Does Diesel Kill Weeds? (Is it Even Legal)

Sometimes, you must try different weed killers to eliminate pesky weeds that keep reappearing in your garden. You would do anything to find a substance that can permanently end weeds growing on your land. Diesel, for instance, is an effective weed killer.

Diesel is more potent than standard weed killers like roundup and gets the job done faster. Although it kills weeds, it’s only temporary, as the seeds often remain intact. However, there’s a catch if you use diesel on weeds in your lawn or garden.

Diesel is the bane of plants like weeds and small animals like ants. Is it illegal to use diesel to kill weeds? Using diesel intentionally on a patch of soil in the US is unlawful. According to EPA, the smallest amount contaminates the ground and may seep into the water table.

Does Diesel Kill Weeds Permanently?

Diesel kills weeds within 48 hours and only takes a small application. It’s not permanent, but the results are long-lasting. Diesel eats away at the waxy layer of the plant’s cell walls and doesn’t give the cells a chance to repair. Typically it takes about 2-4 years or longer for a small diesel spill to break down.

As long as the diesel remains in the soil, you never have to worry about weeds invading your land, and neither will your plants grow there. So if you plan to plant in the soil after spilling diesel on it, know that you will have to give it time.

Where To Use Diesel To Kill Weeds

You might get away with using diesel on weeds growing in your driveway or pavements.

After knowing that diesel is highly toxic and that it takes two years to break down, using it requires caution. Consider not using it in your garden. Applying diesel in arable soils destroys plants and other organisms essential for maintaining soil health.

How to Apply Diesel To Kill Diesel

Diesel eliminates all types of weeds without discriminating. One of the things that should concern you is safety. Let’s explore safety concerns when using diesel on weeds.

Safety is one of the most critical considerations If you decide to take the risk and use diesel to kill weeds. Protect yourself by limiting your exposure to toxic diesel fumes.

Exposure to diesel fumes leads to reactions such as breathing problems, vomiting, dizziness, teary eyes, and rashes. You and your pet could suffer the effects of exposure.

Watch Where You Apply Diesel

Apply diesel away from body water like streams or ponds. Using diesel near water sources could lead to contamination. Avoid using it in areas your pets frequent. You can’t use diesel in your garden either.

Wear Protective Gear When Handling Diesel

Protective equipment minimizes the amount of contact you have with diesel. Usually, you have to use protective equipment when handling herbicides, and diesel is not an exemption.

One of the things you’ll need in this context is gloves. There are gloves specifically designed to prevent skin exposure. Ensure that the materials used to make the gloves are not absorbent.

Goggles with broad coverage for the edges of your eyes are also essential. Sunglasses don’t provide the amount of protection that goggles offer.

In addition to goggles, get a mask that covers your nose and mouth or ensures your face has sufficient coverage. A respirator mask should work. It’s effective in keeping the fumes out while allowing visibility.

Check on the Weather

The best time to spray weeds with diesel is on a calm sunny day. Rainwater would wash away the diesel, denying it enough time to take effect. Consequently, the diesel runoff could end up settling in soil that has plants.

Apply Diesel to Weeds

Once everything is in place, you can apply diesel to the weeds you want to eliminate. Here is how you go about it.

  • Transfer the diesel into a jug and then funnel it into a sprays bottle
  • Spray the weeds and concentrate on the leaves and  stems, and root area
  • Hand pull the pavement weeds after a few days

What Comes After Using  Diesel To Kill Weeds

Cleaning up is integral when using diesel as a herbicide to kill weeds on your pavement or driveway. Get rid of the protective equipment and change into clean clothes. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions on cleaning or disposing of the equipment afterward.

If you accidentally spill some of the diesel into the soil, you will have to remove the contaminated patch quickly. You’ll need to shovel the patch first into a heavy container carefully while avoiding not to spill the contaminated soil.

Put the soil away and give it time for the diesel to break down. Go a step further and fill the hole with sand and dirt to disperse any leftover diesel. Sow in that patch of soil to know when it’s safe to use again.

Alternative Herbicides That Are as Powerful as Diesel

Does diesel fuel kill weeds better than herbicides? Diesel is, without a doubt, effective in eliminating weeds. However, it’s impossible to overlook its adverse effects on the environment.

Consider other less controversial alternatives to killing weeds if environmental conservation is more appealing than the need to eliminate weeds.

Some of these options are as effective as diesel. Also, they are legal, so you won’t have to worry about colliding with the law. Boiling water is an effective way of killing weeds and their seeds. Dish soap, salt, and vinegar solution will also do the trick.

Final Thoughts

Does diesel kill weeds? Diesel is a powerful weed killer but is capable of contaminating the soil in the long term. It’s illegal to use diesel on weeds in your garden in the US.

That said, you can use diesel to kill weeds in your pavement or driveway where nothing grows. Ensure you follow the proper way of applying it to prevent soil contamination. We advise you to look into less abrasive alternative ways of eliminating weeds.