Which is better weeds or cigarettes

That is not how it works! These home remedies have no place in the garden

June 2019 The gardening season is in full swing, it is growing, blooming and buzzing. But not every plant, every small animal or insect brings joy to the hobby gardener. Those who want to take action against weeds & Co. often use a pesticide. Although these have been tested for their effectiveness, if handled improperly they can be dangerous for people and the environment.


In the course of the current discussion about herbicides, above all the active ingredient glyphosate, hobby gardeners like to use so-called home remedies such as when combating weeds on paved surfaces salt or Vinegar (essence). However, this is to be classified as illegal, because according to Section 3 of the Plant Protection Act, plant protection may only be carried out according to “good professional practice”. It is true that salt and vinegar are not permitted pesticides. However, if you use them as such, in this case to kill plants, this is equivalent to the application of a plant protection product and is therefore subject to the Plant Protection Act. In addition, according to Section 12 of the Plant Protection Act, plant protection products may only be used on open spaces that are used for agricultural, horticultural or forestry purposes - this certainly does not apply to paved areas such as garage entrances or paved paths to the house.

Even in garden areas, it is better not to sprinkle salt on unwanted plants: rain washes it into the earth, does not work as intended. The soil becomes too salty and the pH value drops sharply. Due to salinization and acidification, the cultivated plants wither or even perish. This also affects many useful soil organisms that can be damaged sooner or later.

Reaching for household vinegar for weed control is also not permitted. The European Union does not issue a so-called implementing regulation to the basic material vinegar for this purpose. The background to this is the health hazard that the vapors can cause the user.

There are also recommendations for all sorts of old and effective home remedies, for example, to protect against insects Tobacco broth. To do this, tobacco is boiled with water and strained. The cooled broth is sprayed on infested leaves and young shoots. The contained therein nicotine is a very strong neurotoxin and reliably kills aphids and other harmful insects. In the garden, however, this also affects bees, beneficial organisms and other insects. In addition, the risk to the user should not be underestimated. After all, there is a reason why the use of purchased as well as homemade nicotine-containing preparations as insecticides has been banned in home gardens since the 1970s.

Hobby gardeners are faced with difficult legal situations when using home remedies.

Another example to clarify: Rapeseed oil is approved as an active ingredient in the EU and is used as a pesticide to combat harmful insects. From this approval, however, it follows that a rapeseed oil used in the kitchen may no longer be mixed up and used as an insecticide.