Does Vinegar Kill Weeds? The Reality of Using Vinegar in Your Garden


Does vinegar kill weeds? Vinegar is touted as a natural, powerful weed-killing alternative to chemical herbicides. But how effective is it? Although there is some truth to using vinegar as a weed killer, there is a lot more you need to know before spraying it on your garden.

Does vinegar kill weeds apple cider vinegar and white vinegar

More and more people are turning to herbicides in search of organic ways to get rid of weeds. For every person who adopts organic gardening methods, a worm does a little happy dance (wiggle).

I am in favor of promoting organic gardening and practice it extensively in my regenerative gardening approach.

All over the Internet, I see people touting the powerful properties of vinegar as an alternative to chemical weed killers. It is considered a safe natural alternative for gardeners and plants.

Does vinegar kill plants? first let me tell you This isn’t the magical, natural weed killer you were looking for, In fact, it is far from it.

While vinegar technically works as a weed killer, there’s more to the story. Let me break it down for you.

What is Vinegar?

Vinegar is made by fermenting water and acetic acid. Our household vinegars are diluted vinegars and contain up to 5-7% acetic acid. Most of the vinegar you use in cooking and around the house is 5%., while cleaning vinegar costs 6% and pickling vinegar costs 7%. This is as powerful as it gets indoors!

Horticultural vinegar can be up to 15-20% strength. It is dangerous to use, as contact with it can burn your skin. It is also very easy to damage the surrounding plants and soil when you use it. In terms of taking the natural route, it is not much better than other herbs.

Vinegar can harm plants by destroying cell membranes. necessarily, It burns whatever part of the plant it touches—Only those parts of the plant that are in direct contact with the vinegar are affected by the vinegar.

Fresh lemon balm, a container of white vinegar, and a mason jar
White vinegar is the standard for home gardeners.

Will vinegar kill weeds?

Because white vinegar is an acid, it can be effective in killing some plants and is much more gentle than using commercial herbicides. One Study It was found to be very effective in killing weeds in the first two weeks of life. For old weeds, It was found that vinegar has 85-100% killing rate.,

Although it won’t be toxic to humans, you still have to use vinegar very carefully if you want to use it to kill weeds. The strength will depend on how much you dilute it.

Vinegar spray is usually not used once. You need to apply it consistently for it to work. While it burns the leaves, the root system remains alive and well, and The plant will grow back.

You should only use a bottle with a stream setting instead of a mist setting to spray the plant. You should only spray the leaves so you don’t affect the soil below.

Spraying vinegar on weeds should be done only on sunny days. Rain will quickly wash away the vinegar, potentially spreading it elsewhere in the garden where it could cause more harm than good.

Now, before you splash out, I want you to keep reading. Although vinegar can kill weeds in the garden, I would not recommend it. And I’m about to tell you why.

Does vinegar kill weeds?
Banana weed has a fairly weak root system, so vinegar can kill it effectively.

The bad side of using vinegar to kill weeds

Vinegar will not discriminate against plants. As soon as it comes in contact with a plant, whether it’s an unwanted dandelion or your prized dahlia growing next to it, it will burn and destroy the plant’s leaves.

as I mentioned before, Vinegar requires multiple applications to workAnd you really need to get the roots to make the plant disappear completely.

When vinegar gets into soil, it can kill soil nutrients Necessary to plant life. It can also be Harm microorganisms and larger wildlifeSuch as insects or frogs, which may be sensitive to acid.

If you’re adding salt to your vinegar spray, as many people do, this can also lead to salt accumulation in your soil.

you’re really destroying the soil and its healthWhich will affect the ability of desired plants to grow in the area.

And do you know what grows well in poor soil? weed. more weed.

Can vinegar kill weeds?
I would not spray vinegar close to where I grow other plants.

Rethink the weeds in your garden

By now, you’re probably thinking that vinegar isn’t the best “natural” solution. This will do more harm than good and take more time than pulling weeds from your garden yourself.

