Acetic acid is one of the few chemicals with two common names. Both depend upon its concentration. “Vinegar” means concentrations up to 8%. “Acetic acid” means concentrations higher than 8%. When the concentration is low enough to be called vinegar, it is a food product. When the concentration is high enough to be called acetic acid, and it is used to kill weeds, it is a pesticide. The point to remember with acetic acid is that high concentrations are more effective on woody perennial weeds, while low concentrations will work effectively only on very young weed seedlings.
For more information on using acetic acid/vinegar as a pesticide, see WSU FS161E.
Submitted by: Catherine Daniels, March 9, 2015
Gardeners apply organic soil amendments to improve soil and raise healthy plants. While organic soil amendments benefit most garden soils, over-application can waste money, increase the risk of harm to water quality, and in some cases, harm plants.
For new garden or landscape plantings, add 1 to 3 inches of organic soil amendment to the soil and incorporate to a depth of at least 6 to 8 inches. If your soil lacks organic matter (typically light colored with poor physical properties), add 2 or 3 inches of amendment. If your soil has adequate organic matter, or if salts are a concern, add less (or none at all).
If you are establishing landscape plants, amend the entire bed, and not just the planting holes. Permanent landscape beds don’t need organic soil amendments after the initial application. Decomposition of leaf litter and organic surface mulches will help maintain organic matter, creating an environment similar to soil found in forests. Established gardens and landscapes require less organic soil amendments—typically about ½ inch per year.
For information on organic amendments in your garden and landscape, see the WSU fact sheet http://cru.cahe.wsu.edu/CEPublications/FS123E/FS123E.pdf
Submitted by: Paula Dinius, February 16, 2015