Other than Agent Orange...

OldGuy43

Garden Ornament
Joined
Nov 16, 2011
Messages
693
Reaction score
14
Points
90
Location
Travis County, Texas Zone 8b
bills said:
Also wanted to mention, that I did try a pickling vinegar (5% acetic acid), with a drop or so of dish soap, and it did work for some garden weeds, especially after a second treatment. But... it didn't kill all of them..some bounced back after a couple weeks..grrrr..
Yeah, one application isn't going to do it. You have to keep after them until the are dead, dead, DEAD! Remember, it just burns up the leaves. You need to end their ability to feed themselves.

What I like about the vinegar approach is that it is safe for the livestock.
 

digitS'

Garden Master
Joined
Dec 13, 2007
Messages
20,714
Reaction score
11,454
Points
457
Location
border, ID/WA(!)
It is good to see "my neighbor" Bill on TEG!

I don't know anything about vinegar as an herbicide but I'm curious about what grass is invading your garden, Bill. Quackgrass is a problem here, especially in the perennials. I can remember lots of battles with it when I gardened on the coast.

Another grass that shows up is crabgrass. It is an annual and will suddenly spring up and try to go to seed. I do my best to get it the heck outta of there before it gets away with reseeding but, obviously, haven't been entirely successful.

One thing, the crabgrass shows up in the lawn grass, a little. Sneaky stuff! Also, the dang lawn grass (bluegrass) sneaks into the garden! It follows the paths off the lawn! Who might be carrying the seeds from that dwarf bluegrass!? I'd like to know! You see, bluegrass often flowers and produces a little seed in a lawn. At least, a few of the shortest stems do.

Probably the best way for me to deal with crabgrass in the garden is simply to plant succession crops in the beds. Disrupting its summer plan of quickly growing and going to seed by cultivating the entire bed and planting in some desired vegetable, pretty much does the crabgrass in ;).

Quackgrass, with its underground rhizomes, requires a different approach. Cultivating with something like a rototiller retards its growth but can also multiply the plants all over hell's-half-acre! A spading fork works so well with quackgrass that I don't know why more folks don't use that tool. The spading fork can just be used for loosening the soil and the grass and all its rhizomes can be gently pulled out . . . to lie in the hot sunshine and die, die, die!

Well, now that I've got that out of my system - :p -- your question about vinegar is back up where folks can see it. I hope that more gardeners can share pluses and minuses from their experiences with it.

Steve
 

so lucky

Garden Master
Joined
Mar 5, 2011
Messages
8,296
Reaction score
4,772
Points
387
Location
SE Missouri, Zone 6
Regarding acetic acid: We have very hard water, lots of calcium in it. I have to use a product in the dishwasher called "Lemi-Shine" which is fruit-derived acetic acid, in a more concentrated form than vinegar. It works beautifully. I was wondering if this powdered substance could be mixed with a little water and detergent (as a surfactant) and sprayed on weeds? I may try it. It's not cheap, however. A 12 oz jar costs about 3.50, if I remember correctly. Anyway, I read a "helpful hint" somewhere saying that you can use lemon kool-aid in the dishwasher to remove water stains, and I have tried this, too. One packet per dishwasher load works just fine. The no-sugar added off-brand fruit drink packets can be purchased for about 5 cents each sometimes. So maybe you could use cheap lemon drink, water and soap on your weeds?
 

seedcorn

Garden Master
Joined
Jun 21, 2008
Messages
8,870
Reaction score
7,706
Points
397
Location
NE IN
so lucky said:
Regarding acetic acid: We have very hard water, lots of calcium in it. I have to use a product in the dishwasher called "Lemi-Shine" which is fruit-derived acetic acid, in a more concentrated form than vinegar. It works beautifully. I was wondering if this powdered substance could be mixed with a little water and detergent (as a surfactant) and sprayed on weeds? I may try it. It's not cheap, however. A 12 oz jar costs about 3.50, if I remember correctly. Anyway, I read a "helpful hint" somewhere saying that you can use lemon kool-aid in the dishwasher to remove water stains, and I have tried this, too. One packet per dishwasher load works just fine. The no-sugar added off-brand fruit drink packets can be purchased for about 5 cents each sometimes. So maybe you could use cheap lemon drink, water and soap on your weeds?
You can buy acetic acid. $50 for 50#
 

journey11

Garden Master
Joined
Sep 2, 2009
Messages
8,468
Reaction score
4,183
Points
397
Location
WV, Zone 6B
I've had some success over the past year smothering back the quackgrass with lengths of rubber coal conveyor belt my husband got from the plant. It's about 3' wide and I've used it to establish some weed free perimeters. I have to leave it on for several weeks. A bit of an eye-sore, but it works! :p
 

bills

Deeply Rooted
Joined
Mar 26, 2008
Messages
529
Reaction score
64
Points
178
Location
Vancouver island B.C.
A goat would certainly clean up the weeds in the garden in a hurry..lol..Unfortunately, it would eat all my veggies as well..

The benefit of using that lemon cool aid type stuff would be that, on a hot day you could also drink it directly from your pump sprayer. Bet that would draw some odd looks from the neighbors....:lol:

Hi Steve, after some study of photos of the grass's in my garden, I have found that I am plagued by more than just one grass type, weed. :( I say grass type as I also have other weeds, such as chickweed, which is a pain, but it's far easier to control.
I also have some Crabgrass, which is a pain, and takes some work to dig it out, but it is not the really bad one..

Green fox-tail is present.. (it could also be yellow fox-tail, as they look so much alike)
http://www.gov.mb.ca/agriculture/crops/weeds/fab03s00.html

I also have what appears to be Barnyard Grass.:( It sure looks similar anyways. Really hard stuff to pull by hand, even at the youngest stages. Roots really take a firm hold.
http://www.gov.mb.ca/agriculture/crops/weeds/fab02s00.html

I tried a similar method to what Journey11 did, in covering large areas of the garden with a black tarp. I hoped that this would smother it. When I pulled the tarp off in late spring, to sow my corn seed, it looked great as there wasn't a sign of a weed of any type. Within a week, weeds started popping up all over the place, and actually became one of the worst patches in the entire veggie garden. I think the tarp actually protected the weed seeds from the harshness of winter cold...hmm..

I know that when I have laid black plastic in some areas of the garden, in mid-summer, everything under it dies off rapidly. The heat just cooks them.
I suppose I could try laying black plastic over the individual beds, then poking holes in it for my veggie seeds, or seedlings. I worry though, that the soil may actually get to hot, for them to survive.
 

so lucky

Garden Master
Joined
Mar 5, 2011
Messages
8,296
Reaction score
4,772
Points
387
Location
SE Missouri, Zone 6
In your non-garden areas, put up a cheap-o fence and let the chickens run in there.The only thing they didn't eat or root up in their yard last year was some amaranth (pigweed) that was in the big clods of dirt/grass that I put in there from the disked field next door.
 

canesisters

Garden Master
Joined
Nov 16, 2011
Messages
5,590
Reaction score
6,993
Points
367
Location
Southeast VA
Speaking of weeds with super powers - I have pastures full of what I think is fennel. It gets TALL, has a woody, waxy stem, feathery/hairy leaves that are also sort of waxy/sticky and stinks to high Heaven when cut. My mower broke down mid summer so I haven't mowed the pastures for months. I've been told that the only way to 'get rid' of it is to keep it mowed short. Eventually the original plant will die off and without having been able to make seeds it will be done - but that it might take a few years....

Anyone have any other creative suggestions? A neighbor has my mower and says that it'll be back and working in a week or so... but mowing now will only be broadcasting seeds.
 
Top