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Will Vinegar Kill Johnson Grass?

Will Vinegar Kill Johnson Grass?

If you’ve ever had the misfortune of trying to get rid of Johnson Grass, chances are you have tried a number of different methods without success. Thankfully, there is good news! Vinegar has been known to work amazingly well when it comes to killing stubborn weeds like Johnson Grass. But before we dive into the how-to’s and key points for successfully combating this pesky grass with vinegar, let’s take a quick moment to discuss some workflow background information about what exactly makes up an enemy such as Johnson Grass and why vinegar may just be your saving grace in the fight against it!

How To Identify Johnson Grass?

Johnson grass (Sorghum halepense) is a perennial broadleaf weed that is native to the Mediterranean region but can be found in temperate climates around the world. It grows rapidly and spreads by both seed and rhizomes, making it difficult to control.

Identifying Johnson grass is relatively easy! The plant stands 2 to 3 feet tall with a clump-like habit, often forming large colonies of plants. The leaves are long and narrow, ranging from 6-12 inches in length and 1 -2 inches wide. They have a rough texture and jagged edges. Additionally, each leaf has a white midvein running down its length.

The stems are light green or reddish brown and can reach up to 7-8 feet in length. The base of the plant is often a lighter color than the top and has multiple tillers radiating from it.

It also produces small, yellow flowers during mid-summer which eventually produce seeds that can germinate for up to two years after being released.

Now that you know how to identify Johnson grass, you can determine whether or not vinegar will be effective at killing it! [1]

Will Vinegar Kill Johnson Grass?

Will Vinegar Kill Johnson Grass?

The answer is yes, vinegar can be used to kill Johnson grass. Vinegar is a natural herbicide that is effective at killing many types of weeds and grasses, including Johnson grass. For best results, you should use an organic apple cider vinegar with a high concentration of acetic acid. To apply the vinegar as a weed killer, simply pour it directly on the affected areas until they are saturated. You may need to repeat this process several times in order to completely kill the Johnson grass.

Be sure to keep children and pets away from the treatment area until it has dried and been rinsed off with water. If you have larger Johnson grass infestations or if your soil does not allow for proper drainage, you may want to consider using a commercial herbicide instead. You should always follow the directions on the product label for correct and safe application.

Vinegar is an effective and natural way to kill Johnson grass without using toxic chemicals. However, it may not be as successful in large infestations or areas where the soil does not allow for proper drainage. Properly applying a commercial herbicide may be more efficient in these cases. Always read and follow the instructions on any products used to ensure safety and efficacy.

How To Get Rid Of Johnson Grass?

Getting rid of Johnson grass can be a tricky endeavor. The most effective way to manage this invasive weed is through cultural, mechanical and chemical control methods.

Let’s start with cultural control methods first. If you have the time and inclination, these are the easiest and least expensive ways to keep Johnson grass under control.

First, make sure your soil is well drained so water doesn’t pool in any areas that could encourage its growth. Second, mow or till the area regularly to keep it from spreading further. Finally, use mulches that will shade out any sun-loving varieties of Johnson grass.

If cultural methods don’t do the trick, there are mechanical options available as well. Tilling the soil can remove Johnson grass roots and rhizomes, preventing them from spreading further. Hand-pulling or digging out individual plants can also be effective if done regularly.

Finally, chemical control methods are an option for controlling Johnson grass if all else fails. There are several herbicides on the market that can be used to kill Johnson grass, but they must be properly applied in order to achieve maximum effectiveness. In addition, some of these products may pose risks to your health or the environment so make sure you read and follow all product labels before application. [2]

How To Get Rid Of Johnson Grass?

The Lifecycle Of Johnson Grass

Johnson grass is a highly invasive, perennial weed that can grow in almost any climate or soil type. It reproduces through seeds and rhizomes (underground stems) which spread quickly and create large infestations. The lifecycle of Johnson grass begins with the seedlings emerging from dormant seeds in early spring. As the temperature warms up, these seedlings will begin to grow rapidly and produce yellow flowers at the end of the season. After pollination, these flowers will form thick clusters of seeds which will remain intact throughout winter before ultimately germinating again in the following year.

Factors Influencing Acetic Acid Efficacy

Acetic Acid Concentration

The effectiveness of acetic acid in killing Johnson grass depends on its concentration. Lower concentrations may not be strong enough to kill the weed, while higher concentrations can cause more harm than good by damaging surrounding soil and desirable plants. For effective control, it is best to use a 5-7% solution of acetic acid.

Application Method

Applying the vinegar solution directly to Johnson Grass using a spray bottle or brush can help increase its effectiveness at killing the weed. It is important to note that this process should only be done on a sunny day when temperatures are above 60 degrees Fahrenheit and there is no rain in the forecast for 24 hours after application so as to ensure maximum efficacy. [3]

Time Frame

In general, it can take up to 10 days for the vinegar solution to completely kill Johnson grass. Therefore, multiple applications may be necessary in order to ensure complete control of the weed. Additionally, it is important to note that Johnson grass can easily spread through its rhizomes and therefore vigilance must be exercised in order to prevent any remaining pieces from sprouting again.

Time Frame

Weed Growth Stage

The growth stage of the Johnson grass can also influence how effective acetic acid will be in controlling it. Young, actively growing plants are more susceptible to being killed by vinegar than older, established ones. Therefore, it is best to apply the solution when the weed is young and actively growing.


