Want a lush, chemical-free lawn? Here are 5 steps to help you break your lawn's addiction to synthetic fertilizers, pesticides, and herbicides. Weed & Feed Lawn Food from Purely Organic Products is made of ingredients you'll recognize, like corn and soy; enhanced with a botanical oil blend for effective, post-emergent, broadleaf weed control. Weed & Feed protects your grass while it fertilizes to promote a lush, green lawn. Safely rid your garden of weeds with the best organic weed killer. This guide offers top-rated picks and shopping tips.
How to Treat Your Lawn Organically
Break your lawn’s addiction to synthetic fertilizers, pesticides, and herbicides and choose organic lawn care instead.
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A mere glance at “keep out of reach of children” label on most pesticides and herbicides and you’ll might find yourself worrying about harmful chemicals you’re spraying on your lawn.
Instead, you can go organic and chemical-free to get a lush and healthier lawn. Here’s how you can break your lawn’s addiction to synthetic fertilizers, pesticides, and herbicides.
How Do I Treat My Lawn Organically?
The underlying philosophy behind organic lawn care is this: healthy, chemical-free soil begets robust lawns that can virtually take care of themselves.
After years of being inundated by chemicals to fend off grubs, eradicate weeds, and green up the turf, the natural capacity of the soil to perform these tasks itself has ceased operation, practitioners say. Cut it off from the chemicals cold turkey, and you’ll get things running again—naturally.
And once the soil’s healthy, you might never have to deal with pesticides, herbicides, even fertilizers again. “That’s the thing about going organic,” says Eileen Gunn of Beyond Pesticides, a Washington, D.C., nonprofit group. “Not only do you get a nice, safe, healthy lawn, it is also a more sustainable one over the long term.”
Is Organic Lawn Care Better?
Not only is it more environmentally friendly, and safer—your lawn will also look better than ever. Libby Scancarello fired her lawn-care company and hired PureLawn Organic Lawncare, a Cincinnati-based company that uses only chemical-free fertilizers and biological pest and disease control. “I haven’t looked back since,” says Scancarello, adding that her yard looks as lush as ever.
Transitioning to Organic Lawn Care in 5 Steps
1. Start with a Soil Test
The first step in going the organic route with an existing lawn is beefing up weakened soil, which means starting with a soil test. That way you’ll know which nutrients are lacking and which organic amendments you’ll need to incorporate. For example, soil with a calcium deficiency can be top-dressed with gypsum; and soil low in magnesium might need a healthy dose of the mineral langbeinite.
You will need to dig up samples from several different areas of your lawn (2 cups of soil total), and mail them off to a lab to be analyzed. Call local nurseries and university extension offices to see if they offer soil tests (both should provide soil-sample boxes).
Once you know which amendments you need, you should prepare the lawn by mowing the grass down to about 2 inches, pulling up weeds, removing thatch (dead grass and roots that accumulate on the surface), and aerating (a power aerator that pulls up plugs of soil can be found at most rental yards). This will enable your soil to fully absorb any amendments you add.
2. Start Composting
Whatever the test results, you’ll also want to spread a half-inch of compost on the lawn to add essential organic matter to the soil. Paul Tukey, author of The Organic Lawn Care Manual, and founder of Safe Lawns, sees compost treatments as the basis for all organic lawn care. “It’s almost like a blood transfusion,” he says. “It improves soil structure—especially in clay or sand-heavy soil—and is full of beneficial organisms, including bacteria, algae, fungi, and nematodes, that keep your soil healthy.”
Look for compost that is made up of decomposed organic plant material, similar to the stuff you find on the forest floor. You can buy it at nurseries, or collect your own yard waste in a backyard bin. Many municipalities have composting programs, which provide information on how to compost and, sometimes, discounted composting bins. Tukey also recommends speeding up your lawn’s transition to organic by brewing your own compost tea and spraying it on your lawn once a month with a backpack sprayer or a watering can.
