Wild Side #09

Got Weeds? Use Vinegar, Not Roundup!

by Kevin Lee Jacobs
June 16, 2011

Need proof that vinegar is a weed-terminator?

Just look at the weeds growing along a pea-stone path in my Herb Garden.

These were photographed yesterday afternoon, just moments before I sprayed them with cheap, straight-from-the-bottle, store-brand white vinegar.

garden patch before spraying vinegar

Here's what all that greenery looked like this morning:

garden patch the day after vinegar

I'd say those weeds are deader than dead. And that's why I use vinegar on the gravel paths, brick walk-ways, and blue-stone patio here at A Garden for the House. For me, it has proven an effective, eco-friendly answer to Roundup.

And speaking of Roundup! In 2011 the product's manufacturer, Monsanto, agreed with the New York Attorney General's office to discontinue their use of the terms "biodegradable" and "environmentally friendly" in ads promoting Roundup. Why? Because these terms were false. Roundup is neither biodegradable nor environmentally friendly.

The next time you want to murder your weeds, why douse them with something that will remain in the soil for who knows how long? Try vinegar instead. It's is cheap. It's easy to use. I keep gallons of the stuff in my garden shed.

pure and simple vinegar

I use a pump-sprayer to apply vinegar. I always rinse the sprayer after use, to keep metal parts from corroding. I've found that vinegar works best if sprayed on warm, sunny days (at least 78° Fahrenheit). My paths are located in full, blazing sun.

Vinegar is not selective; it can potentially harm plants you wish to keep, should you accidentally spray them. As I said earlier, I use vinegar only on walkways, where grass and ornamental plants are not an issue.

Need to eradicate weeds from a garden bed? Do what I do, and smother them with newspaper.

Will vinegar kill every weed it touches? That I can not say. I only know that it has kept my pathways free of unwanted growth. Annual weeds are killed instantly, because they can not survive without their foliage. Perennial-type weeds need repeated spraying until their roots give up.

Some sunny day, I hope you'll give vinegar a try. Maybe it will prove an eco-friendly (or least not eco-horrific) weed-killer for you, too.

The results for me:

my herb garden     more of my herb garden


The Recall of the Wild
The Recall of the Wild

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