Many people are turning to safer alternatives rather than using strong chemical products around the house. Lawn care is one particular area where you may want a non-toxic solution to kill pesky weeds so your kids or pets can play safely.
Today, we’re going to look at the task of using vinegar as a weed killer. Vinegar is a versatile household product with multiple uses, including forming a part of your lawn care regimen. We’re going to go over how vinegar works to kill weeds and then provide recipes for mixing up a vinegar-based solution for your lawn.
Vinegar weed killer
If you’re trying to find a method for how to kill weeds naturally, vinegar may be the solution to your problem. It is a safe and effective weed killer alternative to regular chemical sprays. The range and effectiveness will depend on the vinegar concentration you use, as some types will only work on new growths and not mature weeds. Still, you can see quick results. When you apply vinegar to weeds in the heat of the day, you’ll usually notice the plants wilting within an hour and then find them dead within a day or two.
However, vinegar only kills the part of the plant it touches, which is usually the leaves. Creating a natural weed killer with vinegar and Dawn increases the effectiveness of the solution. The Dawn soap helps the solution stay on the leaves and not run off, giving the vinegar a chance to do its job.
Another possible obstacle is that vinegar doesn’t kill the roots under the ground. Adding salt to your mixture can help prevent the weeds from regrowing. The salt will penetrate the ground, killing the roots and damaging the soil while the vinegar works on the exposed parts of the plant.
As you prepare to make your weed killer mixture, consider the different vinegar solutions you can use. A basic white vinegar – available in any store – has a 95% water solution and 5% vinegar. Since it has a low acidic concentration, it will only handle young annual weeds (less than two weeks) and will require multiple applications to be effective.
If you’re trying to get rid of older, more resilient perennial weeds, you’d need a stronger solution, such as a 20% vinegar mixture. This higher concentration is typically referred to as horticultural vinegar, and you can find concentrates from 15% to 25%. You’d have to buy this vinegar type in the garden center, not your local grocery store.
Vinegar weed killer recipes
Using vinegar as a DIY herbicide is a cheap and effective solution while also being an all-natural remedy. But there is a downside to this method: Vinegar is a non-discriminant killer.
Due to the acidic content, vinegar burns anything it touches, which extends past weeds. This herbicide will also harm your grass, plants, and beneficial creatures like frogs and lizards.
It’s best to limit using a vinegar weed killer to areas where you don’t want anything to grow, like driveways, concrete patios, around your pools, and outbuildings. You probably shouldn’t use it to prevent weeds in your lawn, flower beds, or gardens.
Here are a few simple recipes for mixing up a vinegar-based weed killer using standard household items.
White vinegar, salt and Dawn
Three staples in most kitchens are white vinegar, salt, and Dawn dishwashing liquid. Combining these three ingredients creates an effective weed killer for annual and perennial weeds.
For this treatment, you will need a spray bottle for distribution. Add white vinegar, one cup of salt (Epsom or table), and one tablespoon of Dawn. Shake the mixture to blend everything and spray it directly onto your targeted weeds at the brightest time of day.
You want to allow the weeds to get plenty of sunlight, with no watering or rain for at least three days after application. Two days will work if there’s enough sun exposure to dry the plants out.
Horticultural vinegar, salt and dish soap
As previously mentioned, horticultural vinegar has higher acid concentrations, so it’s more effective as a weed killer. Combining this type of vinegar, salt, dish soap into a spray bottle allows for targeted application. You can also use a paintbrush to directly apply this salt vinegar weed killer to the leaves of specific weeds, so you don’t have to worry that the mist will hit nearby grass or plants.
Salt weed killers should only be applied in areas where you want to prevent future growth of any foliage since the salt strips the nutrients from the soil, making it inhabitable for all plant life.
Vinegar makes an excellent DIY weed killer for treating annual or perennial weed growth. This option is affordable, easy to do, and harmless to humans and animals. And best of all, it’s almost free since you probably already have white vinegar in your pantry. Just be careful where you apply it so that the rest of your beautiful flowers and grass aren’t harmed.
If you’re looking for some quick answers, we have them for you! Here are some of the most common questions we get about weed killers and using vinegar as a DIY solution.
What house products kill weeds?
Household products like vinegar, salt, and dish soap are effective weed killers for young growth and some more persistent strains. Salt helps prevent weeds (and anything else) from growing back while the vinegar burns the leaves.
Does vinegar kill weeds in flower beds?
Vinegar is non-selective, so you shouldn’t use it in flower beds. The vinegar will kill the weeds, but it can also kill your flowers. If there’s enough space between the weeds and your flowers, you may be able to apply white vinegar directly to the weeds with a paintbrush.
What kills weeds permanently?
Horticultural vinegar is more likely to kill weeds permanently than white vinegar. You’ll need to use multiple applications at the brightest time of day for maximum sunlight exposure. Apply the solution close to the ground so it can seep down into the roots. You may want to mix salt and soap with the vinegar for more effectiveness, but the salt will stop everything from growing.
Is there any easy DIY grass killer recipe?
Combining one gallon of vinegar with a cup of salt and a tablespoon of dishwashing liquid is an easy, chemical-free DIY grass killer recipe. You can use pantry white vinegar or horticultural vinegar.