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All natural weed spray for weeds that grow in paved areas.  RSS feed

 
Dale Hodgins
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Location: Victoria British Columbia-Canada
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I was at the Uptown Mall yesterday, when I noticed a young man with a weed sprayer. He was going to all of the cracks between pavers and spraying the weeds. This was an area right beside a playground and the Starbucks, where many children play and many dogs are walked. I had my daughters little dog on a leash.

I immediately headed over to investigate what I thought was a bad situation. Then I smelled vinegar. I talked to the guy running the sprayer and he showed me the supplies he uses. He mixes vinegar with salt. The solution is added to the plants on hot days when no rain is expected. They dry out and die. Apparently this works quite well, since there were very few little weeds coming up.

 The guy told me that he has had success finding work around other play areas , and that it has proven to be a viable part time business.

I'm going to try this on some of my customers paved areas , to see how well it works.
.....
Do any of you have other concoctions that would work in this situation? I would not be looking to spray anything in areas where food is grown or on lawn areas. This would be limited to the difficult weeds that often pop up between paving stones and the weeds that grow in the crack between asphalt paving and concrete foundation walls. I have a commercial client who might choose this option.
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John Polk
steward
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Location: Currently in Lake Stevens, WA. Home in Spokane
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Look for 'Agricultural Grade' vinegar. Way, way cheaper than food grade.
I have used vinegar in the cracks between sidewalk/structure. Worked great (for a while).
If you can reapply it just as the new growth appears, you can easily keep ahead of the problem.


 
Dale Hodgins
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Location: Victoria British Columbia-Canada
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Just about everyone who moves out of a house that I'm working on, leaves me a bottle of vinegar. Supply certainly won't be a problem.

I am often left everything contained under the kitchen and bathroom sinks. There must be something else there that is relatively safe, that would also do harm to the unwanted plants. Lack of a visible residue is important for many of my situations. It would also be nice to have things that won't clog the spray nozzle.

I wonder about household bleach. I know that there are many commercial bleaching compounds which would be very bad but something based on ammonia or hydrogen peroxide might be acceptable.
 
Karen Donnachaidh
pollinator
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Location: Virginia (zone 7)
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Sometimes I find that, no matter how wonderful their benefits, there are weeds in places where I just can't have them. I am having to walk through tall weeds to get to my water spigot, for instance. We have way too many copperheads and rattlesnakes for that to be a wise step. This is not an area that can be cut with a string trimmer. Hand pulling would be quite messy here. A torch couldn't be used this close to the house. This is also one of several places where I need to find a solution.

I cannot complain to my husband about this, I fear a toxic spray will be suggested. I am looking for a solution that suits my comfort level and is the least harmful to my soil, yet effective.

In the book Terrific Garden Tonics, by Jerry Baker, there's a formula for Wild Weed Wipeout Tonic. It's simply: 1 Tablespoon each of gin, vinegar and baby shampoo in a quart of warm water, applied til runoff. (I added a little extra gin in hopes that if it doesn't kill them maybe they'll just fall over drunk.) Will this work? Has anyone else here tried it?

Here are the before pictures - various weeds, in three different spots, wet with spray. I'll report back in a few days with the results.
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Bryant RedHawk
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Location: Vilonia, Arkansas - Zone 7B/8A stoney, sandy loam soil pH 6.5
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if you don't have success with using vinegar (5% solution of acetic acid in water) then you might try finding a stronger solution at a chemical supply they should have acetic acid in concentrations up to 58% which you can then dilute to what ever strength you need.
The salt works in conjunction with the acetic acid but be aware that pouring even a 5% vinegar on soil will change the pH instantly and that means some microbiological genocide will be incurred. In the case of paved areas, not a problem, around the edge of a garden plot, it could be a problem.

vinegar will also kill ant hills, because it acidifies the soil and the acid burns the legs off the ants as it kills them. The problem here is that you have to do a large area around and including the mound in order to get the ant colony completely gone.

Redhawk
 
Stacy Witscher
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Location: SF Bay Area
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At home, I pour boiling water on the weeds in cracks in the pavement. I don't boil water just for this, it's always left after blanching/canning etc. The most effective boiling water is what's left from blanching pretzels, as it contains a lot of baking soda. Some weeds are surprising unaffected by just boiling water. They are tough little buggers.
 
Dale Hodgins
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Karen, your problem could be dealt with using a long reach hedge trimmer. The weeds could be regularly cut off within three quarters of an inch of the ground. Your hands would never get near a spot where snakes may be lurking.
 
Karen Donnachaidh
pollinator
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My issue in the area near the water spigot is one of a structural nature. The retaining wall leading into the root cellar (spigot inside) has partially collapsed, causing a cascade of soil and weeds at the bottom of the steps leading in. This is a 3'x3' area of wet soil/weeds in the stairwell until we repair the wall. There's also a drain in the landing that has to be cleared frequently of anything blocking it (dirt, weeds, fallen leaves).
 
Bryant RedHawk
gardener
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Location: Vilonia, Arkansas - Zone 7B/8A stoney, sandy loam soil pH 6.5
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chicken dog forest garden hugelkultur hunting toxin-ectomy
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hau Karen, Snakes don't like the smell and eye irritation caused by vinegar, they will flee the area until the smell has dissipated.

I keep a spray bottle filled with white vinegar for spraying areas that might have copperheads that I'm going into for brush cutting.

Redhawk
 
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