An Eco-friendly weed killer

This is something that I am amazed people don’t know about.

In this world where people, quite rightly, want to control weeds in their gardens. But the use of weedkillers in such a frivolous manner is really not a good idea because of the many unwanted side effects. So here is an eco friendly weed killer for you.

Potatoes in boiling water
Potatoes in boiling water

Boiling water. That’s right… Boiling water.

Think about it… You are cooking some potatoes for mashing (Mmmm… Mashed potatoes!) for dinner What happens to the potatoes? They fall apart via the heat. The same with Spinach. It wilts in hot water. Why not apply that idea to unwanted plants out in the garden?

Ok… Now before we go any further I have to admit that this method has some serious limitations. For a start you are handling BOILING HOT WATER… BE CAREFUL!

Secondly, this really only works on young weeds that are in pavement cracks, against walls or on graveled areas. Pouring the hot water on weeds will also affect the soil around it. If you use this on weeds in beds then you risk not only splashing other plants but upsetting the delicate ecology in the soil.

Now onto the good side. You don’t have to spend any extra money on this. you can use second hand water. Like the example above, when you boil water to cook your meals, rather than simply pour that water down the drain you can use that water on the weeds.
When straining your potatoes, eggs or whatever, pour the water into a jug and nip outside with the water and pour it on.

An example for you.


These pics were taken this morning. The one on the left was before, on the right, that was taken 6 hours after the water was poured on. So not only is it cheap and eco-friendly but its also fast!

Now there is a slight trick to using this method. For a start you want the water to be as hot as possible so pour the water from as close to the centre, the growing point, as you can so it doesn’t cool as it falls.


If you have a lot of small seedlings starting then start with the crowns as before, but then also just pour over any leaves.

If the weed is more established or maybe woody then another trick you can use is the ‘Knife trick’. This is a little more dangerous so not for everyone.

The knife trick shown.
Place the knife in the water to heat it up a little, slide it into the crown and leave it and then pour the boiling water onto the blade of the knife (NOT THE HANDLE!) and then pull the blade slightly to the side, opening the cut, to allow the water to get into the body of the weed under the soil level. This will help to kill the plant quicker by killing the root as well.

This may not work first time every time, but that’s OK. A couple more attempts and it will be gone. No insects were harmed, the ecology isn’t mutated and we are back to a weed free garden. Awesome, everyone wins but the weeds.

I cannot stress enough the possible danger here. Please be careful out in the garden!


4 thoughts on “An Eco-friendly weed killer

  1. It did, in large part due to a storm which broke a few of our tomato plants in containers. By that time I couldn’t have cared less, just happy to have things drenched and fresh,cool air.

  2. Another thing you may want to try is straight vinegar (can add some salt and dish soap if you like-some do.) HOWEVER, no NOT pour this straight onto the weed unless it is completely away from everything else. What I do is have a small bucket of the stuff and a good sponge. Soak the sponge and squeeze out most of the excess moisture – make sure it remains damp enough to leave traces on the weed. then simply brush the leaf of the weed plant (a couple if you feel really angry with it – ha ha). It absorbs the vinegar to the root and dies. This way you do not have to worry about it coming back or hurting other plants around it.

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