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Kill Weeds Organically

Boiling Water

This is particularly good for disposing of weeds in cracks in a path or between pavers. It ‘cooks’ the weeds and they die instantly. You can then remove the remains or leave them to dry and crumble, sweeping them away later if you so desire.

Using this method is so easy:

• All you do is boil a kettle of water and pour the boiling water over the weeds. Hold the container close to the weeds so that a minimum of cooling takes place. There, it’s done.

I should mention here that boiling water may not kill tough perennial weeds with long tap roots, such as dandelions, because the water cools as it drains downwards.

If you want to use this method on dandelions, docks or similar, remove as much of the top and root as you can and then pour the boiling water into the hole so that it comes in contact with what’s left of the root. This still probably won’t work the first time on an old grandaddy root.


All vinegar contains acetic acid, which is the ingredient that can kill plant life. You can use household vinegar bought from the supermarket but this contains only 5% acetic acid. If you can find a stronger concentration elsewhere it will work better. However the household vinegar is still worth trying and it does work, though you may need to reapply it a week or so later.

• What to do: For just a few weeds pour about 100 ml (around 4 oz) of vinegar into a jug or bottle (guessing is fine). Add a small squirt of dish washing solution and stir or shake gently. Avoid making it frothy. The detergent or soap helps the vinegar stick to the leaves. Pour, squirt or spray this over the weeds. Increase the quantity of vinegar if you have a larger patch of weeds to treat.