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Old 05-22-2011, 08:41 PM
 
49 posts, read 197,339 times
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Default Vinegar kills weeds . . .

Has anyone here used vinegar to kill weeds?

If so, need your feedback:

I spot-treated a few weeds, different varieties, with full strength, grocery store vinegar just to see if it worked.

Within 2 hours, the weeds were wilting and brown.

So obviously, vinegar kills weeds.

My small front yard is full of weeds, I don't want to hire TruGreen, etc. or use any chemicals. What grass there is (no idea what kind) is not good looking, and I guess having a hard time growing with all the weeds.

So what I'm considering doing is treating the whole yard with vinegar in order to kill all the weeds - and yes, it will kill the grass . . .

But here's my question:

Once the vinegar is fully dried and weeds turn brown, if I spread new grass seeds - will they germinate?

I want to make sure the vinegar will not permanently somehow alter the soil or make it incapable of growing grass.

Thanks!
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Old 05-22-2011, 09:28 PM
 
Location: rain city
2,632 posts, read 6,735,156 times
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Yes you're right, the vinegar will also kill your grass as well as the weeds.

It will also destroy the soil PH as well if you dump it all over your yard. Then your problem will be solved because nothing will grow there after that.

Bad idea.
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Old 05-22-2011, 09:35 PM
 
Location: Nebraska
4,179 posts, read 5,243,204 times
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Have you ever seen the soil under an oak tree? Not much grows under there, right? it isn't just the shade - oak trees have tannic acid in them, that acidifies the soil.

Vinegar, if used to treat your whole yard, will have much the same effect... it will acidify your soil and make it intolerable for plant life. This isn't organic, this is (if you are trying to be 'green') literally painful for your plant life. Rain or watering will eventually dilute it, but I wouldn't think that you could seed right away. Also, the effect on one weed is not indicative - depending on dilution and the genus of weeds or grass, you could kill some while merely damaging others.

There are all sorts of treatments for weeds in grass; I use Scott's Weed and Feed, my friend uses Preen. There are lots of things on the market that are organically sound, of course; you can shop around depending on what kind of grass/weeds you have, and whether you want to go the organic route or not.
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Old 05-22-2011, 11:29 PM
 
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I too have tried vinegar and yes it kills weeds but I am not sold on it. It does kill grass and it upsets the pH of the soil. I wasn't aware that Scotts and Preen are Earth Friendly. I was under the impression that yes, their ingredients are chemicals, chemicals that do harm the Earth and the animals walking the Earth. I am trying so hard to get away from chemicals, but it is just about darn impossible. That is of course if you don't mind the weeds taking over your grass and having a yard full of weeds versus grass.

I'm thinking to heck with all this grass and just plant wild flower seeds and be done with it, creating a wild flower meadow. But that would like silly in front of our house, maybe not so in the back, but front definitely. The struggle with weeds, the struggle staying green, I'm just about ready to throw my hands up in the air.

Besides, we have had so much rain, we are going to need a cycle (I know spelling is not right) to cut our grass.
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Old 05-23-2011, 01:00 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Garden of Eden View Post
I'm thinking to heck with all this grass and just plant wild flower seeds and be done with it, creating a wild flower meadow. But that would like silly in front of our house, maybe not so in the back, but front definitely. The struggle with weeds, the struggle staying green, I'm just about ready to throw my hands up in the air.
I know just what you mean!

I actually think "some" weeds are fine to leave in the yard - clover, etc.

And YES! I would like very much to create a yard of wildflowers with the mingling of weeds, would be fine with me.

But I got a "friendly reminder" here awhile back from the HOA saying the yard needs to be treated for weeds. Yep, all my neighbors did the ordinary thing by pouring the chemicals on their yards, no regard for animals or the environment (or their own safety) . . . but I will not do it. And get this, the very large vacant lot next door which the HOA management company is fully responsible for is alllowed to grow up over 12 inches tall and it's mostly weeds!

Someone told me the other day that when that every time the lot gets mowed, it throws the weed cuttings and seeds on my lawn and it's going to be nearly impossible to get rid of the weeds. I think they are right because the stretch of grass on the opposite side that is shielded by the house, is green and grassy.
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Old 05-23-2011, 01:15 AM
 
49 posts, read 197,339 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Garden of Eden View Post
I wasn't aware that Scotts and Preen are Earth Friendly. I was under the impression that yes, their ingredients are chemicals, chemicals that do harm the Earth and the animals walking the Earth.
Garden of Eden, they are not, from what I've read on the labels, earth-friendly.