How to Compost: 7 Essential Steps
3. Use Organic Lawn Fertilizers
Organic lawn fertilizers are another effective way to give your lawn an occasional boost during the growing season. Available at most garden centers, the best organic lawn fertilizers contain natural ingredients such as seaweed for potassium, bone meal for phosphorous, and feather meal for nitrogen.
Unlike conventional fertilizers, which deliver a heavy, instant dose of synthetic nitrogen (as well as phosphorous and potassium) for your lawn to binge on, Turkey says organics provide an easier-to-handle diet of nutrients that are released more slowly.
The thicker your grass, the more easily it can crowd out weeds. So once your soil’s been treated, overseed the lawn using an appropriate turf grass (ask your garden center for recommendations). Choose a seed mix that suits your climate, sun/shade conditions, and moisture needs, and make sure it blends well with your existing lawn. Water daily until new growth is established.
The Complete Guide to Lawn Fertilizer Services
4. Look for a ‘Greener’ Grass
You can make your lawn even more sustainable by overseeding it, or completely replacing it, with native or organic grass seed. Las year, DLF Organic became the first U.S. company to offer USDA-certified organic lawn seed, grown without synthetic pesticides, herbicides, or fertilizers.
The company offers three seed mixes: one for sun, one for shade, and one that’s mixed with nitrogen-providing clover. Another “green” option is using native turf-grass seed. Since these seeds are familiar with their regional soil conditions and average rain fall, they require less water and are more disease-resistant than non-natives, such as Kentucky bluegrass (from Europe) and St. Augustine grass (from Africa).
The best known is buffalograss. a native prairie grass that extremely drought-resistant and, since it’s low-growing, only needs to be mowed about once a month. (For more info, visit Pawnee Buttees Seeds)
Researchers at a few universities throughout the U.S. are exploring the potential of other native grasses for use as turf grass, including blue grama, a warm-season grass thats native to the Great Plains and Southwest, and Idaho bentgrass, which is native to the western United States and shows promise as a sustainable turf in dryer climate.
5. Whacking Weeds and Pests
We’re not gonna lie to you. Making the transition to organic lawn care might mean dealing with some weeds. At least for the first year or two as your soil and grass gain enough strength to control them naturally.
One thing you can do to prevent weeds is spread corn gluten meal-an organic weed preventative-on your lawn in the spring. Just don’t do it when you’re overseeding, since it prevents germination of all seeds, including grass. While corn gluten meal works only 65 percent as well as chemical herbicides, it can still significantly reduce weed infestations.
If a few isolated weeds show up, pull them by hand or try an organic weed killer, such as Nature’s Avenger, a spray containing citrus oil, which dehydrates weeds down to the roots. Some gardeners swear by vinegar to do the same.
Weeds can be helpful indicators of specific problems with your soil, however. Got crabgrass? It can point to soil compaction, since it usually appears in highly trafficked areas, such as along driveways or walkways. Instead of zapping it with pesticides, get to the root of the problem by aerating the area where it’s growing. “You can kill the messenger all day long,” says Turkey, “but it doesn’t change the message that something is wrong with your soil.”
And not all weeds are out to destroy your lawn; some can even help it. Clover, for example, is a common broadleaf weed that works as a natural fertilizer factory, transforming nitrogen in the air into a digestible form for your soil. Some organic-lawn-care experts actually recommend adding a pound of clover seed for every 1000 square feet of lawn.
Insects and fungal diseases can also point to lawn problems. Chinch bugs are attracted to dry, drought-stressed lawns; and watering at night, especially in warm weather, can encourage fungal diseases like dollar spot or brown patch, since turf stays moist for longer.
There are organic solutions in the battle of the bugs, too. For example, beneficial nematodes can take care of grub worms, which chew through grass roots. These spray-on microscopic organisms target-and devour-grubs and grubs only, never harming beneficial organisms, though the timing of their application is critical.
