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Garden Pest Management and Identification UBC Botanical Garden advocates the use of Integrated Pest Management.

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  #1  
Old July 7th, 2008, 02:06 PM
JCardina JCardina is offline
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vinegar is a great weed killer

For those who want a "green" solution to weeds that actually works I can confirm that white pickling vinegar (7% acetic acid) makes an amazing plant killer. Spray it on any leaf you want to kill on a hot sunny day and within 10 minutes it's starting to turn brown and shortly afterwards the leaves are completely dead (none took longer than overnight).

It works by stripping off the waxy coating on leaves that prevents them from dehydrating too quickly.

No need for expensive or potentially dangerous chemicals, just make sure it's at least 7% acetic acid (stronger would be better but not as available but "Pickling" vinegar is usually at least 7%) and put it in a cheap plastic spray bottle and you have a plant killer. It will kill almost any leaf you spray it on depending on how waxy they are some will be more resistant (that's why 20% would be even better) but it works great on dandelions, thistles, grass etc etc. For dandelions just spray the leaves and the center of the flower.

Dandelions and others with a long tap root will need a subsequent application because it won't kill the root, just all the leaves, but as long as the leaves are dead the root will die in pretty short order.

I'm going to hack a Swiffer WetJet mop so I can refill it with vinegar and use it's built in battery powered sprayer to do large areas conveniently (I have a lot of gravel trails in the back of our property that I want to keep vegetation free), the spray bottle gets tiresome after a while.

There are commercial formulations based on vinegar now and they contain surfactants to make the liquid spread more evenly on the leaf and not bead up, I'm going to experiment with that as well, maybe dish soap or citrus based organic cleaners.

Kinda makes you wonder why there are so many complex alternatives like Roundup when plain old vinegar works so well.
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Old July 7th, 2008, 02:48 PM
Michael F Michael F is offline
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Re: vinegar is a great weed killer

Quote:
because it won't kill the root ..... Kinda makes you wonder why there are so many complex alternatives like Roundup when plain old vinegar works so well
Maybe, because it doesn't work so well! Not that I like herbicides, though.
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Old July 7th, 2008, 03:08 PM
JCardina JCardina is offline
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Re: vinegar is a great weed killer

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Maybe, because it doesn't work so well! Not that I like herbicides, though.
Hot sunny day, 7% or higher vinegar works perfectly, within minutes you can see it working, I'm not sure what doesn't work about it.
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Old July 7th, 2008, 03:16 PM
Michael F Michael F is offline
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Re: vinegar is a great weed killer

That it is only a contact herbicide; anything it doesn't touch goes on living. Roundup is translocated through the plant and kills the roots as well. A major difference in many of the worst weeds, which will sprout again from their roots.
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Old July 7th, 2008, 03:49 PM
timbercheap timbercheap is offline
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Re: vinegar is a great weed killer

Round up inhibits the production of an essential amino acid in green plants, so as Michael F correctly points out, as a broadspectrum post-emergent herbicide, it guarentees control with one application on almost any target (the exception being some GM crops and a very few number of weed species in areas of multiple crop rotation/yr). The reason [I]glyphosate[I] is in ubiquitous use is because of its efficacy/dollar spent. In fact the UN FAO labeled this chemical one of the 20 most imporant agricultural discoveries of the 20th century, leading to huge increases in tonnes/ha of food production.
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Old July 7th, 2008, 11:09 PM
JCardina JCardina is offline
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Re: vinegar is a great weed killer

Round up works, no question, but it's a lot more expensive and the vinegar works well on everything I've tried it on and it's cheap enough to respray a few times for the more resistant weeds that need time without leaves to kill the whole plant. The other issue a lot of people are facing in eastern Canada and increasingly elsewhere is municipalities are banning traditional herbicides and pestisides.
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Old July 9th, 2008, 08:02 PM
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Re: vinegar is a great weed killer

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Originally Posted by JCardina View Post
... I'm not sure what doesn't work about it.
Another part of it is that it (the vinegar available at the market) isn't registered with PMRA as a herbicide hence it cannot be sold as such. Excepting the product Ecoclear (active ingredient listed as Acetic acid, I think its 10%) which has been hit and miss in regards to wholesale availability.

http://www.pmra-arla.gc.ca/english/a...a/about-e.html
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Old July 10th, 2008, 08:55 AM
Ron B Ron B is offline
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Re: vinegar is a great weed killer

Re-application of glyphosate is often needed with perennial weeds. This is not due simply to operator error as application directions mention this. In practice there also seems to be an inherent problem with drift injury to adjacent non-target plants, some common ones such as roses and grapes being especially susceptible.

