Authored by Jayant Row in Gardening, Landscaping
Published on 04-25-2009
A house with a garden and kids is most likely to have pets as an addition. If you love those pets as much as you do the garden and kids, you have an additional problem when you are looking after the garden and convincing it to grow green and beautiful. The weeds need to be eradicated, but the weed killer you use may place your pets, be they dogs or cats, at risk from the poison that you intended for those obnoxious weeds.
So you have to look for a weed killer that is pet friendly. When you shop for those pet safe weed killers, look for those that are certified by veterinarians or those certified by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Also make sure that the weed killer does not contain inert substances like carbon tetrachloride, chloroform or chloroethane. These are all carcinogens and can harm your pet if they are exposed to the weed killer. Also beware of a component called 2,4D which finds its way into most commercial brands and is a highly toxic substance. Be careful when you read the contents on the label and ask for additional information, as manufacturers are not bound to reveal inert substances and may not post this information on the label.
You can instead go green and opt to make your own pet safe weed killer from items that are normally part of any household. You can clear an entire sidewalk or driveway, or even an area that has no plants by pouring boiling water on the area you want to clear of weeds. It will cook the weeds and prevent them from spreading further by killing them. To ensure that weeds never come up in this area you have cleared, use salt. This will make the soil very unfriendly to any sort of plants and definitely not allow weeds to prosper.
If it is just some weeds that have infested your pristine garden, put vinegar in a sprayer and spray those weeds with it. Repeat the dose for those tougher weeds. Sugar is also a pet friendly weed killer. Pour some sugar at the base of the weeds, trees and vines and watch it do its thing. Add some chili pepper in equal parts to deter your pets from trying to eat the sugar. Corn meal can be effective as a pet friendly weed killer and will ensure that any weed seeds that are in the soil do not germinate, while at the same time not harming your other plants. Use all these natural ingredients and combine them in suitable liquid form, and then use them as pet safe weed killers.
While we have talked all along about pet safe weed killers, we may have forgotten that as garden lovers, we are likely to pamper our plants with fertilizers and the like. You have to make equally sure that these are pet friendly as well. Usage of fertilizer is more common than usage of weed killers. So, one needs to be equally careful here. Use compost or organic manure if you can and be assured that your pet will not be at risk from your fertilizer as well.