Ongoing Organic Lawn Care and Maintenance Tips
When it comes to mowing a naturally grown lawn, conventional wisdom still applies.
Find out the Best Height for the Grass You’re Growing
Pro2Pro Tip: Be sure to mow with a mulching attachment or a mulching reel mower and leave the clippings where they fall; they’re a natural source of nitrogen as they decompose.
Cut it too short and it doesn’t develop the strong, healthy roots it needs to fend off weeds and disease. So find out the best height for the type of turf you’re growing.
- Cool-season grasses, such as Kentucky bluegrass and red fescue, prefer to be between 3 to 4 inches high
- Warm-season varieties like Bermuda grass can be maintained at 1 to 1 1/2 inches.
Organic Lawns Require Less Water than Chemically Treated Ones
When it comes to conserving water, the good news is that organically-cared-for lawns require less water than chemically treated ones, since the latter needs lots of moisture just to digest all the synthetic fertilizers and pesticides fed to them.
As with any lawn, the key is to water infrequently and deeply, encouraging turf to send down deep roots and making it less susceptible to drought and disease.
The best time to water is early morning, since it gives your lawn plenty of time to absorb it and dry off in the sun. Most lawns require about 1 to 2 inches of water per week in summer. Use a rain gauge to measure how much water your lawn’s getting; and make sure your sprinkler water isn’t being wasted on your driveway or street.
With a little patience and a slight change in thinking, you’ll be rewarded with a handsome lawn that’s easier on the earth-and on your conscience. “The best thing is that I now have total peace of mind about my yard,” says Libby Scancarello. “I want to put a little sign out front that says ‘Chemical-free,’ so my neighbors can see for themselves just how nice an organic lawn can be.”
10-0-2 Purely Organic Products Weed & Feed Lawn Food (15 Lbs – Covers 3000 Sq Ft)
Weed & Feed Lawn Food is made with natural, plant based ingredients — enhanced with botanical oils — to help reduce existing weed infestations and prevent new ones. It also fertilizers to provide the nutrients needed for a lush, green lawn for you and your family. This 15 Pound bag covers up to 3,000 Square Feet of turf.
- Effective Post-Emergent Weed Control
- Feeds & Fertilizes Up to 8 Weeks
- Will Not Burn Your Lawn
- Plant Based Formula with Botanical Oils
- No Manure, No Biosolids = No Unpleasant Odors
- Growing Tips
Weed & Feed Lawn Food is made with natural, plant based ingredients — enhanced with botanical oils — for effective post-emergent, broadleaf weed control. It also fertilizers to provide the nutrients needed for a lush, green lawn for you and your family. This 15 Pound bag covers up to 3,000 Square Feet of turf.
Rich in Nutrients: Purely Organic Products Weed & Feed Lawn Food is NPK rated 10-0-2 to promote thick, lush, green turf. It will feed your lawn for up to 8 weeks between applications.
Effective Post-Emergent Weed Control & Lawn Fertilizer: In addition to being a top rated fertilizer, Weed & Feed Lawn Food is enhanced with botanical oils — Clove Oil & Eugenol — to kill pre-existing common weeds including dandelion, purslane (duckweed, little hogweed), chickweed, henbit deadnettle, thistle, plantain weed, curly dock (yellow dock), spotted spurge, speedwell, pineapple weed, ragweed, horsetail, and more.
|Unlike fast acting spot treatments that can kill grass and neighboring plants, Weed & Feed Lawn Food works gently but effectively over 30-45 days to kill existing weeds while feeding your lawn to thicken grass, strengthen root systems, cover bare spots, and crowd out future infestations.|
Will Not Burn Your Lawn When Used as Directed: At Purely Organic Products we believe that plant and garden care products should be good for plants, and easy for gardeners too. Our Weed & Feed Lawn Food is made with natural ingredients, rather than harsh chemicals and mineral salts, so it won’t burn or yellow your grass when used as directed. It is convenient with no restrictions on re-entry time (for pets or people) after application.
