Apple cider vinegar is not only an essential kitchen ingredient but also a fantastic ally for gardeners. Its versatility extends beyond culinary uses to serve various beneficial purposes in a garden. I’ve gathered some of my favorite ways to use apple cider vinegar in the garden, providing you with practical tips and tricks to enhance plant health and deal with common gardening challenges.
From acting as a natural weed killer to improving soil pH, you’ll discover how this simple household item can transform your garden — no chemicals needed.
Weeds sprouting through driveways and walkways can drive you to distraction. Nothing ruins curb appeal more than weeds. Apple cider vinegar is an effective weed killer, but when mixed with salt — kills them permanently! Unlike commercial weed killers, ACV is eco-friendly and won’t harm people, pets or the environment.
The acetic acid in the vinegar will draw out the water in the weeds, making them dry up. The salt will prevent the weeds from absorbing water, eventually killing them. The dish soap acts like a surfactant, helping the solution adhere to the weeds better. Here’s what you’ll need:
- 4 cups ACV
- 1/2 cup of salt
- 1 tsp liquid dish soap
- Large spray bottle
- Large bowl or bucket for mixing
- Wooden spoon
- Measure the apple cider vinegar and salt in a large bowl or bucket.
- Mix ingredients together with the wooden spoon until salt completely dissolves.
- Add the dish soap to the mixture and stir to combine.
- Fill the spray bottle with the weed killer, using a funnel.
- Soak the weeds with the solution on a dry, sunny day. Coat all surfaces well with the spray.
Any plants soaked with the ACV weed killer will die within several days. They won’t return, and nothing else will ever grow in their place. So, make sure you only use this where you want nothing to grow like sidewalks, walkways, driveway and patio stones.
Amend the soil
ACV is rich in nutrients and can help improve the quality of your soil. Mix one cup of apple cider vinegar with a gallon of water and use it to water your plants once a month. The acidity in the vinegar will help break down organic matter in the soil, making it more nutrient-rich for plant growth.
You can also use ACV to boost the effectiveness of your fertilizer. Simply mix equal parts of apple cider vinegar and water and add it to your regular fertilizer mix. The vinegar will help break down the nutrients in the fertilizer, making them more readily available for plant uptake.
Keep animals out of your garden
Animals love the garden. Whether they’re using it as a feeding ground or a litter box, apple cider vinegar will keep them out. Rabbits, cats, raccoons, moles, rodents, and deer hate the smell of vinegar. Just soak a few rags in apple cider vinegar and place them around the garden or any areas that attract unwanted animals. ACV will keep them at bay without causing any harm. Simple re-soak the rags occasionally, as needed, to keep animals from entering the garden.
Ants communicate by using sounds, touch, and pheromones, and can perceive smells with their antennae. If a forager ant finds food, it will mark a trail leading back to the colony. Soon the other ants will follow to the source of the food. Each time the trail is traveled, the smell is intensified. ACV disrupts their scent trails, making it harder for them to find the food source.
- 2 cups ACV
- 3 tbsp dish soap
- 2 tbsp baking soda
- Large spray bottle
- Large bowl or bucket for mixing, do not try to mix this in the spray bottle!
- Gather the ingredients and the spray bottle.
- Measure the apple cider vinegar and the dish soap.
- Pour both ingredients into the large bowl or bucket.
- Add the baking soda very slowly. It will foam up a lot, so be patient.
- After it has stopped foaming, fill the spray bottle with the mix using a funnel.
- Now fill the bottle to the top with water.
- Mix well before each use.
- Spray the problem area with ants really well. This mix will not harm your outside plants if you have an ant problem there as well.
- Use as often as needed.
This project takes about 10 to 15 minutes to make.
Improve soil pH with apple cider vinegar
Soil pH is an essential factor in plant growth, as it affects the availability of nutrients for plants. Most plants prefer a slightly acidic soil with a pH between 6.0 and 7.0. However, if your soil is too alkaline (above 7), some nutrients may become unavailable to plants. ACV can help lower the pH of your soil and make nutrients more accessible to your plants. Simply mix one tablespoon of apple cider vinegar with one gallon of water and pour it over the soil in your garden.
ACV has a wide range of uses in the garden, making it an essential household item for any gardener. From repelling pests to killing weeds and improving soil pH, this versatile ingredient can help you maintain a healthy and thriving garden.
So the next time you reach for apple cider vinegar in your kitchen, remember its potential benefits in your garden as well! Experiment with these tips to see how apple cider vinegar can transform your gardening experience. Your plants will thank you!