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Avatar for Michgardener
Jun 16, 2015 4:53 PM CST
(Zone 5a)
Recently saw this weed killer mixture on Facebook: 1 gal. Vinegar, 2 cups of Epsom salt and 1/4 cup of Dawn dishwashing liquid. Can this be used to kill weeds in a flower or plant garden so long as you just spray on weeds?
Avatar for Frillylily
Jun 16, 2015 6:09 PM CST
Missouri (Zone 6a)
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Plant Identifier
Welcome!

Never heard of it. But I am interested, so maybe others will have some knowledge.
I wonder if the vinegar does anything to change the soil ph or anything like that? Whatever you use, you don't just want to kill weeds, you want to still be able to grow in the dirt when your done!
Avatar for Michgardener
Jun 16, 2015 6:14 PM CST
(Zone 5a)
You're definitely right in that you wouldn't want to poison the soil for use "down the road". The FB posting compared it to Round Up and but not harmful to bees. Hope someone that reads this knows it's safe. Thnx for replying!
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Jun 16, 2015 7:20 PM CST
Name: Jay
Nederland, Texas (Zone 9a)
Region: Texas Region: Gulf Coast Charter ATP Member I helped beta test the first seed swap I helped plan and beta test the plant database. I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
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Most of the recipes I have seen use table salt. Epsom salt is actually use to fertilize plants not kill. Table salt will contaminate the soil in your garden. The salt will most likely wash off when you water or when it rains. Even if it doesn't, it will reenter the soil when the plant dies and decomposes. Just spraying weeds with vinegar with a little dishwashing liquid to help it cling to the weed will kill some weeds.
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Last edited by Horntoad Jun 16, 2015 8:24 PM Icon for preview
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Jun 16, 2015 7:34 PM CST
Name: Bob
Vernon N.J. (Zone 6a)
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I have used this in my backyard not wanting to use herbicides near my dog. It kills young weeds but only seems to kill the top growth on larger more established ones. In large quantities I guess the epsom salt would add magnesium to the soil and Vinegar they say can short term change the ph of soil.
Avatar for Michgardener
Jun 16, 2015 7:48 PM CST
(Zone 5a)
Thnx to all of you who have responded. I think what I need is a chemist who can tell me how vinegar, Epsom salt and liquid soap react!
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Jun 16, 2015 8:19 PM CST
Name: Sandy B.
Ford River, Michigan UP (Zone 4b)
(Zone 4b-maybe 5a)
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I don't know the answer to your questions, but welcome to All Things Plants, Michgardener !
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Jun 16, 2015 8:22 PM CST
Name: Elaine
Sarasota, Fl
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Another non-toxic way to kill weeds without harming other plants or the soil is to use clear plastic. A plastic bag from the veggie section at the grocery store will kill 3 or 4 weeds at a time or a small section between your flowering plants, if you just put it over them, weight the edges with a rock and let the sun 'cook' it.

We have a gravel driveway that gets overrun sometimes with weeds, and I just buy a $5 painter's drop sheet, spread it over for a sunny afternoon, and poof, all the weeds die. IF I remember not to run over it on the gravel or step on it, I can use it several times.

I've used vinegar/water in a spray bottle and it works quite well for some weeds but not all. The soap acts as a surfactant (as Horntoad said, it makes the stuff stick) but doesn't really help kill anything, and it's rather salty as well, so you don't want to use much.
Elaine

"Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm." –Winston Churchill
Avatar for Michgardener
Jun 16, 2015 8:22 PM CST
(Zone 5a)
Thnx, Weedwhacker. We're in the same state, just different areas.
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