What to Put in It & What to Leave Out: One of the first decisions we made when developing our Weed & Feed Lawn Food was what NOT to put in it. With more than 30 years in the lawn care business we knew that many popular fertilizer products were made with harsh chemicals, manure and even bio-solids (organic materials resulting from the treatment of domestic sewage — yes, you’re reading that right).
We have picnics on our lawns, and our children and pets play on them, so we use natural, plant based ingredients to create our Lawn Food products.
No Added Phosphates: Purely Organic Products Weed & Feed Lawn Food is made without added phosphates so it meets and exceeds local environmental regulations limiting Phosphate usage in municipalities across the USA.
Effective Post-Emergent Weed Control & Lawn Fertilizer: This combination product is designed to feed your lawn and kill pre-existing common weeds. When used as directed, it will not harm established turf grass and lawns. DO NOT APPLY TO FOOD CROPS. Do not apply to newly seeded grass until it has had a chance to grow for at least 8-10 weeks with regular weekly mowings.
Choose the Right Day: For best results apply on a calm day when weeds are growing; and daytime temperatures are between 60-90º F on a consistent basis.
Prepare Your Lawn: Weed & Feed Lawn Food works best when grass is wet from dew or irrigation, not from rain, prior to application so the granules can adhere to growing weeds.
Set Your Spreader: Set your drop or rotary spreader to deliver fertilizer at a rate of 4-8 lbs. per 1,000 sq. ft. of grass. Individual spreader settings will vary; but common settings are listed below.
|Earthway® & Similar Broadcast (Rotary) Spreaders||15.0|
|Scotts® Basic, Turf Builder® EdgeGuard®, LawnPro® & Similar Broadcast (Rotary) Spreaders||6.0|
|Scotts® EasyGreen® & Similar Broadcast (Rotary) Spreaders||26.0|
|Vigoro & Similar Broadcast (Rotary) Spreaders||5.0|
|Scotts® Turf Builder® Classic, EverGreen®, AccuGreen® & Similar Drop Spreaders||7.0|
|Click Here for Additional Lawn Food Fertilizer Spreader Settings|
Apply: Working back and forth in steady rows, apply Weed & Feed evenly across your entire lawn.
Clean Up for the Environment: Get the most out of your lawn care, and protect the environment, by sweeping excess or stray particles — that land in the driveway, sidewalk or street — back onto the lawn.
Activate: Water your lawn lightly after application to activate the fertilizer; and keep application areas moist, but not saturated, with additional watering over the next 3-4 days.
Give Weed & Feed Time to Work: Weed & Feed Lawn Food needs time to work! It may take 30-45 days for weeds to die out after application. For particularly bad infestations consider a second application of Weed & Feed Lawn Food after the first 30 days.
Sucess Tip: If your lawn has significant weed infestation before application, bare spots left by dead weeds may need to be overseeded after application. Use Purely Organic Products Turf Restore (or a similar product) to help restore your lawn.
Important Note: The instructions above are for use as a guide only. For complete instructions for use and safety precautions review the back of your product package and the manufacturer’s Material Safety Data Sheet.
A Well Fed Lawn is a Happy Lawn: Just like you, your lawn needs nutrient rich food to grow and flourish. We recommend feeding with one of our Lawn Food products about four times a year — with the first feed in the early spring and the last in the late fall — for a lush, healthy lawn.
Water Well & Often: Healthy, well fed, lawns are more efficient at absorbing water and nutrients. Water your lawn every few days to provide approximately 1″ of moisture (including rainfall) per week. (A typical sprinkler takes 3-4 hours to provide 1″ of water.)
Mow Like a Pro: Never remove more than 1/3 of the blade of grass when mowing. During times of stress (for instance in the hot summer) keep grass longer to protect the plant. Leaving clippings on the lawn allows plant nutrients to recycle back to the soil.
