You Bet Your Garden

Weed-killing vinegars

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January 15, 2011 — What’s the deal with weed-killing vinegars? Mike McGrath reveals the situations where vinegar works best. Plus: exciting new research on disease-resistant grapes; and your fabulous phone calls.

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Question of the Week

I don’t use chemicals on my lawn, but just learned that my wonderful daughter and son-in-law have hired a chemical lawn care company to get rid of their weeds. I’ve heard you speak about using a vinegar with 20% acidity to achieve the same end. I went to a large garden center, but they didn’t have it. Please tell me where I can get 20% vinegar. And please provide any ‘man-to-man’ information I can share with my son-in-law; my daughter wants my grandchildren to be able to walk barefoot on their lawn, so we really need your sensible advice. Get the answer »

Photo by Flickr user zenobia_joy



  • Anina Pfeiffer

    what is the recipe for the homemade spray that keeps chipmunks, birds and whatever else is devouring my annual potted flowers? it had jalepeno, oil, and vinegar, I think?

    • Sarah Kaizar

      Hi Anina — I shared your gardening question with Mike McGrath and this is his response: “Not my table; such half-remembered homemade sprays often kill plants (vinegar is a very effective herbicide…); buy a commercially made deer repellant or motion activated sprinkler….”



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