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BUT SOMETIMES THEY NEED TAMING…

On numerous occasions I have saved a ‘flower’ only to have Mark tell me it’s a weed, so I am definitely not weed-ist, but even I like to see the paths and pitches clear of weeds.  The weeding at Koppány Pines 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, not realising the significance of this we simply added it in small letters to our 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 I concentrated 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 each morning, listening to pop-master on radio 2, picking weeds before the sun starts beating down and temperatures rise up in the mid 30C.  By day 4 we were feeling quite smug, the orchard area we looking great but this elation didn’t last. An inspection on day 5 revealed fresh green, gleaming weeds between the gravel. 

 

The challenge was on Debs -v- Weeds, we are not spring chicken anymore so we needed to find a way to make the process easier.  We had 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 sites looking at the various alternatives and eventually I came across a weedkiller recipe that suited our purpose – will it work, we will find out!

  OUR WEED-KILLER SOLUTION

 

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 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…

IT WORKED!  Not only does it eradicate the weeds, although some need two applications, it also slows down the growth.  Looking forward to next season now.

 

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.