Is borax a safe method for weed control?

Asked April 21, 2015, 8:59 AM EDT

My wife applied a Borax mixture to our garden plot last week prior to planned tilling this weekend. Is this a safe method for weed control and how will the method effect our food? Thank you. Rex

Genesee County Michigan

5 Responses

Borax is not used for weed control. The ONLY time it has been is with controlling Creeping Charlie in lawns. And its effectiveness is questioned depending on the soil type.

Basically, boron might be missing in the soil as a nutrient and then your agricultural soil test will recommend it. But when it is over-applied, it kills all the plants. Boron moves through the soil slowly and could be around for a number of years.

But if you are killing weeds, you are killing vegetables. Boron doesn't make moral decisions like "good plant, bad plant." It's killing plants and maybe leaving grasses.

If this information came out of a book, get rid of the book. There's no way of knowing how it will affect food. The first concern is that plants can live and grow.

Thank you, as I expected. We will be relocating our garden.


Be careful with where information comes from. Anybody can write anything on the internet. Nobody is ever going to sue them.

Look for sites that end in .edu (for education) which means the information is research-based. You have a better chance of getting good information. Or contact Ask an Expert before doing something. It's easier to not do than try to undo.

If that boron area is unused, wait to see how or if weeds come up. This will be an indication whether this is a possible garden spot for another year.

Well said and I appreciate your time and knowledge.


You are a prince and scholar. Thank you.