Natural pesticides and weed killers

Discussion in 'Gardening' started by cmcanallen, Feb 19, 2013.

  1. cmcanallen

    cmcanallen Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 21, 2012
    Tyler, TX
    What if anything do you use as a natural weed or bug pesticide?

    I've heard about using white vinager as a weed killer but haven't used it yet. Not sure if it will mess up the ph of the soil or if it's safe to use around chickens and household pets.
  2. hennotrooster

    hennotrooster Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 16, 2012
    Hesperia CA
    Our hens are our pesticide and boiled water will kill weeds if you do not have too many I will do this near the house in areas they scratch in or just pluck by hand. We have 3 acres so I can't do the whole yard.
  3. Kat242

    Kat242 Out Of The Brooder

    Feb 28, 2013
    The easiest weed control products to use (and the least expensive) are the ones you already have on hand. The one draw back with organic weed killers is that they're not designed to protect plants like certain store-bought weed killers, so be careful to sidestep the plants you want to keep alive when applying these chemical-free weed control solutions.

    Vinegar works against pesky weeds but may require multiple applications to do the trick. It works better with the help of some sun. But be sure the forecast doesn't call for rain; the vinegar needs some time to set in.

    Cornmeal prevents weed seeds from germinating when sprinkled on the soil. It's best to wait until after your seeds sprout to make sure the cornmeal doesn't harm your new plants. In addition to its weed control properties, cornmeal attracts worms, which loosen up the soil.

    Boiling water is probably the simplest thing to use, but make sure not to douse your plants - or burn yourself.

    Salt is another simple solution but needs to be applied carefully because salt can poison the soil. A spoonful is all that's needed to kill dandelions and other similar weeds but it's best restricted to gravel areas and those not intended for plants. Salt can kill plant roots and important organisms like fungi and earthworms. So target its application and use sparingly to areas where runoff won't kill your other plants.
    2 people like this.
  4. TennesseeChicken

    TennesseeChicken Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 26, 2011
    Ethridge, TN
    Dandelion greens are actually really good for your chickens! (and people!) And, since the dandelions have such a long tap root, they bring up nutrients from 'the deep' and enable other plants to use them.
  5. Going Bhonkers

    Going Bhonkers Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 12, 2012
    SW Florida
    Good tips!!
  6. yinepu

    yinepu Overrun With Chickens

    we used to use plain white sugar on fire ant mounds..

    not sure if it killed them (I have read it causes some yeast or mold to grow in their tunnels which is toxic to them) or if they just hated the new "decor" and moved

    either way it did help "get them gone"... just wish I knew for sure which it did!

    here are a few others:

    Basil Tea (for aphids)

    1 cup fresh basil (or 2 TBS dried)
    4 cups water
    1 tsp liquid dish soap
    Boil the water then add basil. Remove from heat, cover and steep until room temp. Strain then mix in the liquid soap then apply to infested plants.

    Citrus Spray (for white flies)

    2 cups orange or lemon peels
    4 cups water
    Boil water, remove from heat and add citrus peels. Cover and steep until room temperature. Strain and spray on infested plants.

    Mineral Oil Mix (for Aphids, Codling Moth, Leaf Roller, Mealybugs, Scaled Insects, White Flies)

    3 parts mineral oil to 100 parts water. Add to spray bottle and shake often while applying.
    2 people like this.
  7. wyoDreamer

    wyoDreamer Overrun With Chickens

    Nov 10, 2010
    Thanks, yinepu! That is exactly the information that I was looking for!

    I have two 18" pots that have pepper plants from last fall in my master bath that are infected with flies. So that I am going to try this out tonight!
  8. TennesseeChicken

    TennesseeChicken Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 26, 2011
    Ethridge, TN
    I want to use a mix of vinegar, epsom salt and dish soap for weed killer around my gardens. Will this hurt my chickens if they happen to scratch in it? Thanks!
  9. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener Flock Master

    Nov 7, 2012
    No. I'm wondering about the epsom salt and dish soap though. IMO, they would both act as a fertilizer.
  10. TennesseeChicken

    TennesseeChicken Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 26, 2011
    Ethridge, TN
    With the vinegar, I don't think it would be a fertilizer. Every time I work in the garden the chickens come running in hopes to slurp up a worm or grub, so I have to fence them out. But with applying a natural weed killer around my fencing, I just don't want to do anything to hurt the chickens.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by