How Do You Kill Thistle Weeds Without Chemicals?


Quick Answer

Vinegar is a natural and organic way to kill weeds without exposing the environment to harsh chemicals. Plain household vinegar can be sprayed directly onto weeds with results typically visible within 48 hours.

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Full Answer

Depending on the variety of thistle weed and its age, reapplication of vinegar may be necessary. Spraying more than once is likely to be required in mature plants that have developed thicker leaves. A simple household spray bottle filled with undiluted vinegar makes this solution easy and inexpensive compared to manufactured herbicides.

When choosing a vinegar, standard cider vinegar with a 5-percent acetic acid concentration is often strong enough to cause plants to wilt and die. There are stronger concentrations available in the canning section of most department and garden stores than can be used on stubborn thistle weeds. Farm supply retailers stock the highest concentrations, which go up to 20 percent acetic acid.

Because of its high acidity, vinegar can temporarily decrease pH levels in the soil. Watering the lawn can help easily dilute the vinegar in the soil if you are concerned about maintaining other nearby desirable plants. When using high concentration vinegar, one should always use proper safety gear, including gloves, eye protection and a face mask.

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