…but sometimes they need to be tamed. I am able to appreciate this statement as I have come to realise that I have little to no knowledge of gardening and have on numerous occasions saved a ‘flower’ only to have Mark tell me it’s a weed. There are places though weeds should not be and our gravels paths and pitches are one of them. The weeding is an endless task, a bit like ironing. As soon as it;s done another batch has crept up on you. Kate and Huw our campsite sitters had warned us about the weeds growing up overnight, but with all the excitement I took in my stride and added it to the daily to do list. Daily, let me tell is not enough, you weed turn round and the blighters are back! “Pick the roots” out Mark says, believe me when I say that I’m concentrating that hard to ensure that no root is left I have extra lines on my forehead. We made a plan to weed a plot a day before breakfast, we were still enthused at that point. So there we are in our pjs picking weeds before the sun starts beating down and with the temperatures up in the mid 30C you are soon working up a sweat. We were pleased with the result, but then we noticed, after 5 days the weeds in plot one taken on the challenge and gleamed in triumphant greeness between the gravel.
Not to be beaten I have taken this is my stride and the challenge is on. Debs -v- the weeds, I will rid my gravel pathways and pitches of the weeds in a humane way, not just for the weed but for my sanity to. We have some considerations a) we have a dog and b) we agreed that we would look to run the campsite in a more ‘world’ friendly way. Not a challenge for a ‘green’ warrior but for us, a couple who have reached the recycle bin stage only there is alot to learn.
I posted for advice and scoured the eco sights looking at the various alternatives and we have put some of the gravel pitches back to grass, well almost, we have kept small gravel to allow for the night time rain we have Hungary. Eventually I came across a weedkiller recipe that suited our purpose – will it work, we will find out!
The mix:-1 gallon of vinegar, 1 cup of salt and a table spoon of washing up liquid.
So I did have issues getting the mix into the sprayer through the small hole until Mark kindly pointed out that the top came off. I think he intervened at the point he saw me adding the salt almost a grain at time, I did wonder why they would make it so hard!? As I mentioned, I am an absolute beginner.
How Effective is Vinegar? Well I don’t think it’s a quick fix and I had to look further into concentrations, but it’s a start. I think the issue is the vinegar needs to penetrate the root to kill it, so in some cases it may only damaged the weeds. I have sprayed a section of the gravel that I weeded a week ago, mainly as I know these will only be young weeds. After the first sniff I was careful not to inhale preferring to keep my ability to chatter. It shouldn’t be forgotten that this is a caustic mix, even though it’s not a commercial purchase. I shall follow the progress each day and see what transpires…
Some Cautionary notes
- Test on a small area first. Results are variable and unpredictable depending on the climate and weeds present.
- Vinegar can kill grass and plants we want to keep. Be careful with spray drift.
- Vinegar week killer can kill bacteria -but, our soil contains good bacteria too – only use as much as you must.
- Choose your soap component wisely- avoid strong cleaners that contain bleach or phosphates.
- Vinegar is an acid. Take all the necessary precautions to avoid any health risks. Wear gloves and goggles to prevent accidents.
- Beware of internet how-tos that tell you to use strong concentrations of vinegar. Treat it with respect as you would any caustic substance.