Is Weed & Feed Safe for Use Around Animals & People? Weed & Feed from Purely Organic Products is an EPA “Minimum Risk Pesticide” which poses little to no risk to human health or the environment. There are no re-entry restrictions after application of Weed & Feed so you can allow pets, people and other animals back onto your lawn immediately after application.
Does This Fertilizer Need to be Watered in After Application? For the best results you should water your lawn or turf lightly after application to activate the fertilizer. If rain is due within 2-3 days of application then the fertilizer can be left on the lawn until the rain activates it.
Can I seed my lawn AFTER applying Weed & Feed? Yes. Combination lawn food products — like Weed & Feed, Grub & Feed, and Crabgrass Defender Lawn Food — can be used to help bring weeds, grubs and crabgrass under control prior to seeding. For best results, wait 2 weeks after Weed & Feed Lawn Food application to lay down new seed to help thicken your lawn and cover any bare spots caused by diminishing weeds.
Can I seed my lawn BEFORE applying Weed & Feed? No, Weed & Feed should not be applied to newly seeded grass. If your grass is new, use natural, plant based 10-0-2 Lawn Food as a starter fertilizer instead. Once grass is established, after 8-10 weeks, it is safe to use Weed & Feed to help control weeds while feeding your lawn.
What is the N-P-K Ratio of This Product? Weed & Feed Lawn Food has an NPK Rating of 10-0-2 or 10% Nitrogen (N), 0% Phosphorus (P), and 2% Potassium (K).
Why Aren’t There Any Phosphates (Phosphorus) in Your Lawn Food? Many states and local municipalities restrict or prohibit the application of Phosphates on lawns and turf; because of the negative environmental impact of excess phosphorus on local water quality, plant and animal life.
Can I Use a Handheld Spreader with Lawn Food? We recommend using a rolling broadcast or drop spreader with our products because they tend to provide more even and measurable coverage. If you’re planning to use a hand held spreader we recommend applying 4-5 pounds of fertilizer per 1000 square feet of lawn turf. (There are approximately 4 cups of fertilizer per pound.)
- Lawn Food: Apply about 4-5 times per year about 6-8 weeks apart. For more information about when to feed, download our Lush Lawn Guide.
- Crabgrass Defender Lawn Food: If you’ve had problems with Crabgrass infestations in the past, replace your first Lawn Food application each year with Crabgrass Defender Lawn Food. A second spring application, 30-35 days after the first, may be needed if your lawn has a particularly bad history with crabgrass. In the fall replace your final Lawn Food application with Crabgrass Defender Lawn Food as broadleaf weeds begin to establish root systems in preparation for the following year.
- Weed & Feed: If you have common summer weeds (like dandelions, purslane, chickweed, thistle, ragweed, etc) replace your regular Lawn Food applications with Weed & Feed. If Weeds are particularly bad, shorten application times to every 4-6 weeks for extra weed killing and lawn boosting power.
- Grub & Feed: If you’ve had problems with grubs, or other sub-surface pests, in the past; replace your first summer Lawn Food application (usually in July) with Grub & Feed; and then follow that up with an additional application of Grub & Feed 30 days later.
Can I Use Weed & Feed to Control Crabgrass? Not really. Weed & Feed is designed to kill actively growing broadleaf weeds — like dandelions, purslane, chickweed, ragweed, etc — rather than grassy weeds like Crabgrass. To control Crabgrass consider a pre-emergent product like Crabgrass Control Lawn Food instead.
I Just Spread Weed & Feed on My Lawn; but the Weeds Aren’t Dead? The botanical oils in Weed & Feed will NOT instantly kill weeds like some spot treatments (with harmful chemicals that can burn grass and other nearby plants at the same time as they’re killing weeds). Instead they work naturally over the first 30-45 days to kill existing broadleaf weeds while feeding your lawn to thicken grass, cover bare spots, and crowd out future infestations
Purely Organic Products Weed & Feed Lawn Food
Clove Oil 3%, Eugenol 2.5%, Inert Ingredients (Corn Gluten Meal, Urea, Potassium Acetate, Water, Soap, Soybean Flour, Wintergreen Oil, Cottonseed Meal) 94.5%.
