Does Vinegar Kill Weeds?

Whether to save costs or to opt for a more ecologic option, there are many reasons to choose vinegar to kill weeds in the garden. You read that right, vinegar, the strong-smelling clear liquid you probably have in your kitchen is used to kill weeds. But how effective is it? and can it cause any side effects? We will answer these questions, and more!

What is Vinegar? What Kind of Vinegar Can I Use to Kill Weeds?

Vinegar comes from the acetic fermentation of alcohol, like that of wine and apples, by bacteria. The kitchen vinegar that you can find in every house has a concentration of 5% acetic acid. Any vinegar (in any concentration) will kill weeds. This component is responsible for affecting the plant’s membrane cells, causing the destruction of plant tissue on contact with it. Of course, the higher the percentage, the more damage it will cause.

Is it Really Effective to Use Vinegar to Kill Weeds?

As a frequently used product at home, some wonder whether it effectively removes weeds from the garden. However, a study by the University of Maryland showed that vinegar could be a good substitute for Glyphosate, a commonly used and the most widespread herbicide worldwide. According to research, acetic acid in concentrations of 5-10% can relatively easily control weeds with short germination time (within two weeks of germination). On the other hand, adult weeds (those that are very persistent!) can be kept under control using vinegar at a concentration of 20%.

Apple Cider Vinegar to Kill Weeds

You can find apple cider vinegar in nearly any market, and it comes in handy if you wish to do a quick organic pesticide. Apple cider vinegar functions, as well as other organic, produced vinegar, researchers from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) can endorse that organic vinegar does kill weeds.

Vinegar and Salt to Kill Weeds

Adding salt to the mix will only make it deadlier to the weeds. Salt or sodium chloride if we want to be proper, is toxic to plants as it dehydrates them, the destructive mix of vinegar with common salt would definitely kill any weed or plant in its way. A safe and practical measure is to take 1 gallon of white vinegar (5% vinegar works fine) in a safe recipient and 1 cup of salt. Together with the vinegar and the salt, include 1 tablespoon of soap, this would ensure the mix adheres to the weeds. Place the content in a spray bottle, and you are ready to go! This simple but potent mix of vinegar, salt and soap will expressly kill any kind of green.

Possible Mistakes you Could Make When Using Vinegar to Kill Weeds

However, as easy as it looks, there could still be miscalculations when using vinegar to kill weeds. For example, many gardeners use the mix and find themselves pleased with the quick results but, when they see weeds growing back again in the same places, they may use the vinegar mix without control. Using the vinegar mixture in your garden soil without moderation could change the soil’s ph levels, which would counter your plants’ health. If there are many weeds, vinegar can indeed kill the weed but not the plant’s roots. So you will soon have weeds if it is a particularly tenacious species. In these cases, eliminating the weed’s roots is the best solution.
Vinegar as weed killer
If you only use vinegar indiscriminately and do not remove the weed roots, the results will only be temporary. Another factor that will work either for or against you is the weather. Be sure to spray vinegar in the desired areas of your garden on a sunny day with dry soil, as this type of weather works best with the acid in the vinegar and will have the quickest effects.

Safety Precautions!

In heavy concentrations, acetic acid or vinegar can cause burns, permanent damage to the skin, and blindness if it comes in contact with the eyes. Once you go beyond your 5%-cooking-vinegar, take protective measures! Even if you use it thoughtfully, you can still get bronchitis or dermatitis if you expose yourself too often and near to the mix. Be mindful, and wear protective gear like gloves, mask, and goggles if you will work with high concentrations of vinegar for long periods. Like any acid, vinegar is corrosive, so you must clean any metal tool that comes close to the vinegar or used with the vinegar; otherwise, the acid will corrode the metal. We hope this information has helped the health and beauty of your garden. Remember not to take this clear liquid lightly and take every precaution you might need to protect yourself and your plants. Happy gardening!

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