7 Reasons Why Vinegar for Plants Is a Must - Backyard Boss
We are reader supported. External links may earn us a commission.

7 Reasons Why Vinegar for Plants Is a Must

Adding a natural element to your indoor or outdoor garden can be just the boost it needs, and one of the best options available is using vinegar for your plants. Bring a touch of serenity to your oasis with an innovative addition designed to banish some gardening frustrations!

With gardening becoming more and more popular because of sustainability practices, understanding how vinegar helps plants can keep your crop thriving throughout spring and summer! Here are seven reasons you absolutely must have vinegar in your gardening kit this season.

Repel Insects and Animals

Deer on lawn
Image credits: Jim Fawns via Pexels

If you’re looking for a safe, eco-friendly solution to keep bugs, critters, and even slugs, moles, and snakes away from your home or garden, vinegar could be the perfect solution! Vinegar is even effective at deterring larger animals such as cats and deer.

You can spray vinegar around the perimeter of your property or in areas where animals hang out. This will help discourage them from entering your space. The taste alone will leave them searching for a different treat.

For ants, simply apply full-strength white vinegar to areas with significant insect activity. The acidic quality of the vinegar makes it an effective deterrent for those pesky critters. Do not apply vinegar too close to your plants as it can temporarily change soil pH and be harmful to the roots. Also, note that applying full-strength vinegar directly onto plant foliage will kill them so avoid spraying or pouring into plants or grasses that you would like to keep alive.

Alternatively, you can use 3 cups of water, 1 cup of vinegar, and 1 teaspoon of dish soap. Mix it together in a spray bottle and use the mixture directly on the pests. Just be careful not to use it on bees or pollinators as vinegar can kill them, too.

Weed Control

Man removes weeds from the lawn / cutting out weeds
Image credits: damiangretka via Shutterstock

If you’re looking for a more natural way to control weeds, try using vinegar! With just a few simple ingredients, you can make your own weed-killing solution with equal parts white vinegar, Epsom salt, and 2 tablespoons of mild dish soap.

Simply combine all the ingredients together and stir or shake until fully blended. Let sit for a while before applying it to unwanted foliage. To get the best results, use a hand or garden sprayer and apply thoroughly to both sides of the leaves and the ground. Doing this on a sunny day is ideal; Try early in the morning when the sun is at its strongest.

Although vinegar is an effective way to control weeds, it requires a bit of extra effort to be successful. You’ll need to consistently reapply vinegar multiple times in order to achieve maximum results. The first application will damage the leaves of the weed, causing them to wilt and die. However, in order for it to be truly effective, you must continue re-applying vinegar over time. This repeated defoliation of the weed will eventually deprive it of essential food and nutrients, resulting in root damage and death.

Natural Fungicide

Sweet Basil Downy Mildew Disease, Peronospora sp. appear on the surface of sweet basil leaves.
Image credits: korrakot via Shutterstock

Have you ever noticed some funny little spots on your plants? Have you been wondering how to get rid of them without resorting to harsh chemicals? Well, look no further! Vinegar could be the answer you’re looking for!

You can use vinegar as a natural fungicide to help fight things like spot diseases and downy mildew. It’s easy to make, non-toxic, and safe for both people and pets. All you need are a few simple ingredients: chamomile, boiling water, and vinegar.

Simply steep 1/4 cup of dried chamomile in 3 cups of boiling water for 24 hours. Once it has cooled, strain out the chamomile and stir in two tablespoons of vinegar. Now, you can easily spray this mixture onto all affected parts of the plant. Let it air dry for the best results! Reapply as needed but wait for at least three to five days between applications.

Garden Tool Cleaner

Assorted planting tools
Image credits: Jill Wellington via Pixabay

Cleaning garden tools with vinegar is a great way to keep them in good working order for years. Not only does it help preserve your favorite tools, but it can also save you money in the long run.

To guarantee that your gardening supplies stay clean and rust-free, give them a once or twice monthly bath with full-strength white vinegar. Spray the surface of each item or soak them completely in undiluted vinegar and let sit for 15 minutes. Then spray off or wipe away dirt and grime. For especially stubborn areas with rust buildup, leave the vinegar on longer and use a soft brush to scrub away remaining rust spots before rinsing off with water.

Produce Cleaner

cleaning vegetables
Image credits: MYCCF via Pixabay

Vinegar is a great all-around cleaner for your home, inside and out. But did you know it’s also an effective way to clean your fresh fruits and vegetables? It’s true! With just a few simple steps, vinegar becomes an easy food-safe cleanser that will leave your produce sparkling clean.

To start, mix one-part white vinegar with four parts cold water in a basin or large bowl. Now submerge the fruit or vegetables in it for 20 minutes to really let the vinegar work its magic. When finished soaking, remove them from the solution without rinsing and allow them to dry on paper towels before storing away.

Soil pH Improvement

pH Test
Image credits: Shawn Hempel via Shutterstock

Using vinegar to improve soil pH is a great way to make sure your plants are getting the best growing conditions possible. The acidity of vinegar can help break down hard minerals in the soil that prevent certain plants from thriving. Plants like hydrangeas, blueberries, and gardenias benefit from higher soil pH.

To use this technique for your own plants or shrubs, first test your soil. Then, simply mix 1 cup of white vinegar with 1 gallon of water and gently pour it on the surrounding soil. Don’t overdo it, though — too much vinegar could end up killing off beneficial organisms in the soil. When used correctly, however, applying a bit of vinegar to your soil can be a great way to give your plants the boost they need.

Fruit Fly Traps

Dead fruit flies in beer
Image credits: AnneGM via Shutterstock

Fruit flies can be a pesky problem in a kitchen or garden, but getting rid of them doesn’t have to be a chore. An easy and environmentally friendly way to get rid of these annoying pests is by using vinegar for fruit fly traps.

All you need is 1 cup of warm water, 1/2 cup of vinegar, 1/4 cup sugar, and 1 tablespoon of molasses. Mix everything together until dissolved. Then pour the mixture into shallow containers that you’ve placed around your home or garden areas where you’ve noticed fruit flies. The smell from the vinegar will attract the fruit flies and when they try to get inside, they won’t be able to get out. So, you can easily and quickly rid your home or garden of pesky fruit flies without having to use harsh chemicals or pesticides.

Vinegar Here, Vinegar There

For these reasons, vinegar should be a staple in a gardener’s toolkit. Not only does it have a plethora of uses, but it is also inexpensive and easy to find. So next time you are at the store, pick up a bottle (or two) of vinegar and be on your way to having a beautiful garden this season! Don’t forget to share this article with your fellow gardening friends and leave a comment below letting everyone know how you use vinegar in your garden!