Non-toxic weed killer for my vegetable garden

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I have had a small herb and veggie garden for a few years. I made the mistake of planting mint my first year-the gift that keeps on giving-& have been pulling it ever since. I have acquired an invasive weed that I've pulled twice since the beginning of March. I can deal with pulling the irritating mint-though I'd be grateful for any suggestions. However, this invasive weed is killing me. Does anyone have a recipe for a non-toxic/edible weed killer for vegetable gardens that might get rid of it? Any help would be wonderful!
q wacky wonky non edible veggies, gardening
q wacky wonky non edible veggies, gardening
q wacky wonky non edible veggies, gardening
q wacky wonky non edible veggies, gardening
  12 answers
  • MN Mom MN Mom on Apr 18, 2016
    I feel your pain! No suggestions but I had the chive plant that kept on giving....at least mint smells better!
  • William William on Apr 18, 2016
    There are several ways to kill mint without the use of harmful chemicals, which should always be a last resort. Many people have had luck using boiling water to kill mint. Others swear by using a homemade mixture of salt, dish soap and white vinegar (2 cups salt, 1 teaspoon soap, 1 gallon vinegar). Both methods will require frequent applications onto the mint over some time in order to kill it. Be aware that these methods will kill any vegetation that it comes in contact with. If you still have problems, try covering the mint with thick layers of newspaper, followed by a layer of mulch to smother it. Those plants that still manage to find a way through can usually be pulled up easily. If you don’t feel comfortable using chemicals to kill mint, your only option may be to get a good shovel and dig it all up. Be sure to get under the plant’s main root system, then bag it up and dispose of it or relocate the mint in a suitable container.
    • See 1 previous
    • William William on Apr 19, 2016
      @Elizabeth Ring Smith Since it will more likely take a few applications, you should be able to plant after everything is killed, cleaned up, and the soil amended.
  • Janet Pizaro Janet Pizaro on Apr 19, 2016
    I would try smothering the mint out with heavy black plastic. This way you can put holes in where you want add additional plants and they should not be affected.
  • Carole Carole on Apr 19, 2016
    Hi Elisabeth, for the weed you can do the following: cut some of it down (it looks like you can cut it back say to half), just leave what you cut if you want, or remove it if you can, spread some chalk (desactivated chalk is OK, the kind that will not make a heavy thermic reaction with water), be generous with the chalk, then cover with black plastic, secur the plastic so it will not unfold/fly away with the wind( you can put some stones all around it not only at the corners, else small animals or the wind can lift it up) and leave it like that about 1 month. Whatever plant material was there will be dead, this is not specific for weeds and ca be used also to do away with a lawn etc.... The chalk deals with desinfection + kills the organic material+addresses some needs the soil has anyway. After about 1 month or so, remove the plastic, remove all organic material and you'll have plain brown soil again, don't turn it over too much. You can add some fresh, good quality earth if you have, or a little sand and work it into the soil lightly. If this corner is exposed to sun light and heat, it will further accelrate the process and be beneficial (desinfect by heating up the stuff, it gets hot under black plastic). NB: chalk is beneficial to the soil, don't be afraid to use it. But don't breath it in (you are going to use it dry) , it is irritating for the lungs, so do protect your nose and your hands with gloves (and your hair because i is going to be fine powdered and spread in the air as you spread it around) For your mint: what is done a lot in France when cultivating mint (quite invasive, yes?) is to pick up an earthware pot or plastic container (large) and if you use earth-pot to burry the pot into the ground and plant the mint in it or if you use a plastic container to cut out the bottom and plant the mint within what remains, which you also have burried in the ground. This way the mint is growing within the limits of the pot/container and cannot expand, as mint spreads via its branches, sometimes looking like roots and spreading a few centimeters below ground and setting roots at the point where a mint leave has developped. The method of gardening into