Will Vinegar Kill Grass and Weeds?


Vinegar is a household product used in different ways including salad dressing. Though this is the main use it has been proven to be an effective weed and grass killer. This is because vinegar is made of acetic acid, sugar, salt, and water with regular vinegar containing 5% acetic acid. It acts by killing plant cells the living units of the weed and grass. It is eco-friendly and wouldn’t harm people’s pets and the environment, unlike the other commercial herbicides.

Steps to Follow When Applying Vinegar to Kill Grass and Weeds

While spraying vinegar to the plants start by protecting yourself by wearing protective gear. You should consider what you want to kill either weeds or grass as their resistance to vinegar as an herbicide is different. Make sure your vinegar is concentrated for better results and especially for the perennial weeds or grass. You should do it on a sunny day for if it is applied when wet the acetic acid will be neutralized making it ineffective. You should repeat this process severally as vinegar does not act quickly like commercial herbicides though it is effective in the long run.

How to Kill Weeds with Vinegar

According to Home Guides SF Gate, the best time to get rid of weeds using vinegar is the second week after germination as the weed will not have established themselves to withstand the effects of the Vinegar. The season for killing is important as dry season shall ensure speedy and effective results. Since you don’t want to destroy your important plants such as the vegetables the following steps are necessary. You should protect the plants you wish to keep by covering them with either plastic sheets or cardboard boxes. You should spray using a plastic bottle and not a metallic one as vinegar will easily corrode the metal which if it gets into the soil is harmful. You should avoid spraying places like walkways and metal rails as it may be hard to remove the stains. Ensure all parts of the weed are sprayed as unsprayed parts such as the lower part of the leaves and stems shall not wilt. Your spraying equipment should be thoroughly cleaned as well as your hands with soap to avoid the side effects especially when concentrated vinegar is used.

Things To Observe When Using Vinegar To Kill Weeds and Grass.

You should avoid using vinegar in case you have underlying health issues such as bronchitis and dermatitis as its strong odors and acetic acid content can have side effects or aggravate those health conditions. You should use protective gear such as eye goggles as vinegar is dangerous for eye contact as it can lead to blindness. You should also cover the exposed parts of the body such as hands with gloves to prevent skin burns especially for a concentration higher than 11%. You should also ensure the mixture for the spray is out of reach to the children as they can easily spray it on themselves by mistake or for curiosity reasons. It is desirable for better results to have a program which you should follow strictly so that repeated process is done on time.

Reasons for Choosing Vinegar To Kill Weed.

You should consider vinegar to kill weed as it has several advantages. According to Lawn Starter, vinegar is safe to use since it is an organic product especially home vinegar which unlike commercial weed killers can even be applied near vegetables and fruits. It is easily available as compared to commercial herbicides as it can be purchased at your local store and in most cases you will have vinegar in your house as part of your cooking ingredients. You can also use the product with little skills unlike the commercial ones that at times may require you to engage licensed professionals. The experts have assessed the appropriate commercial herbicide to use depending on your soil making the process even more expensive. Your garden weed, for example, will be mostly the annual weed which if killed on time will not grow again unlike the perennial ones. It would therefore be prudent to use vinegar as it would give the same results as commercial herbicides yet at a lower cost and also with little impact on your soil characteristics such as the pH.

How to Kill Grass with Vinegar

Vinegar does also kill grass though the grass is tougher than weeds as it is a perennial weed. Your vinegar shall work on grass as on the weed where the acidic content kills the leaves by withering them. You should however consider using concentrated vinegar which should be sprayed severally to ensure the grass is fully withered. You should note that since as already discussed grass is a bit handy so when you realize not all the grass has withered you are supposed to pull out the remaining few to get rid of the grass permanently. However, if you are dealing with a larger area you might consider first covering it with a material that can deprive grass light such as old newspaper. This shall weaken the grass by naturally withering it making it also easy to pull it out. It will also ensure that you spray fewer times as you are dealing with weakened grass, unlike the fresh one.

Mixing Vinegar with Liquid Dish Soap

You can also consider combining vinegar and liquid soap dish for better results. Vinegar does not only contain acetic acid but also salt which absorbs moisture from weeds and grass causing them to wither which is the reason it should be done when it is sunny. Liquid soap dish, on the other hand, acts as a surfactant by dissolving any protective coating of the leaf which exposes the leaves to direct sunlight causing them to turn brown and withering immediately, according to Birds Sand Blooms. The other thing that makes weeds and grass to die is that due to withering and the suffocation effect the weeds or grass is denied crucial nutrients as photosynthesis process is hindered ensuring that there is no more room for weed to grow back. The recipe for this solution involves mixing 2 liters of white vinegar with 125 grams salt and 2 tablespoons dish soap. You should thoroughly mix and sieve it to get the concentrated solution. You should ensure you spray at the necessary part such as the leaves and near the roots while avoiding drenching the whole area as sodium from the soil is not easily broken and can end up changing your soil quality.

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