Many people are turning to vinegar as an environmentally safe way to get rid of annual weeds. Research done by the USDA has proven that vinegar (acetic acid) can be used as an herbicide. Effective at killing some common weeds, vinegar quickly breaks down in the soil and doesn’t affect the pH for longer than a few days.
Affects of Vinegar on Plants
Vinegar applications work best at killing annuals by causing a rapid burn to some weed’s plant tissue. Perennials will have green die-off, but the roots may survive the application and send up new plants.
Killing Weeds with Vinegar
Household vinegar is a 5 percent concentration of vinegar mixed with 95 percent water and can be used on young seedlings. Solutions made with a 5 to 10 percent vinegar concentration are sprayed on the leaves of young plants under 2 weeks of age. For older plants, the solution should contain a 10 to 20 percent vinegar concentration. These higher vinegar concentrations are being sold as herbicides at many lawn and garden stores, but should be used with great care. Any vinegar concentrations above 5 percent can cause eye injuries and skin burns.