Top Alternatives to RoundUp and Glyphosate for Your Garden

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Garden weeds

Conquering weeds without Glyphosate? Yes, it’s possible


The eternal garden bane that gave rise to glyphosate, the most popular herbicide in the world. And a textbook example of “the cure being worse than the disease.”


Well, glyphosate is classified as a probable human carcinogen (capable of causing cancer) by the World Health Organization and has a notable, not hypothetical, connection to cancer—specifically to Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma. And if that wasn’t enough of a claim to fame, glyphosate has also been linked to a multitude of other health problems, including liver and kidney damage. Quite a costly trade-off to kill weeds.

Of course, glyphosate was popularized for a reason. People need weed killers, right?

Well, maybe not.

Garden weeds

Are weeds the enemy?

In the same way we understand the importance of our microbiome—the ecosystem within us that keeps us thriving and well—weeds create their own micro-ecosystem and are vital in both protecting and restoring soil. Some weeds can actually be beneficial. Common lawn weeds, for one, provide pollen earlier in the season before many other plants have blossomed (making them excellent pollinators!). Weeds can also provide wonderful habitats for other creatures, providing food for insects and animals and acting as nesting sites.

Sure, one way to deal with weeds is to simply accept them but another way you may not have considered? Eat them! Once you know what you’re looking for, weeds can be a bountiful kitchen accouterment. Show weeds like chickweed, hairy bittercress, or dandelion leaves are all delicious in fresh salads, or mixed together for a wild greens pesto!

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Natural alternatives to RoundUp and Glyphosate

Accepting or eating your way out of a weed problem may not be for everyone. That’s understandable. Everyone has their own experiences and needs. Looking for an alternative to herbicides and glyphosate—including natural options beyond just letting weeds live—are valid and often necessary. Organic herbicides are available and a much better alternative to glyphosate and their traditional counterparts, but here are a few more options to consider:

1) Homemade with Vinegar + Soap

Feel like mixing up your own herbicide at home? Try this tried-and-true recipe!


  • 1 gallon of 5% to 8% vinegar
  • 4 tablespoons of dish soap or Castile soap

Fill a container with the vinegar and then add the dish soap. Pour into your preferred sprayer. Cover the offending weeds with the mixture. Viola! The vinegar will break down foliage on contact, while the dish soap helps the solution stay in contact with weeds for a longer period of time.

This homemade solution is most effective on small weeds under two weeks old, with no more than two leaves. Studies show that this solution provides control for five to six weeks, but will not completely kill perennial weeds.

A few things to keep in mind regarding a homemade vinegar option:

  • Vinegar is more effective on certain broadleaf weeds, including carpetweed, common chickweed, ground ivy, Canada thistle, and recently germinated crabgrass.
  • Vinegar is a non-selective, contact herbicide. That is, it can also kill other non-weedy plants, so watch out for spray drift.
  • The ingredients used to create vinegar could have been treated with glyphosate. Opt for organic vinegar to try to avoid it as much as possible.


2) Mulching

Another very effective method? Mulching!

Covering your soil with a layer of thick organic material before weed seeds germinate is a great way to keep weeds at bay. And you’ve got quite a few options—from homemade compost to weed membranes, shredded wood, leaf litter, and pine bark, which are all effective and cost-friendly. Mulches are also phenomenal because they lock moisture into the soil, and some contain nutrients that act as slow-release food for your plants.

To get the most out of your mulch, add 2-3 inches to soil that’s been freshly weeded.

3) Design Your Garden to Be Low-Maintenance

If you’re planning a garden, take maintenance and weed issues into account before they even become one. Find the possible problem areas and think of alternatives to stop weeds before they take root—use gravel under fruit areas, plant shrubs that cover the soil, and pave pathways.

4) Hand Weeding (A Win-Win!)

You really can’t beat old-fashioned elbow grease if you want the most natural and effective way to rid your garden of weeds without glyphosate. Yes, it can be time-consuming, but you’re getting the (very large) added benefits of getting your hands into the soil.

The trick? Don’t go in for a long session once in a while. Instead, weed a little bit but often. An hour or so a week is far more manageable than a day once a month.

5) Boiling Water

Weeds still driving you mad? Put the kettle on. Really.

Boiling water is an excellent spot treatment for killing weeds in sidewalks, driveways, and patios. (Think small areas where you can use a kettle of boiling water.) Pouring boiling water directly onto weeds is a very quick, economical, and non-toxic way to control the plants you don’t want in your garden.

A few notes:

  • Boiling water is great at defoliating weeds on contact, but deep roots are still protected under the soil. Unless the weed is an annual, boiling water won’t rid your garden of unwanted plants forever.
  • Take care not to scald yourself or damage plants you wish to keep en route to the weeds.

6) Ladybugs — a *very* organic option

Ladybugs have been called a garden’s best friend, and for good reasons. As adults, ladybugs act as a natural pesticide! And as larvae? They feed on aphids, whitefly, and other pests that can run amok in your garden.

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Truthfully, you cannot avoid Glyphosate altogether

Glyphosate is everywhere. Virtually, literally, totally… many adverbs can fit here to describe how ubiquitous glyphosate is. Traces of it can be found in our water, soil, air, and food. (And that includes our pets’ food too!)

So, what can you do? Well, you can’t control the environment to totally avoid glyphosate, but you can control how well you support your own innate defenses to mitigate its harms.

Enter ION* Gut Support, a simple, vegan, all-natural supplement that can make a big difference. Unlike other supplements (like probiotics), ION* doesn’t just add something to your body, it works with your body. Inspired by nature and backed by science, ION* Gut Support strengthens your gut at its most foundational level, bolstering both your immune function (over 70% is in your gut!) and your own physical barriers against toxins.

ION* Gut Support has been shown to keep tight junctions (cells in the gut lining) intact, even in the harmful presence of glyphosate—this is especially important as one of the most nefarious things about glyphosate is that it weakens your gut lining, which can lead to a whole host of health issues.

Yes, glyphosate is everywhere, but don’t give up hope! Protect yourself inside and out by limiting your exposure to the best of your abilities and supporting your natural defense barriers. Make ION* Gut Support part of your family’s daily wellness ritual.

Try ION* Gut Support today!



Johnstone, Gemma. “3 Natural Weed Killers That Actually Work.” The Spruce, 30 May 2024,

Sewell, Dee. “16 Natural Alternatives to Herbicide Use.” Greenside Up, 2 May 2019,

Consumer Notice. “Safe Roundup Alternatives | Killing Weeds Without Glyphosate.” Consumer Notice, LLC, 28 Aug. 2023,

Seddon, Esme. “Weeds and Why They Aren’t the Enemy | Combe Grove Health and Wellbeing Centre.” Combe Grove, Bath, 3 June 2021,

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