Will a vinegar/salt solution kill vegetation on a half acre?

Asked September 9, 2013, 12:03 PM EDT

I am starting the process of installing a prairie on about 1/2 acre of my property. I plan to kill the existing vegetation soon to prepare the area for seeding this fall, and I am curious to get an opinion about the efficacy of using a vinegar/salt solution as a substitute for Roundup. I've read a good bit online about it, but don't see anything about use in such a large area. Most information about using it has been regarding typical spot killing of weeds. If it is recommended, are there any recommended rates of application? Any information would be helpful.

Scott County Minnesota prairie restoration horticulture

1 Response

It is important to remember that the use of acetic acid (vinegar), unless the material is specifically labeled as an herbicide, is illegal. A number of companies have registrations for acetic acid to be used as an herbicide. This information can be accessed at www.garden-ville.com, www.greensense.net, www.bradfieldind.com, and www.biconet.com. Research shows that acetic acid may burn off the tops of Canada thistle and other perennials; it will not control the root system responsible for regeneration of plants. Acetic acid may not control larger weeds.

In autumn, glyphosate, the active ingredient in Roundup, will kill many weeds that are actively growing. It may not work well during a drought. Some weeds are resistant to glyphosate. Generic brands are now available. Higher concentrations of glyphosate are needed to kill buckthorn when applied to the basal bark. Glyphosate should not be used when the temperature is above 80F. http://web.extension.illinois.edu/cfiv/homeowners/070913.html http://www.weeds.iastate.edu/weednews/vinegar.htm

The following site will help you identify and control weeds. http://www1.extension.umn.edu/garden/diagnose/weed/

Many weeds are annual and are easy to pull by hand.