Weeds & vinegar: a lethal (but safe!) combination

vinegarSo, it finally feels as if Spring has arrived! Your indoor spring cleaning is probably underway but, if your yard is like ours, it may look like the outdoors needs some attention too.

Along with the sprouting of our lovely spring bulbs, some not-so-lovely things are sprouting up too.  Yes, I’m talking about weeds!

Want to control them environmentally and safely without harsh chemicals? Then here are two simple items for your shopping list:  distilled white vinegar and a sprayer bottle.

If you’re like me, you may already have a sprayer bottle or have kept one around just waiting to be reused, so your list may contain one, simple item… vinegar, because (just like my kids) weeds hate the taste of vinegar!

All you need to do is fill the bottle with vinegar and spray the nasty culprits! It works best with young weeds and, for those tough hardy buggers, it may take more than one application but, I assure you, it works! I should also add that it works best on a sunny day and when rain is not in the forecast.  weedz

However, this also comes with a warning… vinegar is NOT selective. It will kill whatever you spray.  You need to be cautious not to let it come in contact with prized flowers or plants, so make sure your bottle has a very controlled sprayer and not a wide range mist.  For this reason also, vinegar is best for gardens, flower beds, sidewalks, driveways and around paver stones, but isn’t recommended for lawns since it will take your grass right along with the weeds!

Ahh… vinegar! Is there anything it doesn’t do?!?  Okay, well yea… there are “things”, but the list of what it DOES do just got longer… and you can now add “weed warrior” to that list!

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5 thoughts on “Weeds & vinegar: a lethal (but safe!) combination

  1. Wow. I would have never even thought to try vinegar to kills weeds. NOTHING I tried killed Texas nettle aka horse nettle aka bull nettle – the most poisonous plant in Texas. I’ll try vinegar on some and see what happens. One yellow fruit from that plant (they look like little round watermelons when they’re green and yellow balls when they’re ripe) WILL kill a horse weanling (even 400-500 pounds) or a calf (baby cattle). Fortunately most older horses and livestock won’t eat them because they taste bad.

    If vinegar doesn’t work, cutting them off at the ground is the best solution. You can’t dig them up and the super-toxic chemicals Ag agents will recommend will NOT kill them – but they will make them tastier so your animals might eat them (and die).

    I’m going to remember this tip and try it out wherever a safe way to keep weeds out is useful – like on walking paths or around the porch.

  2. What I have also learned about using vinegar as a pesticide is to but 10% solution – available at some garden centers or from landscape architects – endure a small paint brush to apply it to the crowns of the plantations you are trying to get rid of.

    Another interesting way of getting rid of plants in sidewalk/driveway/and street cracks is to pour salt on them. Just be careful to not use that approach too often so you don’t make your soil too salty, killing plants whose roots are in that area.

    Thanks for your great articles!

  3. What about using burlap or tarpaulin? Laying the material over the offending plants could speed up thier jouney to becoming mulch. That and a little dousing of water to rot them in that contained state.

    Power washers are good for those plants unaware that between pavers or in cracks are not good places to grow. Where i rent the dranage of our driveway hinges on one group of cracks that i scrape out of dirt build up from spring to fall. If the crab grass wins the area becomes a mini pond and forces us to have to trudge through it to get to our door for a day or two after a rain.

  4. Gail – sure works for me!… give it a try!
    Kit – Thanks for more great ideas!
    Poet – now know you, I would’ve thought you would feel power washers were a waste of water to kill weeds! 🙂
    Dmarie – happy to give you another idea for vinegar!

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