Lately, I've been seeing Pinterest boards and blogs with tutorials on how to make a vinegar weed killer. Friends, I'm here to tell you that their information is faulty and their vinegar weed killer will not work.
Most of the blogs that show vinegar weed killer recipes, show household vinegar with 5% acidity.
This.Will.NOT.Work. I repeat, This.Will.NOT.Work.
You need a vinegar that has AT LEAST 10% acidity PLUS a horticultural citrus oil. There is some controversy within the organic gardening community regarding vinegar strength. Very respected gardeners say that 10% acidity mixed with citrus oil will kill weeds.
For at least 10 years I have been using a 20% vinegar for my weed control. I have not tried 10% vinegar ~ but I trust the gardeners who say it will work. Many of them are diluting their 20% vinegar by cutting it in half and adding water. Doing this will give you two gallons of 10% vinegar.
WARNING: This 10% – 20% vinegar is potent. You need to wear goggles, rubber gloves, long sleeves, and shoes when working with 20% vinegar. It will burn your skin if any splashes. I have experienced this first hand ~ it can be very painful.
While the vinegar alone will work well at getting rid of weeds, it's the orange oil that nails the coffin shut on weeds. However, none of this will kill weeds if it isn't properly applied. That is the real secret to killing weeds and killing them for good.
If you want to kill weeds naturally, then here's what you do:The correct ratio for weed killing is: 1 gallon of 10-20% vinegar to 1 C. of orange (or citrus) oil. Mix well. (see my Warning above) Then, add to either a spray bottle like this one. I highly recommend rubber gloves when applying with this type of bottle ~ it does tend to drip.
This ONLY WORKS when applied at full strength, in sunlight, during the heat of the day.
That means, if it rained yesterday, then don't apply it. If rain is in the forecast within 24 hours, don't apply it.
Wait until the soil is dried out a bit, the sun is bright, and it's the middle of the day. It must be at least 70-degrees for maximum efficacy. The weed will think you are giving it some good food. Down the hatch, little weed.
Keep in mind that this brew does not discriminate. Be careful where you spray. It will kill your flowers and plants just as effectively. Obviously, avoid application on windy days.