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How To Kill Clover With Vinegar

Jelena Maric
Agricultural Engineer

Some people don't mind having clovers on their property. For many others, it is just a weed taking over their lawn. If you have a problem with unwanted clover in your yard, there are many ways to get rid of it.

If you are interested in a more natural solution for weeds in your yard, there is some good news. You don't have to use harsh chemicals all the time. Some simple ways will work well for getting rid of this invasive plant without using any strong herbicides.

You can use vinegar as an organic weed killer. Vinegar kills weeds because of the acetic acid. At the garden supply store, you can find horticultural vinegar that is stronger and more effective.

Preparation of Vinegar Mixture for Killing Weeds

To kill weeds with vinegar, mix four parts apple cider to one part water and add some dish soap (1 teaspoon). Mix it well in a spray bottle or other container before using it over your targeted area. When you are reapplying during the summer season, it is recommended to use a weaker mixture. 1:1 ratio is sufficient after plants have re-grown adequately.

Vinegar can function as an organic weed killer because it's acidic. A high percentage of vinegar is available from garden supply stores which need dilution before use on lawns during warmer times of the year.

How and When to Apply Vinegar to Kill Clover

Get a spray bottle and carefully add vinegar to the leaves of only the weed you want to kill. If you don't want to damage nearby plants, be sure to apply your homemade herbicide directly onto the weed itself.

To make vinegar a more effective weed killer, check out the forecast and wait for at least several days of sunshine before applying it. Vinegar is the recommended treatment for weeds because it's not easily washed off from the plants. It starts to kill weeds when they are exposed to sunlight.

Click on Image below and put your zip code to get the 7 days forecast of your area

7 Days Forecast To Decide When To Apply Vinegar To Kill Clover

Before handling strong acid like vinegar (even if diluted) put on gloves and eye protection. A face mask can also be helpful in case of splashes.

For a couple of weeks, spray the leaves with vinegar. As time goes on and the plant dries, it will eventually die. Soap helps to make this mixture stick to clover. After two weeks, you should reseed your lawn with grass seed rather than letting some clover grow back up again.

How Long Does it Take Vinegar to Kill Clover?

All concentrations of acetic acids such as household vinegar should cause treated leaves to brown within 24 hours. Young cloves are susceptible to treatment with household vinegar. The roots will probably survive, which means these plants may reappear a few weeks later.

Higher concentrations of acetic acid work faster; three applications done in quick succession are the most effective way to kill stubborn plants and prevent them from coming back anytime soon.

What Type of Vinegar Kills Clover?

  • The grocery store-bought white or apple cider vinegar

Making a homemade vinegar weed killer and applying it to weeds can work, but only if used properly and with limits. Vinegar weed killers can work- as long as you understand that repeated sprays will be necessary.

One of the few recipes that work:

1 gallon (5% acetic acid) mixed with 1 cup salt and 1 tablespoon dish soap, put it in a spray bottle, and use as many times as needed.

  • High-strength horticultural vinegar, such as:

Mongoose Impasse Mountain Bike

Unlike kitchen vinegar, Calyptus 45% Vinegar is highly concentrated and powerful. It can be diluted up to 1:8 with water or used at full strength.

When using this product to kill weeds, it's important to add a surfactant like liquid dishwashing soap- one teaspoon per gallon of concentrate should do the trick. It will help it stay on leaves better than just spraying alone! Weeds sprayed with this product were all dried up within 20 minutes when you treat them during dry, sunny days.

Energen Carolina LLC 578 Vinegar

Vinegar Weed and Grass Killer is a contact herbicide that kills crabgrass, clover, dandelions, and ground ivy. You can use it in residential areas and commercial spaces like driveways, sidewalks, or concrete. It is safe for agricultural purposes, such as animal enclosures and mulch beds.

This product has a high concentration, so it's safe when used according to label directions. It's a great alternative to herbicides with glyphosate--works quickly on annual weeds & grasses while also staying active within soil until rain dilutes its potency.

Bradfield Natural Horticultural Vinegar

Natural Horticultural Vinegar is an effective alternative to harsh chemical weed killers that are harmful to the environment. It's most effective on warm, sunny days and it turns plants brown within two hours of application.

Maestro Gro Organic Vinegar. 20% acetic acid

Unlike regular vinegar, which was not strong enough to kill the weeds, using this chemical eliminated them without any harm coming to anyone or anything else. They don't cause pollution nor do they pose any other threats like hurting pets or people who come into contact with them as long as proper procedures are followed while applying them.

Will Vinegar Kill Clover and Not Grass?

Vinegar is not selective, and it will damage any plants that it touches. Be sure to spray on vinegar when there are no other nearby plants. If this isn't possible, paint the vinegar onto those pesky weeds with a brush. All foliage should be soaked with vinegar so that leaves die and wither away. Some plants are more sensitive to acid, so it's best if you're using vinegar as a weed killer to test your soil beforehand.

Does Vinegar Kill Weeds Permanently?

Clover is a perennial with a strong root system that you can not easily destroy. Vinegar usually won't kill the weeds when you first apply it. It will kill the leaves and flowers below the surface, but the root will remain alive and produce a new plant.

If you want to destroy the whole weed, be sure to use more treatments. That is especially the case when you use kitchen vinegar. However, if clover is still young and gentle, one application might be enough. Sometimes you will need to remove the remaining roots manually to make sure they won't sprout again.

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