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Is rock salt good for killing weeds?

Are weeds getting the better of you? While there are several commercial agents you can use to control weeds, sometimes they don’t work well, and they can be quite expensive. The end result is a garden or yard that is overrun with unwanted plants.

Luckily, there are several alternatives you can use. One of these alternatives is rock salt. Here’s what you need to know before you try preventing weeds with rock salt.

Can you use rock salt for killing weeds?

Before looking at whether rock salt can kill weeds or not, you should first understand what it is. Rock salt is made up of sodium chloride and possesses the same chemical composition as table salt.

The only difference is that it consists of large particles (as opposed to the small, fine ground particles of table salt).

Rock salt can kill weeds in two ways: desiccating them, or “poisoning the soil.” When applied, it desiccates plants it comes into contact with, causing them to dry up and die.

On top of that, salt that falls on the ground will leech into the soil.   The sodium ions in the salt then displace some nutrients, which affects the nutrient balance. Furthermore, increased salinity interferes with the intake of water and nutrients by plants, further stressing the plant.

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Rock salt is thus an efficient agent for killing weeds. Unfortunately, it does not discriminate between wanted and unwanted plants. Therefore, if you decide to use it, make sure to apply it with care.

Tips on using rock salt for weed control

Weeds dying off

There are two ways in which you can use rock salt to control weeds:

  • Mixing with water and spraying directly to plants
  • Sprinkling dry rock salt on the plants and/or on the patch with weeds

For spraying, simply mix one cup of salt rock with a gallon of water (preferably hot for easy dissolving). Spray the solution directly to the weeds, targeting the foliage.

After some time, the mixture will desiccate the leaves, causing the plants to die. This method is the perfect way to use rock salt for garden weeds, as you can avoid damaging your soil.

If using dry rock salt, sprinkle chunks of the salt on the affected area, covering the base of the plants. Over time, the salt will leech into the salt, where it will stress the plants causing it to die. You can remove driveway weeds with rock salt using this technique.

How long does it take for salt to kill weeds?

Rock salt is a fast-acting weed control agent and can kill unwanted plants in a matter of days. When sprayed directly on plants, it can cause the leaves to die off in just a few days.

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When applied to the soil, it can affect the plant’s growth cycle and kill them in about 10 days.

In conclusion

Are you looking to get rid of weeds in block paving, driveways, or in the garden? Rock salt is an excellent weed control agent.

It acts fast, killing the unwanted plants, and can also prevent the growth of other weeds for a long time. However, due to its indiscriminating nature, you should apply it with caution to avoid poisoning your soil.

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