burried pots, either to limit expansion of invasive plants (you can use it for bamboo also) or in order to change seasonal flowers/plants is old and is known to date back at least to Versailles and the 17th century. It's an easy way also of knowing where you planed bulb flowers or to remove them before the bulb has caught enough strength for next yea, after blooming when the tulips are left to become yellow and dye out and are not a pretty sight. in that case you just put a second container inside the main container and whenever you want to change the deoration and leave for instance the tulip bulb to continue its development out of sight, you just pick up the internal container and put away and immediately put inside a similar size container with fresh or upcoming bloom, or seeds, etc.... It just requires your garden is large enough to plan a small "field hospital" , could be behind a screen, a corner dedicated to recovering or "disabled" plants.... ENJOY!
  • Jmschneider Jmschneider on Apr 19, 2016
    Last year I tried baking powder. Just sprinkle it on the weeds you want to kill and wait. It takes a few days to see a difference but I absolutely loved it! The weeds turn brown/black after maybe 4-5 days. Most of the weeds I did have to pull but they came out super easy, roots and all. I ended up going thru 3 large bags from Costco last year. Its cheep, easy (no mixing or spraying), and effective. I have free range chickens, a puppy, and 3 small children so I really wanted something that would not matter if ingested.
  • Lynn Lynn on Apr 19, 2016
    1 c White Vinegar 1 Cup salt 1 gallon water. mix well and spray the obnoxious plants. they will Wither and die within 24 hours. Then you can dig the roots if you like. Only spray the plants you want to kill. I have used this many times and it works well
  • Louis Lieberman Louis Lieberman on Apr 19, 2016
    i love mint- i brew it with my am tea every day -vinegar mixed with baking soda will kill a lot of undesirable weeds
  • Melbrooks Melbrooks on Apr 19, 2016
    Have you tried white vinegar? I use it as a weed killer- dandelions, crabgrass in sidewalks, etc. It works best if you spray it on a warm dry day, and for mint it may take a couple applications. Good luck!
    • See 2 previous
    • Carole Carole on Apr 21, 2016
      Hi Melbrooks, well actually "regular white vinegar from the grocery" IS industrial vinegar...vinegar anyway is acetic acid, regardless of production method or origin (what was fermented to produce it). All vinegars nowadays are industrial, unless specifically labelled otherwise -and in that case they are tasty and very expensive. All vinegars are acetic acid diluted in water + whatever remains after fermentation: micronutrients, tasty flavours in the best case, toxins in the worst. Only bacteria/yeasts cannot survive because of the very low pH. That's why we pickle with vinegar and used it in the apst to desinfect. The so-called "white" vinegar is food grade diluted acetic acid -whatever the original ingredient used to obtain it. It may come from even petroleum, but usually inedible foods are used (overripe, bruised etc.) It's a way of recycling. However some toxins that were present in the ingredients before processing end up in the end product. Cider vinegar comes from fermented apples/cider, wine vinegar from wine/grapes/raisins, rice vinegar from rice, etc... you got it. White vinegar is food grade diluted acetic acid obtained by fermenting low-quality ingredients or petroleum. Look it up here https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vinegar or make your own research using keywords "white vinegar" or for the US "distilled white vinegar", a term that is misleading as the vinegar is produced by fermentation, not distillation, two very distinct processes.
  • Louise Louise on Apr 20, 2016
    boiling water is also good
  • Louise Louise on Apr 20, 2016
    ..... that is, after you have trimmed the weed back but keep some leaves to burn with boiling water
  • There are several here on HM:
    I just soak the area and pull the next day...I need the exercise! LOL
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    1 gallon white vinegar and 1 cup salt and 1 tablespoon liquid dish soap Combine ingredients in
    spray bottle and treat weeds at the hottest time of day for best results.
  • Michelle Leslie Michelle Leslie on Jun 02, 2020

    Hi Elizabeth, here's a few great recipes for making organic weed killer - https://www.goodhousekeeping.com/home/gardening/advice/g777/homemade-weed-killers/

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