vinegar as a weed killer

everlastingMay 30, 2007

Vinegar is an all natural acidic product. Dumping it on the base of the plant and letting it soak into the roots will kill it. depending on the type of plant it may take 2-3 times over a period of time...

It is also good for killing weeds under a fence line so one doesnt have to use a weed whacker and also dumping it into pacing stones to kill weeds that are coming up in the cracks.

I read this tip in Mother Earth News when a reader wrote it in to them. Errr, or at least I think it was in this magazine. Anyways, I love it! But one does have to be careful not to use it to closely to wanted plants!


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Hi everlasting,
I can attest to the vinegar as a weed kiler. I used the wrong dilution to kill slugs on my hostas and darn near killed my hostas. I am so glad I didn't use it straight or it would have killed them!

    Bookmark   May 30, 2007 at 10:53PM
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Vinegar, Acetic Acid, can kill plants and is used often as a "weed" killer. Sprayed on leaves, especially during the heat of the day, it will kill those leaves and if there are no leaves to manufacture the nutrients the roots need, after repeated applications, the roots will die and that "weed" will no longer grow.
Never, ever use vinegar to control insect pests.

    Bookmark   May 31, 2007 at 7:21AM
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Dibbit(z7b SC)

If you search through the old posts, and maybe do a general read-through of the whole forum as you have time, you will see several postings about vinegar, either the household stuff at a strength of 3% or 5% or the horticultural at 20-30%. Be aware that the latter is a STRONG acid, and should be treated with great caution.

Vinegar kills only the leaves, not the roots, of plants, especially young plants. If the plant is an older one, or a returning perennial, then the roots won't be killed with one application, and will need repeated applications. Soaking the roots will only - temporarily - make the soil acid. This MIGHT kill off some weeds, but might not kill off others, and won't be good for the surrounding plants you don't want to kill.

If you want to spray against slugs and snails on hostas, a weakish solution of cold caffeinated coffee will stop them eating the leaves, but may not kill them. If you want to kill slugs, your best bet is Slug-go or any other iron-phosphate based granule or pellet. It's harmless to pets and birds, and breaks down to a mild fertilizer.

    Bookmark   May 31, 2007 at 10:26AM
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albert_135(Sunset 2 or 3)

Just curious, how does one get a "natural" vinegar of 20-30%? Is it distilled?

    Bookmark   May 31, 2007 at 2:00PM
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Dibbit(z7b SC)

No, as I understand it, all vinegar, or almost all vinegar, is that strength when made. Household vinegar is diluted with water to a desired level before being packaged/bottled and sold to the consumer. That's why one of the ingredients listed on the label is water.

    Bookmark   May 31, 2007 at 2:37PM
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I've noticed some vinegar based organic weed killers
for sale that also have lemon juice and clove oil.
Im guessing the lemon juice boosts the acidity a bit
and the clove oil masks the smell?

    Bookmark   May 31, 2007 at 11:11PM
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