It is the height of summer here and over the past 4 weeks we have been blessed with warm to hot days (27 – 32C) and intermittent showers and storms. The rainfall has been over 100mm in the last fortnight. Your can almost hear the vegetation growing and everything is green and lush.
Unfortunately, the weeds are loving the weather and thriving as much as the plants that are supposed to be growing.
Since we live on an acreage, we are never going to have a pristine garden but I do prefer not to have it overgrown with weeds so it seems to be a never-ending battle to keep them at bay. The Duke tends to use a combination of whipper-snippering, glyphosate and simply pulling them out. The glyphosate is banned from anywhere near the vegetable garden but unfortunately it has been a necessary evil on other parts of the block.
I recently received some information from my friend, S, over at My Life is A Balancing Act. Although she hasn’t posted this on her blog, I think it is worthy of a mention.
Super Effective Weed Spray – Cost: $2.50 for 4 litres weed spray
- 4 litres white vinegar
- 1 cup salt
- 1 tbsp washing up detergent
- Mix well. Spray on weeds to kill them. This is a very effective weed spray so only spray it on the things you want to kill. It is excellent for weeding paths and pavers and along the edges of garden beds.
It sounds easy and even piqued the interest of The Duke.
Before I rush out and buy a bulk quantity of vinegar I decided to test it out. There is no shortage of places to try.
This is a patch of the weeds in what can best be described as the future garden bed in front of the verandah.
We have planted several hibiscus shrubs that are the beginning of the new plantings and there are some old shrubs which will need to be removed but there is a lot of bare earth which the weeds are really enjoying!
I had 1 litre of white vinegar so made up a 1/4 mix of the recipe and filled a small spray bottle.
I sprayed weeds until I had used up all of my mix so now it is just a matter of waiting. According to S, I should see wilted and dying weeds within 24 – 48 hours.
I will be back on Saturday with an update on this project. If it shows signs of being successful, I will be looking for somewhere that I can buy a bulk quantity of vinegar and also buying a backpack sprayer as S suggested because my hand is exhausted from just spraying a small area of weeds.
What a great idea! Always bothers me spraying weeds with our furkids around. This sounds like a much safer alternative and probably wouldn’t attract pets either. You could probably also put a small amount of Cochineal (not red food colouring) in so you can see where you have sprayed.
I like the idea of cochineal – I might try that.
I’m looking forward to hearing if it works, because I don’t like the alternatives either. I get huge amounts of winter grass too and would love something effective.
I sometimes use flattened cardboard boxes to keep down the weeds on bigger areas of garden beds. It seems quite effective. Also sheets of newspaper can work. Both a bit messy though
Great idea about the food colouring. I wonder how long it stays visible.
The cardboard does work for wide, flat areas. We keep any large pieces of cardboard to line the base of the new vegie garden beds as we build them.
I heard recently that this spray is much more effective in overseas countries as their vinegar is much more concentrated than ours. Have not tried it myself.
Interesting! Although the person who gave me the recipe and uses it is here in Brisbane.