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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Vinegar As a Non-Toxic and Safer Weed Control Option

Authors
item Radhakrishnan, Jayakumar
item Teasdale, John
item Coffman, Charles

Submitted to: BARC Poster Day
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: April 18, 2002
Publication Date: April 18, 2002
Citation: RADHAKRISHNAN, J., TEASDALE, J.R., COFFMAN, C.B. VINEGAR AS A NON-TOXIC AND SAFER WEED CONTROL OPTION. BARC POSTER DAY. 2002.

Technical Abstract: Vinegar (acetic acid) is registered as a herbicide for weed control in concrete pavements in Sweden (David Hansson, personal communication). However, there is no scientific literature on the use of vinegar for agricultural purposes available. The objective of this research was to study the efficacy of vinegar as a potential candidate for weed control in organic farming situations. Replicated greenhouse experiments were conducted during Spring and Fall 2001. Common lambsquarters, giant foxtail, and smooth pigweed and Canada thistle were sown in pots and irrigated regularly. The plants were hand-sprayed with 0.0, 5.0, 10.5, 15.3 and 20.2 percent vinegar to obtain a uniform wetting of all foliage. The results indicated that the effectiveness of the vinegar to kill weeds was dependent on the concentration and the plant growth stage. Lower concentrations of 5 and 10 percent were more effective in killing the weeds during the early stages while at later stages they were not as effective as the 15 and 20 percent concentrations. Vinegar provided 95-100 per cent kill at all growth stages of the weeds studied at 15 and 20 % concentrations. Canada thistle was the most susceptible species with 100 percent kill of top growth with 5 % vinegar. Vinegar has a potential to be used as an inexpensive, herbicide for spot treatment of organic farms.

Last Modified: 12/17/2014
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