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Showing 1-16 of 16 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Jun 7, 2012 9:58:19 AM PDT
Sandra McKee says:
I've found the cure for getting rid of weeds. It's vinegar. Just spray the weeds with vinegar and boom, they're dead. I couldn't believe it. Think of all the money we'll save!

Posted on Jun 7, 2012 3:33:37 PM PDT
Peregrinn says:
Sandra, this is a great idea! In fact, Amazon sells "Horticultural Vinegar" which is stronger than the 5% concentration you get in the grocery store. Vinegar strips the protective coating (called the cuticle) off the leaves, so they can't hold in moisture. It is especially good to use on the morning of a sunny day. If the weeds are well-established, they may have enough energy reserves in the roots to be able to put out new growth after the first spraying; if you see re-growth, spray a second or even a third time. Don't let the spray get on plants you don't want to kill! Horticultural vinegar is anywhere from 10% - 20% strength and has a better chance of killing on the first use, but it is hard to find in local stores, and the shipping cost makes me think twice about online orders. The great advantage to vinegar is not only the low cost but also the fact that it leaves no toxins in the soil!

Posted on Jun 7, 2012 6:45:43 PM PDT
Heather S says:
That's so awesome! What kind of vinegar?

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 8, 2012 7:58:08 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jun 8, 2012 7:58:25 AM PDT
Peregrinn says:
Heather, read my post above yours. You can try regular vinegar from the grocery, any brand, but it is likely to be a 5% concentration (or sometimes 4%) of acetic acid, so repeated applications may be needed. It is better to use vinegar at a concentration between 10% and 20%, but this is hard to find. Here are some Amazon products, but the shipping costs make these more costly than I would like.

20% Vinegar Gallon
10% Vinegar Gallon

I was able to find an online source for food-grade Acetic Acid, which is nearly 100% acetic acid, and dilute it myself. (One cup acetic acid added to six cups of water creates approximately 15% acetic acid, a good strength for killing weeds.) That way, my shipping costs were somewhat lower.

In any case, using vinegar to kill weeds is MUCH more environmentally friendly than using Round-Up or other herbicides that leave toxic residues. I hope stronger vinegar solutions become more widely available, but at present I have not found it at any of the gardening stores in my area.

Posted on Jun 8, 2012 9:33:23 AM PDT
Heather S says:
Yes, I read your posting before I posted. I'm not concerned which work better. I was looking to repurpose what I already have. I meant white, apple cider, etc.? I assume since this kills weeds, I'd want to be careful not to get it on my plants. But, would this work on young maple trees if I cut them off near the top? We have 2 growing in the middle of bayberry bushes and I am not able to dig them out. I'm not really concerned about the bayberries getting "vinegared". I'll just replace them with something not so prickly. Thanks for the info though. If I ever see any in a garden center, I'll post where I saw it.

Posted on Jun 8, 2012 3:50:52 PM PDT
I've tried vinegar (only 5% though), and it did little to harm my quack grass, which has extensive underground rhizomes that can propagate fresh even though all the above ground grass is seemingly dead. I suspect that any weeds that have networks of underground roots would be similarly immune.

Also: you are bound to lower the soil pH using vinegar. For berries and rhodies, which prefer acidic soil, this is OK. I'd monitor soil pH, you can always use gypsum or other alkalizers after (maybe) getting rid of the weeds to raise the pH up again.

Roundup is far more toxic to humans and the environment than Monsanto (the good folks who brought us agent orange, DDT, rBST, PCBs) will admit. From one study: Roundup "could lead to accumulated levels that could alter endocrine mediated biochemical pathways, leading to obesity, heart problems, circulation problems, and diabetes. Low-level exposure to hormone disruptors like glyphosate (Roundup's main ingredient) has also been linked to weakened immune function and learning disabilities". It is a suspect in bees disappearing. Do the research, rally your friends. Monsanto's "Roundup ready" seeds are part of a vast program of coating the food supply with poison.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 9, 2012 11:00:53 AM PDT
Peregrinn says:
Heather, if your maple trees are more than a foot tall, I doubt vinegar would work because the roots have probably accumulated enough energy reserves to put out a new stem and new leaves. But you could give it a try. Do not cut off the top first, since the vinegar is effective on the leaves more than any other part of the plant. It is not a systemic killer like Roundup.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 9, 2012 11:03:53 AM PDT
Peregrinn says:
Johnny, if "quack grass" is the same as wire grass or Bermuda grass, you are right that vinegar will have little effect! It is one of the toughest weeds out there.

Vinegar washes away easily after use and is not likely to change soil pH significantly.

I could not agree more about the toxicity of Roundup - and of Monsanto!

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 9, 2012 11:23:07 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jun 9, 2012 11:23:55 AM PDT
I admit I haven't tested soil pH after use, but it would seem it would "wash away" into the soil. Quack grass is even worse than bermuda grass, which seems to also have an indestructible root. Vinegar is useless for dandelions as well. I finally went with raised beds with sides made from cedar with a fine wire mesh screen (gophers) and layers of weed blocking cloth at the bottom. Still have to weed, but at least the rhizomes don't creep in from the surrounding "wild" area.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 12, 2012 7:13:35 PM PDT
RD says:
when the vinegar washes away , it goes directly to the soil. changing the ph

Posted on Jun 12, 2012 7:16:59 PM PDT
RD says:
vinegar is an acid
acids will chage the ph one way bases or alkalines will change the ph the other way

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 13, 2012 4:17:16 PM PDT
Peregrinn says:
Yes, but the change is pH from vinegar is very transient and not harmful to surrounding plants - much different from the substances used in fertilizers intended for aci-loving plants. Ammonium sulfate and sulfur-coated urea are two of the best choices for acidifying soils, and their effect will last for months.

Posted on Jun 15, 2012 5:22:18 PM PDT
T. J. Harper says:
My wife just read an article on using vinegar, and the author recommended a gallon of vinegar with two cups of salt and a couple of squirts of dishwashing deteergent added to make it stick better. I'm going to try this year as I have two dogs who graze on the grass all the time and I do not use any commercial chemical products in my yard, especially Scotts which can be found in the grass for up to 6 weeks after application.

Posted on Jun 16, 2012 4:48:14 PM PDT
SmilingPetal says:
What about water? I've had success when I pop the kettle on and make myself a cuppa. Bit of a very mellow gardener, I can enjoy both the garden and my cuppa while pouring whats left in the kettle over the weeds. Within a couple of days, or sometimes overnight you'll find a brown, shrivelled, pretty much dead patch. Although, you might have to drink a couple of cuppas, to get rid of your maples : )

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 17, 2012 12:57:10 PM PDT
Greg Logan says:
Monsanto is the enemy of human beings and a destructive force on the planet that needs to be removed. The US government is a paid lacky for Monsanto. Spend 15 - 30 minutes on YouTube - you will have enough to keep going. Monsanto is the enemy.

Posted on Jun 18, 2012 8:04:00 AM PDT
KraftyKid says:
Vinegar is also excellent for killing snails and slugs. We buy it at the $ store, just plain old white vinegar. We were using containers of cheap beer but that got to be pretty icky.
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Initial post:  Jun 7, 2012
Latest post:  Jun 18, 2012

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