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vinegar as herbicide

 
Leah Sattler
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would vinegar work for weeds in walkways? I'm afraid that the weeds creeping through a stone walk way will eventually break out the grout and bust up the path. I'm hoping that it would create an inhospitable enviroment by acidifying the bit of soil in the cracks.
 
paul wheaton
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Yes - it will work.  Although you need to make sure it is full strength vinegar.  Apparently, most vinegar is a bit diluted.
 
Gwen Lynn
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Yep, there's places that sell full strength vinegar. Paul James the gardener guy has talked about it on his show a bazillion times. You can also pour boiling water on weeds to kill them. This works well on weeds between stones, bricks, etc.
 
Kathleen Sanderson
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I've used regular store-bought vinegar, and it works.  Might have to repeat the application in two or three years, but it's better than using Round-up (and a lot less expensive!).

Kathleen
 
Susan Monroe
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I've only used regular 5% grocery vinegar, and it works fine for weeds with shallow roots.  It doesn't work on weeds with deep tap roots like dandelions that I've found, but multiple applications applied less randomly than I've done  may have better results.  But I've never tested to see if young dandelions are more susceptible, which they may well be.

And the effect might be better when the soil is dry, if that is an option.

The stronger 18% vinegar is used for pickling, so that may lead you to a source.

It is said that regular white vinegar shows the best results.

Sue
 
Leah Sattler
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thanks! I will give the regular stuff a shot since I have several gallons already and see if it works.
 
                              
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Location: MASSACHUSETTS 35 MI W OF BOSTON
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I USED STORE BOUGHT WHITE VINEGAR, TOOK A 3/4 INCH METAL POST, WENT UP TO THE NASTY DANDELIONS, THE NASTY ONES  ARE THE ONES I AM NOT GOING TO JUICE, POKED A HOLE DOWN THE CENTER , AND POURED A BIT OF VINEGAR, MAYBE 1/2 CUP OR LESS, IN ONE DAY THEY SHOWED BURN, WE THEN HAD A LOUSY WEEK, I WORK OUTDOORS AND WAS IN NO MOOD TO CHECK THEM AFTER BEING COLD AND WET ALL DAY.... ANYWAY 6 DAYS  LATER THEY ARE COMPLETELY ERRADICATED.  BROWN, DEAD, GONE..... EASY AS CAN BE.DANDELION B GONE  A SLIGHT OVERPOUR HALO OF BROWN GRASS , IS EVIDENT. SO NEXT TIME I WILL USE A DIFFERENT METHOD OF APPLICATION. TO BE MORE PRECISE.
 
Brenda Groth
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the boiling water will also work for the ants living in the cracks of your walkway..but i'm not sure about the vinegar?
 
                              
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Location: MASSACHUSETTS 35 MI W OF BOSTON
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Brenda Groth wrote:
the boiling water will also work for the ants living in the cracks of your walkway..but i'm not sure about the vinegar?


I ACTUALLY SAW THE SUGGESTION FOR DANDELIONS, NOT ANTS....IN MY HOME I WAS INVADED WITH LARGE BLACK ANTS, AT NIGHT IT WAS A TWILIGHT ZONE SHOW, I WOULD CREEP DOWN THE STAIRS AND THE WATERMELON RIND WOULD BE CRAWLING BLACK,,,,YUCK, AFTER MUCH TRIAL AND ERROR, I CLEANED ALL CABINETS AND SURFACED WITH A NATURAL CLEANER, "MIRACLE TWO  SOAP" YOU CAN BRUSH YOUR TEETH WITH IT .... NON TOXIC... IT REMOVED ALL THE CHEM TRAILS , SUCH THAT THE ANTS COULD NOT FIND THEIR WAY BACK., I THEN LINED ALL CABINETS WITH GROUND CINNAMON  TRAILS, NEVER HAD ANTS  AGAIN,,,, THAT WAS FOUR OR FIVE YEARS AGO. I STILL USE THAT MIRACLE TWO AS MY  ONLY HOME CLEANSER, AND THE CINAMON HAS LONG SINCE BEEN VACUUMED OUT...
 
Leah Sattler
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cinnamon! cool idea! does it kill them or do they just find it noxious? I fiugre I ought to wait for a day without rain before I try the vinegar thing. looks like we might get a break tommorrow.
 
