How to Kill Weeds Fast

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Use a vinegar solution to kill weeds fast.
Use a vinegar solution to kill weeds fast. (Image: Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images)

Weeds are a frustrating sight to any home gardener, and keeping your planting area free of pesky, unwanted plants can be a challenge. Weeds are often unsightly, grow rapidly and can quickly ruin the appearance of your garden if not promptly removed. While digging out the entire weed and removing the roots is the best way to permanently remove a weed from your garden, the process is made easier by spraying a simple household solution on the weed to kill it quickly. Killing weeds fast is a simple, affordable process that requires only basic ingredients and diligence to keep your garden looking its best.

Things You'll Need

  • 1 gallon full strength vinegar
  • 1 cup salt
  • 1 tablespoon liquid soap
  • Spray bottle
  • Garden shovel

Combine 1 gallon of full strength vinegar with 1 cup of salt and 1 tablespoon liquid soap in a large plastic container to make the weed-killing solution. Vinegar is naturally acidic and lethal to vegetation it comes in contact with; when combined with salt, it will quickly kill weeds by drying them out. The soap helps the liquid mixture cover weeds that have fine hairs or a waxy coating.

Pour the liquid mixture into a spray bottle carefully and adjust the nozzle so it sprays a single jet in a small area. Ensure that the application area is focused and precise, as the vinegar solution will kill any vegetation it is applied to and may damage your garden plants if sprayed in a broad mist.

Remove the soil around the weeds you want to remove and pull away any garden plants you want to keep before spraying. The vinegar solution will work faster if it is applied to as much of the weed as possible, including the roots.

Spray the vinegar solution on the weeds carefully. Apply the weed killer on sunny days where there is no chance of rain to prevent the solution from being washed off the weeds. The weed killer will kill some weeds within a day, while larger weeds may not show any signs of dying until the following day.

Remove the weeds by hand or with a garden shovel after they are dead. Ensure that you remove as much of the roots as possible to prevent the weed from growing back in your garden.

Tips & Warnings

  • Use an industrial strength vinegar solution that has 10 to 20 percent acetic acid for best results.
  • Do not spray the same area with vinegar multiple times because the solution contains salt and acetic acid, both of which can disrupt the soil chemistry and stress your garden plants.
  • Take care when using strong vinegar solutions, as the fumes can cause skin and eye irritation.

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