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Using Vinegar as a Natural Weed Killer

For organic gardening, vinegar can function as a handy natural weed killer. It's the acetic acid in vinegar that gives it the power to kill weeds. The higher the percentage of acetic acid in the vinegar, the better it will operate as a natural weed killer, technically speaking. Vinegar used for culinary purposes is relatively low (5%) in acetic acid, so repeated applications will be necessary when using it as a natural weed killer.

If you're battling lawn weeds, take care to apply the vinegar directly onto the weeds themselves, not letting it come into contact with your grass. Why? Because the fact that vinegar is a natural weed killer doesn't mean it can't be harmful if misused. Vinegar is non-selective, and this natural weed killer can harm your grass!

To avoid damage to grass, consider "painting" the vinegar directly onto weeds with a brush. If you do spray with vinegar, don't pull the trigger until you're right up close to the targeted weed. Don't spray on a windy day, as the wind could carry your vinegar spray where you don't want it to go -- on your grass.

There's another limitation in using vinegar as a natural weed killer, but this limitation extends to chemical weed killers, as well: namely, that you'll probably have to re-apply the vinegar to get the job done, as weeds often refuse to go quietly. This is especially true of established perennial weeds, toughened by years of coping with environmental challenges; vinegar will be more effective on younger weeds.

But considering that vinegar is safe and relatively inexpensive, this objection is hardly a telling argument against the use of vinegar as a natural weed killer. If your goal is to use a natural weed killer, one assumes that you'll be motivated to make repeated applications, as necessary.