Should You Use Diesel To Kill Weeds?


Should You Use Diesel To Kill Weeds

Should you use diesel to kill weeds? Short answer: Nope.

Weeds can be annoying. They compete with other plants for nutrients and can turn a pretty, organized garden into a patchy mess. Still, I’ll continue to stand up for weeds. Some of the plants we consider weeds are actually beneficial. They offer up food to hungry pollinators and beneficial bugs. True weeds are plants that have been introduced to an environment in which they have no natural competitors or predators. That means they grow unchecked and sometimes harm habitats and ecosystems.

BUT. Even with true weeds, I’m wildly hesitant to recommend something toxic like diesel. As someone who tries to do their best to grow organically, the thought of using diesel anywhere near my garden fills me with dread.

Can you use diesel to kill weeds?

Some people might recommend that you use diesel to kill stubborn weeds. This tactic is often recommended for lawns littered with weeds. I don’t think we should be wasting valuable resources on curating green lawns that have no purpose. Second, even if you’re using it on a non-edible surface, know that diesel is highly toxic and can contaminate nearby areas.

If you’re growing anything edible, stay away from toxic substances like diesel.

You also run the risk of harming animals and beneficial insects like bees and butterflies. With bee and pollinator populations on the decline, it seems incredibly risky and irresponsible to use a toxic substance just to get rid of a few weeds.

“But my weed problem is terrible, and I heard I could use diesel to fix it!”

There are plenty of other ways to tackle pesky weeds. Getting rid of weeds isn’t easy, but if you want a hobby to replace your leisurely walk in the park, gardening might be the wrong choice. Additionally, diesel is pricey and flammable! You’ll do better by spending your money on something else for the garden.

Gardening is an approachable hobby because it’s simple to get started with some dirt and some seeds. But to turn a landscape around involves a lot of work. You can be a frugal gardener, but any kind of digging in the dirt requires some form of effort.

Other ways to get rid of weeds

If you can’t use diesel to kill weeds, what else can you do?

Here are a few ways to get rid of weeds in an environmentally friendly manner:

  • Mulch. My favorite way to suppress weeds is mulch. It not only suffocates most weeds but also helps beautify beds and provides a uniform blank slate.
  • Stop over-digging and tilling. Most weed seeds sit beneath the surface and won’t sprout unless exposed to sun and moisture. Minimize digging and tilling to prevent unearthing hidden weed seeds.
  • Target your watering efforts. Get rid of the sprinkler. It’s a waste of water and money. Use targeted irrigation systems to get water to your plants. No desire to budget to set up an irrigation system? When you water by hand, don’t water where there are no plants. Empty spaces don’t need moisture! All you’ll do is help the weeds along.

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How to Use Baking Soda for Weed Control


How to Use Baking Soda for Weed Control

I’ve dealt with some nasty weeds in my day. I’ve also tried a lot of methods to get rid of said weeds. A lot of those so-called “tried-and-true” methods are actually bogus. Like so many gardening pieces of wisdom, a lot of weed control tricks aren’t really useful. What about baking soda for weed control? Does it work?

Baking soda’s many uses

always have a box of baking soda in my cupboard—usually two, in fact. Baking soda has many uses. It’s a frequent baking ingredient. It’s great for sopping up urine stains (something I have to deal with sometimes as a dog owner) and it deodorizes almost like magic. I also always have a box in the fridge to deal with stubborn smells that permeate from containers of leftovers.

But does it work for killing weeds? Can you use baking soda for weed control?

Baking soda in the garden

I have a love-hate relationship with weeds. I genuinely believe that some weeds are lovely. Dandelions, for instance, are a treat and I love how they attract dozens of bees to my garden. Invasive vines, on the other hand? Kill them with fire! Or maybe baking soda?

Here’s the deal. Baking soda is not a magic weed killer. Don’t believe the hype. It contains sodium, which will surely kill weeds if you pile on the stuff. But, salt is also going to harm other green living things around your garden. Salt can also leech into your soil and can cause harmful runoff.

TLDR: It works but it can also cause problems.

It seems like a harmless substance, but I don’t recommend it for use in the garden. There are plenty of better ways to deal with weeds.

Baking soda alternatives

Here are a few alternatives to using baking soda for weed control.

  • Landscape fabric. Prepare beds with landscape fabric to prevent weeds from popping up in the first place.
  • Plastic mulch. Plastic mulch is another easy-to-use alternative that can easily suffocate weeds.
  • Organic mulch. Good ole’ organic mulches like wood chips and straw can help prevent weed growth. If you have a bed infested with weeds, though, don’t use mulch until you’ve pulled out most of the invading plants.
  • Your hands. If you’re dealing with a minor weed infestation, just use your hands or a trowel to dig the weeds up by the roots. Remember to dig up the whole plant or else it’ll pop up again.
  • Cardboard. Lay down cardboard before planting to prevent weeds from growing back.
  • Get some chickens. Chickens won’t selectively pick out weeds for you but they will eat the remnants that you’ve pulled up. That way, you won’t have to find a way to dispose of them.

Quick tip: Never toss weeds into your household compost. You can contaminate your garden this way!

While I have you here: if you really hate those dandelions. I suggest not letting them go to waste. Pick them and use them to make tea.