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Town and Country Gardening

Using vinegar as a natural weed control for pavers and driveways

With the freezing weather, there is not a lot growing in the garden.  Time to tackle those annoying weeds that pop up between the pavers and on gravel driveways.

And no I am not going to recommend Roundup.  That stuff worries me and, anyway using something that is an organic solution for weed control is far better for everyone, including pets and the wildlife.

It’s vinegar, preferably cheap white vinegar!

Before the introduction of harsh chemicals and herbicides, vinegar was used for generations to preserve food, as a useful cleaner and weed control. Vinegar is actually a weak natural acid and, when used on weeds, kills them.

I simply put straight, white vinegar in a spray bottle and spray directly onto the weeds.  There are many recipes on the web, some combining vinegar with liquid soap, others using industrial strength vinegar (regular vinegar is 5%, stronger vinegar can be 20% so caution is required).

Search the internet and pick the recipe that suits you best.  ABC Gardening Australia Online has an excellent article ‘Herbicides and other weed controls, organic solutions for weed control’.

But a word of warning! Vinegar is non selective, which means that if you spray it on a windy day or on the edges of pavers, it will likely be able to leach onto nearby garden plants or lawn and kill them as well as the paver weeds.  In fact, depending on the strength of the vinegar you use, vinegar can sterilise your soil for up to 12 months.  This is why I don’t use vinegar in my vegetable garden or near my fruit trees.

Gardening tip

An easy way to sow more lettuce in your vegetable garden is to hang an old lettuce plant (once it has produced seed heads) from a garden stake.  The wind will blow the lettuce seeds around your garden, and come spring, there should be lots of little lettuces to transplant or eat.

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