                              
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Location: MASSACHUSETTS 35 MI W OF BOSTON
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THEY FIND THE CINNAMON NOXIOUS, WITH THE CHEM TRAILS GONE THEY JUST FIND ANOTHER HOME, IT WAS ACTUALLY AMAZING AS PRIOR TO THIS APPROACH I HAD HAD THE HOUSE SPRAYED, NOT BY CHOICE, BY EX HUSBAND, SO WHEN THIS WORKED I WAS ECSTATIC,.....  THE VINEGAR WORKED, WE HAD RAIN THE VERY NEXT DAY I APPLIED IT. I DONT THINK IT WAS AN ISSUE, THE PH LEVEL JUST DID IT......
 
Travis Philp
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I can attest to storebought vinegar working as a herbicide. I diluted it to about 60%  vinegar and 40% water but in future I would go for 70/30 because though the vinegar had visible burn, it didn't get all the foliage.

Oh, and for application method I used a backpack sprayer. Make sure to do it on a wind-less day.

I've heard a good thing to do before applying to tall plants is to flatten them for a few hours to a day with cardboard or wooden boards to be able to hit more plant surface area. I suppose plants growing in cracks don't get that high but I thought I'd throw that out there for others benefit.
 
Travis Philp
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I've also used vinegar to deter ants.

A few years ago I lived in a camping trailer and we had ants crawling in the ceiling, with a regular path across one of the skylights.

So I sprayed vinegar a few times over the course of a couple of days in the skylight, as well as all other places I'd seen them and they stopped showing their anty faces around after that.
 
paul wheaton
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I think vinegar is one of those things where I just can't help but get the feeling that I'm going about it all wrong.

It's like that whole thing about what is the difference between permaculture and organic

organic:  If you normally think of spraying roundup, then organic is what you use instead of roundup. 

permaculture:  if you improve your diversity, the weeds go away.

 
Travis Philp
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For me the method was an experiment for broad-ish scale no-till bed prep and planting of beans without having to sheet mulch. My other controls were cardboard and sheet metal 'tractors'. These were laid down for several days until weeds were at or near death and then moved. Then the bean seeds were planted and the area was mulched with hay

The sheet metal worked best but the cardboard held down by rocks works about as well, it just doesn't warme the ground like the sheet metal does.
 
Joel Hollingsworth
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paul wheaton wrote:permaculture:  if you improve your diversity, the weeds go away.


It's possible to propagate moss by pureeing it in a blender with skim milk or buttermilk. A quick search found this:

Cover rocks and bricks with moss using a buttermilk-moss milk shake. A soft green moss veneer adds an air of antiquity, permanence, and beauty to walls, walks, or woodland rock gardens. You can wait a few years for moss to naturally creep into moist and shady places, or you can encourage a quicker appearance. Gather local cushion-forming mosses, the kinds that thrive in your climate, and find a garden location similar to where they naturally grow. Mix the moss with buttermilk in a blender and pour the concoction onto the appropriate rocks or bricks in your garden. Let it dry thoroughly. Keep the area moist, but not so wet that the milk shake washes off the bricks or stones. New moss will soon make an appearance.


here http://home.howstuffworks.com/how-to-design-gardens4.htm

Might that compete with any new weeds, once the old ones are dead?

 
Travis Philp
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Joel Hollingsworth wrote:
Might that compete with any new weeds, once the old ones are dead?


I worked at a farm near here a few years ago...We had success with moss growing naturally between rows of baby cut-and-come-again lettuce. The moss was very good at keeping out other 'weeds'.
 
Scott Reil
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Location: Colchester, CT
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The other thing to keep in mind is that weeds can be indicators of low nutrient levels; dandelions are indicators for low calcium and pH, and likely high potassium. The chapter on weeds in my good friend Paul Tukey's "Organic Lawn Care Manual" is titled "Listening To Your Weeds" and helps not only with ID and organic treatment, but what they are trying to tell us. Understanding this language can be a great benefit to any gardener... f'rinstance, moss suggests compaction, low fertility and excess moisture...

HG
 
Travis Philp
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There was definitly some mild compaction and excess moisture in our mossy lettuce beds but the lettuce grew at a good rate and was healthy. The area was a chicken tractor area the year before so those two pieces of evidence tell me that the nutrient level was alright, at least for lettuce.
 
Scott Reil
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Location: Colchester, CT
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Yeah, Travis, moss is not really plant competitive, so not so much an issue (even in lawn I have no problem with it).

Dandelions, not so much...

HG
 
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