Vinegar as weed killer

Asked May 16, 2019, 12:31 AM EDT

I sprayed a portion of my lawn which was not healthy grass anyway with the vinegar, Epsom salt and dawn dish soap concoction. it seems to be a very effective weed killer. I want to rock this area leaving a few spots for shrubs and perennials. My concern now is that by using this spray I may have ruined the soil for replanting. I don't want to waste my time and money on plants that may die shortly after planting. Can you please advise me on this; Thank you., Virginia

Union County Oregon herbicides

1 Response

Thank you for your question, Virginia. As Master Gardener volunteers, we are restricted to giving horticultural advice that is consistent with scientific research. Although there are a variety of ‘concoctions’ that are available on the Internet (and often recommended by our grandmothers), little research has been done to determine which are both effective and safe. Recently, however, the following Extension article has been published comparing vinegar with glyphosate (sold as Roundup): https://extension.umd.edu/sites/extension.umd.edu/files/_docs/programs/ipmnet/Vinegar-AnAlternativeToGlyphosate-UMD-Smith-Fiola-and-Gill.pdf I suggest that you read it to determine if and/or how vinegar may be a risk to soil and non-target plants. Note that vinegar (especially in concentrations exceeding the 5% we use in cooking) may cause serious eye damage, and skin irritation not yet addressed by the EPA, as it is not regulated by the agency. Hope this is helpful. Good luck!