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 Post subject: Use of Vinegar
PostPosted: Sun Sep 07, 2003 6:00 pm 
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Location: Monticello
I am completly overhauling an existing flower bed because it was being overrun with grass & weeds so I used 20% vinegar to kill the grass/weeds. How long after I use the vinegar can I start putting in flowers and shrubs? I want to be sure it's a long enough time so the residual of the vinegar won't kill the new flowers/shrubs.


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 07, 2003 7:03 pm 
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JLB-
Your concern should be with the complete kill of the weeds and grasses. It may take more than one spraying. Did you add orange oil and liquid soap to the vinegar? Vinegar kills by contact with green leaves. There is no harm to subsequent plantings. It you plant the garden and spray weeds again make sure you don't hit the plants. It is an non-selective herbicide and doesn't know the green of flowers vs weeds.
Tony M


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 07, 2003 11:14 pm 
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As Tony indicated, vinegar should be used as a foliar spray and not a soil drench. If you did not soak the soil, then you can plant immediately. If you used enough to soak the soil, the soil has amazing capacity to buffer even strong acids. It should be okay by now for sure.

Just out of curiosity, what plants did you use the vinegar on and how fast did it work for you? The weeds I spray it on die in about 10 minutes. The grass I always overspray onto dies in 3 days. Oh, and what strength vinegar did you use?

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PostPosted: Mon Sep 08, 2003 9:01 am 
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Tony M & Dchall...Thanks for the info. I used 20% vinegar. The area that I sprayed died off in about 2-3 days. Will the spraying also kill the grass runners/rhizones(spelling???) that are in the ground?


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 08, 2003 9:58 am 
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Vinegar only kills what it touches. So nothing in the soil should be affected.

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PostPosted: Mon Sep 08, 2003 11:13 am 
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So that means that the grass will keep growing back in this flower bed since the vinegar won't have any effect on the grass runners in the ground, huh?


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 08, 2003 11:26 pm 
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JLB,

Yes it is true, you will have to combine the vinegar spray routine with some good old fashion digging. If the grass is Bermuda, be prepared for something of a battle, but one you can win with a bit of persistence. If the grass is St. Augustine, you should be able to quickly eliminate your grassy foe.

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PostPosted: Tue Sep 09, 2003 10:22 am 
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JLB-
My experience with bermuda and vinegar in not good. I have sprayed the same plant up to five times and still did not get a complete kill. I used 10%, 20%, both mixed with up to 5 oz of orange oil/gallon of water, with/without soap and every other combination in between. The plant will run out of stored energy eventually but it's a battle.
Tony M


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 09, 2003 11:07 am 
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I agree that vinegar or vinegar with orange oil do not work against bermuda. My final test on that was last week. I sprayed 20% V with orange oil on oxalis, bermuda, and a boadleaf weed I really need to find the name of. Results were that the oxalis and the unnamed weed died in 30 minutes. The bermuda still shows no sign of being sprayed. Over spray on the St Augustine was less harsh than I expected. I sprayed on a cool (high 80s) cloudy day.

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PostPosted: Tue Sep 09, 2003 1:08 pm 
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My experiences with vinegar/orange oil/soap solutions on Bermuda have been more favorable than Tony M or Dchall_San_Antonio. I get complete brown out within the day, especially on warm/hot sunny days. To complete the job you will need to follow up the spraying with physical removal or repeated spraying. Another option is using a "weed block" such as several layers of newspaper or corrugated cardboard and adding a mulch on top of that. Bermuda is a very invasive grass and extra steps are usually required to eliminate it where it is not wanted.

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PostPosted: Wed Sep 10, 2003 4:31 pm 
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Thanks for all of the tips/info. Each of you mentioned Bermuda, but does it have a different effect on St Augustine which is what I have.

thanks
jlb


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Sep 10, 2003 6:36 pm 
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I just did an overhaul this spring. I covered the area I wanted to kill the grass in with heavy black plastic sheeting after soaking it with water. Left it for a week and turned the soil. I only had problems with bermuda creeping in from the surrounding yard. Kept that under control with mulch and hand pulling the bit that crept in every few days.

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PostPosted: Wed Sep 10, 2003 8:21 pm 
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Mr Clean-
I can get Bermuda brown within minutes after spraying. That's not the problem. Within a few days new grass comes back. I have sprayed the same patch of Bermuda 5 times without a complete kill. This spring, I hit every little sprig in the garden on a weekly basis. I gave up and started digging. Now I have half of a 55 gal barrel of 20% vinegar left.
It will definitely knock the grass back and keep it from spreading so quickly but I wanted a complete kill.
Lets hear from you vinegar heads out there, what is your experience?
Tony M


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 10, 2003 8:57 pm 
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Tony M,

That is why you have to follow up with either some physical removal or repeated spraying. Bermuda is invasive. I think HG has gone as far as referring to it as a weed. It is my experience that you get much better control with the combination of spraying vinegar/orange oil/soap mixture with some physical removal. Better than either of those methods alone. If I don't have the time (or inclination) to dig, I just hit it with the spray several days in a row. It is definitely an ongoing process, just like with my hated Virginia Creeper, and wild garlic.

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