Organic Weed Killer

Propane torch / Burning weeds


This page covers over the counter organic weed killer options.


These are not as abundant as with chemical herbicide options.
That's OK, there are a lot of natural weed control options available to us.



Note that each state has it's own laws regarding distribution of with weed control products you purchase at home stores, garden centers and nurseries. Over the counter is no exception.


Following is a list of the more common organic weed control products available over the counter:

1)  Corn Gluten

Corn gluten is in the corn syrup family. It is about 10% nitrogen and will reduce nitrogen in your soil. Also see organic mulch types for additional information.


This is a pre-
emergent herbicide

and kills only weed seeds at germination.

It's recommended use is about 2-3 weeks before germination in the spring.

Corn Gluten will have no effect on existing weeds above the soil line.



This is highly effective on dandelions and crab grass but will take longer on other broadleaf weeds and grasses.

Because of the many uses for corn products this may be difficult to get. If you do find corn gluten you may find it a bit more expensive than other options.


2)  Acetic Acid / Vinegar Acid

This vinegar has a larger percentage of acetic acid and is highly corrosive. It is much stronger than what we purchase at the food store.  It is not available in all states and those where it is available may require professional use only.

Acetic acid is a contact, non selective herbicide and needs to be diluted. Read product labels and follow directions carefully for both application and herbicide safety.

Higher percentages of acetic acid works well with annual weeds. Perennial weeds can be a bit more difficult to kill because of the root system. Multiple applications may be necessary.

If you look into this as an option for organic weed killer, acetic acid comes in different percentages and has different ingredients to meet EPA standards.  See the best weed killer page for more information on this.


Local stores are likely to have products like Nature's Glory and St. Gabriel Labs 'Burn Out'.  You will see many other acetic acid products advertised all over the internet. Do your homework on these should you choose this route. It's easy to use Vinegar from the kitchen cupboard for a homemade weed killer.



I'm going to place this last method of organic weed killer on this page as well. Supplies for this will be found at home and hardware stores and just as with the above listed products, caution for safety is required.

3)  Propane Torch / Burning Weeds

The best and safest use for this method is in the driveway and/or sidewalk.  Not recommend using in lawn or garden for small patches.  Should any gardener decide to do so, apply extreme caution.

The propane torch method is used by applying flame directly over the weed or weeds. Use circling motions during application. While burning weeds, liquids within them will begin to dry and the root system will eventually over heat, killing everything.

Annual weeds usually require one treatment. Perennials and deep-rooted weeds may require more than one treatment. 

This method is highly effective at killing weeds. 
Don't attempt to burn weeds on any day where even the slightest of breezes are present.  Also find out if your community
has an ordinance prohibiting use of this method.




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