With greater sustainable gardening concerns for the soil and environment, organic herbicides are being used more and more these days to assist plant production and yield better quality plants. The organic herbicide is considered better for weed control as it does not cause soil depletion or environmental damage.
Why Use Herbicides?
While gardening, it is often important identify weeds and to remove weeds using an organic herbicide. It is important that the herbicides used should not affect the plant nor harm the insects that might actually do it good. Dragonflies, honeybees and butterflies are often killed by pesticide sprays so proper herbicide use often helps in maintaining biodiversity. Also, organic herbicide contains ingredients used for human nutrition with its components being harmless.
Types Of Organic Herbicides
Organic weedkiller is of different types such as:
- Petroleum oil herbicides: They have a temporary effect but these herbicides act fast and are safe to use for domestic purposes.
- Organic arsenical herbicides: Usually applied for spot treatments this herbicide use acts on tubers and rhizomes, making them resistant to nut sedges and Johnson grass.
- Phenoxyaliphatic acid herbicides: MCPA, Silvex, 2,4-D and 2,4-DB affect cell division, phosphate metabolism and act as effective organic weedkiller.
- Substituted amide herbicides: These are organic herbicides for grasses and prevent early seedling growth.
Herbicides That May Be Used
- Corn gluten meal spread on the fields often prevents dandelion seeds from germinating and thus helps in weed control. This organic herbicide is a natural by-product of corn starch and provides a rich source of nitrogen to fertilize the soil in addition.
- Vinegar, garlic and other oils are also good organic herbicides. The acetic acid in vinegar kills lawn weeds and one should judiciously apply this organic herbicide on lawns since it can affect grass too. However, repeated application of this organic weedkiller may be required as it does not act easily on established perennial weeds.
- Grass clippings, pine bark or even slightly decomposed wood chips may be good organic herbicides to grow a better garden.
Herbicide Spraying: What To Remember
However, it should be remembered that most organic herbicides do not have a lasting effect in killing strong perennial weeds. Although they do affect the plant tissue at the site where there is herbicide spraying, the active ingredients of the herbicides are not assimilated in other parts of the plant. Only repeated regular herbicide use will help in depleting plant carbohydrate reserves and ultimately succeed in killing the plant. If one is looking out for removing weeds in a cost effective manner, using an organic weedkiller may turn out to be a difficult proposition. However, with small seedlings, organic herbicides are effective in killing them.
Other factors that need to be taken into account for effective herbicide use is the plant resistance to penetration of herbicide, plant growth activity, type of soil and amount of moisture in the soil among other things. With conducive conditions and proper herbicide use however, weeds can be controlled effectively.
- Salad Dressing or Weed Control – University of Minnesota Extension