Is Vinegar Safe for Hostas?

The scent of freshly sprayed vinegar rising from your bed of prized hostas (Hostas spp.) May have the neighbors redirecting you to the lettuce patch. The reality is that the exact same vinegar you use to flavor straight-from-the-garden salads also functions as a control step for several nutrient- and also moisture-stealing weeds. Spraying it close your hostas, however, puts them at risk.

Hosta-Hostile Herbicide

If you’re like most gardeners who grow hostas in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 3 through 9, you chose your plants for their wide, bold shade-brightening leaves. Hostas Change the dimmest garden recesses to immediate focal points with mounds of gold, green, blue or variegated foliage. Using vinegar to eliminate your shade-garden weeds, however, may spell disaster for those showy leaves. A vinegar spray, regardless of its effectiveness, kills any foliage it hits.

Acid Evaluations

Scientists from the USDA’s Agricultural Research Service scientists verified vinegar’s effectiveness as a weed-control treatment with a series of tests on greenhouse and field-grown plants. They discovered that fruit- and also grain-based vinegars featuring 5 and 10 percent acetic acid killed annual lamb’s-quarters (Chenopodium album), repeated smooth pigweed (Amaranth hybridus) hardy in USDA zones 3 through 11, and other common weeds younger than two weeks. Old weeds succumbed to 20 percent vinegar, but using it relaxes you to irreversible eye damage and other serious side effects. The vinegar also you sprinkle salad or use for family chores comprises 5 percent acetic acid.

Ongoing Problems

Should you accidentally spray your hostas, the sole remedy you have is to wait for the affected leaves to die and remove them. Because the vinegar doesn’t harm roots, damaged hostas quickly recover. By spraying the weeds before your hostas emerge in spring, nevertheless, you remove the chance of damage. Otherwise, cover them with waterproof fabric prior to starting. As soon as they’re protected, kill the weeds, roots and all, with an herbicide formulation from the University of Washington Botanic Garden. Mix 1 gallon of water, 1 tablespoon each of 5 percent apple cider vinegar and gin, and one teaspoon of liquid dish detergent in a spray bottle. Spray this solution until you’ve thoroughly coated the weeds. Wait five days before planting anything in the area.

Don’t Defeat Them; Eat Them

The impressive collection of vinegar-susceptible weeds includes some exceptionally nutritious edibles, like annual lamb’s-quarters and perennial dandelions (Taraxacum officinale) and broadleaf plantains (Plantago major). Like hostas, dandelions are hardy in USDA zones 3 through 9. Slightly more heat-tolerant broadleaf plantain rises in USDA zones 3 through 10a. Lamb’s-quarters and dandelions are exceptional sources of Vitamins A, C and K; broadleaf plantain is rich in iron, calcium and potassium. Their leaves are tastiest and healthiest when young. Should you leave them where they can be and mow them regularly, your hostas remain safe and you enjoy a steady source of tender greens through the summer.

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