The Best Organic Weed Killers of 2022
Keep weeds from overrunning your garden with these natural solutions—all effective alternatives to chemical herbicides.
By Glenda Taylor | Updated May 24, 2022 10:17 AM
BobVila.com and its partners may earn a commission if you purchase a product through one of our links.
Even under the best conditions and despite the most attentive gardening practices, weeds can muscle their way in—fast! While desirable flowers and vegetables can require weeks of coddling to produce blossoms and edibles, weeds seem to shoot up overnight, crowding out desirable plants and stealing the soil nutrients.
Some gardeners shy away from herbicides due to concern for the environment and perceived risk of fruit and vegetable contamination. While you could spend hours pulling, raking, and wielding other weeding tools to avoid using toxic chemicals, consider adding an organic weed killer to your arsenal. These products contain natural ingredients that kill unwanted plants without posing a risk to food production or the environment.
Choosing the best organic weed killer depends on the type of weed invading the vegetable garden, flower bed, or lawn. Ahead, learn what to look for when shopping for an organic weed killer and find out why the following chemical-free products are among the best on the market.
- BEST OVERALL:Green Gobbler Vinegar Weed & Grass Killer
- BEST BANG FOR THE BUCK:Natural Armor 30% Vinegar Natural Concentrate
- BEST SPRAY:Natria Grass & Weed Control with Root Kill Herbicide
- BEST MULTIPURPOSE:Earthborn Elements Borax Powder
- ALSO CONSIDER:ECO Garden PRO Organic Vinegar Weed Killer
What to Consider When Choosing the Best Organic Weed Killer
When buying a safe and effective weed killer, don’t grab the first product that claims to contain natural ingredients. Investigate ingredients and read labels to determine whether the product will kill only specific weeds or all vegetation. Also, bear in mind the difference between natural herbicides that kill existing weeds and those that stop weed seeds from sprouting.
Pre-Emergent vs. Post-Emergent
Like chemical weed killers, organic herbicides come in two types. Pre-emergent, which will destroy seeds or prevent them from sprouting; and post-emergent, which kill weeds that are already growing. The difference is crucial, since once a pre-emergent is in the soil, it will prevent all seeds from sprouting—weed seeds as well as those of desirable plants and flowers.
Selective vs. Nonselective
A selective weed killer will destroy only specific types of weeds but not others. For example, herbicides developed for lawns likely target broadleaf weeds, such as chickweed and clover, but they won’t damage turf-type grasses.
Nonselective weed killers will kill all vegetation, both weeds and desirable plants, so gardeners should use them with caution. To rid an entire yard of dandelions, spraying or broadcasting a nonselective weed killer will kill the grass along with the weeds.
When it comes to natural herbicides, users have very few selective products to choose from; the majority are nonselective and designed to kill most forms of vegetation. They can be used between sidewalk cracks or patio pavers or to create fence lines. They shouldn’t be used near desirable plants and flowers, especially on windy days.
Gardeners may be surprised to find household ingredients, such as vinegar and salt, present in some organic weed killers. Other beneficial ingredients include soaps and essential oils, such as cinnamon or clove.
Lesser-known ingredients, including citric acid, caprylic acid (a coconut oil derivative), and D-limonene (derived from citrus fruits), also feature prominently in many organic weed killers. Manufacturers may combine two or more of the above ingredients to control specific types of weeds.
Natural weed-killing products are available in various forms, with some better suited to specific types of application.
- Spray: Easy to use and offering uniform coverage, most sprays are designed for direct application to the weed’s foliage. There, the spray is absorbed and then travels through the plant, destroying weeds at the root. Take care to limit the spray to just the weeds and avoid applying it on windy days, as overspray could carry the product to desirable plants.