But I wouldn’t be around if I didn’t try to advocate for weed.

Weeds are simply plants that are growing where they are not needed. Mostly, these are wild plants and native species that come into our gardens naturally without invitation.

Native and wild plants are important parts of our ecosystems. When they break down they help feed wildlife and pollinators, and microorganisms and insects.

Weeds are one of the first things to grow in poor soil. As they grow, they extract nutrients from deep in the soil and bring them back closer to the surface. Their growth can break up even compacted and clayey soils. for a longer time, They build up organic matter in eroded soil And let other plants come and grow.

What I’m trying to say is that killing weeds is not always the solution. That weed may be serving a purpose and helping your garden!

Can vinegar kill chickweed?
Chickweed can be a nutritious herb.

I accidentally sprayed vinegar on my plants. now what?

Vinegar is quite effective and will work to kill your plant’s leaves instantly. The first thing you want to do is try Rinse off the vinegar as soon as possible, Spray the foliage and saturate the soil to dilute the vinegar and prevent it from getting near the roots.

Possibly, the plant will be able to fully recover and bounce back. Well-established plants will have some leaf burn, but this should have no effect on the roots. If it is a new plant, there is a greater chance of permanent damage.

Once you see the leaves starting to wilt from the vinegar, cut them back, This will encourage new growth and your plant will start growing again.

Thumb Control Spray Nozzle Watering Container
The faster you spray your plants after an accidental vinegar application, the better.

How I Use Vinegar Naturally

Although vinegar has no place in my garden, that doesn’t mean I don’t use it elsewhere. Here are some ways I like to use vinegar in my natural recipes.

  • Herbal Vinegar. By adding fresh and dried herbs to vinegar, the liquid takes on the flavor of the herb. They’re great for salads, dips, and to give as gifts!
  • Vinaigrettes. I make all kinds of fresh vinaigrettes from the garden, including chive blossoms, fresh herbs and nasturtium, and strawberry flavors.
  • pickling, We can’t make pickles without vinegar! One of my favorite things is shishito peppers, as well as these radishes.
  • Cleaners. Vinegar is a natural bleach alternative because acetic acid is great for disinfecting and cleaning. I use it as a base for my all-purpose lemon balm cleaner and my homemade glass cleaner. Just keep in mind that vinegar can discolor the finish on porous materials like granite, tiles and hardwood.
  • Herbal hair rinse. The apple cider vinegar in this recipe helps balance the pH of your hair, which is affected by a lot of hair products. It prevents unwanted hair breakage and helps maintain a healthy amount of oil in your scalp.

FAQs About Using Vinegar to Kill Weeds

What type of vinegar kills weeds?

Household white vinegar is used by most home gardeners to kill weeds. White vinegar has a 5% strength, while cleaning vinegar has a 6% strength.

Horticultural vinegar can also kill weeds and is the most effective, but it should not be used by home gardeners. If used incorrectly, it can cause serious burns and can easily damage the entire garden.

Do you dilute vinegar to kill weeds?

To make weed killer spray, salt and dish soap are mixed with vinegar. One cup of salt per gallon of vinegar, plus 1 tablespoon of dish soap. Although it can kill weeds, it is only a temporary solution and may affect surrounding plants and soil.

Will vinegar kill moss?

Vinegar is most effective at killing moss because its root system is shallow. When spraying vinegar on moss, just be careful where the vinegar will spread. Are there plants and wildlife nearby that could be affected by the vinegar?

Does vinegar kill grass?

Upon contact, vinegar will destroy grass leaves. However, this will not last. The root system of grass is so strong that vinegar cannot reach it. Eliminating the grass will require several applications of vinegar, and is not as effective or efficient as simply pulling or digging out the grass.

How long does it take for vinegar to kill weeds?

You will see the effect of spraying vinegar on leaves within 24 hours of application. However, the root system is likely still intact and will require several applications to be eliminated.

Other Common Household Materials to Consider


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