Asked February 23, 2020, 10:14 AM EST

Is vinegar an effective weed killer? I have nasty vines growing behind and into my vegetable garden. I don't know their names. I call the one a "jungle vine" It has a thick black trunk that rambles around the ground until it finds a tree. It then goes up the tree to a height of 50' or more. The second one is 1/4 to 1/2" diameter and is green in color. It has very sharp thorns. It also uses other plants/trees for it's support. I'm sorry I cannot provide pictures.

Howard County Maryland

1 Response

Please be aware that products like vinegar/acetic acid and botanical oils are not safer and effective. They will burn down the leafy growth but do not kill the roots of mature perennial plants. High strength acetic acid is very caustic. Refer to this page about alternatives to glyphosate.

We are not sure what vine you are referring to (thick black trunk). May be English ivy, poison ivy, etc. look on our website for photos of woody vines.

The second vine sounds like it may be greenbrier, a native perennial vine.
Identify the vines. If the vines are growing behind your vegetable garden repeated cutting and herbicide applications will get rid of them. Look for an herbicide with the ingredient triclopyr. This is a systemic, meaning it is absorbed into the system of the plant and goes down and kills the roots. Follow all label directions. Often, early fall is the best time to spray to get good results. Cut the vines to the base and apply the herbicide to the cut ends with a paint brush.
Cut the vines in your vegetable garden only. This may require persistence.