- Liquid concentrate: For gardeners with large crops or heavy weed infestation, a liquid concentrate may be the best option; it can be diluted with water and easily applied over large areas with a pump-type garden sprayer.
- Powder: This dry type of weed killer is usually meant for broadcasting over specific areas to kill weeds without damaging desirable turfgrasses. Like spray herbicides, powder can carry in the wind and kill nearby plants, so choose a calm day to apply it.
- Salts: Products containing salt will kill virtually any plant, so extra care should be taken when using them to keep from contaminating areas of the garden. Depending on the amount of salt, it can take years for it to leach out of the soil, and until then, it might be difficult to grow anything there. Salt-based weed killers are often best suited for application between patio pavers or sidewalk joints rather than in flower beds.
Our Top Picks
To qualify as a top pick, an organic weed killer should be potent enough to kill the weeds causing the problem. It should also contain chemical-free ingredients that will not contaminate fruits and vegetables or leave harmful residues in the environment.
The best organic weed killer will vary from gardener to gardener, depending on individual needs and weed type. The following weed killers contain natural ingredients and will kill a range of weeds.
Doctor Kirchner Natural Weed & Grass Killer
Say goodbye to crabgrass, dandelions, thistle, and other weeds with just a spritz of Green Gobbler Vinegar Weed & Grass Killer. This natural herbicide is nonselective, so it will kill all vegetation. Beneficial uses include eradicating weeds and tall grasses along fence lines, around patios and pool areas, and in mulched flower beds—but take care not to get it on desirable plantings because they, too, will die.
Green Gobbler contains no toxic chemicals, deriving its potency from concentrated acetic acid (vinegar) to kill weeds without harming the soil or the environment. This product comes in a 1-gallon jug to be used full strength in a garden sprayer or a spray bottle.
- Nontoxic to soil and environment
- Designed for full-strength use
- Kills weeds and grass quickly
Get the Green Gobbler weed killer on Amazon and at Walmart.
Green Gobbler Vinegar Weed & Grass Killer
To control weeds without spending a lot of cash, consider Natural Armor Concentrate. It comes in a 1-gallon jug at an attractive price, containing vinegar that’s six times more potent than household vinegar. Apply using the attachable trigger sprayer or pour it into a smaller spray bottle or pump-type garden sprayer.
This industrial-strength formula contains only pure and natural ingredients that are environmentally safe. The nonselective vegetation killer is well suited for lawn edging, removing weeds from fence lines, between sidewalk cracks, and patio pavers.
- Comes in large 1-gallon jug
- Contains vinegar six times more potent than household vinegar
- Attachable trigger spray
- Includes only natural ingredients
- Doesn’t last as long as chemical alternatives
- Spray bottle can be faulty
Get the Natural Armor weed killer at Walmart.
Best Bang For the Buck
Natural Armor 30% Vinegar Natural Concentrate
No need to mix or pour Natria Grass & Weed Control into another container—it comes in its own spray bottle, ready to apply. The product contains ammoniated soap of fatty acids, a natural ingredient that penetrates weed foliage to destroy the plant. The product is nonselective, so don’t apply it on a windy day if desirable plants are nearby.
For the best results, spray until weed foliage is saturated. The herbicide travels through the foliage and stems to the roots, destroying the weeds completely and preventing regrowth. Natria won’t contaminate soil: Gardeners can safely sow seeds 5 days after use.
- Comes ready to apply in a spray bottle
- Does not contaminate soil
- Kills to the roots
- Easy to use
- Requires saturation for best results
Get the Natria Weed Killer at Amazon, Ace Hardware, and Hardware and Tools.
Natria Grass & Weed Control with Root Kill Herbicide
Multipurpose borax can kill weeds, control unwanted insects, and boost laundry detergent—and it’s the sole ingredient in Earthborn Elements Borax Powder. Borax, short for “sodium borate,” is a natural mineral mined in desert regions, including California’s Death Valley.
