Weed killers are toxic. There’s no other way to put it. Not only do most weed killers kill weeds but they also can cause harm to pets and humans as well. Thankfully, there are pet safe weed killers on the market that actually work. It’s unfortunate that we live in a world where toxic chemicals are acceptable while healthy and natural options are considered “alternative.”
Many homeowners are not aware of the risks associated with traditional weed killers — or perhaps they’re too lazy to go out of their way and find pet friendly weed killers. If you’re reading this then you’re clearly a caring and conscious pet owner who wants to keep your pets healthy. We hope you find this article helpful.
Weeds, Weeds, Everywhere!
Weeds have always been the biggest bane of any garden’s existence. In fact, if you tend to look after your own garden, you will shudder at the very thought of weeds appearing in it. The reason why is simple. Weeds are easy to identify but difficult to get rid of. The definition off a weed is all that you need to know when identifying a potential weed.
This is because it is said that a weed is for all purposes any wild plant which is growing in a place that you don’t want it to grow. So, this means that any plant that you have not planted and which crops up in your garden of its own accord is a weed.
The problem of having weeds in your garden has a compounded effect if you have pets that live in your house. This is because just like you, your pets will also have access to the perimeter of the garden. Weeds however do not pose a threat to your pets. The weed killers that you use to get rid of the weeds however can be potentially dangerous.
The run of the mill weed killers can have toxic effects because they incorporate the use of various kinds of chemicals which are toxic to the weeds. These chemicals can also be toxic to animals that live in the vicinity where the weed killer is sprayed or used.
All this information brings us to just one question. How do you keep your garden free from weeds and yet safe for your pets?
The answer lies in the use of ‘Pet Safe Weed Killers’…
Why Should We Use Pet Safe Weed Killers?
It is wise to remember that not all weed killers are safe for your pets even though they may be labeled safe. The safety label is usually in reference to how the weed killer affects humans. This news may alarm many people and rightly so. Many of us have been using these weed killers indiscriminately.
After all, they do ease our load and they do help make our garden a better place to be in. Unfortunately, you may have to pay a high price for the comfort that these weed killers offer. Are you willing to take the risk when there are so many options that are available in the market today?
Video | How to Make Natural Pet Safe Weed Killer
Making the Decision
There is always a choice in everything we do. The choice of whether to use weed killers or not, definitely lies in our hands. For almost every pet parent, the choice is easy. Their pet will always take first priority. This means that this pet parent has to incorporate the use of ‘Pet Safe Weed Killers’.
There are a multitude of ways which you can use to rid your garden of weeds. Some of these are the conventional methods that have been employed for decades while others are a little more innovative than the rest. One of the most commonly used ones is weeding.
The Art of Weeding
Though this isn’t a weed killer, it is one method that has been employed over for decades. Weeding refers to the removal of unwanted plants manually. Yes! This means that you need to sit in the garden and manually remove each and every weed that has crept its way into existence. It does however help kill the weeds in your garden.
Fiskars Triple-claw Weeder | Traditional Weeding Tool
Even though weeding is cheap, it isn’t always that popular. One of the main reasons is because it involves a lot of manual labor and takes a lot of time. In today’s world, we would rather conserve our time for leisurely activities. That is why most people shy away from weeding as an option.
Weeding however does have one benefit. It helps remove the weeds without damaging your existing plants. This is why, many people resort to weeding some parts of their garden.
Homemade Weed Killers that Work
You don’t have to go very far if you are searching for a weed killer that is safe for your pets. Many weed killers exist in your very own kitchen. Yes! You heard us right. Many of ingredients that you use in the kitchen can be used to help you control the weed population in your garden. Let’s look at a few items that have proven to be extremely useful.
Boiling water is a simple and yet effective way of riding your garden of a large patch of weeds. Before using this method, be forewarned that the boiling water will kill all kinds of plants where it is poured. So don’t pour it on your prize geraniums and expect only the weeds to die. Boiling water is in fact one of the safest weed killers that you can use.
The use of salt is an unconventional method by which you can get rid of weeds. When you use this method you need to be sure that the area in which you apply the salt to is always going to be devoid of plants. This is simply because salt makes the soil in the area unsuitable for the growth of plants.
Salt is great for those nooks and crannies which always develop weeds. Some examples of this could be pavements, paths and even patios. Use the salt cautiously as you don’t want to destroy the fertility of the soil around.
There are certain considerations that you may want to take into account when using this technique. First of all, you need ascertain the slope of the land. Salt can be dissolved. This means that if the salt you use comes into contact with water, it can slowly drain into other parts of the garden. This will harm the soil where it drains into.
In case the area does have a slope, then you may want to consider rigging up a barrier between your garden and the salted land. This can be temporary or permanent. Don’t worry too much about looks. There are a number of creative ideas that can help you counter this problem.
Recipe to kill weeds with vinegar:
Video | Natural Weed Killer
Vinegar is another product that doubles as an effective weed killer. The best part about vinegar is that it is easily available. Using vinegar as a weed killer is easy. Take a bottle and fill it up with vinegar. Attach a spray nozzle to the bottle. Now, all that you have to do is spray the vinegar on the weeds.