In fact, I knew nothing about Preen, so I just went to their website and was reading about their "organic" lawn weed treatment. NO THANKS! Anything that has warnings about exposure to "person and pets" translates to me to steer clear! I simply will NOT use the chemicals.

Yes, I think it's rather a hassle dealing with weeds and trying to keep a lawn green . . . I am a gardener, (learning), love flowers and plants . . . I am NOT a lawn person, would frankly be happy if the entire lawn was turned into a terrace and potted flower zone!

So . . . what to do, what to do about a yard of weeds?

Have you come up with any ideas?
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Old 05-23-2011, 06:51 AM
 
Location: Erie, PA
939 posts, read 2,096,472 times
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[quote=Garden of Eden;19269167]I too have tried vinegar and yes it kills weeds but I am not sold on it. It does kill grass and it upsets the pH of the soil. I wasn't aware that Scotts and Preen are Earth Friendly. I was under the impression that yes, their ingredients are chemicals, chemicals that do harm the Earth and the animals walking the Earth. I am trying so hard to get away from chemicals, but it is just about darn impossible. That is of course if you don't mind the weeds taking over your grass and having a yard full of weeds versus grass.

What makes you think vinegar is any safer or earth friendly than commercial chemicals? Any idea how much testing is done before a commercial chemical is approved for sale? How much testing do you think was done with vinegar?
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Old 05-23-2011, 08:03 AM
 
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Missela, thank you for confirming what I "thought" I knew.

Rtom45, vinegar is a LOT safer then chemicals. How do I base my conclusions? I eat vinegar and the elements that make up my body are actually the same base elements that make up dirt. Yes, too much of a good thing, is not a good thing, and eating too much vinegar will upset my body pH which holds true for the soil's pH as well.

Let me ask you a question, Rtom45. How much testing was done on some of the "old time" remedies that our parents and grandparents used when we were ill? Or are you too young for that? I remember my husband telling me his mom used to but onions on the bottom of his feet to draw out a fever. It worked. Why must there always be that word "testing" or "research" thrown in when natural remedies that work are being used. My goodness, I'll take vinegar any day over chemicals, thank you, yet vinegar too, has its drawbacks and the person using it needs to use his or her common sense.
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Old 05-23-2011, 08:44 AM
 
Location: Erie, PA
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[quote=Garden of Eden;19271774]Missela, thank you for confirming what I "thought" I knew.

Rtom45, vinegar is a LOT safer then chemicals. How do I base my conclusions? I eat vinegar and the elements that make up my body are actually the same base elements that make up dirt. Yes, too much of a good thing, is not a good thing, and eating too much vinegar will upset my body pH which holds true for the soil's pH as well.

Just as a point of reference:
The oral LD50 (lethal dose for 50% of the population) for Round Up (glyphosate) as tested on rats is 5600 mg/kg. The oral LD50 for vinegar is 3310 mg/kg. In this case, the higher number is better (safer) since it takes a higher dose to kill you. If you ingest too much vinegar, it will kill you before round up will.

I can use gasoline, bleach, turpentine, and a lot of other things to kill plants in my yard. That doesn't mean that any of them are safer than "chemicals" just because they're not sold as lawn chemicals.
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Old 05-23-2011, 10:06 AM
 
Location: Sherwood
4,995 posts, read 6,676,723 times
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I too have used vinegar to kill unwanted plants, but in my case, I had to use multiple applications. I think it also works better if it's not raining :P. Anyway, I may have a scientific solution to vinegar's changing the soil PH.

After the weeds are dead, water with a mild solution of non-toxic soap. Actually, the acid in the vinegar is soluble, so IMO it will most likely wash away at some point after enough rains. If your soil is normally alkaline, I believe you can't permanently change the PH just by adding vinegar. Similarly, I can't permanently change the PH of my normally acidic MD soil just by adding lime.

If acids (vinegar etc) and bases (castile soap etc) mix, they react and form carbon dioxide and water (I may be confabulating, but I don't feel like Googling). Anyway, they cancel one-another out. If you're worried, sprinkling w/ a mild alkaline/basic/soapy solution should do the trick after the weeds you want gone are dead.
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