Large Scale Central

Weed Killers

Any truth to it that vinegar and salt are good weed killers ?

When I hired Nancy Norris (the ex plant editor for Garden Railway Magazine) to plant for me, she highly suggested using vinegar for weed killing. Less abusive than roundup (to humans, pets, etc.) and it has done the trick for me so far. Have not tried salt.

She was also a fan of sprinkling around cayenne pepper to discourage pests (squirrels in our case). Not as convinced about that one.

And of course neither of these can survive a rainstorm.


Salt seems like a dangerous proposition. Isn’t that what the Romans tilled into the fields around Carthage to prevent Carthage from ever again rising to prominence? Increasingly saline soil is also a problem in some coastal farming communities, as it inhibits plant growth. Though both Roman foreign policy and poor agricultural land management are at scales well beyond what you are likely proposing, I’d still be worried about ruining the soil for anything else over the long haul if you repeatedly salt the same area over and over.


Sorta on topic.

I found out that Dawn dish soap and water in a spray bottle kills bugs faster than Raid.

However having said that, I don’t know how it affects the soil after it gets watered in.

My layout has no ground cover, only small bushes.

Thanks guys, I’ll try the vinegar (cheaper than Roundup) but not the salt

I have used the following for a number of years with reasonable good results success. This is a treatment attacks only living plants and through the leaves. It does not kill the weed roots so multiple applications may be required. The solution is bio-degradable and to my eye does not cause problems with the soil and critters such as worms.

Apply in the morning when the plant leaves are dry, allowing the sun to work. In the SF Bay area I see results in 4-5 hours of application.

If you are spraying in and around track, clean the track following the application as the vinegar will attack the rails especially if you use track power.

1 gal white vinegar 5%min

1 1/2 cups Epson Salt

1/4 cup Dawn Dish Soap (the original Blue color)

Mix the day of use although it will last in a sealed container.

I use a one quart pump sprayer to apply.

FYI: Epsom Salt is (Magnesium sulfate) not Salt (Sodium chloride) (

Fred Ottusch said:

Any truth to it that vinegar and salt are good weed killers ?

Yes !

Vinegar has amazing powers in all forms!

My weeds seem to be dying NOW! :innocent:

What’s the weather like where you live? Any freezing.? That can kill weeds too.

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Pretty cold here tonight. 27 degrees F right now and supposed to get colder. Probably why the weeds are dead. :innocent:

I use Spectracide Weed and Grass Killer. Spray in a container to keep the over spray down. Kills in 24 hours.