May 9th, 2013 – Vinegar vs. Round-up

In this home we are gardeners.  I spend my spring and summer in my flower beds and my husband spends his time in the fruit and vegetable garden out back.  Our kids love to garden with us and the dogs are always running through the yard so we are always on the look out for child-friendly fertilizers and herbicides.  When I saw this pin that promised that I could just spray plain vinegar instead of round-up I knew that it had to be tested.  How awesome would it be if it worked?  Cheaper, safe for the kids and dogs, it would be perfect!

May the best weed-killer win!

May the best weed-killer win!

I decided to start out by testing it along my back walkway.  Our home is 98 years-old so the garage is not attached to the house.  We have this great flagstone walkway that goes from the back door to the carriage garage and between the stones we always have weeds pop up.  I decided that to make an equal comparison I would spray half of the walk way with round-up and the other half with vinegar.  That should provide a good side by side comparison.

The left half was sprayed with Round-up, the right side with undiluted vinegar.

The left half was sprayed with Round-up, the right side with undiluted vinegar.

I sprayed it on in the afternoon and let it sit for 24 hours.  You can see a bit of the chemical staining from the round-up there on the left and the vinegar on the right left no residue.

And the results:


Close up of a Round-up area 24 hours later


Over-all view 24 hours later


Close-up of Vinegar on a dandelion 24 hours later


Close-up of other vinegar treated weeds 24 hours later

As you can clearly see, the Round-up was MUCH more effective.  I decided that maybe I should try spraying them with vinegar again, because even with 2 coats it would be a much better option than Round-up.  So I sprayed them again and waited.

After a second, very strong application of vinegar.

After a second, very strong application of vinegar.

I’m SO disappointed, I can’t possibly express to you how much I wanted this to work.  The vinegar did not kill my weeks, it browned spots on the leaves, but none of the weeds died, not even a week later.  They just continued to grow and grow.  I found another variation of this idea here which added salt and dawn dish soap to the vinegar.  I’ll be testing that method this week and I hope that this pin will have some better results.

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One thought on “May 9th, 2013 – Vinegar vs. Round-up

  1. I keep seeing the salt and vinegar post on facebook and I have to tell you in concerns me. Salt is toxic to plants … this is true, but if you are spraying it in flower beds or a garden the salt will leach into your soil and can do damage to other plants that you want to live. Even spraying it on sidewalk weeds concerns me for that reason, the salt doesn’t dissapear, it has to wash off somewhere and that somewhere will be into the grass next to your sidewalk. I know it is a relativly small amount of salt we are talking about, I just can’t bring myself to think it is a good idea to add any salt to my soil that isn’t totally necessary.

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