Vinegar as weed control?

Asked June 1, 2019, 8:56 PM EDT

I keep hearing that vinegar works safely and effectively for killing weeds. The first time, it was recommended to dilute it: one cup white vinegar to one gallon water. The weeds thanked me for the extra hydration. The second time I saw it recommended, the dilution was one cup vinegar to one quart water. Again, the weeds flourished. The third time: one cup vinegar to one cup water, 50-50. No better success. The last time, I simply put straight vinegar on the weeds, with no better luck. Any comments?

Ravalli County Montana

1 Response

Good Day,

I don't think many of the "organic" and "safe" weed killers marketed are effective. In my experience, simple household vinegar doesn't work. It may brown the weed, especially grass, but it doesn't move from the foliage/leaves to the roots to kill the plant. You can purchase higher strength vinegar solutions, but again, they simply burn down the week and don't move to the root zone. The only time I've had success with using a vinegar, citric acid, or other "organic" weed killers is in the summer in South Texas (Highs @ 100 F) and the plant was too stressed to recover. I sprayed a grass, dandelion and young mesquite with these products, again in the heat of summer; the grass died, the dandelion regrew it's leave and the mesquite was unharmed.

I agree that looking for safer alternatives are a good idea, but other than simply pulling the weeds, it's tough to find something that works as well as name brand herbicides.