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Organic gardening with apple cider vinegar

Updated on May 8, 2014

Organic vinegar for organic gardening


Versatile apple cider vinegar in the garden

When I saw dense weed growth in my backyard, I panicked. Only weeks earlier, I had re-done the patio with new pavers and four layers of weed-mat. And the weeds had regrown - with more vigor and vengeance. Not willing to accept defeat, I ran to the gardening shop and bought the strongest weedkiller I could find.

After a spray of the weedkiller, and few weeks later, the weeds were back. A look over the fence into neighbor's backyard revealed a clean, weedfree patio. He shared in little secret - white vinegar.

Weedkiller and herbiside

He uses white vinegar as a herbiside. At 20% acidity, white vinegar curbs growth of weeds in a natural way, and there are no chemicals involved - fairly safe for the environment.

I was hooked onto white vinegar for weed control in the garden.

Further reading showed some more exciting options.


Apple cider vinegar (ACV) has the opposite effect on plants. ACV acts as a good fertilizer for acid-loving plants like azaleas and gardenias.

This is because apple cider vinegar is only mildly acidic - 5%, and therefore is good for plants. But even at 5% it is still quite strong for plants, and may act as weedkiller if not diluted. So ACV needs to be mixed with water if you ant to use it as a fertilizer. Put 10 ounces of apple cider vinegar in 10 gallons of water and spray abundantly in the area to be covered.

Let's see other uses of apple cider vinegar in the garden and around the house.

Apple Cider Vinegar Benefits

In addition to being used as a fertilizer, apple cider vinegar has many benefits.

Clean hands

A weekend of gardening can leave hands dry and rough. This is because of the garden lime which is alkaline. Use apple cider vinegar to clean your hands. It's acidic content will balance out the alkaline lime.

Nutrients to plants

Apple cider vinegar can act as a good plant food. Take one part apple cider vinegar, one part sugar, and 16 parts water. Stir well and feed your plants. You will see renowned growth in your plants.

Food for plucked flowers

When you bring your garden flowers in the house and put them in a vase, add 1 tsp of apple cider vinegar and 1 tsp of sugar to water. The flowers will last longer.

Make soil acidic

Certain plants thrive in an acidic environment. If you have these plants, then you may want to feed the soil with some ACV. Put one cup of apple cider vinegar in a gallon of water and sprinkle it in your garden.

Molds in patio

I used to struggle to remove molds from my patio, and I was fed of inhaling harsh chemicals while spraying the patio with a commercial cleaner. Apple cider vinegar came to my rescue.

For this you will need to use it undiluted. Don't mix it with water. This could be slightly expensive option if you want to cover a large area. But at least you will not be using any chemicals. Besides, it will also discourage weed growth for weeks to come. I haven't even seen ants coming in my patio anymore.

Which apple cider vinegar to buy

You will need to buy unpasteurized, unfiltered apple cider vinegar. This vinegar contains the "mother" - the grainy, muddy substance which has important enzymes in it. This is the most effective apple cider vinegar.

Don't buy mass-produced, filtered apple cider vinegar which is not likely to be effective. Also buy organic apple cider vinegar so that your plants are not exposed to harmful pesticides.

Tips for organic gardening

© 2014 Alana Niall


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    • 101Ways2Life profile image

      Alana Niall 3 years ago from Christchurch, New Zealand

      Thanks Thelma. I am glad you liked the tips.

    • Thelma Alberts profile image

      Thelma Alberts 3 years ago from Germany

      Thanks for sharing this useful tip in gardening. I´ll be doing this soon. Have a nice day!