Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Did you Know - Vinegar can be used as an excellent Weed Killer

I have some excellent news for all the GREEN folks out there (I know there are many of you - since my last articles 'How to easily reduce your Carbon Footprint - A simple/practical guide' and '10 tips to make your House more Green!!' aroused a lot of feedback from you people). Well, there's a GREEN solution to easily get rid of the weeds from your garden in no time.

It works perfectly since I tried it a few days back and was simply amazed at the results. Use some white vinegar (7% acetic acid) which is easily available off Supermarket shelves. Spray it on any leaf you want to kill on a hot sunny day and within 10 minutes it's starting to turn brown and shortly afterward the leaves are completely dead. So all the unnecessary weeds were off my garden in no-time and the dead weeds serve as manure for the other plants.

When, I did some research on how it works I was startled to find this : It works by stripping off the waxy coating on leaves that causes the leaves to begin dehydrating too quickly.

No need for expensive or potentially dangerous chemicals, just make sure it's at least 7% acetic acid (I suppose stronger would be better but the vinegar available off the shelves is for "Pickling" purpose and has a 7% acetic acid content) and put it in a cheap plastic spray bottle and you have a plant killer. It will kill almost any leaf you spray it on depending on how waxy they are some will be more resistant (that's why I suppose something like 20% would be even better) but it works great on dandelions, thorny bushes, grass etc. For dandelions just spray the leaves and the center of the flower. The entire plant dies out.

Dandelions and others with a long tap root will need a subsequent application because it won't kill the root, just all the leaves, but as long as the leaves are dead the root will die in pretty short order. The dead roots serve as manure.

When I checked with a local pesticide store - I found that there are a few commercial formulations based on vinegar now and they contain surfactants to make the liquid spread more evenly on the leaf. I even heard that a neem formulation works wonders.

Now that makes me wonder why aren't the farmers really adapting this? It's so cheap and easy - ain't it?

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