Control Weeds Naturally With This Easy-To-Make Solution

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Weeds are a massive pain for anyone with a yard. They seem to crop up with no warning — or invitation — and quickly begin to spread to every square foot of the property, unless you do something to disrupt their growth. While some weeds are so invasive that they require drastic methods to kill off, such as Johnsongrass weeds, there are many other varieties that are easier to weed out with a more natural approach. Your success will still require persistence and the correct ingredients, however.

If you love natural weed control methods, you may already be aware of the common vinegar and dish soap trick as a less harmful way to kill weeds in your lawn; but the secret ingredient of orange oil can take your weed control to the next level. This recipe will require horticultural vinegar, which has a much higher percentage of acetic acid than the vinegar in your kitchen, liquid dish soap, and orange oil. Not familiar with orange oil? This product is made by cold pressing orange peels to extract the oil from inside, leaving you with a powerful ingredient for all-natural degreasing, cleaning, and weed control. Combine 1 gallon of 20% horticultural vinegar ($24 on Amazon) with 2 tablespoons of orange oil ($25 on Amazon) and 2 tablespoons of dish soap in a sprayer (the sprayer can be pressurized to cover a larger area). Then, simply apply it to your weeds.

How does this work?

Some natural weed killing methods make big promises but end up falling flat. What sets this approach apart is a special combination of ingredients, which attack the weed in a concerted and multifaceted approach. Vinegar's acetic acid will kill the part of the weed that it touches, although any amateur gardener who has tried vinegar alone to eliminate weeds knows that they can come back with a vengeance. This is where the orange oil comes in: The oil will interrupt weed growth by breaking down the weed's waxy cell wall coating, making the plant unable to hold water or nutrients. Finally, the dish soap acts as a surfactant, allowing the vinegar and orange oil to stick more efficiently, and keeping the weed-weakening substances on the leaves long enough to do real damage.

It may be necessary to complete a few rounds of the protocol before you get the desired results. Start with one application; if the weeds are still green after a couple days, repeat until you see significant progress. Be warned that this weed killer can just as easily kill your garden. So, always spray with care, avoid using this weed killer on windy days — as it could blow to your wanted plants and miss the weeds altogether — and remember to apply it on a sunny day when no rain is expected. You can also check out some more tips for making DIY homemade weed killer.