Why It Can Be Dangerous To Use Vinegar To Kill Weeds
While vinegar sounds like a great alternative to chemicals, we advise you to think twice before you use it next time.
Vinegar contains an active ingredient called acetic acid, which can be naturally produced through bacterial fermentation, or industrially via chemical reactions from source materials as methanol. Vinegar is no longer a food product but a herbicide called horticultural vinegar, and it is not so friendly, since it contains strong concentrations of methanol which can kill the youngest and most tender weeds.
THE DANGERS OF USING VINEGAR IN YOUR GARDEN
With such strong concentrations vinegar is hazardous and can cause damage to the environment. Vinegar can kill what it touches within hours or days. What is worse, it looks to you like it is actually working, yet the weeds resprout from the roots, especially the perennial species.
And when gardeners see results, even if they are not entirely satisfied, they continue to add even higher concentrations and tend to replace household vinegar with a horticultural product.
Regardless of the singal saying danger on most such labels, gardeners continue to use vinegar almost seeming careless. Moreover, in concentrations over 11 %, acetic acid can burn the skin and cause damage on the eyes, and concentrations over 20 % and above can even cause blindness.
HOW TO MANAGE WEEDS WITHOUT VINEGAR
Should you be wary of horticultural vinegar? Definitely.
Instead, preventive mulches, well-timed cultivation, and Jeff Gillman’s and my favorite remedy—hand-weeding—are indisputably effective, and 100 percent environmentally safe.
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