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Thread: Does Vinegar Kill Weeds For Good And How Do I Properly Use It? (It doesn't)

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    Moderator Julieanne's Avatar
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    Default Does Vinegar Kill Weeds For Good And How Do I Properly Use It? (It doesn't)

    Candace Osmond
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    Every gardener knows the struggle of trying to keep gardens weed free. There are so many chemical weed killers and toxic-smelling concoctions that you can use to pour over your garden, or weeding tools you can use after you’ve got weeds, but is there a better way?
    If you want to avoid putting harmful chemicals on your garden you may have searched for natural methods and discovered vinegar. But does vinegar kill weeds? There is evidence to say that vinegar does kill weeds permanently and can be really effective at keeping your flowers and displays weed-free.

    Read more: https://www.backyardboss.net/does-vinegar-kill-weeds/
    Last edited by Islander; 08-09-20 at 02:34 PM.

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    Administrator Islander's Avatar
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    Default Re: Does Vinegar Kill Weeds For Good And How Do I Properly Use It? (It doesn't)

    Can we please put this myth to death once and for all, and pound a stake through its heart?

    1. No, ordinary vinegar will not kill weeds permanently, no matter what additives you include in the mix and no matter what breathless enthusiasts insist upon. Yes, it will often kill broadleaf weeds but only to ground level. The roots are untouched and the weed will sprout again rather quickly. Meanwhile you have a lot of dead brown foliage to clean up. Have fun experimenting to prove me wrong.

    2. Horticultural vinegar, at $20-$30 a bottle, is far more toxic (you don't want to breathe it in, believe me) and doesn't do a much more thorough job than the common household vinegar. It may be a bit more effective on narrow-leaved weeds like grass but again, it does not reach the roots so whatever brown foliage you clear away will be replaced by green growth fairly soon. You will have spent a lot of money and possibly some extra PPE as you dress up in order to protect your skin and lungs while working with it… And the results are simply not worth it.

    Still don't believe me? Despite the fact that I have 12 years' experience as a professional horticulturist, go right ahead and invest in some vinegar. But please lower your expectations.
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    Default Re: Does Vinegar Kill Weeds For Good And How Do I Properly Use It? (It doesn't)

    I've taken the liberty of amending the headline to avoid sending potential readers to a useless site.
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    Moderator Julieanne's Avatar
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    Default Re: Does Vinegar Kill Weeds For Good And How Do I Properly Use It? (It doesn't)

    I've never tried it, so I was hoping it might be effective. Obviously I didn't expect it to kill perennial grasses, but any annual weeds killed now will stay dead, mostly low-growing grass on a gravel drive in my case. Broad leaf weeds have deep roots, but I don't have any of those.

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    Default Re: Does Vinegar Kill Weeds For Good And How Do I Properly Use It? (It doesn't)

    Vinegar is non-selective, meaning it'll harm any plants and turf grass it touches, not just the weeds you're attempting to slaughter. After you splash the vinegar onto weeds, make beyond any doubt it isn't hitting other plants. In case that isn't conceivable, paint the vinegar onto the weeds with a brush.

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    Default Re: Does Vinegar Kill Weeds For Good And How Do I Properly Use It? (It doesn't)

    Quote Originally Posted by Julieanne View Post
    I've never tried it, so I was hoping it might be effective. Obviously I didn't expect it to kill perennial grasses, but any annual weeds killed now will stay dead
    That has not been my experience. They die back to the ground but re-emerge because the roots are not affected. Also in my experience, weed seeds live forever, so even when pulled by the roots, more weeds will sprout in a short time. If you can go after them very early and often with a colinear hoe, by Midsummer you might succeed in putting them out of business. You might.
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    Moderator Julieanne's Avatar
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    Default Re: Does Vinegar Kill Weeds For Good And How Do I Properly Use It? (It doesn't)

    Not in this climate, it will start drying up soon. We only get summer weeds in areas that are watered, and winter weeds disappear. But I agree, those seeds will persist and come back next year - " one year's seeds mean ten years weeds" is an old saying. The biggest problem here is couch grass, which thrives in hot weather and is very hard to eradicate.

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    Veteran Member grulla's Avatar
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    Default Re: Does Vinegar Kill Weeds For Good And How Do I Properly Use It? (It doesn't)

    Quote Originally Posted by Julieanne View Post
    Not in this climate, it will start drying up soon. We only get summer weeds in areas that are watered, and winter weeds disappear. But I agree, those seeds will persist and come back next year - " one year's seeds mean ten years weeds" is an old saying. The biggest problem here is couch grass, which thrives in hot weather and is very hard to eradicate.
    Sort of the same here in the desert S.W. mountains of NM. I buy 25 lb. sacks of Morton's restaurant table salt from my local independent supermarket, to spread around my RV mobilehome (caravan in the UK and Oz), but due to the lack of rain, that salt can take a long time to permeate the earth and roots of the weeds. But it's still a whole lot better than Roundup.

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    Default Re: Does Vinegar Kill Weeds For Good And How Do I Properly Use It? (It doesn't)

    Forgive me, please. I have neglected to consider the geographical variations in climate that affect weed growth. Here they can be a three season pest!
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