Vinegar/Epsom/Dawn weed killer #558505 - Ask Extension

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Vinegar/Epsom/Dawn weed killer #558505

Asked May 05, 2019, 1:16 PM EDT

I’m seeing this touted on social media as a miracle weed killer. I’m reading other articles saying it’s a bad idea and round up is actually better because it breaks down more quickly. I want to be environmentally responsible and protect bees, but I have thistles that need to die. Help?

Kent County Michigan

Expert Response

Home remedies are always a little iffy. Commercial pesticides are much better researched and are designed to be used for the purpose intended. Vinegar to be effective, needs to have a higher acetic acid percentage which has its own safety risks. Epsom salt adds magnesium which is persistent in the soil and can pose problems with the plants when used in excess. The soap is probably added as a surfactant.  Glyphosate has been well researched and when used as directed is effective and safe. Check out the following link:
https://local.extension.umn.edu/local/article/vinegar-and-epsom-salt-herbicides
I hope this is helpful.
Barry Andersen Replied May 06, 2019, 10:16 AM EDT
Thank you so much. I will be sure to share this with my garden club Facebook page. I think we sometimes tend to forget that common things we use in our household are also chemicals and not applicable for all purposes. For example, salting your soup is delicious, salting the earth is diabolical.
The Question Asker Replied May 06, 2019, 10:29 AM EDT

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