Friday
Jun012012

The Garlic & Vinegar Solution

No, this isn't a post about cooking. It is about using everyday kitchen ingredients to keep the weeds and creepy crawly biting things away. I don't like using chemicals on my property. I don't like weeds or bugs. I don't want to harm myself or my pets with toxic chemicals. What's a girl to do? Go to the grocery store! Vinegar is about 3 dollars for a gallon jug, garlic is 25 cents per bulb and mineral oil is around $5, depending on the size and quality you want to use. If you're not going to eat it, get the cheaper stuff!

Vinegar is a non-selective, organic herbicide. A few of my neighbors' aren't as attentive with their properties as I am with mine and their weeds are constantly creeping under the fence. Every year I buy a few gallons of vinegar and pour it along the fence line. I am careful not to splash my existing plants, because like I said before, it is non-selective, which means it will kill any plant, not just the weeds. It won't destroy heavy hitters like English Ivy, Morning Glory Vine, Crabgrass or Dandelions, but it weakens them enough for me to rip them out more easily. Organic yards take a lot of one on one work, but it is worth it to me.

I'm fine with most insects but my hospitality runs out when mosquitoes use me and mine as a snack bar. Garlic oil is a good mosquito repellant. You could rub it on yourself but that's going to be rather awkward smelling. It is better to apply it to the garden, as a perimeter application, and it has the bonus effect of deterring bunnies from the yard as well. I'm not going to claim that this will take care of all the mosquitoes, but for my purposes, it does a decent job of protecting me and my pets. See the recipe below to make your own.

You can repurpose the vinegar jugs when you're done, using them as planters, watering containers, or to keep your garlic oil in!

 

Garlic Oil

Ingredients:
1 head of Garlic
1 cup Mineral Oil
1 tsp. Lemon Juice
2 cups Water

Instructions: Mince several cloves of garlic and cover with mineral oil. Let it sit for at least 24 hours to infuse. Take about 1 teaspoon of the oil (I strain the garlic chunks out with wire mesh) and mix it with 2 cups of water and 1 teaspoon lemon juice in a spray bottle. Shake it up well and go to town! Store extra in a cool, dry place. You won't be cooking with it but no need to let it get any funkier. I usually make mine each time I need it.

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