It seems surprising that ordinary household vinegar could be strong enough to get rid of common garden weeds, which as we know can be pretty tough and determined. But it’s the acetic acid in the vinegar which makes it so deadly. Acetic acid, from any source, will kill most vegetation because it draws the moisture out of the leaf. So it’s important to be very careful where you spray.
- Fill a spray bottle with ordinary white vinegar, add a 1/2 cup of ordinary salt and a squirt of dish soap. The salt adds to the dehydrating power of the spray and the dish soap helps the spray to stick and not to run straight off.
- The detergent in the dish soap helps to breaks down the cuticle or waxy surface of the weeds. This allows the vinegar and salt to get straight down to business and also as you spray, the soap makes the leaves shine which helps to show up where you have treated.
- Spray the solution into the centre of any weeds that you want to kill, being careful to avoid any surrounding plants. It’s best to apply the vinegar weedkiller spray in the morning on a sunny day, as the warmth of the sunshine will help it do it’s work.
- You might find that a second treatment is required to get right down to the roots, but after a repeat attack most weeds will give up the fight. Some plants are more difficult to treat with vinegar than others; waxy or velvety leaves may make it more difficult to absorb the vinegar, so adding the soap helps the spray to stick.
- At only 5% acetic acid, vinegar is considered perfectly safe, but be aware that over time it could raise the PH of the soil where treated, so use with caution. While this maybe helpful in a very alkaline area, it could cause a build up elsewhere.
- The spray can then also be used as a pesticide without harming pets or children. If you have a real problem with slugs and snails, you can use it as an organic alternative to slug pellets. But remember not to overdo the spraying, as you won’t be doing any favours to all the friendly organisms in the soil by dousing it with too much salt and vinegar.