Oh my! A safe, accessible (typically in the kitchen cupboard), and reasonably priced product to use as a herbicide is vinegar. Your neighbor, your neighbor’s grandma, and your mother have all long advocated using vinegar to prevent weed growth in the garden, but does it work?
About 5% of vinegar includes acetic acid, which, as its name implies, burns when it comes in touch with skin. Actually, anyone who has inhaled vinegar knows that it has an immediate reaction and affects the mucous membranes as well. The use of vinegar in the garden has been promoted as a panacea for a variety of garden ailments, most notably weed management, due to its burning properties.
Vinegar’s acetic acid destroys cell membranes, causing tissues to dry out and the plant to die. While this may sound like a wonderful solution to the weed infestation in your yard, I doubt you would be as happy if vinegar were to harm your perennial plants or your garden’s produce if it were used as a herbicide.
One can acquire acetic acid with a higher concentration (20%), but doing so can have the same negative effects as using vinegar as a herbicide. It has been demonstrated that some weed control can be created at these greater acetic acid concentrations (controlling 80 to 100% of smaller weeds), but make sure to follow the manufacturer’s directions. Take the necessary measures and be mindful of its caustic effects on your skin, eyes, and nasal passages, as well as your garden plants.
Despite the long-standing advocates for vinegar use in gardening, not much helpful evidence has been established. The USDA’s weed-control research with solutions containing 5% vinegar seems to have failed to provide any conclusive results. The growth of some annual weeds may be slowed down by higher quantities of this acid (10 to 20 percent) found in retail goods, and it will destroy the foliage of perennial weeds like Canada thistle without harming the roots, allowing for regrowth.
In conclusion, using vinegar as a herbicide may be somewhat successful on small annual weeds before planting a garden and during the dormant season for the grass, but for long-term weed management, it’s probably best to continue with the tried-and-true methods of hand pulling or digging.
Do tomato plants get damaged by white vinegar?
The surviving roots will develop into a new weed. The acid will kill your tomato plants just as efficiently as any other means, to name one more. The fact that horticulture vinegar is a potent caustic and must be used carefully is a third problem.
Does vinegar damage to veg plants?
Because vinegar is non-selective, it will harm all plants and grass, not just the weeds you’re attempting to get rid of. Make sure no other plants are hit when you spray the vinegar on the weeds.
To what extent do you apply vinegar to tomato plants?
What can I do this year to prevent my tomato plants’ bottom leaves from becoming yellow, spreading up the vines, and ultimately harming fruit production?
As a result of the widespread development of this fungal illness in tomatoes, this is the most frequently asked tomato-related issue. It just depends on when it occurs and how quickly and severely it worsens before spreading. It is frequently known as early blight.
Choosing hardy cultivars is a key component of prevention. ‘Super Fantastic,’ ‘Juliet,’ cherry tomatoes, and wild currant tomatoes are a some of my favorites. The Texas Organic Vegetable Gardening book that Malcolm Beck and I co-wrote includes all of my recommendations.
The beds must then be properly prepared. Tomatoes are heavy feeders in addition to being prone to this and other illnesses. Apply the following amendments per 100 square feet along with at least 3 inches of compost to the natural soil: 4 pounds of greensand, 2 pounds of dry molasses, and 2 pounds of whole crushed cornmeal are added to the 5 pounds of lava sand. Apply dried garlic granules as well. Use 2 pounds per 100 square feet approximately. The combination of cornmeal and garlic is now found in a commercial product by the name of Good Natured. Garlic is essential. It spreads throughout the plants after being absorbed by the roots since it is systemic.
Additionally, this mixture promotes the development of a number of advantageous soil bacteria, including trichoderma, which aid in disease management. Use a dry powdered fertilizer about once per month. You can use alfalfa meal on its own or in commercial mixtures. Every two weeks at the least, Garrett Juice should be sprinkled on and the soil should be saturated with mycorrhizal fungus. If you don’t want to create your own mixture, the Garrett Juice Pro product already contains the microorganisms. Here is the recipe in case you decide to create your own:
1 gallon of water, 1 cup of liquid humate or compost tea, 1 ounce of liquid molasses, 1 ounce of liquid seaweed, and 1 ounce of liquid apple cider vinegar. Because of the trace minerals it contains and its capacity to aid in the uptake of other nutrients by plants, vinegar is likely the most crucial component.
Once the disease has spread to the plants, there are other cures that can be utilized, such as hydrogen peroxide, luxury soaps like BioSafe and BioWash, and cornmeal tea, which is created by soaking a cup of whole crushed cornmeal in five gallons of water.
I’ve thrown away the synthetic herbicides and other things because of you. I purchased a grapevine that had previously produced an astounding quantity of fruit. I discovered some kind of bugs on the very top of it this year. I’m hoping you can identify it for me so I know how to safeguard the grapevine if the bugs are harmful to it.
