Dandelions are some of the most common weeds in North America’s temperate regions. They are stubborn and invasive and can quickly overrun your lawn or garden in a brief period. The promising news is that you can easily take care of these pesky plants with a mixture of vinegar.
Many people complain that vinegar is ineffective in caring for dandelions in their home, but the question is, ” how did you apply the vinegar.” Applying the right amount of vinegar in the right way is instrumental to ridding your lawn of dandelion and ensuring that you don’t destroy the soil that your beloved garden and lawn depend on.
Read also How Do You Kill Dandelions But Not Grass Naturally?
Vinegar A Weed Killer
Vinegar is one of the most common ingredients used in making salad dressings, and yet it is a potent weed killer, dandelion inclusive. Still, before we go any further, we would like to state your best option is not to use kitchen vinegar against weeds, especially very burdensome ones like dandelion, instead opt for horticultural vinegar, which is more effective because it contains at least 20% acetic acid.
Vinegar comes in handy as a natural weed killer because it contains acetic acid, which is harmful to weeds and has a minimal negative impact on the environment, all things being equal. To kill dandelions, a mixture of vinegar and salt or dish soap will be effective if applied correctly, which should be directly on the weed and not on the soil or other plants.
Are Dandelions A Big Issue?
Yes, dandelion as a weed is a real problem, especially for those who live in temperate regions, because they are fast-growing plants that overrun a given space in no time. They are invasive weeds that can constitute a nuisance to your garden and lawn.
In all fairness, the weed dandelions, whose botanical name is Taraxacum officinale, do not look so bad in the lawn and garden, and this is because it looks beautiful as It grows from a low rosette of soft-toothed leaves which are green in color while near the base is sometimes pink. It produces upright flowers, is yellow, and looks like daisies.
The big issue with dandelions is not that they directly hurt the plants or the grass on your lawn. No, it is because plants are very competitive with the growth elements present in the soil, depriving your beloved plants of the nutrients, space, and water they need to grow.
The second with dandelion in your home is that this weed can quickly overrun your space in a short period, sometimes even days, because they spread by self-seeding, and each flower that bears the seeds can produce up to 200 seeds. What this means is that if you allow a few dandelions to grow in your lawn or garden, in a short while, you will no longer have a lawn or garden but a dandelion bush everywhere.
Killing Dandelions In Lawn With Vinegar (Step by Step)
The Internet is agog with many home recipes for making weed killers from vinegar. In reality, many recipes can not sustainably take care of weeds like dandelions, and some have devastating effects on the soil. There are two ways to make a vinegar dandelion killer: standard or horticultural vinegar.
1. Get a bottle of basic white vinegar with at least a 5% concentration of acetic acid. Also, ensure you have a container holding at least a gallon or more liquid ( depending on how much dandelion you want to remove). White vinegar is relatively cheaper, but if you have apple cider vinegar, you can use it too.
2. Now, mix two teaspoons of dish soap into a gallon of vinegar, and then stir the mixture properly in the container. The function of the dish soap is to help the vinegar spray stick to the weeds.
3. Transfer the mixture from the container into a garden sprayer. If you have a large quantity of dandelion to spray, pour the mixture into a pump spray with a hose and an extended nozzle.
4. The best days to spray this vinegar mixture are sunny days when the acetic acid works effectively with sunlight to dry out the dandelion plants. Spray the mixture in the morning directly on the dandelion. If you are unlucky and rainfalls and washes off the mixture immediately after you spray the weeds, you will have to give them a second spray.
5. Ensure you target the dandelion while spraying, not the soil or other plants in the garden or the grass in the lawn. That is because the vinegar mixture is very acidic and will kill other plants it touches and also lowers the pH of the soil, which is not suitable for plants. Douse the dandelion leaves and stem with the vinegar mixture, but ensure they are not drenched and the mixture drips to the soil. In 24 hours, you should notice that the dandelions are dying or dead. If you still need to, give it a second application round.
6. Clean the sprayer thoroughly with lots of water. It might not seem like a crucial step, but failure to do so will cause the sprayer, nozzle, and hose to corrode after some time because the acid will react with the metal spray
Your standard vinegar mixture should be able to take care of dandelions in your garden. If you don’t see any significant effect of standard vinegar on the weeds, you can resort to horticultural vinegar, which is more effective because it is more concentrated.
Get a horticultural vinegar whose concentration is 20%. You can get it from a home improvement or garden store near you. If you get vinegar whose concentration is higher than 20%, you will have to dilute it with the appropriate amount of water, or else the vinegar will damage the soil and other plants. Wear a goggle and gloves before starting the process because horticultural vinegar is corrosive and can burn the skin.
To use a horticultural vinegar for taking care of dandelion in your space, follow these steps:
1. Get a liter of horticultural vinegar and 5ml or a teaspoon of dish soap ( you don’t have to measure it to be so precise, squirt some amount that looks like a teaspoon or a quart). Now mix these two liquids and stir them gently. It ensures that the mixture becomes homogeneous without the soap getting sudsy.
2. Now add half a cup of table salt to the vinegar. Salt is added to the mixture to get the dandelions to become drier faster ( if you have plants around that are not salt-tolerant, you shouldn’t add salt).
3. This mixture should now be sprayed carefully only on the dandelion without drenching them because excess horticultural vinegar mixture from the dandelion getting to the soil can increase the salt and pH levels of the soil.
4. Remember to wash the sprayer and other components properly because the vinegar is so concentrated that it damages the sprayer, while the salt can clog up some parts.
Caution While Using Vinegar As A Dandelion Killer
Even though we have established that vinegar is an effective weed killer, it is essential to use it with care in your space because of the following:
1. Dandelions might grow back if the vinegar does not destroy the roots (it’s doubtful that vinegar can destroy the root of a dandelion without damaging the soil). Hence you should be ready for reapplication in the future.
2. Vinegar is a nonselective weed eater that can kill the dandelion and your plants if you don’t apply it carefully. Bed.
3. Vinegar has a very unpleasant odor that you must deal with.
4. The corrosiveness of vinegar can tarnish metal equipment if it is not washed immediately after use.
5. Frequent exposure to vinegar may burn the skin and cause chronic bronchitis, dermatitis, and erosion of teeth.
We love our gardens and lawns to look inviting without all those uninvited plants that tend to find their way in. These weeds, like dandelions, can hurt our plants, hence the need to eliminate them. Read also How To Use Dandelion Removal Tool
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A mixture of vinegar and dish soap effectively removes dandelions and other weeds in your space, but you must apply them cautiously because they hurt the soil.
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