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January 3, 2012

Lawn and garden tips – gardening with vinegar

- by Debra Anchors

Vinegar has been used as an organic method of weed control, cleanser and as plant nutrition in the landscape for generations. Although these tips are not new, I am passing the information along for readers who may not yet be aware of how useful (and inexpensive) vinegar can be in the garden. I find that 10% vinegar (sometimes sold as pickling vinegar) works best but white distilled vinegar or apple cider vinegar works also.

Kill grass: To kill grass on sidewalks and driveways, pour full strength white distilled vinegar on it.

Kill weeds: Spray white distilled vinegar full strength on top of weeds. Reapply on any new growth until plants have starved.

Increase soil acidity: In hard water areas, add a cup of vinegar to a gallon of tap water for watering acid loving plants like rhododendrons, gardenias or azaleas. The vinegar will release iron in the soil for the plants to use.

Neutralize garden lime: Rinse your hands liberally with white distilled vinegar after working with garden lime to avoid rough and flaking skin. Clean pots before re-potting, rinse with vinegar to remove excess lime.

Keep Flowers Longer: Add 2 tablespoons sugar and 2 tablespoons white vinegar in a 1-quart vase of water.  Trim stems and change water every five days.

Fertilize potted plantsTo create an inexpensive and mild fertilizer, which also purifies the water, mix 1 ounce of apple cider vinegar and 1 gallon of water (an easy way to measure an ounce is to use a shot glass).

Add nutrients to your plants: Mix vinegar and water using a ratio of 1:8.  Mix a separate solution of sugar and water in a mixture of 1:8. Combine the vinegar and sugar mixtures. Add to your plants as long as needed.

A source used while writing this post: The Vinegar Institute.

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Wishing you joyful gardening! 

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  1. WOW! I was aware that vinegar had many useful purposes but your article added even more to my list! Thank you!

  2. Thank you for your comment Cindy. It is amazing how useful this natural product is.

    And, if I were writing a CLEANING blog . . .

  3. I may give vinegar a try this year. I have a lot of grass to kill, and don't want to spray chemicals. Thanks for the information!

  4. Interesting, I've used vinegar on weeds and grasses, but never tried to use it to preserve fresh-cut flowers! I've used aspirin, but never vinegar. Will have to give that a go next time!

  5. Great tips! I had not heard of some of these uses for vinegar. Thanks for the information!

  6. Good to know! I'm growing gardenias in pots as our soil is so alkaline...I'll give them a little vinegar this year. Best wishes for a wonderful New Year!

  7. Vinegar has so many uses. I think I once saw a book on all its uses. I use vinegar to kill weeds...sometimes I add a bit of salt if it is a particularly stubborn weed. Great tips!

  8. Thank you. I did not know about vinegar in the garden!

  9. Thank you for getting the word out about using vinegar rather than chemicals!!!

  10. Yup, vinegar portrays an essential part in gardening. And this post gives a good explanation why. :)


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