Bear in mind that there are a number of tough weeds. These weeds may require repeated application of the vinegar spray. So have a little patience. Make a few rounds round the garden every few days. The vinegar spray will help you rid your habitat off those nasty little intruders.
Sugar is another effective way of keeping the weeds at bay. The addition of sugar to the soil puts the microorganisms in the soil into overdrive. This makes the soil temporarily not suitable for the growth of plants. This is why the use of sugar is perfect for killing weed trees and even bushes or vines that you find hard to get rid of. All you have to do is pour sugar near the base of the plant or tree you want to do away with. Nature will then do the rest.
There is however a problem that accompanies the use of sugar. Being a sweet substance, sugar attracts pests. This means that the use of sugar may in turn lead to more problems than it can help solve. The easiest way to counter this problem is by using chili pepper. Mix equal parts of both sugar and chili pepper before use. This will help deter all potential pests from inhabiting your garden.
I’m sure the mention of cornmeal as a weed killer is something that most people have not thought about. This is essentially because cornmeal does not kill weeds. On the contrary, it does help stop the growth of weeds.
Cornmeal contains a chemical which acts as a pre-emergent on seeds. This means that cornmeal prevents the seeds from sprouting. This in turn means that the weeds will not be able to sprout and grow wherever the cornmeal is spread.
The great part about cornmeal is that it does not affect the growth of the already existing plants. It only prevents the germination of new seeds. That is why most pet owners find cornmeal an effective way to tackle the weeds that plague their gardens.
You’ll notice that several of the products in this article use corn meal gluten to kill weeds, so this is not just an ingredient for your homemade recipes, but it’s also used by manufacturers.
If you want to learn more corn meal gluten as a weed killer then visit the Iowa State University (Horticultural Department) site which has many links to studies and resources.
The Smith 190285 is a basic sprayer that you can use if you decide to make your own pet safe weed killer. You no longer have an excuse to continue using toxic weed killers on your yard because now you are aware that there are alternatives. Sadly, most people assume that harsh chemicals are the only option but the reality is that manufacturers don’t want you to know that natural weed killers are available, and they’re cheap and easy to make.
Concocting Your Own Pet Safe Weed Killer
You don’t need to be a genius to make your own weed killer. In fact, you can make a weed killer which is safe for your pets by combining some of the ingredients that have been listed above (vinegar, salt, cornmeal, and sugar). You can experiment with them and make your own or simply use this tried and true recipe — all you need is water, vinegar and clove/lemon oil.
The process is really quite simple. Boil around two cups of water. Now add one cup of vinegar to it and a few drops of either clove oil or lemon oil. Let the whole concoction cool down until it is safe to put it in a mist spray bottle without damaging it. Your pet friendly weed killer is now ready.
How do you use it?
The weed killer needs to be sprayed on all the unwanted plants in the garden. It is wise to note that this spray works best in the afternoon heat so schedule the spraying times accordingly.
Buying An Organic Pet Safe Weed Killer
Many of us do turn to the internet in search of organic weed killers. This is because some of us have either failed in our attempts to use the home made remedies or we prefer to leave the concoction of weed killers to the pros. Luckily for us, there are a few products that can be deemed safe for our pets. Let’s take a look at a few of them.
Espoma Organic Weed Preventer | Pet Safe
Black medic, black nightshade, buckhorn plantain, catchweed bedstraw, common lambsquaters, curly dock, dandelion, purslane, redroot pigweed, velvetleaf, annual bluegrass, barnyard grass, giant foxtail, green foxtail, large crabgrass, orchardgrass, quackgrass, shattercane, smooth crabgrass, wolly cupgrass, and yellow foxtail.
- Provides long lasting greening that won’t burn.
- Children and pets can play on lawn immediately after application.
- Made from 100% pure, granulated corn gluten meal.
The Espoma Organic Weed Preventer works by incorporating corn gluten meal into its composition. This means that this products acts in a similar way that cornmeal acts. The Espoma Organic Weed Preventer has been tired and proven in eradicating the growth of weeds in lawns. This is because it has a twofold effect.
Firstly, the corn gluten meal ensures that the seeds of the weeds fail to germinate. This means that the lawn is free from fresh weeds. Since the corn gluten does not affect the already existing plants, you will find that no harm come to your lawn. The Espoma Organic Weed preventer helps to ensure that you don’t have to spend hours weeding your lawn.
The product also incorporates the use of long lasting nitrogen. This nitrogen is responsible for giving the lawn a thick and deep green color. So now you can see how the Espoma Organic Weed Preventer doubles as a fertilizer too!
The added bonus? It is safe for pets and children too!
Application Rates | Espoma Organic Weed Preventer
Weed preventing lawns: 20 lbs. per 1,000 sq. ft. covers up to 1,250 sq. ft.
Feeding lawns: 10 lbs. per 1,000 sq. ft. covers up to 2,500 sq. ft.
