UK gardeners are urged to consider homemade and chemical-free alternatives to help keep weeds under control this spring and summer.

Hours in the garden that are pruned and cleaned can soon be ruined by pesky weeds like dandelions and white clover. GardeningExpress.co.uk experts have therefore discovered the best weed killers that can be made from the usual shop closet principles.

Vinegar, salt, and baking soda contain properties that starve, dry out, and ultimately destroy disruptive plants, so gardeners can enjoy healthy lawns and weed-free driveways for longer.

A spokesman for GardeningExpress.co.uk said: “There is nothing more daunting than seeing hours of hard work in the garden being destroyed by pesky weeds that seem to sprout out of nowhere.

“There are a lot of commercial products out there that can kill the weeds quickly, but most of them contain potentially harmful chemicals.

“These homemade preparations are not only a chemical-free alternative, they also save you the cost of products bought in the store.

“Products with high acid levels are usually effective, but you should avoid spraying them directly on the soil as substances like vinegar can destroy the structure of the soil and kill beneficial microorganisms.”

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vinegar

Vinegar is not selective and will kill everything it touches, but it will not work on deeply rooted perennials and can only “burn” the visible parts of the weeds. It’s very effective on small weeds, but it can also alter your soil to prevent anything from growing there in the future. It is therefore best to only use it on cobblestones and gravel driveways. Simply put in a sprayer and spray onto the leaves and stems of the weeds.

salt

Salt has been used as a herbicide and pesticide for hundreds of years and is very effective. Dilute three parts of water with one part of salt, mix and let stand for 10 minutes to ensure that the salt has dissolved. Spray the desired weeds with the salty solution, but don’t use them on lawns – salt can be absorbed into your soil and prevent future growth.

Boiling water

Scalding water can destroy growing weeds, as well as any other greenery nearby. So keep it as close to the weed as possible.

Baking soda

Use baking soda on pesky weeds, especially those that grow in cracks, to avoid killing healthy grass and other vegetation.

Mulch

Layer mulch with newspapers or cardboard to remove existing weeds and at the same time prevent the growth of the next generation of weeds.

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Meal with cereals

Cornmeal gluten acts as an organic herbicide and is free of toxic chemicals. Hence, it should be spread over the ground to prevent crab grass and dandelions from growing.

Rubbing alcohol

Mix two tablespoons of alcohol with one quart of water and pour the mixture into a spray bottle. The alcohol removes the moisture that weeds need to survive.