To use, mix with water at a ratio of 10 ounces of borax to 1/2 cup of hot water, stirring until the powder dissolves. Next, further dilute the solution by pouring it into 2 1/2 gallons of water, then spray it directly on weeds with a spray bottle or pump-type garden sprayer. Like many other natural weed killers, borax is nonselective, so take care to spray weeds only on a calm day so desired plants aren’t affected.
- Kills weeds, control insects, and boosts laundry detergent
- Only one ingredient
- No harsh chemicals or heavy scents
- Solution requires user preparation
Get Earthborn Borax on Amazon.
Earthborn Elements Borax Powder
The ECO Garden PRO Organic Weed Killer contains high-strength vinegar for effective natural weed eradication. It comes ready to use and should be sprayed full strength on weeds until foliage is saturated. It’s nonselective, so take care not to let overspray get on desirable plantings.
ECO Garden is eco-friendly and safe for honeybees, soil, and groundwater. It contains no harmful or toxic ingredients, so the user can feel comfortable applying it to weeds in vegetable gardens or around fruiting vines. Results can be seen in as little as 24 hours, and no retreating is necessary.
- Offers quick results
- Eco-friendly and safe for honeybees, soil, and groundwater
- Ready to use as-is
- Does not kill roots
- Might require multiple applications
Get the Eco Garden weed killer on Amazon and at Eco Garden Solution.
For an effective weed killer sprayer that is less toxic than traditional weed killer formulas, consider Green Gobbler, which comes in a 1 gallon bottle with a spray attachment. Shoppers looking to tackle multiple household projects with the same product could invest in Earthborn Elements Borax Powder, a versatile powder that can be mixed into varying strengths for a range of uses.
How We Chose The Best Organic Weed Killers
Weeds are a common issue many gardeners face when trying to maintain their gardens and lawns. However, many weed killers on the market include toxic ingredients that are harmful to the environment, animals, and even humans. For those who prefer to avoid using such chemicals, there are some nontoxic alternatives available. When evaluating the best organic weed killers, we considered factors like efficiency, safety, price, ease of use, and how quickly one can see results.
Our top recommendations are all eco-friendly yet effective, working as hard as non-organic weed killers to kill off unwanted vegetation. However, it’s important to note that, like most organic weed killers, these products are nonselective and should not be sprayed on or near desired vegetation. Depending on the user’s needs and desired outcome, it’s important to be mindful of where the spray is applied so as not to harm plants, flowers, grass, and other vegetation.
The options we selected all have unique features; some are ready to use, while others require manual mixing with other ingredients. Additionally, some products come with spray bottles and others come in gallon jugs. Regardless of which one is selected, all of them get the job done.
Natural weed killers won’t leach toxins into soil or groundwater yet will effectively eliminate unwanted plants. If you’d like a bit more info on these products, consider the answers to these frequently asked questions.
Q: Will organic weed killers damage my soil?
It’s possible, mainly if the product contains salt, which can remain in the soil for years before finally washing away. Natural herbicides that contain vinegar or other nonchemical ingredients are less likely to stay in the soil for longer than just a few days.
Q: Are organic weed killers completely safe and free of toxic elements?
When used as directed, most organic weed killers are considered environmentally safe. Always read the warnings: Just because a product is natural or organic, doesn’t mean it won’t emit fumes that can cause headaches or other symptoms. Also, it doesn’t mean the product can be ingested without health risks. Keep all weed killers, organic or otherwise, out of the reach of children and use only as directed.
Q: How often can I use organic weed killers?
That depends on the product. Most sprays can be used whenever new weeds appear, and some may require two or more applications to get rid of certain types. Other than salt, most natural weed killers will not alter the soil’s content and can be used as often as necessary, but read all application instructions to be sure.
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