Household vinegar, and the higher acetic acid in horticultural vinegar, is an effective organic weed control when used properly.
As with most organic applications, it does take some special handling and a little more work than the traditional chemical herbicide.
Vinegar is non selective, so if any gets onto the turf grass itself, that grass will also be killed.
It's recommended that you carefully paint the vinegar directly onto the plant with a brush or spray carefully directly above the weed plant on a non-windy day to avoid over-spray.
Because of it's non selective nature, this control might not be the most effective organic weed killer for killing dandelions or broadleaf plantain on larger lawn areas. However, it works beautifully on patios, walkways and driveways.
I used horticultural vinegar along the edges of our driveway that meet our lawn. Some unwanted grass and a few weeds had spilled out over the lawn edge into the gravel drive. I found it way too hard to remove them with the shovel edger so thought I'd give the vinegar a try. It worked very well within a relatively short time and a second application later in the season.
The maximum stage for the best control is the 4-leaf stage of a weed.
Applying to young weeds at the pre-seed stage will be more effective.
Early fall application to perennial weeds is best when nutrients are being transferred from the leaves to the roots.
In general, organic vinegar should be reapplied at 2 week intervals until the plants are completely dead. The vinegar does not provide a systemic control, meaning it is not absorbed into the root, like chemical herbicides do.
Check your weather forecast for a stretch of sunny days so the vinegar is not washed off by rain. The sun also helps activate the process in the few days following the application.
The acetic acid in regular household vinegar is 5%. Some people boil the vinegar before using it, which is said to increase the concentration. A greater concentration found in horticultural vinegar is needed for more mature weeds.
Vinegar is a biodegradable product. It will decrease the pH of the soil a bit, but balances back out within 48 hours.
20% Horticultural Vinegar on a sunny day helps control weeds organically.
Why not give it a try!