this idea came to me the other day that perhaps the combination of an all-natural herbicide combined with a destructive magic element to rid your garden or a particular area of invasive weeds or other unwanted plants might really enhance the effectiveness of the two.
so here goes.
in my ‘muggle job,’ if you will, i work for a laboratory and we do a wide range of testing, one of which tests for levels of environmental pollutants and toxicants such as pesticides, plasticizers, BPA, and so forth.
after preparing educational materials for this test and deep diving into the literature and research on these chemicals, i was completely freaked out and stopped using all commercial pesticides and herbicides in my home and yard. they are quite terrifying, particularly if you are already someone who is immunocompromised, at risk for autoimmune disease, neurological complications, or have had a number of other toxic exposures already (I have had all of those categories in the past).
i came up with the following list of all natural pesticides (for bugs, spiders, etc) and herbicides (weeds, unwanted plants) and hopefully it also helps someone else who is on a similar journey:
- neem oil- mix 3 parts neem to 1 part liquid soap; put in 6-8 cups of warm water and spray on plants
- mineral oil – mix about 1 oz with 3 cups water, shake and spray on plants
- chrysanthemum infusion spray – get about 4 oz dried chrysanthemum flowers* and boil them in about 4 cups of water for 20-25 minutes; strain the flowers out and put the water in a spray bottle; you can also add about 5-10 drops of cedarwood, lemon grass, and/or neem essential oils to boost its effectiveness.
- vinegar – this is usually the most commonly used and its effectiveness at killing weeds depends on its concentration, what types of weeds, their age, the outdoor temperature, and how many applications; household (food-grade) vinegar is 5% acetic acid and may take 3-5 applications to a plant to permanently kill it; you can get more concentrated vinegar, used for canning/food preservation, and it works better; spray it directly onto weeds
- using landscape fabric – this involves no actual products to spray, and its obviously only effective before weeds grow, but putting down landscape fabric and then cutting small holes into which you place your transplanted plants can be a solution if you prefer to avoid sprays
- boiling water + 1 Tbsp salt – this works if the water has just been boiled and you immediately pour it onto the weeds; it can kill other plants nearby if you accidentally apply it to them, so caution should be used
- goats – idk, i just felt like this was a creative problem solver, and i fucking love goats (spend some time on youtube watching ‘screaming goats’ videos sometime); if you can put goats in your yard, they’re good at eating weeds
all right, so pick out whichever method of pesticide and/or herbicide is going to work best for you, and a great spell for ridding your yard/garden of pests might be:
if i didn’t invite you
get the fuck out
this is my land
get the fuck out
leave me be
and leave my plants
you’re not welcome
on my land
recite the spell as you treat or spray and as many times as you need. visualize the weeds withering and the pests crawling away elsewhere.
*the active ingredient in chrysanthemum flowers is pyrethrum, which may sound familiar if you’re knowledgeable about pesticides. industrial and commercial pesticides for the home, garden, and some agricultural practices use a family of synthetic compounds called pyrethroids, one of which is pyrmethrin, which are man-made versions based on this derivative of chrysanthemum. pyrethroids cause neurological damage in pests, which paralyzes them and kills them; they’ve also been shown to cause neurological damage in humans, unfortunately [1,2,3,4]