Re: [gardeners] unlurking and natural weed killer

George Shirley (
Thu, 20 Jun 2002 13:56:56 -0500

Charisse, before I became overly concerned with pesticide residue I would try to get my soil tested.
I'm sure Illinois has agricultural extension agents on the payroll. Try your local phone book and
then see what it would cost and how they would want to do a detailed soil test for you. Not only can
you get your soil tested for the bad stuff you can find out what you need to add to get the pH,
etc., you need to grow the things you want.

If you do decide to use 20% vinegar be careful, that is a concentrated form of acetic acid and can
do you some harm. Get a Material Safety Data Sheet on the stuff and follow what it says. It will
also acidize your soil to a certain extent so I would get that soil test done first. Hope this helps
and welcome to the delurk mode.


> charisse wrote:
> I have been lurking for several years, always intending to join in when I had my own garden. I had
> been tending my mothers' property (primarily grass and evergreens) but now I have my own!!
> I hate grass - to me it is a waste of resources and time so I vowed I would have NO GRASS!
> As my home is new construction, last year was spent in getting the ground ready to grow something.
> Top soil was added to the front and back yards. The front was entirely covered in landscape fabric
> and mulch - with several locust trees and evergreens added.
> This year I have begun planting roses and perennials in the front and back.In the front I just cut
> away the fabric, use my Mantis to till the exposed area (adding peat as I don't have any compost
> yet) and plant. The back is more work and as it is such a large area I'm not going to be able to
> put in many plants (costs would be too great). So based on previous posts here, I have tilled some
> areas and put down plastic. Once MotherNature has baked all those weed seeds I  will put down
> perennial seeds. As this property was farm land (corn and soybeans) I know that my soil is not
> suitable for growing any edibles. (I'm a believer in organic).  I've planted a few things in
> buckets (tomatoes, lettuce etc), but will have to wait before I can have a vegetable garden.
> If I build raised beds for vegetables (would have to be next year - I've got enough to do this
> year LOL) how high would they have to be to be safe from the pesticide residue??  Any ideas??
> So as time passes, I will probably have many questions, but I also hope to contribute much.
> And in that vein, while visiting a weather site I stumbled upon a link to a new USDA study
> regarding vinegar and its ability to kill weeds - a true organic solution. (Boiling water works -
> but is not very convenient)  If you wish to read the little report
> I was most amazed at the kill rate stated. I'm
> going to try it in the back yard - but where would one get the higher concentrated (20%) solution)
> vinegars needed for the stronger weeds??
> Looking forward to staying unlurked (is that a word??) and I promise not to be as long-winded!!
> Charisse Illinois zone 5