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household cleaners

Do you like the idea of using household cleaners that are natural? I do. Especially after I noticed a build-up of ‘blue’ cleaning product in the small crevices of my bathroom counters.

So, I decided to focus on using natural cleaners using something straight from my garden – citrus!

Did you know that citrus (all kinds) have natural cleaning properties?

It does.

Citrus cleaner smells great, cleans well and I feel great using something that I grew.

I wrote an article for Birds & Blooms magazine on how to make your own, so here it is…

“DIY Projects for the Home: Make Your Own Citrus Cleaner”

So, if you have a tree filled with citrus, or even if you have to buy some at the grocery store – this cleaner is well worth it!

What kind of household cleaner do you use?

Earlier this year, I had heard of DIY natural cleaners made from grapefruit and decided to try it out myself.

Natural Grapefruit Cleaner

The cleaner was very easy to make and I used grapefruit from my mother’s tree, although you can get yours from the grocery store.

I was pleasantly surprised at how well it worked.

“DIY Natural Household Cleaner”

This past week, I was blessed with harvesting produce from two different gardens.

One was from one of my vegetable gardens…

Harvesting produce

Harvesting produce

About a 1/4 of my side vegetable garden is planted with cauliflower.

Over the weekend, I was able to harvest my first cauliflower of the season.  

Harvesting produce

Now, I am aware that some of you may not care for cauliflower.  Personally, I like it raw but NOT when it is cooked.

I’ll share with you a little secret that I have used to get my kids to eat cauliflower…

Harvesting produce

I cut the tops of the florets off, dice it and then sprinkle it on top of our dinner salads.  It looks like grated cheese.  I also slice carrots, celery and cucumbers to add to our salads, which not only add great flavor to salads – they are also a great way to get more vegetables into my kids 😉

The cauliflower was so delicious – it tasted like butter – seriously.

The next harvest was of another kind and from a different garden…    

grapefruit tree

On the family farm, my mother has a large grapefruit tree.

Now, as anyone who has ever had a grapefruit tree can tell you – these trees are overly generous in the amount of fruit that they produce.  

grapefruit harvesting

Luckily, my mother has 4 kids who are more then happy to help share with her bounty.

With my husband standing ready holding grocery bags, we picked some delicious fruit from the tree.

*While all the grapefruit looked ripe, some were not quite ready to be picked.  If they did not come off fairly easily when lightly pulled/twisted, then we left them alone.

If I am going to be perfectly honest with you, I do not like to eat grapefruit – at all.

But, I have another purpose in mind for my newly picked grapefruit – I am going to make a natural cleaner from it using vinegar.

I promise to blog about it soon, so hold onto some of your excess grapefruit or maybe offer to take some off of your neighbor’s grapefruit tree 🙂

Did you know that you can kill weeds with ingredients that you probably already have in your cupboard?

Wouldn’t it be great to be able to make your own ‘natural’ weed-killer that is organic and much cheaper then buying weed-killers?

Well, here is all you need…

Vinegar & Soap

Believe it or not, vinegar, dish soap and a spray bottle are all you need to make an effective weed killer.  You have these things already, don’t you?

I had known that vinegar  and soap could kill weeds, but had never tried it before.  So, I set out to prove that it worked in my own garden.

First, I took photos of a few of my weeds…

natural weed killer
natural weed killer
natural weed killer

I must admit that it felt kind of funny taking pictures of ‘weeds’.  My neighbor thought so too 😉   I sprayed each weed with my vinegar and soap mixture and waited 24 hours.

Here are the results:

natural weed killer
natural weed killer

Pretty impressive, isn’t it?  I couldn’t even find the third weed – it had dried up so quickly.

So for those of you who like to know how vinegar and soap kills weeds, here is the scientific explanation:

The acetic acid in vinegar ‘sucks the water’ out of the weed while the dish soap helps to break down the outer coating of the plant, which helps the vinegar to penetrate.

*You can try using vinegar alone, but I didn’t get good results without using the soap.

So are you excited to try this for yourself?

Okay, here is how to make your own….

1-gallon of vinegar (5% acetic acid)

&

1 oz. dish detergent

1. Put in a plastic spray bottleand apply to plants on a sunny day.

That’s it!  

Because this a non-selective weed-killer, it will kill anything it lands on – be careful not to get any on your plants, grass or trees since this mixture can hurt or kill them. 

**For tough weeds, regular white vinegar may not be strong enough.  In that case, you may want to use ‘horticultural vinegar’, which has a higher level of acetic acid (20%).  You can find this type of vinegar online, which is a popular, organic weed killer.

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Wouldn’t it be great to be able to make your own ‘natural’ weed-killer?  It’s organic, cheap and easy to make from ingredients you already have at home. 

A Tale of Two Landscapes and a Single Weed