How to Use Vinegar as a Natural Weed Deterrent

How to Use Vinegar as a Natural Weed Deterrent

By Becky Pederson – The history of vinegar is quite interesting. It is one of the oldest products used by humans dating back some 10,000 years. The Romans and Greeks were the first to use it. All around the world vinegar has been used for pickling, medicinal, horticultural, agricultural, and cleaning purposes for centuries. It has been produced commercially for about 2,500 years.

Vinegar contains acetic acid. That sounds pretty scientific but don’t let it scare you away. It is this acid and some dishwashing soap mixed together that form an effective, safe weed killer. The acetic acid draws moisture from the leaves of the weeds and the dish soap acts as a surfactant which actually helps the vinegar stick to the surface of the leaves of the pesky weeds.

Weeds before vinegar.


Weeds after vinegar.

To make an effective batch of weed killer purchase a gallon of white vinegar from your favorite store. An off brand works just fine as long as it is five percent white vinegar.

Remove a couple tablespoons of the vinegar from the gallon. Add back a tablespoon of dishwashing liquid soap. Replace the cover and gently shake to distribute the soap. If you have an empty spray window cleaning bottle or other refillable spray container rinse it out and fill with the weed killer.

Check your weather forecast to see if there will be a couple sunny, windless days before applying. This spray is nonselective so be careful not to get any on your perennials or annual plants.

Use the spray bottle to totally saturate the weeds you want to destroy. It is quite surprising how quickly they will shrivel up. You may have to re-apply the vinegar solution. As the growing season progresses treat freshly sprouted weeds.

In conclusion, the white vinegar and soap mixture is effective on most weeds but not all broadleaf types. Spray sprouting weeds in landscape rocks, shredded wood mulch, along fences, house foundations, sidewalk and driveway seams.

Go green with this inexpensive homemade solution which is an environmentally safe weapon against unwanted weeds.

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