Johnson grass tends to be more resistant to acetic acid at higher altitudes due to decreased oxygen availability and increased air pressure. Therefore, it may take longer for vinegar to kill Johnson grass in areas with high elevations. Additionally, higher concentrations of acetic acid may need to be used if control is desired in these locations. [4]

Weed Species Susceptibility

Not all weed species are equally susceptible to being killed by acetic acid. While Johnson grass is considered one of the most vulnerable, other weeds may be less susceptible and require stronger concentrations or more applications in order for successful control. Therefore, it is important to identify the exact species before attempting any form of weed control with vinegar.

Overall, vinegar can be an effective way to kill Johnson grass; however, several factors must be taken into consideration such as concentration, application method, time frame, growth stage and altitude in order for maximum efficacy. With proper knowledge and preparation, vinegar can help get rid of stubborn weeds like Johnson grass without resorting to harsh chemical pesticides. But always remember that prevention is key! [5]


How do you permanently get rid of Johnsongrass?

One of the most effective ways to permanently get rid of Johnsongrass is through a combination of physical removal and chemical control. Start by hand-pulling or digging out any existing plants, being sure to remove as much of the root system as possible. For large infestations, you can use an herbicide containing glyphosate as an effective treatment. Vinegar and boiling water are also effective at killing Johnson grass but they will not provide a lasting solution since the roots may still remain in the soil and re-sprout. In order to prevent regrowth, it is recommended to combine these treatments with other methods such as mulching or using a selective herbicide that targets Johnsongrass specifically. Additionally, you should regularly monitor the area for re-growth and take action to remove any new plants that may appear.

Will vinegar kill Johnsongrass?

Vinegar can be an effective way of killing Johnson grass. It works by burning the plant tissue, but it will not provide a lasting solution as the roots may still remain in the soil and regrow. In order to prevent regrowth, it is important to combine this treatment with other methods such as mulching or using a selective herbicide that targets Johnsongrass specifically. Additionally, you should regularly monitor the area for re-growth and take action to remove any new plants that may appear.

Will vinegar kill Johnsongrass?

Will grass grow back after vinegar?

Yes, grass will grow back after vinegar is applied. The acidic properties of vinegar kill the leaves and roots of Johnson Grass, but new growth will eventually sprout from the remaining root systems or from seed banks in the soil. The effectiveness of vinegar as a weed killer varies depending on the age and type of grass; some may be killed off completely while others may only be weakened and require multiple applications to fully eradicate it. Additionally, grass sprayed with vinegar can usually recover within a few weeks if given enough water and sunlight. While vinegar is an effective way to get rid of Johnson Grass, it’s often best to use other methods such as mowing or mulching whenever possible since it can take a while for re-growth to occur after applying vinegar.  It’s also important to note that using too much vinegar can damage nearby plants and soil, so it should always be used sparingly and with caution. Additionally, vinegar isn’t a permanent fix for Johnson Grass since the roots can still regenerate over time if not completely eradicated.

How long does vinegar kill grass?

Vinegar can take anywhere from a few days to several weeks to kill off Johnson Grass, depending on the age and type of grass. Young grass may die within days of application while older or more resistant types may take several weeks or even months before they are fully eradicated. Additionally, the results will vary depending on how much vinegar is applied and other environmental conditions, such as sunlight and water availability. If there is not enough sun or water for new growth, then the vinegar-treated area may remain barren for longer than expected.  Re-growth should occur once these conditions improve. It’s important to note that if re-growth does not occur after multiple applications of vinegar, it might be best to try another method such as mowing or mulching.

What concentration of vinegar kills grass?

Using vinegar as a homemade weed killer is an effective and natural solution to killing Johnson grass. However, you should be careful when applying it because vinegar can also harm other plants and kill beneficial insects in the soil. To get the most effective results, you should use a higher concentration of vinegar than what is sold at the store. A mixture that contains 50 percent or more acetic acid has been proven to effectively eliminate Johnson grass. For example, combining white distilled vinegar with liquid dish soap and water in a 1:1:4 ratio has been known to work well for this particular type of grass. Just make sure to use caution when applying vinegar since it can cause burns on skin if applied directly without protective gloves!

What kind of vinegar is best for killing grass?

The type of vinegar that is best for killing grass is white distilled vinegar with a high concentration of acetic acid. This type of vinegar can be used in combination with liquid dish soap and water to make an effective homemade weed killer. Just make sure to wear protective gloves when applying it directly since it can cause burns on skin! In addition, you should also be careful not to spray any other plants or beneficial insects near the Johnson grass as the mixture may also harm them. By following these instructions, you’ll be able to safely and effectively eliminate Johnson grass from your lawn without harming other vegetation around it.

Useful Video: How to Get Rid of Johnson Grass… No Short Cuts


The answer to the question of whether vinegar will kill Johnson grass is yes. If used in the right amounts, vinegar can effectively kill Johnson grass without damaging nearby plants. However, it’s important to consider the strength of your vinegar solution when using this treatment and to take precautions against wind drift and runoff that might damage other plants. In addition, it may be necessary to reapply the vinegar multiple times before all traces of Johnson grass have been eliminated so patience and persistence are key. With that said, if you’re looking for an effective yet safe way to get rid of unwanted Johnson grass in your garden or lawn, then vinegar could be a great option. Just make sure you follow all safety guidelines when applying it!


  1. https://www.naturesseed.com/blog/using-vinegar-to-kill-weeds-in-the-lawn-and-garden/
  2. https://weedkillerguide.com/how-to-kill-johnson-grass/
  3. https://www.ehow.com/list_7569103_organic-methods-kill-johnson-grass.html
  4. https://www.angi.com/articles/how-to-get-rid-johnson-grass.htm
  5. https://www.montana.edu/extension/invasiveplants/extension/monthly-weed-posts/2021-june-does-vinegar-kill-weeds.html