Bermuda Grass Herbicide – 30 % Vinegar not Organic nor Safe

Q: I only use 30% industrial strength, 300 grain white vinegar to kill weeds in our yard, since this is natural and contains no chemicals. Our yard has been toxic chemical free for eight years. Is it is safe to spray the bluegrass that is green in our brown bermuda grass lawn?

A: Much depends on your definition of “natural”, “no chemicals” and “toxic”. Thirty percent acetic acid is made at a chemical factory, just like glyphosate is, but with different raw ingredients. Calling it vinegar is not appropriate.

It may smell the same but 30% acetic acid is very dangerous stuff to handle. I would never recommend that a homeowner use it.

As you know, acetic acid is a “burn down” chemical. It kills plants by destroying leaf cells. It does not move beyond the leaves and will not kill perennial weeds without several applications. Lastly, bermudagrass is rarely completely dormant. If you spray the bluegrass, you’ll kill it but you run the risk of harming the bermuda underneath.

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