Thursday, June 17, 2010

Dealing With Weeds

If you hear someone say they are purely organic and have no problem with weeds, they are LYING! Weeds are the bane of the organic gardener/farmer. They sprout up everywhere and are so hard to keep away!

I have a very long fieldstone walkway with a step, across the front of my house and around the corner. I installed it myself over the last three springs. While I like the look of it, I do have a problem with weeds growing between the stones. I know, I could have put something between the stones, like mortar, but...well, I didn't and I probably won't either. That project is finished, done, written off and completed as far as I am concerned. I have moved on to other things, however, I do have to deal with the weeds.

I have been just sitting down on the rocks and pulling them or digging them out with my little spade. I have read over the years that vinegar mixed with a little dish soap will kill weeds and that pickling vinegar will work the best. I have looked here and there, sort of, for pickling vinegar and not seen it anywhere and I use the antibacterial dish washing liquid and am not sure that it is the same stuff. These things considered, I just have not tried it before today.

A couple of weeks ago, my mother-in-law told me that she uses vinegar on the weeds and grass that grow in her driveway and it kills them fast and dead. So much so that she has to be very careful with the overspray as it will kill anything it touches.
After that bit of info I decided to try the vinegar thing. She uses just cheap, plain, white vinegar so that is what I bought too.

I poured some into this little sprayer for the little weeds on the walkway and driveway. If you live in town, you probably think these weeds on my walkway are big weeds and this is a big weed problem. Trust me, you haven't seen weeds until you live in the country!

These are the little weeds around the chicken houses and the next ones are the little weeds under the deck.

I sprayed all of these today with that little sprayer full of vinegar, well about 4 sprayers full of vinegar, but I got them all sprayed. If it works and they do, indeed, die from it, I will get out the big gun and fill it with vinegar!

Then I will use it to spray THESE weeds:

I have battled burdock and thistle since we have lived here. If I can just spray them with vinegar and they will wither up and die, I will be thrilled!


simply_complicated said...

have you considered using a plant you WANT between all those stones? something like a moss or low-growing plant as a substitute for weeds or grass would look quite lovely!

Sheryl at Providence Acres Farm said...

I do have lamium growing along beside all the stones and am letting it spread over them. I think it will have the walkway covered by the end of this year, maybe. I might have to cut circles out of it where the stones are, though.

I would love to have creeping thyme growing all between the stones! It smells Heavenly when you walk on it but I had problems finding seeds for it and I already had the lamium. I don't know how it will hold up to being walked on.

DayPhoto said...

I use vinegar. It works.


Jessica [] said...

Awesome tip! I have some nasty thistles growing tall and are hiding their bottoms in some stinky bushes that I hope to remove someday. We have elk and deer here so I don't want to use chemicals.

Ruralrose said...

am going to try this too, thanks - peace

Granny J said...

I just found your blog and have been reading past posts. I'm hooked and have become a follower. I will definitely try the vinegar. Although I live in town and have a tiny yard I battle weeds.

The Japanese Redneck said...

Please let us know if the vinegar works.

I use the bought stuff and have accidently killed a couple of wanted plants.

I can't stand the weeds. Hard to think that vinegar would kill thistle. I thought the only way to get rid of it would be to dig it up.

simply_complicated said...

to update my previous comment, i just talked to a farmer friend, and he says that the vinegar works by burning (chemical burn) the leaves of the plant. this may mean that it won't kill all large taproot-type weeds (such as dandelions or thistles) but will likely kill most other sorts with little problem. :)

Sheryl at Providence Acres Farm said...

Linda, does it work on the big stuff like bull thistle or dock? I will use it on the next dry day we have and let you all know.

Sheryl at Providence Acres Farm said...

Welcome Granny J and everyone!

Kathleen From Eggs In My Pocket said...

Oh, how I can relate to you on this post! Weeds are always something I am battling. Now that I have a full time job and the Texas temp is in the 100's, my progress on getting the grounds weed free is slow. Hope you make progress! blessings,Kathleen

Northern Shade said...

I use boiling water on the weeds in the cracks on my sidewalk and patio and it works well. I haven't really used it on thistle, though. A few perennial weeds need a second application.