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Marie Iannotti

Vinegar and Weeds

By April 10, 2013

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Why is it the first things to really take off growing are the weeds? I've already begun getting questions about how to get rid of them organically, without yanking them out of the ground one by one. Every year someone asks if vinegar really works as an herbicide. The short answer is - yes. It's not as simple as tossing some salad dressing on them, but the bottom line is that household vinegar will kill many weeds. It may take more than one try and you'd have better luck with a stronger concentration of acetic acid, but it's an organic control worth trying. Here are some suggestions for using vinegar as to kill weeds. Don't forget to check out the comments, below, for more ideas from readers.

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May 8, 2008 at 8:12 pm
(1) Tess says:

Thanks I have always wanted to know this.
Boiling water has always been one of my favs I wonder if I could mix the two?


May 12, 2008 at 2:36 pm
(2) gardening says:

I would think adding water would dilute the effect of the vinegar, but hot vinegar might be something to try on stubborn weeds.

A reader posted a recipe on the Organic Gardening site which sounds interesting too. She adds salt and detergent.

April 26, 2012 at 10:43 am
(3) diane says:

does the vinegar kill the weeds and leave the flowers?

April 26, 2012 at 1:52 pm
(4) gardening says:

Diane, it will kill or damage all the plants it comes in contact with. It doesn’t know one plant from another, so be careful with it. It’s easy enough to spray it on weeds growing in walkways, but I wouldn’t use it in a garden bed.

April 27, 2012 at 6:25 am
(5) elle says:

Hot vinegar works on path/walk way weeds coming up in the cracks- but first I clean my coffee maker! I run a pot of straight vinegar thru my maker and then pour the vinegar on the weeds, I broke off most of the weed so the vinegar could really get in it!

April 27, 2012 at 6:53 am
(6) gardening says:

What a great suggestion! Besides getting twice the use out of the vinegar, it will remind me to clean my poor over-used coffee maker. Thanks, Elle.

April 10, 2013 at 6:34 pm
(7) Tentfire says:

You know, I can see getting rid of your unwanted plants in your walkways, but what I find odd is people into organic gardening wanting to kill them, otherwise, at all. Most of what people call “weeds” are actually very edible and nutritious, often even more nutritious than what you are planting in your garden. And many of what we call weeds, when you look deeper, are actually wonderful vegetables and medicinal plants brought over here, many, many moons ago, by early settlers and they have spread out and the variety been forgotten about.

I have been surprised at how many of my “weeds” I have found the seeds for sale for online under “rare” or “specialty” seeds from long ago or from other countries. So before you totally destroy them, look them up. You may want to EAT them!

April 11, 2013 at 3:10 pm
(8) Joan says:

Some of those plants may be useful, but there are so many invasives that drive out native species, which support the local birds and insects. We can no longer “let nature take its course” since we’ve opened Pandora’s box.

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