Bliss and vinegar: tips on using vinegar in the garden

Credit: iStockphoto/Robyn Mackenzie

Having used vinegar as an herbicide with great success, I am very happy to have discovered this wonderful collection of tips on using vinegar in the garden – a wonderful alternative to dumping harmful pesticides, chemical herbicides and overkill cleaning products into our precious earth!

  • Kill weeds and grass growing in unwanted places by pouring full-strength white distilled vinegar on them. This works especially well in crevices and cracks of walkways and driveways.
  • Give acid-loving plants like azaleas, rhododendrons, hydrangeas and gardenias a little help by watering them with a white distilled vinegar solution now and again. A cup of white distilled vinegar to a gallon of tap water is a good mixture.
  • Stop ants from congregating by pouring white distilled vinegar on the area.
  • Discourage cats from getting into the kids’ sandbox with white distilled vinegar.
  • Preserve cut flowers and liven droopy ones by adding 2 tablespoons white distilled vinegar and 1 teaspoon sugar to a quart of water in a vase.
  • Get rid of the water line in a flower vase by filling it with a solution of half water and half white distilled vinegar, or by soaking a paper towel in white distilled vinegar and stuffing it into the vase so that it is in contact with the water line.
  • Clean out stains and white mineral crusts in clay, glazed and plastic pots by soaking them for an hour or longer in a sink filled with a solution of half water and half white distilled vinegar.
  • Remove crusty rim deposits on house planters or attached saucers by soaking them for several hours in an inch of full-strength white distilled vinegar.
  • Clean a birdbath by scrubbing it often with undiluted white distilled vinegar. Rinse well.
  • Get rid of rust on spigots, tools, screws or bolts by soaking the items overnight or for several days in undiluted white distilled vinegar.
  • Neutralize garden lime by adding white distilled vinegar to the area.
  • Avoid skin problems after working in the garden by rinsing your hands in white distilled vinegar.
  • Increase the acidity of soil by adding white distilled vinegar to your watering can.
  • Eliminate anthills by pouring in white distilled vinegar.
  • Cure a cement pond before adding fish and plants by adding one gallon of white distilled vinegar to every 200 gallons of water. Let sit three days. Empty and rinse thoroughly.
  • Sanitize outdoor furniture and picnic tables with a cloth soaked in white distilled vinegar.
  • Kill slugs by spraying them with a mixture of 1 part water and 1 part white distilled vinegar.
  • To catch moths use a mixture of 2 parts white distilled vinegar and 1 part molasses. Place mixture in tin can and hang in a tree.
  • Keep rabbits from eating your plants. Put cotton balls soaked in white distilled vinegar in a 35mm film container. Poke a hole in the top and place in the garden.
  • Remove berry stains on your hands by rubbing them with white distilled vinegar.
  • Clean plastic patio furniture with a solution of 1 tablespoon white distilled vinegar to 1 gallon of water.
  • Wash fresh vegetables with a mixture of 1 tablespoon of white distilled vinegar in 1½ quarts of water.
  • When cleaning an outdoor fountain, soak the pump in white distilled vinegar to remove any mineral deposits.
  • Clean a hummingbird feeder with white distilled vinegar—soap or detergent can leave behind harmful residue.
  • Remove mold from terra cotta pots by soaking in a solution of 1 cup white distilled vinegar, 1 cup chlorine bleach, and 1 gallon of warm water before scrubbing with a steel wool pad.
  • For all of their whopping 1001 ways to use vinegar, including some great ideas for pet care and housecleaning, go to