Ditch the RoundUp : Good-bye Weeds & Grass with Vinegar!

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Yikes!  Yes, I’m killing weeds and grass… well in certain areas.  We have a fairly long gravel driveway and each summer grass and other pesky weeds like to make the center of it their home.  It’s not so pretty.  We don’t like using harsh chemicals, and in the past, I found that they weren’t even always that effective, so why bother?!

The solution (as it seems to be with many simple & thrifty ways of doing things) is vinegar!  Plain old white vinegar.  I pulled out our garden sprayer and stocked up with 4 gallons of cheap store brand vinegar (about $2 a jug).  If you don’t have a sprayer you can pick up a 1 gallon or 2 gallon fairly cheap on Amazon.com.  Mine happens to be the 2 gallon size.

Get out your sprayer, pour a gallon of vinegar in, pump and get to spraying.  I chose to do this on two dry, hot days.  The grass was sure to be thirsty, so it seemed to make sense and would hopefully work fast (it did!)

Be sure to spray only where you want to kill the grass, the vinegar will kill everything you spray.  At the edges of your driveway be sure to spray in a straight line, unless you like zig-zagged edges.  You can see in the photo below where I sprayed just earlier today.  The grass is already dying off and the edge is pretty clean.

The photo below is of the spraying I did yesterday and you can see clearly where I stopped.  The vinegar worked great and quite quickly.  I’m happy to be cleaning up our driveway naturally with a simply product.  It cost me about $8 in vinegar (we already had a sprayer).  If you buy a sprayer, it can be used again and again.  We’ve used ours for all sorts of projects around the house!
I did find that later on in the summer I needed to reapply (a few of the weeds were tough and tried to come back).  I am thrilled with the effectiveness of this method and am happy that it provides a non-toxic option for our property, and I don’t have to worry about what our children, vegetable garden (water run-off!) and animals are exposed to.
Amanda Hearn
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  • That's awesome! And this comes at such a good time because we're trying to figure out what to do with some weeds right now!

    Let me ask you this: obviously you can't spray the vinegar on areas where you don't want to kill everything living, do you think that if we sprayed something and waited a while, like maybe a week? Or even maybe after it rained a bit? That we could then plant plants in the areas we treated with vinegar and they'd grow ok? Or do you think it will kind of ruin the soil for growing anything for quite a while?

  • Thanks for this post. I have been searching for a natural way to kill weeds. I'll be sure to give this a shot.

  • Stephanie – From what I've read – the vinegar will also kill the good micro-organisms in the area if you saturate the ground like I did (I wanted these things dead and have no need to plant there).

    If you are spot treating, or being more careful, you can spray the leaves of the plants (trying to avoid saturating the ground). After the plants have died I'd try waiting for a heavy rain or watering the area and adding some natural fertilizer to replenish nutrients in the area.

    I also read that if you want to use this in your yard or gardens you can use a paint brush to 'paint' vinegar onto the leaves of weeds to kill them and avoid the good plants.

  • Perennial weeds can be really tough. I used a product called Burnout which is commercial grade vinegar. This stuff can eat through a cement floor so be careful where you store it.

    This year I am going to try my steamer and see if that works. I will keep you posted!

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