How to use salt as a natural, non-toxic weed killer 

Published May 18, 2021, 10:30 AM

by Vina Medenilla

Weeding can be a laborious, repetitive task, especially when manually performed. Still, many gardeners do not prefer taking the faster route of using chemical herbicides due to the environmental and health hazards that may come with it. 

A natural way to get rid of these uninvited weeds in the garden is to make a solution composed of sodium chloride, aka table salt, and water. 

Image by Karolina Grabowska from Pixabay.

There are different types of salt, and regular iodized or non-iodized salt must be used to naturally destroy the weeds. Mixing the salt with water leads to faster absorption.

Salt kills weeds by interrupting the plants’ internal water balance and dehydrating them. Be extra careful when applying the salt-water mixture on weeds because salt is highly toxic to all plants and can also destroy them. Apply the solution to weeds with no plants nearby for safety.

When applying the solution in garden beds, start with a 1:2 ratio of salt and water to protect other plants and the soil from its toxicity. A higher amount of salt can be added to the mix depending on where it will be applied. The solution with more salt can be applied to weeds growing in cracks or in places where the condition of the soil is not much of a concern.  

The mixture can be sprayed or poured into the weeds’ foliage. It is best not to directly apply the solution to the soil or roots to protect both the soil and nearby plants. 

Natural weed killers have different pros and cons. Another solution that other gardeners use is a mixture of vinegar, salt, and water. 

Boiling water is also said to be effective, with no negative effects to the soil. For some gardeners, using fire or heat is also considered a weed control measure that helps eradicate annual weeds for good. There is proper equipment and process for this to create good results.

All of the mentioned alternatives must be applied with caution because some can cause gradual changes in soil’s pH levels that can affect succeeding crops. 

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