Depends on the type of bugs, really. In the spring, when the weather begins to change, aphids frequently attack fresh plant growth. If so, you don’t need to do anything because the local ladybugs and lacewings will probably take care of the cleanup for you. Furthermore, if beneficial insects are present, you shouldn’t spray any insecticides that destroy them. Even simple substances like soap will harm the good guys. If you’re unsure, you can use Garrett Juice with garlic added as a repellent that won’t harm the good bugs.
In the backyard, I discovered a yellow jacket and wasp infestation. Exists a natural means of eliminating them and keeping them at bay?
You’ll be relieved to learn that the Minneapolis City Council has just prohibited its parks department from using Roundup.
Would adding more fertilizer to holly bushes that have thinned out because they are growing in a more shady environment be a solution? And if so, would this apply to lawns in shaded areas as well? Over the years, my 30-year-old Shumard red oak has prospered, but right now it’s actually blocking a lot of the sun from my lawn and the tiny Burford holly shrubs. I appreciate your guidance.
It won’t improve the turf, but it might help a little with the hollies. Grass need sunlight. Groundcovers, ferns, and other perennials and shrubs that thrive in shade must be the strategy when gardening in the shade under trees. In addition to the plants, mulch and other hard surfaces like decomposed granite can be used for walks, seating spaces, or even just to create contrasts in texture and color.
I have raised beds covering a total area of 266 square feet. I believe I may be utilizing Garrett Juice Pro excessively. Please advise how much to use for this amount of square footage. According to the bottle, 2 ounces will saturate 1,200 square feet. I have a hand-pump 2-gallon sprayer. For soil drench, it also suggests to use 4 ounces. Can you explain to me how to use it properly and at the appropriate dosage?
The recommended dosage for using Garrett Juice is 2 to 4 ounces per gallon of water per 1,000 square feet. Sprayers can be utilized, however I frequently use a large watering can and slop it out while walking quickly. The organic method’s many benefits include the fact that a little too much or too little is typically of no consequence. In your situation, I would sprinkle out the full gallon of mix using 2 ounces of Garrett Juice. The plants will adore this because it won’t be too potent.
What can I apply to my tomato plants as a spray to deter insects?
You may create a variety of sprays and other mixtures at home to address a variety of issues in the garden. Getty Images/AzmanJaka
When I first began gardening, a certain famous gardener and his books of gardening recipes were all the rage. When it was time for fundraising, our local PBS station would have him appear live in the studio and instruct us on how to cultivate the best garden ever using stuff like baby shampoo, instant tea, and whiskey.
Those claims seemed pretty unbelievable to me at the time, but as I’ve learned more, I realize that many of those mixtures were either just plain bad ideas or that only one component of his recipe was actually performing the task, while the other ingredients were either unnecessary or could have been harmful to plants, insects, and other soil-dwelling organisms.
Please be aware that whenever I see anything concerning DIY gardening sprays, my BS radar is on high alert. Here are 15 natural, homegrown fixes for common gardening issues. They function and I use them. And none of them calls on you to booze your plants.
Pest Control Sprays and Concoctions
1. Aphids and mites can be killed by spraying tomato leaves. It works because many insects are killed by the alkaloids found in tomato leaves, as well as the leaves of all nightshades. Just let 2 cups (473 milliliters) of chopped tomato leaves soak overnight in 2 cups of water. The following day, strain the liquid and get rid of the leaves. Spray your plants with the mixture after adding 2 more cups of water.
2. A fantastic, risk-free insect repellant is garlic oil spray. Simply mix two teaspoons (10 milliliters) of mineral oil with three to four minced garlic cloves. After letting the mixture sit for the night, filter the oil to remove the garlic. 1 teaspoon (5 milliliters) of biodegradable dish soap should be added together with the oil to 1 pint (473 milliliters) of water. When using, dilute the combination by adding 2 teaspoons (30 milliliters) of your garlic oil mixture to 1 pint of water. Store the liquid in a bottle or jar.
This combo works because many insects are irritated by or killed by the chemicals in garlic (namely diallyl disulfide and diallyl trisulfide). The mixture adheres to plant leaves with the aid of the oil and soap. Which pests does garlic oil keep at bay? Spraying plants with garlic oil deters whiteflies, aphids, and the majority of beetles. A word of advice: Avoid using this spray on bright days because the oils could burn the vegetation.
3. Hot pepper spray is a fantastic remedy for mite issues. Simply combine 1 quart (0.94 liters) of water, 2 tablespoons of spicy pepper sauce, and a few drops of biodegradable dish soap, and let it sit overnight. Apply the spray to the infected plants using a spray bottle.
Because the chemical that gives hot peppers their “heat,” capsaicin, is equally irritating to insects as it is to humans (if you’ve ever sliced a hot pepper and got any of it in an open wound, you’ll understand), hot pepper spray works to repel them. Whiteflies can be repelled by this mixture as well, although you might need to reapply it if you see the mites or whiteflies are starting to reappear.
4. Aphids, scale, mites, and thrips can all be eliminated from gardens using a simple soap spray. Simply combine 1 gallon of water with 1 spoonful of dishwashing soap and mist the concoction on the pests.
