Ask a Question forum: How effective is vinegar in killing weeds

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Name: Jean
Hot Springs Vlg, AR, DeLand, F
Region: Florida Daylilies Garden Ideas: Master Level Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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rocklady
Apr 21, 2017 12:32 PM CST
Has anyone used vinegar to kill weeds, and just how effective is it? We have riprap by our driveway and weeds pop up, also other unwanted vegetation? There are plants at the bottom of the riprap that I don't wish to kill and have heard that if you use vinegar you must be careful not to hit anything you are interested in keeping.
Any day you wake up on the sunny side of the grass is a good day.

"The moving hand writes and having writ moves on. Neither all thy piety nor all thy wit can lure it back to cancel half a line nor all thy tears wash out a word of it." The Rubiyat by Omar Khayyam
Name: Daisy I
Reno, Nv (Zone 6b)
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DaisyI
Apr 21, 2017 12:38 PM CST
Vinegar will kill the tops but not the roots. Vinegar will also lower the Ph of your soil (making it more acidic) affecting the plants down hill.

Use Round-up and then a pre-emergent. The Round up will kill the weeds, roots and all, and the pre-emergent will keep new seeds from germinating.
Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and proclaiming...."WOW What a Ride!!" -Mark Frost

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Name: Baja
Baja California (Zone 11b)
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Baja_Costero
Apr 21, 2017 12:53 PM CST
Yes, the consequence of using vinegar (downward and downhill) is acidic soil. The result proportional to the amount you use. Maybe consider near-boiling water if you're looking for a solution with the tiniest chemical footprint on your garden. I've never tried it but I'm sure it works well at least some of the time, at least on the young weeds. Smiling
Name: Jean
Hot Springs Vlg, AR, DeLand, F
Region: Florida Daylilies Garden Ideas: Master Level Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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rocklady
Apr 21, 2017 1:04 PM CST
@Daisyl and @Baja_Costero Thank You! for your quick responses. We don't need our soil to be any more acidic so vinegar is out of the question.
Any day you wake up on the sunny side of the grass is a good day.

"The moving hand writes and having writ moves on. Neither all thy piety nor all thy wit can lure it back to cancel half a line nor all thy tears wash out a word of it." The Rubiyat by Omar Khayyam
Name: Abbey
Eastern New York State (Zone 6a)
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Garden10
Apr 21, 2017 2:11 PM CST
I have used vinegar to kill weeds on concrete, and so on, where it doesn't hurt anything else, and behind a garage where it was a jungle. I understand your concern about your soil, but I strongly urge you to read about what is in Roundup, and what it does. Convenience is a wonderful thing, but not at any cost. Smiling
"Every now and then I leave the book on the seat and go and have a refreshing potter among my flower beds from which I return greatly benefited, and with a more just conception of what is worth bothering about, and what is not." The Solitary Summer -- Elizabeth von Arnim
Southeast OK (Zone 7b)
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KarenHolt
Apr 21, 2017 2:33 PM CST
The best weed killer on the market that will not affect soil or plants is your hands. Most gardeners tend do this after a rain so the weed comes out easier and the roots aren't left behind to grow another day. It's a pain but it's worth it in the end. 2 years ago I sat in the rain for 3 hours pulling weeds out of my gravel drive. Still no return of those weeds. My husband used weed killer on several beds at the same time. To this day I still pull weeds out of them. As I said, it's hard but worth it.
Name: Jean
Hot Springs Vlg, AR, DeLand, F
Region: Florida Daylilies Garden Ideas: Master Level Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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rocklady
Apr 21, 2017 3:01 PM CST
@KarenHolt I agree about pulling the weeds. I try to get them before they bloom and go to seed, however, this year has been quite hectic and suddenly DH decided the day before we are leaving for a 3 week trip that he had to do something about the weeds by the driveway and was going to spray them with weed killer. When he checked we didn't have any and I wondered about the vinegar, which we do have. The weather forecast is for rain tonight and over the week-end and whatever we used to spray them would be washed into the yard. He just took the weedwhacker out and cut them. When we return, I will go out and pull them as the weedwhacker was just to keep the neighbors from complaining while we are gone.
Any day you wake up on the sunny side of the grass is a good day.

"The moving hand writes and having writ moves on. Neither all thy piety nor all thy wit can lure it back to cancel half a line nor all thy tears wash out a word of it." The Rubiyat by Omar Khayyam
[Last edited by Calif_Sue - Apr 22, 2017 1:20 AM (+)]
Give a thumbs up | Quote | Post #1421040 (7)
Name: Elaine
Sarasota, Fl
The one constant in life is change
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dyzzypyxxy
Apr 21, 2017 4:48 PM CST
Jean, if you want to use vinegar, you need to buy the strongest kind you can to kill weeds. It's called "cleaning vinegar" and is available at hardware stores and Wal-Mart. The regular white vinegar you use in the kitchen isn't really strong enough to do anything.

