Vinegar instead of Roundup?

Discussion in 'Gardening & Plant Propagation' started by moonwolf, Jun 15, 2006.

  1. moonwolf

    moonwolf Well-Known Member

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    Anyone that has actually used vinegar to kill off plant growth for an area to prepare a garden space. Roundup kills all growth. Will vinegar do the same? How do you use it. What type of vinegar? What strenght? What rate of application? and do you need to amend the soil pH after applying vinegar for this purpose?
     
  2. Ravenlost

    Ravenlost Well-Known Member Supporter

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  3. moonwolf

    moonwolf Well-Known Member

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    That would take an awful lot of hot water. I'm looking at a plot about 50 x 200 which is in grass and mixed weed to kill off completely. One thing I could do is cover with plastic to 'cook' that eventually via solar radiation.
     
  4. Ravenlost

    Ravenlost Well-Known Member Supporter

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    With that size I'd definitely go with plastic. My mom does that too! I use a layered approach on smaller plots...thick layer of newspaper with plastic over it.
     
  5. katydidagain

    katydidagain Adventuress--Definition 2 Supporter

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    I recently began using vinegar, salt and dish soap in my gravel driveway; it works. From what I've read and been told, vinegar is the key to killing but is not a systemic herbicide; the salt poisons the soil. I didn't have access to stronger than grocery store 5% white vinegar but where I treated "enthusiastically", there is no green; it's been a month. Where I wasn't thorough, well, I need to retreat. (Not run but go back and do again.) I haven't used the concoction in my garden; if I did, I'd leave out the salt. BTW, clear plastic didn't work on my driveway.
     
  6. Loveourkids3

    Loveourkids3 Well-Known Member

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    I have used the same concotion on my walkway with and without the salt. The results seem to be about the same. I probably would not use either where I wanted to grow anything. It seems like by the time anything would grow you'd be covered in weeds again. I wonder what would happen if you tried just a small amount of watered down vinegar and then covered area plastic.
     
  7. Ravenlost

    Ravenlost Well-Known Member Supporter

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    You don't want to use clear plastic as you need to block the light to help kill the plants.
     
  8. kidsngarden

    kidsngarden Well-Known Member

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    I tried straight vinegar on my driveway in really hot weather - they wilted, but came right back!

    What is the "recipe" for the vinegar/dishsoap. salt thing?

    kids
     
  9. katydidagain

    katydidagain Adventuress--Definition 2 Supporter

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    Actually, according to my research, clear plastic is considered better. However, plastic adds nothing to the soil and is a pain to retrieve after a season. I'm a great fan of newspaper covered with mulch (wood chips, straw, etc.); it makes row planting difficult but otherwise does a great job.
     
  10. moonwolf

    moonwolf Well-Known Member

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    no. one year I used clear plastic, but in the heat of summer toward late July. Within about 3 weeks the growth underneath got 'solarized'...that is 'heat killed' from the buildup of heat and drying conditions that the light going through the clear plastic did to kill all green plant growth underneath. It works very nice and works the best when conditions are hottest.
    The plastic costs more than vinegar, though. It's the vapor barrier stuff used in constuction over the insulation in a house. I think a roll that is something like 10' x 100' is about $20, so I'd need about $60 worth. A gallon of vinegar is like about $3? a matter of economics. I'd avoid salt. don't need that in the garden. I think after vinegar treatment, I might try to neutralize with a spray of low concentration mixure of baking soda in water. That might help the pH to bring in earthworms faster. also a grass clipping mulch to stabilze moisture conent, than I would sew on top of that a winter rye. I just want to make sure the vinegar did a thorough killing job like roundup, or I'll use roundup if vinegar won't work.
     
  11. katydidagain

    katydidagain Adventuress--Definition 2 Supporter

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    The recipe is 1 gallon vinegar, 1 cup salt and 2-3 tablespoons dishsoap (amount is not critical--it's the "sticker"). Because I never, ever want green in this area, I added salt until it would not dissolve in the vinegar; it was more than suggested but I always tweak recipes. My theory (don't shoot me) is that "kllling the soil" would prevent new growth; we'll see. Use of the original concoction isn't recommended on or near concrete.
     
  12. moonwolf

    moonwolf Well-Known Member

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    but, I don't want to 'kill' the soil. I want to grow a garden after the plant growh *only* is killed. Roundup doesn't make the soil toxic like salt would.
    I know because I see the effect of road salt settling into ditches here that enticed awful weeds to grow later, but not good garden type plants. For a driveway, I wouldn't care as I wouldn't be planting a garden on that.
    see the diff?
     
  13. katydidagain

    katydidagain Adventuress--Definition 2 Supporter

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    Yes, I see the difference which is why I recommended leaving salt out of the mix for garden usage. Vinegar and soap alone, applied on a hot day, will make the vegetation quite unhappy. Will it upset the "balance" forever? I seriously doubt it; it's a very weak acid so the 1st rain should dilute it sufficiently.
     
  14. moonwolf

    moonwolf Well-Known Member

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    thanks. I think that too. The rain would dilute out any vinegar not taken up by the plants left on the ground. If there was salt, that seems to go more into the ground as it settles out of solution. You know, like you see salt on the side of the road in winter. It just seems to settle and accumulate doing it's 'amending'. I'd leave the salt out and will try the vinegar. Do you think adding the soap to that vinegar really helps killing the plants? or just use plain vinegar 5%?
     
  15. fordson major

    fordson major construction and Garden b Supporter

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    after many years of resisting herbicides we use round up sparingly. there is a dog bane hemp that has resisted plastic, vinegar, boiling water ,digging, flame torching :flame: :flame: :flame: causes blisters that get infected and are hard too heal. after 4 years the plant is on the run. now to kill off the datura we unwittingly unleashed! (hoe and plasy seem too work) if you can find a greenhouse changing out their covers this works well to convert grassy areas ,does kill off or cause too move any earth worms though. :grump:
     
  16. moonwolf

    moonwolf Well-Known Member

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    No dog bane hemp problems, thank goodness. sounds bad. :grump:
     
  17. wiggles12

    wiggles12 Active Member

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    You can put the vinegar (9% or higher, if you can find 15% that is GREAT) into a pressured hand sprayer. You need to spray until everything is lightly wet and make sure you do it during the heat of the day and the sun is beating on the plants you want to kill. I just killed off a huge patch of burmuda grass and other various weeds last week using this method. The only problem with this method is that is doesn't kill the seeds. You can kill the seeds by applying corn gluten, covering the area with plastic for 30 days or a burn. You can mulch and till and pull too.
     
  18. moonwolf

    moonwolf Well-Known Member

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    thanks for that confirming info.
    I think what I would do after killing off the growth is let the seeds hatch new plants and then do another round with the vinegar to kill those off, and then put down a cover crop before fall sets in.
     
  19. amwitched

    amwitched Well-Known Member

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    Check with your local nurseries for 20% vinegar. That is supposed to be the most effective.
     
  20. Ravenlost

    Ravenlost Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Well, I guess I stand corrected. I've always been taught that you need something to block the sun, but would still absorb heat...thus, black plastic was best. Oh well. I don't use either! LOL...I found a bunch of orange plastic tablecloths on sale after Halloween for 50 cents each. I've been using those on top of a layer of newspaper and it's been working well. Or I will put down the orange plastic and put mulch on top.

    Guess it was my combination. I am going to try boiling water with vinegar to kill the weeds in my brick walkway though.

    We don't use Roundup on our place.