When it comes to most things that float around the internet I’m a huge skeptic. When things are wildly popular on Pinterest I’m a PURE skeptic or laugh in the face of some of the stuff people pin. White kitchen? HA! I had a white kitchen once. White cabinets, white floor. My kitchen is now a rich dark brown for a very good reason. That maxi-dress you just pinned… yeah… it will make you look fat. Just hang a sign around your neck that says I’ve given up. I promise you, that heirloom tomato you just purchase won’t grow in that 5 gallon orange bucket.
The hot new thing floating around Pinterest right now is using vinegar as a weed killer. I will say we tried this experiment in college so it certainly isn’t something new. Of course we tried the flame thrower technique and it totally worked in school. In my garden… not so much.
My vegetable garden paths are a little weedy and there is a section that is down right weed ridden. I could spend an afternoon pulling the weeds. It wouldn’t be a big deal since there is landscape fabric under the gravel. The only problem is that my yard waste bins are totally full. I suppose I could give the weeds to the chickens, but I needed something to write about. I’m doing this in the name of education.
I picked up 2 1 gallon jugs of white distilled vinegar. They run a couple of bucks a bottle. I poured the vinegar into a new tank sprayer. I happened to have one of those laying around. You can put the vinegar in a hand sprayer or a watering can too. I labeled the tank since I have more than one of these sprayers.
Next I picked the worst area of my garden path to start my experiment. This area is at the very back of my garden.
There is a mixture of weeds. There are dandelions, grass, pepper cress and host of other weeds. I sprayed the area on Sunday and the tank was originally set on mist. Half way through I turned the sprayer to more of a spray and finished the area.
I went out to take a look yesterday (Wednesday) and this is what I found.
You’ll notice that there is still green on the grass, but the weeds themselves are dead. This would have worked a little better and faster if the weather had been sunny. It rained Sunday evening and has been raining off and on for the past 5 days. Once the weather clears up I’ll spray the area again just to finish it off.
Here are a few things to consider when going the vinegar route:
Vinegar is not a selective herbicide. It will kill things besides weeds. Case in point —->
There is an area where there are some wayward strawberry plants growing in the path. I accidentally sprayed a portion of the plants. Oops.
Vinegar does not have a residual soil effect, but salt does. Some of the tutorials indicate to add a bit of salt into the mix. Don’t do this. Salt can move around in the soil and can potentially harm plants you want to keep.
A bit of Dawn dish soap is often suggested too. The point of this is as a sticker. The soap helps the vinegar stick to the leaves. Vinegar works so fast that you don’t necessarily need to add the soap.
If your weed area is especially aggressive you may need to reapply the vinegar.
Where is the best place to use the vinegar? Gravel pathways, in between cracks in pavers or brick, driveways or large patches of open ground. This isn’t something that I would use in my perennial beds and most certainly not in my lawn. There is no good solution for that other than good old fashioned hand pulling.