need to double tap. Hot water, then vinegar. Or vinegar and then heat. It takes a lot more work. That’s why it’s so easy to grab that bottle of poison.

  5. Do it on a very hot day with the sun shining. It works better at drying the weeds out & killing them better.

    You can buy 20% acidic vinegar online just for this purpose (killing weeds) and it works faster/better but it costs more.

  6. David Handel says:

    If you add salt to your weedkiller it works even better plus a little bit of detergent.

    I have been using this for years. Great desiccant.

    • kitgurl says:

      Do you by any chance know why some recipes call for “Dawn dish det” in particular? Which, by the way, is made by P&G and is tested on animals.
      Products that are tested are to me what chemicals are to you. (essentially same thing)
      So I relented and bought “Dawn”. Was I duped.

      On a wonderful note the Elephants are free from bullwhips & chains from circuses!

  7. Stephanei says:

    Yes, well first of all it was his property and if you don’t want your neighbors exercising their freedoms then you need to move to a place where you have no neighbors. Your vinegar solution might work on some things but it does not work on everything. Not everyone shares your attitudes and practices and that is one of the things that makes this a wonderful place to live. We have the freedom to use and purchase anything legal, one of which is weed killer, tobacco, alcohol etc. They are deadly but legal. Sorry but just because you don’t like something doesn’t mean you have the right to take it from your neighbors.

    • Hey Stephanei. I wasn’t saying he doesn’t have freedom but I am frustrated at how duped we’ve become as a culture to use and eat chemicals and therefore poison ourselves and the environment. It wasn’t him I was really upset at – but the situation.

      I hope that explains things.

      That being said, more and more it is happening the other way around – that more natural ways are being taken from us, by the government. The FDA is trying to ban supplements (many of which have been banned in other countries), backyard chickens are outlawed (like in my city) and many such things. This is an old post but the info is still valid and it is all still going on: http://wholenewmom.com/reaching-out/fda-to-ban-natural-supplements-in-us/

    • Glad I don’t have to live by you, Stephanei! I can only imagine what it must be like to be your neighbor!

      • I agree with Stephanei. Nothings makes me madder than a neighbor that does nothing with the weeds in Their yard and they go to seed and fly to mine. I enjoy very much having a nice weed free lawn. I enjoy the way it feels on my feet and how it looks. If you don’t want to kill your weeds and prevent them from going to seed and flying over to some one else’s yard than go live in the country with no one around you.. weed can cause damage to any cement area and with out weeds your lawn is thicker and requires less watering. Plus I am allergic to a number of weeds. So I say go kill those weeds and keep your weeds out of my yard..how would you like me to allow my dog to come poo in your yard and I’ll say it is natural fertilizer.

        • The natural fertilizer thing is very funny :). Speaking of, I need to go get rid of the weeds in our driveway today. The dandelions are a mixed bag — from what I am reading they are great for bees so makes me sad to remove them, but……

        • We are actually contemplating a new grass / clover blend that is low water and gets few weeds. I think it would be a great way to go.

          • Hi Adrienne!
            I had done it as well. It is very healthy for the bees. Watch out kids for them. It worked well last year with the kids. It is much cooler then just grass. So it took some time for my younger kid to get used to it.

          • Oh great! Hi Olga! What blend did you get? What do you mean by “watch out kids for them”? My friend did it – she was interested in it b/c of not having to water much or mow much. That interests me as well. Did you do your front and back yard.

  8. Every time I’m done with a canner load I empty the boiling water onto the weeds growing in my driveway. Most is concrete and they come up in the cracks. But I have a section that is landscape rocks which tends to grow a lot of weeds. There are patches of brown all over it where the boiling water has been dumped.

  9. alex samuel says:

    I looked at your before and after pictures and if you feel the need to get rid of the “before” you are the problem. A little bit of green on your driveway is no big deal. Your obsessiveness is the real problem. Live with a little natural green rather than going nuts about getting rid of it on your driveway and creating a community where everyone feels the need to get rid of theirs using every chemical possible. Relax.

    • Hi Alex. If you saw my lawn and life in general, you would know that I am not obsessive. I just don’t like the way the weeds look and this such an easy fix and non toxic to boot. In our last neighborhood we were the least fastidious about our lawn, etc. We’ve moved to a place that is less persnickety. Thanks for the comment, though. Believe me, I live with a lot of “natural green”.

    • Actually you DON’T want weeds growing in your driveway cracks, as the root system expands, it causes the cracks to worsen which can eventually destroy the driveway entirely. I’m fine with a little “unwanted” green anywhere except the driveway. Having a new one poured is extremely expensive.

  10. kitgurl says:

    I tried the vinegar too but I cant say if it worked or not so Im not done with that idea. My husband & I used the black plastic. Yes, a little more work but I like my bugs, live soil and its worth it trying to find alternative.

    Thank you for the topic!

  11. Jim Barron says:

    Please put your bugle down.I just hope when you and your sons were out driving around spying on your neighbors you were using an all electric car.

    • So you think that using chemical weed killers are a better option?

      And just so you know, we were not “spying” on anyone. Just driving down the road and noticed it.

      And for the record, we typically have a very small carbon foot print. We do the best we can and have the least garbage of any family in the neighborhood. By far.

      Thanks for commenting.

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