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Seven Deadly Homemade Weedkillers Put To Test: Bleach

May 9th, 2009 · 6 Comments

Recently, I read an article on the 7 Deadly homemade weed killers.  These sounded like a great organic way to control some of the weeds around my fences and gardens. I hate using commercial weedkillers as they are a pretty strong poision and they stay in the environment for so long.

I decided to test the weedkillers on some young and freshly emerged weeds.  It is a good time to start as the days are hot and the leaves are just recently emerged so they are still tender.  I am looking for 3 things with this experiment.  I want something that is economical and something that works without a huge investment in time as well as having a minimum impact on the environment.

Because bleach is something that I have on hand, I decided to start with it.  I mixed 3 parts of bleach with 1 part of water and a couple of drops of dish detergent as an emulsifier.  This should allow the bleach to actually soak into the leaves and kill them.

I put this mixture in a spray bottle and sprayed the leaves liberally in the late morning.  By sunset, I had noticed no difference in the plants.  When I went out this morning to check, there were a few dead leaves and some that you could tell were curling around the edges.  The rest looked as healthy as they had the day before.

24 Hours after Bleach Spray

24 Hours after Bleach Spray

24 Hours after Bleach Weed killer spray

24 Hours after Bleach Weed killer spray

24 Hours after Bleach Killer

24 Hours after Bleach Killer

I honestly expected more damage to the plants after 24 hours and 16 ounces of bleach.  Apparently the majority of  the damage was where the bleach dripped down onto the edge of the leaves.  I could spray them again and wait another 24 hours but honestly I think I am going to try another one of the homemade weedkillers.

Have you had any luck with any of the homemade weed killers?  I believe I am going to try the vinegar solution tomorrow and see whether my own mini version of acid rain has a better effect.

This post has been included in the Festival of Frugality at Savings Not Shoes and in the Gardening Carnival.  Check it out!

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Tags: Farm Life

6 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Mike // May 10, 2009 at 9:25 am

    Hi Homestead. I think it would be instructional to see what these weeks look like 1 and 2 weeks after application. Normally we wait that long for round-up to work. Thanks!

  • 2 Cindy // May 10, 2009 at 10:05 am

    Hi Mike, I agree although I think that Roundup works systemically. In other words, it is absorbed into the plant and kills it from the root up. But, I will certainly keep everyone posted on what happens with the weeds.

  • 3 Seven Deadly Homemade Weedkillers Unmasked: Vinegar | Small Homestead // May 11, 2009 at 1:52 am

    [...] Seven Deadly Homemade Weedkillers Put To Test: Bleach [...]

  • 4 Funny about Money // May 12, 2009 at 8:55 am

    Here in the desert Southwest, I’ve had exactly zero luck with any DIY weedkiller, including those that friends swear by.

    Boiling water: milkweed loves it and undergoes a growth spurt after having been drenched with boiling water; others are unfazed.

    Ammonia: it’s a fertilizer.

    Bleach: nothing.

    Vinegar: nothing

    Salt: you have to till in enough to kill an army. Sprinkling a little around the base of a plant does nothing.

    Rubbing alcohol: no effect that I’ve noticed.

    Cornmeal: what are they smoking???

    Newspaper: Bermudagrass and nutgrass will grow right straight through it. They’ll cut their way through several layers of black plastic, too.

    Here’s what works: Get some concentrated Round-up. Brew up a pretty strong version by mixing some with a little less water than recommended. Put it in a bottle with a dripper nipple–I use an old Spray-&-Wash bottle that came with a dripper, not a sprayer. Do not use a spray bottle for this.

    Drip the Round-up carefully ONLY on the weed’s green leaves. Avoid getting it on the ground. Do not get it on any nearby desirable plants. This will take a few days and possibly two or three applications, but it’s your best shot at killing weeds. Round-up is said to degrade in ultraviolet light, and so if you don’t splash it around you’re not creating a very serious environmental threat.

  • 5 My Gardening Patch » Blog Archive » a gardening carnival - May 27, 2009 // May 27, 2009 at 12:03 pm

    [...] S presents Seven Deadly Homemade Weedkillers Put To Test: Bleach posted at Small Homestead, saying, “I’m experimenting with each of the 7 deadly [...]

  • 6 alexei // Dec 27, 2010 at 4:40 pm

    this sounds better for the enviroment and eaiser and u wouldnt have to pay

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