From Stress to Grounded with Bonus Natural Weed Spray

Blog, Mindfulness, The Whole Bucket

Some weeks are a juggling act

Despite all the tricks of my trade to stay settled and calm, I am susceptible to anxiety. It is a tendency in my pitta-vata nature, and a strong familial trait.

Anxiety is very common in western society, where little time is allowed for meditation and peaceful pursuits. Combine our social training that self-worth is related to productivity, coffee intake, poor diets and we have an easy recipe for imbalance. For me, anxiety is a khavai gunya or weak spot, as recognised by Ayurveda.

Anxiety sufferers know it creeps in. It filters under doors in the dark or seeps through gaps in pavement to lick at your heels. My busy life as mum and business owner can sometimes mean the dominoes are stacked pretty tight. So, when additional curve balls are thrown into the mix, that anxiety troll can get such a hand-hold around my neck that no amount of yoga or breathing will cut it. More honestly, my healthy, grounding habits might lapse in the hamster-wheel rush leaving me stuck in my head, possibly not taking a full breath in days. We must BREATHE.

Finding a break from the hamster-wheel rush…in the garden

Last week was one of those times, with big Ted (eldest DD) breaking her hand, little Ted needing my attendance at  school functions, middle Ted also having night time school functions and a few problems at school, hubby being here (that was a huge help, actually) and me needing some medical attention. The stress was stuck in my head, making my ears ultra-sensitive and crowding out clear thought. I yearned to sit on the lawn, in the sun, and tackle the clover ‘triffids’ threatening to climb in our windows. I yearned and yearned for ten whole days, until it finally happened. At 4.30pm last Friday, I took my cuppa and jacket out the front and started pulling clover prickles (Medicago polymorpha ). Those babies had branches 20 centimetres long, with prickles ready to drop.

Burrs like this take the joy out of walking barefoot on the lawn. Source: Wikipedia

Thankfully, days of rain had made the ground soft and prickles easy to pull. By sunset I had filled two large buckets. Gardening is always a very grounding activity. At that moment, it was a gratifying and mind-settling meditation to focus, quietly gather up those branches, pull the roots and see my lawn appearing underneath.

No RoundUp here

There was no RoundUp spraying happening here for TWO reasons:

  1. Roundup is dangerous. It kills sperm, may harm bees and has been repeatedly linked to cancer
  2. It was too late – killing the plant would still seed the next generation of summer barefoot pain.

As is the way of nature, there were ten next-gen Oxalis under every big one I pulled and not all of them big enough to grab yet. Further, I don’t have enough fun Fridays to get all those weeds, so plan B happened today.

Little Ted was home from school, sick (and snotty). She’s a tough little nut: pale, lips cracked and wrinkled like prunes, glazed eyes and needing to lay on the couch between doses of herbs, but still asking if there’s something I’d like her to do. So, I set her to weed killing. As I said, no RoundUp will cross this threshold, E.V.E.R. and last time I checked the ingredients of the friendliest looking weed spray it wasn’t good enough to be putting near my vegetable garden, pets or kids.

So, here’s a spray that works on young weeds and is excellent against Oxalis. Larger plants can re-shoot from tough roots so either pull them out or respray. Do remove any plants that have already set seed, or you’ll just be sowing a new crop.

Some of your lawn may die if hit with over spray. This is usually OK because it will soon re-shoot from its extensive root system.

Home-Made Weed Spray

  • 2L White vinegar
  • 1/2 Cup salt. Use the cheap stuff, not your celtic!
  • 1 tablespoon detergent from kitchen or laundry. This helps it stick to the plants with waxy leaves.

Dissolve salt in vinegar before adding the detergent to prevent making a bubbly mess. Spray directly onto your weeds early on a sunny day.

Home-made weed killer in action


Home-made weed killer effective after a few hours.

The next day – missed a bit!

I initially diluted my mix with about 40% water and forgot the detergent before remembering the formula. It worked quite well although I can already see some weeds were not affected. I am also keenly aware that a sick 9-year-old’s version of “sprayed them all” and mine are vastly different. So, I’ll do another batch tomorrow if the sun is out. I just read that some people use apple cider vinegar, so I’ll try some of my excess Kombucha vinegar.

Second batch – highly effective when you get the whole weed.

It’s all part of a wholistic lifestyle

I bet you never expected to be looking at weeds on an Ayurveda website! Did you know that many of our ‘weeds’ are edible bitter greens? Of course, you need sure of what you are nibbling. Get more information from one of my favourite books, here. Also, be careful to avoid plants that may have been sprayed or are close to roads and receive a lot of car pollution.

I believe health is a lifestyle, and a series of every day, often repeated choices. Most of my best solutions happen when I step back from the push and drive.  Finding a break is just as important as getting the jobs done. Plus it refills your cup, bringing creativity and energy. Some of the best grounding activities are gardening, meditating, laying on the ground and walking barefoot on a dewy lawn.

Here’s more information about DIY home weed killers and  natural weed sprays.

Over to you

Have you ever pulled so many weeds you saw them in your sleep?

One of my friends has a flame torch for her weeds which sounds like fun. What’s your favourite remedy?