Using salt as a weed preventative

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nicklincs
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Using salt as a weed preventative

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I have been told that putting down salt will prevent weeds from growing. Has anyone on here tried doing this ?. Would there be any reasons not to do it ? Any feedback or advice would be much appreciated.
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KarenE
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Re: Using salt as a weed preventative

Post by KarenE »

It depends where the weeds are - 'salting' the land was done by invading armies to make land infertile, so you wouldn't want to put salt down on ground where things are growing. if they are in pathways etc they'll probably be ok but bear in mind any salt water runoff if it rains or when you water. Safer to boil a kettle and put boiling water on them. we use boiling water to kill off small weeds around our house and it works fine )t'
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Freeranger
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Re: Using salt as a weed preventative

Post by Freeranger »

I hadn't heard of that, Karen. I'll try it immediately, though' I might need a considerably bigger kettle!
nicklincs
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Re: Using salt as a weed preventative

Post by nicklincs »

Thank you for your reply Karen, yes it is weeds on pathways that i want to get rid of.
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Spreckly
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Re: Using salt as a weed preventative

Post by Spreckly »

I use boiling water on weeds where my dog is likely to be sniffing around. For the rest I use Roundup, and have recently used a mixture of white vinegar, salt and waship up liquid. Unfortunately the mixture does not seem to work.
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Mo
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Re: Using salt as a weed preventative

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Spreckly wrote:ave recently used a mixture of white vinegar, salt and waship up liquid. Unfortunately the mixture does not seem to work.
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KarenE
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Re: Using salt as a weed preventative

Post by KarenE »

Oh I've heard of vinegar being used as well )t'
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nicklincs
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Re: Using salt as a weed preventative

Post by nicklincs »

Spreckly wrote:I use boiling water on weeds where my dog is likely to be sniffing around. For the rest I use Roundup, and have recently used a mixture of white vinegar, salt and waship up liquid. Unfortunately the mixture does not seem to work.

I think the boiling water idea is probably best as i also have a dog.
Freeranger
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Re: Using salt as a weed preventative

Post by Freeranger »

I'd forgotten but I'm sure I read on here somewhere that you can use sugar instead of salt - never tried it though.
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lancashire lass
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Re: Using salt as a weed preventative

Post by lancashire lass »

Freeranger wrote:I'd forgotten but I'm sure I read on here somewhere that you can use sugar instead of salt - never tried it though.


Not sure where you read that but if you think about it, sugar is "plant food", in other words all plants produce sugars (as in fructose and glucose, whereas plants like sugar beet and cane convert those simple sugars to produce sucrose which is the sugar we extract, and carbohydrates in starchy plant foods like potatoes and sweetcorn are just complex sugars) Sugars are produced from uptake of CO2, water and sunlight which is then stored as an energy source in leaves and roots for plant growth and maintenance such as drawing water up stems from the roots to leaves, or when daylight hours become shortened (providing the temperature is within range, plants still "grow" at night because they use the sugars that were manufactured during the day. That's when the sugar is broken down to CO2 and water (plant respiration) - many years ago, flowers were taken away from patients beds at night because they decreased oxygen levels and increased CO2 levels in wards)

EDIT if you add a teaspoon of water in a vase of freshly cut flowers, they will flower for longer than in just plain water because they are using the sugar source just like a plant's food reserves

Seeds that are germinating break down the starch and convert it to sugars for rapid growth of roots to anchor and leaves to quickly emerge above soil level so that they can start to photosynthesise. As sugar is easily dissolved in damp and wet conditions, it will become available to plants and possibly taken up by the roots (experiments suggest diluted sugar enhances early seedling growth) Any sugar that lands on the soil and dissolves will be utilised by soil fungus, yeasts and bacteria and will rapid multiply - it's possible the soil fauna and flora may actually break sucrose down into simple sugars for easier uptake by plants.
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Re: Using salt as a weed preventative

Post by Freeranger »

LL - you may find this interesting regarding manipulation of N through antimicrobial action by sugaring:
https://www.csu.edu.au/__data/assets/pd ... oweeds.pdf
and
https://www.gardeningknowhow.com/specia ... -weeds.htm

I have also read, but am more sceptical about, the idea that roots osmose the sugar preferentially and it acts like a superfertiliser such that the plant burns itself out. As the soil sugar level drops, there is insufficient nutrition to support the rapidly-grown and artificially large plant. Also that the excess sugar causes cell damage.
It seems to be effective at the right stage of the right plant.
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lancashire lass
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Re: Using salt as a weed preventative

Post by lancashire lass »

interesting )t' I can see the logic behind the idea as it mirrors the effect of putting fresh manure down - soil flora such as bacteria multiply to take advantage of a new food source and use up the available soil nitrogen to grow in numbers until the food is consumed then they die off releasing the nitrogen and more extracted from the aged manure back into the soil. That's why manure needs to be matured before spreading out on beds especially when growing nitrogen hungry crops which tend to do poorly. So I can see how sugar might have the same effect ... maybe worth an experiment ....
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Re: Using salt as a weed preventative

Post by Freeranger »

[quote]So I can see how sugar might have the same effect ... maybe worth an experiment ....[/quote]

Oh no! If only I had some weeds to test it out on........ +pinn+
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