How does this function? The soap kills the insects by dissolving their outer covering or shell.
5. Alcohol for the snails. Pour a few inches of beer to about an inch (2.5 centimeters) below the top of a tuna can or pie plate that has been sunk into the ground. The reason beer works is that the yeast attracts slugs. It’s crucial to keep the beer approximately one inch below the soil and to bury the container into the ground. In this manner, the slugs must sink after the beer and perish. If the beer is close to the ground, the slugs may just sip it and then, after happy hour, go munch on some hostas.
6. Slug traps made of citrus rinds. Try this if you have oranges, grapefruits, or lemons instead of beer in the house. Place the citrus peels on the ground and gather the slugs they attract—you don’t even need to make a spray.
7. Newspaper earwig traps are effective at bringing down the population of these occasionally bothersome insects. A newspaper should only be rolled up and fastened with an elastic band. Lay it in the garden between problematic plants after submerging it in water to get it wet. To get rid of the bugs, check the trap every day and submerge the newspaper rolls in a pail of water.
8. Sprinkled over your plants, ground cinnamon or cayenne pepper serves to deter ants without harming them.
9. Red pepper spray is effective at deterring pest birds and mammals from eating your plants. If animals such as bunnies, deer, mice, squirrels, and birds frequently damage your garden, create the following solution and spray the affected plants once a week. Combine 1 quart (0.94 liters) of water, 1 teaspoon (5 milliliters) of dish soap, and 4 tablespoons (59 milliliters) of Tabasco sauce. The animal pests will become irritated by the capsaicin in the pepper spray and search for less spicy food elsewhere.
Fungal Disease Solutions
10. Use milk to treat powdery mildew Simply spray the damaged plants’ leaves on both sides with a solution made of 40% milk and 60% water. When it comes to stopping the development of powdery mildew, milk is just as effective as dangerous fungicides. Although it requires frequent reapplication, this blend is fantastic.
11. A tried-and-true approach for preventing powdery mildew is using baking soda spray. If you have a mildew issue in your garden, it will be well worth the trouble to use it once a week. Spray sensitive plants’ leaves with a solution made of 1 tablespoon (14.7 milliliters) each of baking soda, vegetable oil, dish soap, and 1 gallon (3.78 liters) of water. Because it destroys fungal spores and stops them from germinating, baking soda spray is effective. The mixture adheres to plant leaves with the aid of the oil and soap.
12. Vinegar is an excellent weed-killer for your garden and grass. Vinegar’s potential to harm other plants is by far its biggest drawback. I advise brushing the vinegar directly into the leaves of the weeds you’re trying to kill with a foam paintbrush. This keeps the vinegar from touching adjacent plants and guarantees that it covers the entire leaf surface.
13. Boiling water for weeds on the sidewalk. Pour boiling water over weeds growing in your driveway or sidewalk cracks. The majority of weeds won’t resist this treatment, therefore your issue is resolved. Simply use caution when pouring!
14. Salt and vinegar for weeds on the sidewalk. Personally, I favor plucking sidewalk weeds or pouring hot water on them. However, you can try using 1 gallon (3.78 liters) of white vinegar and 1 cup (236 milliliters) of salt if you have any particularly obstinate weeds. Dishwasher soap should also be added in a quantity of 1 tablespoon (14.7 milliliters), as the solution will not adhere to the weeds without it. Keep in mind that this mixture will kill almost any plant it comes into contact with, so keep it away from your lawn and other plants.
Best Homemade Garden Concoction of All
Compost 15. Seriously, you need to be producing and using the stuff, whether you live in an apartment building with a fire escape farm or on a rural farm. It enriches your soil with nutrients, enhances the structure of the soil, improves moisture retention, and multiplies the good bacteria there. And that’s not even counting keeping organic waste out of the landfill.
I hope you find these suggestions for secure, home-made, organic garden remedies useful. You may solve the majority of common gardening problems in your own, environmentally friendly way by keeping a few simple, inexpensive items on hand.
In the U.S., 18.3 million new gardeners—mostly millennials—were born during the Covid epidemic.
Organic Gardening Spray FAQs
Combine 10 ounces of hydrogen peroxide, 1 gallon of water, and 10 ounces of sugar to make a homemade insect spray for tomato plants. Spray it evenly over the mixture and the tomato plant’s leaves. But keep in mind to wash it off after a day or two.
You’ll need 8 ounces of vegetable oil and 1 tablespoon of dish soap to make the simplest spray pesticide possible. After thoroughly combining the two, add 2 tablespoons of any scented oil. Cottonseed oil is another option if you want long-lasting results.
Insects are not killed by vinegar; rather, it repels them. Make a vinegar and water mixture that is 50/50 for the best results. Regular insects like flies, mealybugs, centipedes, and millipedes should be kept away from your plants by it. Avoid spraying plants directly.
To stop pest invasions, you can indeed spray soapy water on tomato plants. However, because the UV rays and soapy water can actually burn plant leaves, we advise spraying the same mixture in the evening just as the sun is about to set and washing the mixture away before noon.