The most obvious natural way to kill weeds is to pull them by the root. But this isn’t always the most practical way to get rid of a weed problem. Weeds sometimes take over gravel or landscaping rock. And it is often impossible to completely pull weeds from the cracks of driveways and sidewalks.
Vinegar is an inexpensive and completely natural alternative to chemical weed sprays. Vinegar will kill broadleaf and grass weeds in days, sometimes hours. Mix one gallon of white vinegar with 1 tsp. plant based dish soap (such as Seventh Generation). The dish soap will allow the vinegar to stick to the plant.
Choose a sunny, calm day and carefully spray the leaves and stems of weed plants. Along with the sun, the vinegar will burn the waxy cuticle on the above-ground portions of the plant. Be sure there is no rain in the forecast for a few days, because rain will wash the mixture off the plant.
Vinegar works best on young weed plants. On older, well-established weed plants several applications may be necessary before the job is done.
Be very cautious when applying this mixture because it will kill almost any non-woody plant it comes in contact with. That means it will kill your prized flowers and vegetables. That is why it is extremely important to choose a calm day, and to spray weeds directly and carefully.
Also, vinegar can stain some concrete, so do a spot test before spraying a large area.
Choose a sprayer with a long wand to easily control the spray. Theisen’s in Ames carries inexpensive backpack sprayers that work perfectly for this application.