Soured on Vinegar in the Garden
I’m getting cranky about all the righteous reports I’m hearing about people using vinegar to try to kill weeds or diseases, acidify soil, or fertilize.
Is it safe? Does it work? Here’s a quick vinegar review:
“Garden-variety” 5% kitchen vinegar does not work. The stronger stuff is downright dangerous. Don’t believe me. Believe PhD Plant Physiologist Linda Chalker-Scott and her compatriots on the Garden Professors blog about vinegar:
Kitchen vinegar (5%):
- As herbicide: Kills the tops of weeds, which then grow back from the roots. Again and again.
- As soil acidifier: Doesn’t work, at least not for long.
- As fertilizer: I don’t even get this one. What nutrient(s) is is supposed to provide? It’s mostly carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen.
I’m too lazy to make this stuff up, especially in the morning. It’s only 11 a.m. Why do you think I’m so cranky?
Read the scientists and behold at http://gardenprofessors.com/vinegar-a-garden-miracle/.
20% acetic acid/vinegar: This is a quick clip from the MSDS (Materials Safety Data Sheet), which is required for all chemicals. Note the quotation marks. Aside from the bullets, it’s a direct quotation. (Remember to use a quotation mark at the beginning of each new paragraph but an end-quote only at the end.)
- “Hazardous in case of eye contact (corrosive).
- “Causes eye burns.
- “Hazardous in case of skin contact (corrosive).
- “Skin contact produces burns.
- “Hazardous in case of inhalation (lung corrosive).
- “Hazardous in case of ingestion.”
Read the rest at http://msds.egeneralmedical.com/vw3536-7.pdf.
We all love our chemicals, whether we want to believe it or not. Vinegar is acetic acid: a chemical. Everything is chemicals. Your house is chemicals. Trees are chemicals. My mother is chemicals.
Sorry, Ma. I love you, but you are essentially a bag of water with some chemicals and a few symbiotic microorganisms.
So love your mother and save the vinegar for a nice salad of steamed chickweed, lambs’ quarters, and bindweed tips, garnished with borage.
Photos to come after this last pot of coffee sludge.