Vinegar as an Organic Herbicide in Garlic Production

Final Report for FNE03-461

Project Type: Farmer
Funds awarded in 2003: $3,963.00
Projected End Date: 12/31/2004
Region: Northeast
State: New York
Project Leader:
fred forsburg
Honeyhill Farm
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Project Information


Note to readers, attached is the complete final report for FNE03-461

The goal of this project was to test the use and efficacy of vinegar as an herbicide in commercial organic garlic production. Two treatments were tested in four replications, arranged in a randomized complete block design. Both treatments received mechanical cultivation between rows. The control plots were cultivated manually with a collinear hoe in the row. The test plots were sprayed with vinegar for in row weed control. When possible, weeds that were sprayed with vinegar were sprayed at emergence or the cotyledon stage. A total of five applications were made.

Ten percent acetic acid vinegar was very useful in controlling broad-leaf weeds in the test plots. The vinegar provided minimal to no control on grasses. Test plots sprayed from both sides of the row had virtually no broad-leaf weeds at the end of the trial. There was no difference in plant size, maturity date, quality, yield, bulb size, appearance, or keeping ability between the test plots and the control plots.

Despite the unusually cold and wet spring during which this trial was conducted (which impacted Fred’s ability to make timely applications), Fred found that there was a 94% reduction in labor by using vinegar rather than in-row weeding.


Click linked name(s) to expand/collapse or show everyone's info
  • Dr. Robin Bellinder
  • Dr. Andrew Landers
  • John Newton
  • James Pricola
  • David Stern


Participation Summary
Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the view of the U.S. Department of Agriculture or SARE.