Growing your own fruits and vegetables can be fun, but most importantly rewarding because you put effort into making your own food with your own hands from scratch. Natural gardening can also be challenging because you want to grow healthy, organic produce without using any toxic and harmful products. Don’t fret, white vinegar is on the rescue and it might be the best thing that can happen to your garden. This is what white vinegar can do for your garden.
10 Natural Gardening Uses for Vinegar
1. Weakens Weeds
You want to get rid of weeds in your garden, but they are stubborn and won’t budge. Unfortunately, the only way to get rid of them is to dig them out, but vinegar can slow down their growth and even kill some weed varieties such as Canada thistle (Cirsium arvense) which makes it easier to remove their roots. (5)
White vinegar in the store is usually 5% acidic, but for weeds you’ll need to buy vinegar that has 20% acetic acid. Spray it consistently on weeds under the sun, especially on hot days. (4)
2. Restores Water And Soil Ph Balance
Alkaline water and soil can prevent plants from absorbing important minerals such as nitrogen and iron. If your water or soil is alkaline, add a tablespoon of vinegar to each gallon of water. This is especially useful for acid-loving plants, such as blueberries. (4)
3. Keeps Unwanted Visitors Away
Some animals including deer, rabbits, and racoons can’t stand the smell of white vinegar. Take an old cloth and cut it in pieces. Soak the strips in vinegar, wrap them around wooden sticks and stake them close to your fruits or vegetables. Soak them in vinegar every 7 to 10 days. (3)
4. Keeps Pets Away
Vinegar can prevent your cat and dog from turning your garden into their personal bathroom. Spray some vinegar on the soil and around the plants to keep them at bay. (3)
5. Kills Ants
Ants love to eat your fruit, but they hate the smell of vinegar. Mix equal parts of water and vinegar in a spray bottle and spray anthills and other areas where you see ants. (3)
6. Removes Fruit Flies
Fruit flies love sweet fruit and won’t resist your tasty produce. Mix half a cup of vinegar with a cup of water and add a tablespoon of molasses and a quarter cup of sugar. Pour it in a container that you can hang on a fruit tree. The mixture will attract the fruit flies and they will be trapped in the stickiness. (5)
7. Gets Rid Of Slugs And Snails
Simply spray undiluted vinegar directly on slugs and snails that you see in your garden and they will wither away. (5)
8. Cleans And Sterilizes Pots
What you use to grow your plants will eventually end up in your body, so it’s important to clean the pots when you reuse them or when you buy new ones. To clean your pots, scrub them with dish soap and hot water. To sterilize them, mix 1 part water with 2 parts white vinegar and a handful of kosher rock salt and soak the pots in the mixture for 1 hour. (1)
9. Cleanses Your Hands
Gardening is hard work and you may end up with dirt and allergens on your hands. After you wash your hands with soap and water, rinse them with distilled vinegar to disinfect them and prevent itching. (5)
10. Removes Rust From Your Garden Tools
If your tools get rusty, there’s a simple and easy solution. Fill a bucket with vinegar and let your tools soak overnight. (2, 5)
Incorporate white vinegar in your gardening today and see how easy it is to grow organic produce and avoid harmful products.
If you need more pest control tricks for your garden, watch this very informative video on how to get rid of pests and other intruders organically and naturally.
(1) Albert, A. (2009). Maintenance Tips for Healthy Containers. In Carol Kasper & Jen Matlack (Ed.), Container Gardening: 250 Design Ideas and Step-by-Step Techniques. United States: The Taunton Press.
(2) bostonoak. (January 23, 2015). Very impressed by white vinegar as rust remover! [Blog post]
(3) Editors of Reader’s Digest. (2015). 1,519 All-Natural, All-Amazing Gardening Secrets: Expert Tips For Gardens And Yards Of All Sizes. New York City: Reader’s Digest.
(4) Garrett, H. J. & Beck, C. M. (1999). Texas Organic Vegetable Gardening: The Total Guide to Growing Vegetables, Fruits, Herbs and Other Edible Plants the Natural Way. United States: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers.
(5) Natural Cures House. (2017). White Vinegar Is A Gardener’s Best Friend. Here Are 11 Clever Uses in The Garden.