Rent Shop Volunteer Join

Q. Who is Mr. Smarty Plants?

A: There are those who suspect Wildflower Center volunteers are the culpable and capable culprits. Yet, others think staff members play some, albeit small, role. You can torture us with your plant questions, but we will never reveal the Green Guru's secret identity.

Help us grow by giving to the Plant Database Fund or by becoming a member

Did you know you can access the Native Plant Information Network with your web-enabled smartphone?

Share

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

Search Smarty Plants
See a list of all Smarty Plants questions

Please forgive us, but Mr. Smarty Plants has been overwhelmed by a flood of mail and must take a break for awhile to catch up. We hope to be accepting new questions again soon. Thank you!

Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.

 
rate this answer
1 rating

Thursday - March 08, 2012

From: Georgetown, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Invasive Plants, Seasonal Tasks
Title: Vinegar as a Herbicide
Answered by: Brigid & Larry Larson

QUESTION:

When can you use vinegar on weeds to get rid of them.

ANSWER:

Depending on my attitude at the time – almost anytime and never.

Here’s the deal:  Almost anytime because you should consider it a broadcast herbicide.  Put it on plants, any plants, and they’re history [in theory].

Never because it’s a broadcast herbicide and not all that good as one.  The Wildflower Center is big on natural solutions, and it is natural, but a broadcast herbicide will kill anything it contacts.[Including all your desired plants that are accidentally in the way. Murphys Law insists that they will die a horrible death while the weed will just shake it off.].

Here is a great previous Mr Smarty Plants answer that puts a little more detail into my comment that it is not a very good herbicide and better explains why our preferred approach doesn’t include broadcast herbicides.

Here is a Mr Smarty Plants answer on the topic of invasive week control with some more detailed advice.

And, I found three more answers like this where vinegar wasn’t such a good solution, this answer points to some websites with approaches for invasive weed control.

 

More Invasive Plants Questions

Non-native Silver lace vine invasive from Ft. Davis TX
July 29, 2011 - Is silver lace vine invasive?
view the full question and answer

Control of English ivy
November 27, 2007 - I need to know if there is a way to kill, or contain, English Ivy that was planted as groundcover next door. Despite my discouragement, my next door neighbor planted English Ivy as groundcover all alo...
view the full question and answer

Reference for native critical populations from York, PA
May 25, 2010 - I have recently read a naysayer of native gardening. He states that native garden plants usually do not have the critical population size to be self-perpetuating. He says that one could better help t...
view the full question and answer

Non-native invasive chickweed in Collegeville PA
December 31, 2011 - My problem is chickweed. I have found considerable information on how to eliminate the chickweed. My question is after following a suggested elimination process: How and when do I reseed with grass?...
view the full question and answer

Keeping non-native invasive bermudagrass out of yard in Austin
May 30, 2012 - My neighbor just sodded a huge lawn with Bermuda Celebration. I don't want it coming into my St. Augustine. From what I've read on your site and others, I need a deep barrier. Has anyone tried pu...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.