From the kitchen to the garden: when you use vinegar for purposes other than cooking.
The easiest way to prepare a vinegar weed killer is to use the vinegar on its own without any other ingredients, so that it has the best effect. White vinegar is often used in the garden for weed control, but basically any vinegar will do. When using vinegar, be careful not to get it in your eyes!
The acidity of vinegar is usually between 10 and 20%. As a rule, the higher the acid content of the vinegar, the stronger the herbicide you can make from it. To be precise, acetic acid is what kills unwanted plants in the garden.
The vinegar herbicide recipe
Many recipes are known among gardeners. It is mainly personal experience that determines which vinegar weed killer works best for whom. Below are several different recipes, complete with warnings and other information that any hobby gardener may find useful.
Vinegar by itself
Undiluted vinegar with a 20% acid content is a very effective weed killer by itself.
Vinegar and dish soap
Mix dish soap into the vinegar, approx. 5 ml in 1 liter of vinegar. This mixture can be used not only as a weed killer, but also as an insecticide. Keep this in mind when using it in the garden. Don’t forget that it also kills useful plants, so make sure it doesn’t get on your flowers or crops. It also helps to know that some cleaning products may contain harmful chemicals.
Vinegar, washing-up liquid, water and salt
Mix 75 g of salt and 5 ml of washing-up liquid in 1 liter of vinegar and use this mixture in the garden. In this case, too, be aware that there are cleaning products that may also contain harmful chemicals.
Vinegar and lemon juice
Many people believe that adding lemon juice to vinegar increases the effectiveness of this natural weed killer. This is because lemon juice increases the acidity of the mixture. 5-75 ml is usually enough for 1 liter of vinegar.
Vinegar and essential oil
Mix a tablespoon of clove or orange essential oil into undiluted vinegar. Some gardeners believe that thanks to the oil, the mixture adheres better to the plants and this increases the effectiveness of the product.
Here are some tips on how to avoid damage to your lawn, soil and plants, and how to protect your garden animals.
On the one hand, the vinegar weed killer kills weeds and other unwanted plants, but also everything else, regardless of whether it is a crop or an ornamental plant. For this reason, spray it directly on the plant to be exterminated or in its immediate vicinity.
Vinegar is often used as a disinfectant against bacteria and molds. This is fine if you want to eliminate these unwanted microorganisms from your home, for example from the kitchen counter. However, there are many useful bacteria in nature, for example in the soil, which you should protect. Therefore, do not spray vinegar products on the ground where you want to plant, as this will sterilize the soil – for up to two years.
Pay attention to the detergent or soap used to prepare the vinegar weed killer. Their use can be dangerous if they contain chemicals that are commonly found in household cleaning products such as detergents. These include phosphates, phenols and sodium hypochlorite or bleach. Phosphates can harm the environment; and phenols and sodium hypochlorite are toxic. Therefore, choose detergents that are free of these additives. Also avoid household cleaners labeled “antibacterial” as they also kill beneficial bacteria in the soil.
Use for other purposes
Vinegar is a natural, environmentally friendly liquid that can be used in several ways, for example:
- food flavoring
- for making pickles
How to use it?
Pour the vinegar herbicide into a spray bottle or watering can. In order to achieve optimal results, spray the agent directly on the plant you want to exterminate, including its leaves, trunk, flowers and stems, instead of spraying the parts at ground level.