It’s essential when you’re making a fresh batch of crispy, pungent dill pickles- but that’s not the only time vinegar is super handy.
It also has a ton of uses in your garden.
All kinds of vinegar can be used for various applications both inside and outside of the house. From repelling bugs and pests to helping to clean various appliances, there are all kinds of ways you can use vinegar to grow a photo-worthy garden.
Here are some of the best uses for vinegar in the garden – many of which you may have never even heard of!
17 Uses for Vinegar in the Garden
1. Kill Ants
If you have tons of anthills in your garden, you might find that it’s becoming inconvenient for you to work on your plants. You can spray ant hills with a mixture of equal parts of vinegar and water to help keep them away.
2. Feed Acid-Loving Plants
It will probably come as no surprise to you that vinegar is extremely acidic. Luckily, there are lots of plants, including hydrangeas, rhododendron, gardenias, hollies, and azaleas that love being grown in acidic soil. Just spray them with a mixture of a gallon of water and a cup of white vinegar. You’ll be amazed at how much they grow!
3. Deter Cats and Rabbits
Although not the most common (or annoying) garden pest you will come into contact with, cats can nonetheless be incredibly aggravating in your veggie plots. Not only can they cause mischief by accidentally digging up your plants, but they also leave behind droppings that can spread toxoplasmosis.
Instead of letting them wreak havoc, soak a sponge in vinegar and leave it in the garden. Cats hate the smell and will stay far away.
Rabbits, too, can be irritating in a garden. They will destroy all kinds of crops as they ruthlessly nibble. You can easily keep them away by soaking a few cotton balls in distilled vinegar. Put them in a container and place it in your garden. Like cats, rabbits aren’t fond of the smell and will stay far away.
4. Get Rid of Weeds
One of the easiest ways to get rid of weeds in the garden is to use apple cider or white vinegar. Mix together a concoction of one gallon of water, two tablespoons of dish soap, and a few cups of vinegar. Spray this on the weeds (taking care, of course, not to get any on the plants you are actually trying to grow). Weeds will be gone in no time!
5. Clean and Wash Fresh Vegetables
Once you bring your bounty indoors, a quick way to wash your veggies is to combine a tablespoon of white vinegar with a quart of water. Wash your produce with the blend to get rid of bacteria and dirt.
6. Refresh Wilted Produce
Didn’t have time to do anything with your leafy greens before they started to wilt after harvest? No worries. Just toss them in some cold water and a splash of vinegar. They’ll perk right up.
7. Get Help With Germination
Can’t get your seeds to germinate? Vinegar to the rescue! Some seeds, like nasturtiums and okra, are notoriously difficult to germinate. Soaking them overnight in a bowl of water with a couple of drops of white vinegar, done before you plant, can often do the trick.
8. Clean and Polish Garden Tools
At the end of each gardening season, it’s a good habit to get into soaking garden tools like hoes, rakes, and spades in vinegar. You only need to soak them overnight, but doing so can help get rid of grime and rust. If your water spigots need a bit of love, tie a plastic bag filled with vinegar over them.
Vinegar is especially effective at getting rid of rust, so you can use it on your tools that have been left out and exposed for the elements for much too long.
9. Clean Your Outdoor Furniture
If you keep a few benches or other pieces of outdoor furniture near your garden, you probably already know how tough it is to keep them clean. Luckily, vinegar can come to the rescue once more. Wipe down your outdoor furniture with a rag soaked in vinegar and give each piece a thorough wipe-down. That’s all you need to do!
10. Get Rid of Snails and Slugs
Snails and slugs can both seriously compromise your plant growth.g et rid of them by spraying them with undiluted vinegar. They’ll wither up and die.
There are other pests that aren’t fond of vinegar, too. Pests like spiders, ants, and other bugs hate the smell of vinegar. To keep them from crawling around in your garden, spray a mixture of vinegar and dish soap around the perimeter.
11. Clean Your Clay Pots
Clay, or terracotta, pots are often used by gardeners. They offer durability and a chic aesthetic. However, they are known to absorb all kinds of minerals, like salt and calcium, which can leave behind unattractive stains. You can clean your pots by soaking them in a cup of white vinegar and four cups of water. Within an hour, the stubborn build-up should be gone.
12. Help Flowers Last Longer Indoors
It can be tough to get flowers to last once you bring them inside. Extend their lifespan by adding a quart of water to your favorite vas along with two tablespoons of white distilled vinegar and one teaspoon of sugar. Add your favorite cut flowers, and you’ll find that they last much longer.
13. Protect Your Fruit Trees
If you have some fruit trees on your property, you’re probably plagued by fruit flies. You can mix together a cup of water, half a cup of vinegar, a bit of sugar, and two tablespoons of molasses. You can use any kind of vinegar, but apple cider is best.
Pour it into some tin cans and hang them on your tree. As long as you make sure you check and replace the brew regularly, you’ll find that you get rid of a ton of fruit flies and moths in this way.
14. Remove Fungus
If you struggle with fungal diseases like powdery mildew on your plants, vinegar may be able to help. White vinegar offers one of the easiest ways to kill mold and can protect your plants from various kinds of fungal diseases.
You can make your own fungicide “tea” by combining two teaspoons of vinegar with one cup of chamomile tea. Brew the tea before adding the vinegar, then pour the solution into a bottle and spray the garden. Fungus be gone!
15. Test Your Soil
Not sure whether your soil is too acidic or too alkaline? You can easily run a quick test by placing a bit of soil in a container and then adding half a cup of vinegar if the vinegar starts to bubble, your soil is too alkaline. You’ll want to add some sulfur to the soil to even things out.
16. Keep Snakes Away
Snakes aren’t harmful to a garden – in fact, snakes eat a ton of pests that can actually do damage to your plants.
However, if you aren’t fond of having them around, you can get rid of them by spraying a solution made out of white vinegar around the perimeter of your garden. Pay special attention to spots where snakes might be getting in.
17. Wash Your Hands
After a long day of working in the garden, you’ll probably find that your hands are a little on the grimy side – to say the very least! To get rid of the debris, wash your hands with distilled vinegar. It’s particularly effective at getting rid of allergens and toxins, like poison ivy sap, that can cause you to have an allergic reaction.
Why You Should Use Vinegar in the Garden
Vinegar clearly has a ton of benefits for gardeners. It’s not just useful in the bathroom and kitchen – vinegar has dozens of applications all around your property.
The only precaution you need to take is when it comes out using vinegar directly on your plants. With the exception of a handful of plants that really love acid, most plants will be harmed by vinegar’s acetic qualities. Take care when spraying a solution that contains vinegar directly knot your plants, as it can strip away their protective coating.
Otherwise, know that vinegar has many household uses – even in the garden. If you’re ready to grow a bountiful, organic garden without all the harmful chemicals, using vinegar is the way to go.