Weeds are an unavoidable, very irritating aspect of maintaining a garden. From lavish lawns to small kitchen gardens, weeds seem to sprout everywhere. More troublesome, is their removal. This includes the most common weeds like crabgrass and dandelions.
Weeds are rather resolute with a mind of their own. No matter how much you dig them out, they seem to grow back, out of nowhere! Homemade herbicides such as salt and bleach have been considered as options by many horticulturists and gardeners. In this discussion, we talk about using a safer, inexpensive weed-killer like vinegar. The idea is to get rid of the unwanted growth without harming the surrounding plants or the soil.
Weed Killers : Why do you need them?
The most potent and easily available weed-killers are essentially a chemical composition, made from different types of chemicals. These chemical pesticides and herbicides are seldom formulated exclusively for weed-removal. Most of them have a broad spectrum of application. These weed killers tend to harm the soil too apart from eliminating harmful and unwanted plants.
Commercial weed-killers are available in various forms like powders and sprays. Various tests have shown that many of these products can be very harmful for your health and even those of pets. Thus, some people prefer the safer alternative in the form of safer weed-killers like Vinegar. Here, you will learn how to use vinegar in an effective and safer manner.
Overview: Using Vinegar as Weed Killer
There is no record of when exactly it was discovered that vinegar makes an exceptional weed killer but yes, this application has prevailed for quite some time. Vinegar is a natural product, often derived from grapes, grains and apples. Acetic acid is the ingredient that makes vinegar a useful weed killer. It draws moisture out of leaves viciously. Intensity of vinegar as a weed-killer is immense—proven in many applications over hundreds of years of usage!
Although vinegar may kill the weed, it’s not guaranteed to kill the root which means the plant may re-surface again. Younger more tougher weeds make be able to fend off the vinegar and thrive in an acidic environment.
Before you are ready to use vinegar in your lawn to exterminate the nasty weeds, it is vital that we acquaint you with some basic precautions. When vinegar makes contact with the soil, it instantly lowers the soil’s pH value, making the soil more acidic. The acidity can kill many of the useful microorganisms present in the soil that form a part of the lawn’s healthy ecosystem—you don’t want to kill them or render the soil infertile. So, ensure that you:
- Apply vinegar when the sun is shining bright—shaded weeds tend to have more resistance.
- Apply vinegar periodically but with sufficient gap between each application.
- Try to use the slightly less potent but equally effective herbicidal vinegar that has 20% acetic acid—10% vinegar is not as effective. You can dilute the vinegar up to 50%.
Vinegar does a great job of killing weeds by itself but with the added support of some basic supplies that are easily available. Vinegar in its full strength contains undiluted 18 percent acidity that makes it an effective, immediately useful weed-killer. Vinegar along with soap amplifies the intensity of the pesticide.
You need to ensure that the surrounding vegetation is not damaged. Killing the healthier plants is a major risk if you make a mistake with your measurements. Similar precautions need to be taken when vinegar is mixed with soap, salt and water. Not to forget about lemon juice and essential oils like clove and orange juice that makes vinegar better at weeds rather than killing than killing the healthy growth.
Commercial Vinegar Herbicides
A manufacturer of herbicides called Nature’s Avenger has come up with a natural organic weed killer that utilizes vinegar. It also has added natural ingredients such as clove oil and citric acids. It works by targeting the waxy plant cuticle of the plant, causing it to dehydrate and die. The formula is highly biodegradable and non-toxic meaning it won’t pose any harm to people, pets, and wildlife.
It’s great for use on shrubs, patios, lawns, flower beds, gardens, driveways, sidewalks, greenhouses, parks, and hiking trails.
Vinegar is among the most easily available and safest of household supplies that can be used as effective weed killers. If repeated vinegar application does not get rid of the weed problem, you might want to consider stronger herbicides, even those with strong chemicals. Usually, vinegar’s acidity does not induce any serious damage on the surrounding plants, including the soil and root system.
If you feel that the vinegar is harming any of the surrounding vegetation, stop and seek a second opinion. Please note that vinegar might prove ineffective against bigger, more elaborately rooted weeds—do not fret and try a stronger, commercial herbicide.
For a similar article, read, does salt kill weeds?