Household vinegar, and the higher acetic acid in horticultural vinegar, are both effective 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 larger lawn areas. However, it works beautifully on patios, walkways and driveways.
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. When digging out dandelion tap roots, pour a bit of the vinegar into the hole. It will go down to any bits of root left and kill it off.
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20% Horticultural Vinegar on a sunny day helps control weeds organically.
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