If you're careful not to use too much, and just spray the weeds, I doubt you'd have any measurable effect on your soil pH. It's not like you're using gallons of the stuff. Yes, it does just burn off the tops and sometimes they come back, but at least you're not poisoning yourself and the environment in the process.
Elaine

"Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm." –Winston Churchill

rmopq777
Aug 10, 2017 4:23 PM CST
I have weeds on a gravel border in our community garden. Nothing is growing that is a crop. I need to know a solution of salt, vinegar and water. Anybody hear about this?
Name: Daisy I
Reno, Nv (Zone 6b)
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DaisyI
Aug 10, 2017 4:30 PM CST
Welcome!

You may be putting it on a gravel border but the salt and vinegar solution won't stay in the gravel. It will travel into the soil and poison everything it comes into contact with. Think of a more environmentally friendly solution to get rid of your weeds.
Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and proclaiming...."WOW What a Ride!!" -Mark Frost

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Name: Sharon Rose
Grapevine, TX (Zone 8a)
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Altheabyanothername
Aug 10, 2017 4:34 PM CST
Boiling water works great if you can only pour it on what you want to die. Occasionally it takes a second time, but not always. I just fill my electric teapot up, turn it on and out I go. I have seen people, if their gas grill has a burner, bring it to the area and boil water on the spot. Works better than vinegar.

Many blessings for your success!
I prefer to walk in the light, I prefer a world where people want to be kind and bless each other, I prefer a God who loves and shares so much that he gave up his only Son for me. I prefer to choose the God of Abraham. Let there be peace and let it begin with me.
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tx_flower_child
Aug 10, 2017 5:06 PM CST
I've used vinegar and although it took awhile, I eliminated the nutsedge and everything else in my parkway. I wanted to plant a mix of native grass seeds. But then the city came along, flooded it and did this or that so weeds of all sorts grew back. Didn't have time or energy (or trust that same thing wouldn't happen again) to do over. However, IF you plan to use vinegar there are a couple things you should know.

Someone already mentioned that it's not the vinegar that you buy in the grocery store. You can buy a stronger vinegar specifically designed for weeds at your local garden center or big box store. The original recommendation was to use '20% Vinegar'. Later, the garden guru changed that to a lower %. I have some in my garage and can edit this later with the specifics about proportions. It's just that my garage is a scary place due to unknown critters in there.

And β€” this is very important β€” you have to do it on a very sunny day. And since it's a spray, you'll want to spray as close to the bottom of the weed as possible. This will not totally eliminate most weeds. After the tops die, you'll still need to do some digging or hand-pulling.

Oh, one more thing that is MOST important. Wear gloves. Wear old clothes. Shoes and heavy socks. Totally protect your skin. Even your hair. We are talking about harsh stuff. If any splashes on you, wash it off immediately!

EDITED: I braved the garage to read the label on the vinegar. Not only does it need to be a sunny day, but it has to be at least 65F degrees. It does mention to be aware of drift. And don't use on edibles (duh) and so much fine print that I didn't want to hunt down my magnifying glass. In fact, next time my city has a free chemical waste disposal day, I know what I'll be doing with the vinegar.
[Last edited by tx_flower_child - Aug 10, 2017 5:22 PM (+)]
Give a thumbs up | Quote | Post #1525053 (12)
Name: Philip Becker
Fresno California (Zone 8a)
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Philipwonel
Aug 11, 2017 12:52 PM CST
For ( contact ) weed killer, i use the regular 5 % grocery store stuff ! If weeds are more than 12 inches, you may have to spray more than ownce.
Even the stronger stuff, won't kill the roots.
As far as edibles.
Use a shield. Cardboard or something.
The only harm could be !
That it marinades your vegetables.

It's not a chemical !!!
You can eat it ! Dog-gone-it.πŸ‘Ί

Yes !!! It will kill vegetables ! But not poison them.

The 5 % ! That Is !

😎😎😎








Anything i say, could be misrepresented, or wrong.
Name: Sue
Ontario, Canada (Zone 4a)
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sooby
Aug 11, 2017 1:16 PM CST
Not a chemical, Philip? Smiling The active component is acetic acid, (chemical formula CH3COOH). The stronger concentrations of acetic acid used as herbicides can cause permanent eye damage so, if using these, eye protection is a must.
Name: Philip Becker
Fresno California (Zone 8a)
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Philipwonel
Aug 11, 2017 1:27 PM CST
Sue !!! Isn't that ! A given ?
😎😎😎
Anything i say, could be misrepresented, or wrong.
Name: Baja
Baja California (Zone 11b)
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Native Plants and Wildflowers Garden Photography Region: Mexico Plant Identifier Forum moderator Plant Database Moderator
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Baja_Costero
Aug 11, 2017 1:32 PM CST
Not at all and it's very good advice.
Name: Sue
Ontario, Canada (Zone 4a)
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sooby
Aug 11, 2017 1:33 PM CST
Philipwonel said:Sue !!! Isn't that ! A given ?
😎😎😎


Isn't what a given, that the "vinegar" used as herbicides can cause eye damage? I'm not sure that it is.

Name: Daisy I
Reno, Nv (Zone 6b)
Not all who wander are lost
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DaisyI
Aug 11, 2017 1:54 PM CST
And, the vinegar is going to react with whatever is in your soil and produce salts...

Personally, I would not use vinegar, no matter the strength. But I said that already.
Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and proclaiming...."WOW What a Ride!!" -Mark Frost

Webmaster: osnnv.org

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