And some locally common target plants such as creeping buttercup and Himalayan blackberry are not effectively controlled, except in the latter case during a comparatively narrow window in fall. Even then re-spraying is expected to be necessary.

Last edited by Ron B; September 9th, 2008 at 10:04 AM.
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Old July 10th, 2008, 09:23 AM
JCardina JCardina is offline
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Re: vinegar is a great weed killer

Well that's all very interesting but 7% Vinegar and a bit of dish soap are working perfectly for me when applied in the hot sun on a dry day so I'll skip the ecoclear and the glyphosate / round up as unnecessary since I can get the pickling vinegar easily enough and it's relatively cheap.
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Old July 10th, 2008, 11:28 AM
Ron B Ron B is offline
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Re: vinegar is a great weed killer

Myself I wonder what effect repeated applications of highly acidic materials to garden soils will have on release of toxic materials like heavy metals and the condition of the soil microflora and microfauna.
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Old July 19th, 2008, 11:53 AM
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C8luvs2gardn C8luvs2gardn is offline
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Re: vinegar is a great weed killer

Thank you JCardina for a great idea! I tried it out on my patio and it worked like a charm! It is almost impossible to pull up the weeds growing in the gaps between the pavers, so I tried the vinegar & dish soap solution and within an hour everything was shriveled up and brown. Everything that is except the wild woodland violets - I've got them everywhere, and yes including in the garden. Problem is they come up everywhere and I only have room for so many.

The best part of this weed solution is that I didn't have to worry about letting the cat and dog out (or being able to sit out there myself!), so thanks again for a 'green' solution to the weed problem.
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Old July 19th, 2008, 01:06 PM
JCardina JCardina is offline
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Re: vinegar is a great weed killer

You're welcome. I've been using it all over and there are a very few things it doesn't work on but all the most common annoying lawn weeds it does. I've perfected the mix and use an ounce of dish soap per gallon of 7% pickling vinegar and one of those garden sprayers you pump up and set the sprayer wand to a very fine mist.

I thought I would have to re-treat the dandelions with their long tap roots but we're in a drought right now and it's hot and sunny and all the dandelions I sprayed have yet to come back at all.

Cheers!
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Old July 21st, 2008, 11:01 PM
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Re: vinegar is a great weed killer

I think I would stick with Round Up after reviewing some MSDS sheets. Seems Acetic Acid is slightly more toxic to the soil as well as fish, and has a dermal exposure value 5 times more toxic to humans and pets then Glyphosate. Even oral exposure is almost twice as toxic. For the health of my pets I would use Round Up any day.
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Old July 22nd, 2008, 12:12 AM
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Re: vinegar is a great weed killer

I tried the use of 1qt vinegar, 1 cup salt, and 1/2 cup detergent on dandelions in the cracks in my driveway, and as advertised it killed all the leaves dead. Unfortunately the leaves are now resprouting, and I will need to reapply. Grass in the cracks appears deader than a doorknob.

In the lawn it appears to have killed the dandelions dead, without leaving a significant kill radius. 999 more to go.....
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Old September 9th, 2008, 09:37 AM
JCardina JCardina is offline
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Re: vinegar is a great weed killer

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Originally Posted by jimweed View Post
I think I would stick with Round Up after reviewing some MSDS sheets. Seems Acetic Acid is slightly more toxic to the soil as well as fish, and has a dermal exposure value 5 times more toxic to humans and pets then Glyphosate. Even oral exposure is almost twice as toxic. For the health of my pets I would use Round Up any day.

