I searched around on the internet for some recipes and found this very helpful site. The Garden Counselor
I really appreciate the scientific approach used on the site (being that I'm married to a Ph. D. chemist and all.)
They used a few different recipes for killing weeds. I used the Full Strength Vinegar and Soap recipe. Really, it's 1 gallon of regular white vinegar (it's cheaper than cider vinegar) and 1 tablespoon of Dawn dishwashing liquid (because that's what I have on hand.) I put mine in a new garden sprayer.
Are you wondering what the soap adds? The scientist/hubby said that the soap is the 'spreader sticker' that makes the vinegar stick to the plant better.
I sprayed the weeds in the flower beds and around the new fruit trees a day after it rained.
There are some pros and cons to using vinegar. The pros include: I don't have to buy a Monsanto product, it is safer around pets and kids, it only kills the tops (not the roots) of the plants, our soil is alkaline here, so adding some acid to the soil is a good thing.
One con is: it only kills the roots of the plants.
While killing the roots and the plant completely is a great thing in some areas of the yard, I'd prefer to not kill roots in the flower beds and around the fruit trees. If I spray with vinegar and soap often enough, I'm fairly sure the roots will eventually die off. If they don't, at least I haven't killed off the flowers or the fruit trees along with the weeds.
Here are some before and 24 hour afer photos
|24 hours after spraying. I didn't get the camera in exactly the same spot, sorry about that! You can see the grass and the dandelion are brown, although the flowers on the dandelion are still yellow.|
|24 hours after spraying, again, the flowers are still yellow, but the leaves of the plants are dying off.|
We'll probably still use a stronger weed killer on the access road to the barn and in spots on the driveway, especially to control the puncture weeds. However, I think we'll be using alot of vinegar in the flowerbeds and around fruit trees (and maybe even on the thistles in the pasture) and see how it works in other areas of the yard throughout the summer.