Jonathan Green 11585 | Organic Weed Control Plus Fertilizer
Combining organic weed control products with fertilizers seems like the newest trend. The Jonathan Green 11585 is an organic weed control product that doubles as a fertilizer.
This product is composed of a patented technology that helps to control unruly grassy weeds like crab grass and broadleaf weeds. Its reach also extends to dandelions. The granular composition of the Jonathan Green 11585 helps enhance the ease at which this product can be spread. It is best used on lawns, vegetable garden and even landscape beds.
One of the components of the Jonathan Green 11585 is corn gluten meal. As seen before, this corn gluten meal has a pre-emergent effect on the seeds of the weeds. It is also organic and safe for both animals and children.
How to Use:
Apply in early spring for optimal results, and up to 3 times a year if required. Safe to use where children and pets play. Will prevent crabgrass, dandelions and over 20 other grassy and broadleaf weeds. Easy to spread, sugar-size particles. Do not apply grass seed for 60-90 days after applying this product.
Have You Considered A Propane Weed Burner?
Red Dragon (BP2512SVC) 400,000 BTU Back Pack Kit (with Squeeze Valve)
Chemicals and kitchen remedies aren’t the only way with which you can combat the terror that weeds impose. There is another method that can be employed. It’s a method that has been used by farmers for centuries. All that it requires is fire!
Yes! Fire is the core element in torching all those unwanted plants. Today, there are mechanical torches that help us burn the weeds in a systematic manner. Most of these torches use propane as their primary fuel source.
The use of fire ensures that the soil beneath it is not harmed. On the contrary, the burnt plant products actually add to the soil and make it more fertile. Since chemicals aren’t added while burning the weeds, this method helps you keep your pets safe. Just ensure that you keep Fido in when you are burning the weeds or he may accidentally singe his tail!
Red Dragon VT 2-23C Weed Dragon | Weed Burner Torch
The Red Dragon VT 2-23C Weed Dragon is a 100,000 BTU propane vapor torch kit. This means that this device uses Propane as the base fuel. When ignited, this propane turns into a hot flame which is then directed at the weeds. The heat kills the weeds instantly. In this way, the Red Dragon VT 2-23C Weed Dragon helps to eliminate weeds without leaving any chemical residue. The lack of chemical residue in turn makes this method safe to use if you have pets at home.
The lack of chemicals also prevents the soil from getting affected since there is no surface run off. This means that your soil will continue to be healthy and its nutrient value (for plants) may even get replenished by the burnt plant products.
The Red Dragon VT 2-23C Weed Dragon can be quickly attached to any refillable propane tank. In fact, you can even use the same tank that you use for barbecues! The device comes with a tank fitting that can be tightened by hand. This means that you don’t have to carry a number of tools to set it up. It makes the Red Dragon VT 2-23C Weed Dragon easy to use.
If you are wondering about how powerful this torch kit is then don’t trouble your brain so much. The Red Dragon VT 2-23C Weed Dragon can produce heat that reaches up to around 2000 degrees Fahrenheit. That makes it powerful enough to kill any weed that troubles you!
Red Dragon VT 2 ½-30 SVC | Propane Weed Torch
The Red Dragon has always been known for their quality of vapor torches. The Red Dragon VT 2 ½ -30 SVC is a little better than the Red Dragon VT 2-23C Weed Dragon. This is because the Red Dragon VT 2 ½-30 SVC has a lot more power. The device is a 400,000 BTU vapor torch kit while the Red Dragon VT 2-23 C Weed Dragon is only a 100,000 BTU. This means that the device is four times more powerful when compared to the previous device.
The Red Dragon VT 2 ½-30 SVC has to be assembled at home. With that done you will find that it burns weeds four times faster than its counterpart (The Red Dragon VT 2-23 C Weed Dragon). The consumption of propane however is higher in this model. Some people find that they do not mind the extra consumption because of the increased efficiency that the Red Dragon VT 2 ½-30 SVC has to offer.
The interesting part about this device is that it serves more than just one use. Not only does it act as a weed killer but its flame can also be used to thaw pipes and melt frozen snow/ice. As if that isn’t enough, the Red Dragon also helps remove paint, oil, grease and even plastic from metal surfaces. Some people even use it to sterilize animal cages that are made of metal.
All these uses makes the Red Dragon VT 2 ½-30 SVC a really interesting tool to have in your garage!
Conclusion | Pet Safe Weed Killers
Controlling the weeds in your garden sure gets complicated if you have pets at home. The fear of using chemicals that can harm your pet is not an unreasonable fear. Fear however should not lead you to despair. Remember, every problem has a solution. In this case, this problem has multiple solutions. The question is which solution will you choose?
With the numerous homemade solutions and the commercial pet safe products available, you can get rid of those irritating weeds with ease. Try a single remedy or use different products for different parts of your garden. It doesn’t matter what you do, as long as you know that the product you are using is safe for your pet.
Video | A Thick Healthy Lawn Prevents Weeds