There’s been lots written recently about the toxicity of Monsanto’s poster child product Roundup, exposing how harmful it is for the earth and how poisonous it is on exposure for both animals and humans. However, what is not common knowledge to most organic gardeners and back yard enthusiasts is how they can manage weed control safely without the need for dangerous pesticides. Use vinegar to kill weeds naturally and safely, with no side effects to you, your pets, wildlife and mother earth. Killing weeds naturally with vinegar allows you to target exactly what weeds to eradicate, and it’s cheap and easy to use.
Vinegar is not choosy and cannot differentiate between broad-leaf weeds, narrow-leaf weeds, grass, flowers or vegetables. If you’re not careful when applying vinegar for weed control, it will kill whatever it touches. So although it’s eco-friendly and biodegradable, it takes a little forethought to manage an effective application.
How to apply vinegar for natural weed control
The best way to apply vinegar for weed control is with a spray bottle or pump sprayer. These tools are most effective if you’re wanting to eliminate large swatches of weeds on walkways, driveways or other areas where there are no other plants immediately at risk. Because vinegar is not selective, using it for killing weeds naturally should be done on a sunny day when there is no wind to prevent it from blowing onto other plants. Part of the killing process uses the sunlight to activate the vinegar; so check the weather beforehand to be sure it’s not about to rain right after you spray. If you’re trying to be very selective and kill small batches of weeds in among other plants and flowers, apply vinegar with an old brush only to the weeds being targeted.
Spray, paint or pour the vinegar on liberally to kill weeds naturally. Leaves and stems should be soaked. Allow it to dry and wait for a day or two to see full results. You may have to reapply more vinegar periodically. Any type of vinegar will work to kill weeds and white vinegar is the least expensive. Keep several gallons in your shed so it’s on hand when needed.
When to apply natural herbicides
Use vinegar to kill weeds before the weeds go to seed to prevent new weeds from growing. Catch them when they’re small in the early spring. Alternatively, it’s best to treat perennial weeds like dandelions in the early fall. Remove the seed heads throughout the summer when you see them. Spraying in the autumn uses the plant’s natural cycle to absorb nutrients through the leave to the roots and allows the vinegar natural weed control to penetrate to the core of the plant killing it at the root.
A Garden for the House: Got Weeds? Use Vinegar, Not Roundup
About.com: Landscaping: Vinegar as a Natural Weed Killer
The Garden Counselor: Lawn Care — Vinegar Weed Killer
(Photo credit: Public domain)
Permission is granted to copy the title and first one hundred words with the provision that the author's name be included and a link to the original article be added.