Yeah right, 7% vinegar is pretty toxic in oral exposure, look at all those poor souls who die every year simply by eating pickles they bought in their local grocery store. Someone should really do something about that...think of the children.. ;)

Do you work for the Round Up people or something, this is the worst hogwash I've seen online in at least an hour. :)
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Old September 9th, 2008, 09:44 AM
Ron B Ron B is offline
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Re: vinegar is a great weed killer

>Yeah right etc.<

Is everyone here now talking about the same kind of vinegar?
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Old September 9th, 2008, 09:51 AM
JCardina JCardina is offline
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Re: vinegar is a great weed killer

Well it's my thread and I've stated repeatedly Pickling vinegar 7% acetic acid. Nothing labelled "vinegar" comes much stronger than that which I've ever seen. The poster might be referring to pure laboratory grade acetic acid for all I know but if they are they should probably step away from the keyboard and learn how to read and comprehend first.
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Old September 9th, 2008, 10:00 AM
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Re: vinegar is a great weed killer

Well JC since you put it that way, I do prefer vinegar on my french fries instead of Round Up. But it doesn't change the facts of science or what the MSDS sheets say. Has there ever been anyone poisoned by Round Up?
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Old September 9th, 2008, 10:02 AM
Ron B Ron B is offline
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Re: vinegar is a great weed killer

When I search "horticultural vinegar" I see indications this phrase is being used for 20% acetic acid.

http://www.google.com/search?q=horti...ient=firefox-a
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Old September 9th, 2008, 10:09 AM
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Re: vinegar is a great weed killer

Actually I was referring to the registered use of Acetic Acid as a herbicide "Ecoclear" it is 25%, but when mixed at 1 to 3 ratio with water it is still applied at about 8%. Sorry if I offended your use of 7%.
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Old September 9th, 2008, 09:44 PM
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Re: vinegar is a great weed killer

for some reason I recollect the ready to use Ecoclear at the garden stores at 10%. I find it annoying when forum members attack one another when the proven and posted science shows clear discussion and facts. If we argue on the premise that someone in the loop is lying its all heresay and in the long run, immaterial.

FWIW I dont think you 'own' a thread when you start it, thats kind of odd logic. Does the fact that someone started a thread mean that no one can post an alternate opinion?
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Old December 28th, 2012, 01:30 AM
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Re: vinegar is a great weed killer

hope this article helps.

http://www.ofa.org.au/papers/glyphosatereview.htm

I do notice that after each use of glysophate 360 weed kill, I often get nose bleed and very dry throat. I'm now looking for alternatives.
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Old March 24th, 2013, 10:56 PM
crownjohnsons crownjohnsons is offline
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Re: vinegar is a great weed killer

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Originally Posted by Concern View Post
hope this article helps.

http://www.ofa.org.au/papers/glyphosatereview.htm

I do notice that after each use of glysophate 360 weed kill, I often get nose bleed and very dry throat. I'm now looking for alternatives.
it is hard to believe vinegar is so effective but I always prefer natural pest control methods. They are pretty safe.
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Old April 10th, 2013, 09:04 PM
Gardener1 Gardener1 is offline
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Re: vinegar is a great weed killer

Amazing post, thanks a lot for the tip
i had been looking for a good cheap weedkiller forever and this will do just fine
thanks again
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Old April 11th, 2013, 07:51 AM
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Re: vinegar is a great weed killer

Wow, I have never read such crap in my life. And to think that someone might actually believe this... is scarey.

Glyphosate is made from Glycine and Phosphate:

Glycine:( Glycine is utilized in human body to help construct normal DNA and RNA strands) ref..(http://www.aminoacidsguide.com/Gly.html)
Phosphate:Phosphates are chemical compounds that are found in the human body and throughout the natural world. ref...(http://www.livestrong.com/article/49...#ixzz2QAJNSb8m)

Without these compounds already in your body...well, good luck.

Andre Leu, you took the true scientific facts and completely reversed them. For anyone who is interested in some Glyphosate facts, well...just think pretty much the exact opposite of what Andre says, and you will have your facts.

Sorry Daniel I hope this is not offensive, I just had to voice my opinion. When I read that link I just had to respond.

Hope all is well Daniel, Paul, Ron B, Micheal, Douglas, it has been a while, cheers...Jim.
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