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boggybranch
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Organic..... homemade weedkiller

Came across this on a blog entry posted by a 67 year old gardener from British Columbia, Canada.
He stated that you can mix agricultural or pickling vinegar with citric acid (like lemon juice) and use as a herbicidal spray that is as effective at killing weeds as "Roundup". He, also, said that you could use 'table' vinegar, if you diluted it first.
Appx. 1,500 sq ft vegetable garden. Special gardening interests is composting and year-round mulching. Use no power equipment, everything is done in the garden using hand tools, only.

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rainbowgardener
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vinegar as herbicide

You are right that vinegar is well known as an herbicide. (Also a lot of other things, I just typed vinegar into the Search the Forum box and got 28 pages of hits, vinegar for pickling, vinegar against fungus, vinegar against insects, and vinegar against weeds.)

But people usually say to use it straight, not diluted, and for some stubborn weeds, you may need garden vinegar, which is more concentrated, 20% acetic acid. (Table vinegar is less concentrated than agricultural/ garden vinegar.) Works best sprayed on the plant when it is in the sunshine and sprayed til the plant is pretty soaked. Be careful with it, it will kill anything it touches. But it kills all the current growth. It may not kill underground roots, so some plants will grow back from the roots and need repeat applications. If using the concentrated, be aware that it is a concentrated acid and will burn you too.

luludi
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Weed killer?

So as of vinegar and citric acid can someone tell me how much I should mix?
Has anyone tried this with success?
How successful is it compairing to roundup?

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applestar
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What I would compare against Roundup is its toxicity. There are good thread articles if you search the forum, with links to info on hidden toxins (really bad ones) in the Roundup formula. It's also worth realizing that GMO vegetables like corn and soybeans are mostly intended to be resistant to Roundup so they can be sprayed with it along with the weeds and survive.

luludi
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never used and don't think of using Roundup. I'm new in gardening. We bought our house last summer with an established beautiful flower garden and we added a vegetable garden of 3 beds.
I just can't handpull all the weeds, looking for alternative solutions.
I didn't find the thread yet, if someone could help me.
thanks

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rainbowgardener
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weed control

I don't know about the citric acid mix, the vinegar works just fine by itself. But only put it on weeds, it will kill whatever it touches. Not sure what thread you were asking about.

Once you get your beds weeded, your best protection against having to keep weeding them is a good layer of mulch, a few inches thick. Can be wood chips, leaves, straw, shredded paper, sawdust, grass clippings or whatever you've got. Holds moisture in the soil and suppresses weeds.

But unless you put a really thick dense layer of mulch down, it really doesn't work to put the mulch on top of the weeds and even then, it works better to at least chop/cut the weeds down. In established beds, there's just not much substitute for hand pulling the weeds to start with. Unless stuff is planted in rows, it's hard to hoe. If you are just starting a bed you can till or solarize (lay black plastic down, to heat the soil enough to kill weed seeds), but can't do either in established beds.

Here's an older thread about weeding:

https://www.helpfulgardener.com/forum/viewtopic.php?p=45211&highlight=weed+control#45211

A flower garden and 3 vegetable beds doesn't sound that unmanageable for getting weeded out once to start the season. Just do a little bit at a time! But if you have health conditions or other circumstances that prevent that, maybe you just need to hire/find help with it.

luludi
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thank you.
Like everyone there's a lot more I have to do besides the garden.
I wouldn't mind to spend hours weeding, actually I love being outside most of the year, even when it gets hot.
My problem isn't the vegetable beds, I always keep them weed free.
It's all the rest, we have 1/3 of an acre and most of it is flower and bushes... The owners of the house did excellent work. But now the mulch needs to be replaced and I can't afford to cover all this surface with 2-3 inches of mulch...
My main concern is the weeds that grow in surfaces where I can't pull them, The concrete, the driveway but mostly around the house is covered with tiny white rocks. If I pull the weeds, most of rocks are removed and there's a big mess. What I did so far was leaving as many leaves as I could, but have to find a solution. Everyone says roundup, I'll try vinegar and see.

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rainbowgardener
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organic herbicides

There are commercial organic herbicide (weed killer) products such as Nature's Avenger and Weed-a-Tak that are citrus oil based. The Weed-a-Tak is citrus oil with clove oil, cinnamon oil and lecithin as an emulsifier. This suggests that you could make a homemade version.

Now we are back to the original suggestion of citric acid and vinegar, or citrus oil and vinegar. A lot of current household cleansers (spray on types) are citrus based. Mix some of that with your vinegar and it should make a potent weed killer, or buy the commercial versions.

Mulch is still the ultimate answer. You do have a lot to take care of, but just do it a little bit at a time throughout the season. Between grass clippings, fall leaves, woodchips (I bought a small chipper for $100 and have kept myself in home made woodchips ever since), etc you don't have to buy a lot of mulch.
Twitter account I manage for local Sierra Club: https://twitter.com/CherokeeGroupSC Facebook page I manage for them: https://www.facebook.com/groups/65310596576/ Come and find me and lots of great information, inspiration

luludi
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thanks a lot, you've been really helpful. As of citrus I wouldn't think of myself even though I use these essential oils all the time at home. I'm going to check prices of these products tomorrow.

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