How to Kill Weeds With Rock Salt - Backyard Boss
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How to Kill Weeds With Rock Salt

Killing weeds is an arduous task, but it’s necessary if you want to enjoy the beautiful blooms and fruits of your garden. With that said, the unfortunate truth is that weeds can take over your garden, but harsh chemicals such as Roundup can also have a negative impact on your crops.

Fortunately, there are a number of natural and affordable methods you can use for getting rid of weeds without hurting your garden, including rock salt. You might be thinking that your garden doesn’t need any seasoning, but rock salt does a bit more than add flavor! So, how can you use it in your garden to kill weeds? Find out below!

Tools You’ll Need

Spoonful of rock salt for weeds
Image credits: pictavio via Pixabay

Before you can get into the how-to when it comes to killing weeds with rock salt, there are a few tools you’ll need to get the job done. Find all the essentials below!

  • Rock salt
  • 1 gallon of hot water
  • Mixing container
  • Stirring utensil
  • Spray bottle
  • 1 gallon of coarse sand (optional)
  • Shallow container (optional)

How to Kill Weeds With Rock Salt

Gardener Spraying House Plant
Image credits: JohnDWilliams via Canva

Here are two different methods for using rock salt to kill weeds:

Option 1: Sprinkle Salt

The simplest method for getting rid of weeds with rock salt is to sprinkle it over affected areas. You dust the salt in between cracks on your driveway, in gravel, on walkways, and between stones. The salt will disrupt the growth cycle of the weeds, resulting in wilting and death within about 10 days.

The salt will also increase the pH of the soil, preventing anything from growing there. Over time and through rainfall, the effect of the salt will dilute, so you may need to reapply. Remember to use the salt sparingly as large quantities can damage the roots of nearby plants and turf, harming their ability to absorb water.

Avoid sprinkling rock salt directly in your garden beds as this can have a negative impact on the plants you’d like to keep growing.

Option 2: Spray Salt Solution

If you’d like to get rid of broadleaf weeds in the garden, ensure you dilute the salt by making an herbicidal solution. Do this by mixing 1 cup of rock salt into 1 gallon of hot water, ensuring the salt is fully dissolved. Disperse your mixture into spray bottles for later use.

To use this solution, spray directly onto weeds such as crabgrass. Avoid contact with the soil so you don’t impact surrounding plants. You will need to repeat this treatment twice, reapplying after five days and then again after another five days.

The amount of time it takes to kill the weeds will depend on whether the solution is properly applied and how much it rains. If you notice a lot of rain, you may want to reapply the DIY herbicide as the water will dilute the sodium chloride content. As a general rule, it’s best to apply when you expect warm weather!

Other Ways to Use Rock Salt in the Garden

Butterfly in the garden
Image credits: Uschi_Du via Pixabay

While rock salt is an effective method for fighting against weeds, it has a few added benefits that may pique your interest.

First, rock salt is a great way to attract butterflies. Since these pollinators often gather on mud or sand for soil minerals, you can make your own! Mix a half cup of rock salt with 1 gallon of coarse sand and place in a shallow container in your garden. Continuously add water to keep the mixture moist. Over time, you should notice a few extra fluttery wings in your garden!

Rock salt is also a great choice for naturally melting ice, effectively clearing your walkways, driveways, and patios in the winter. Using rock salt on ice will create a brine, which has a lower freezing point and will cause the ice to melt. You can also mix the salt with coarse sand to improve traction. Plus, the mixture will help you avoid overusing the salt as it will melt into the ground! With this in mind, it’s clear that rock salt is the perfect item to keep in your shed for year-round use.

If you’d like to completely clear plants from an area, you can sprinkle rock salt all over the ground. Since it’s non-selective, it will kill all the plants in the area. This is a great option if you’d like to clear weeds and growth from a fence line, sidewalk, gravel garden, or porch area.

Keep it Salty!

While rock salt is an effective solution against weeds, it can have a negative impact on other plants growing in your garden. To ensure you don’t harm other plants, sprinkle the salt in areas you don’t want any plants to grow, and use a diluted mixture, spraying directly on the weeds alone.

You can also use table salt and epsom salts, though rock salt boasts the added benefits of attracting butterflies and melting ice! If you overuse the salt and notice other plants in the garden begin to wilt, you will need to replace the soil and fertilize the area.

Will you be using rock salt in your garden? Share in the comments below!