Pest Control Columbus MS
West Point, MS
Killing Weeds, Gently
Q Are there any good natural weed killers?
A Yes—and you’re wise to look for safer options than standard pesticides, which have been linked to endocrine disorders, reproductive problems, and cancer, not to mention widespread water pollution.
If spring weeds haven’t yet overtaken your garden, you can prevent them by laying down products containing corn gluten meal. This byproduct of corn milling naturally inhibits the growth of new root systems but leaves established plants untouched. (As a bonus, it’s high in nitrogen, so it makes an excellent fertilizer.) Plan to apply it about three to five weeks before you’d expect weeds to start showing up, says Nick Christians, professor of horticulture at Iowa State University in Ames. You’ll need to use a pound of meal for every 50 square feet of space. Authorized suppliers can be found at public.iastate.edu/~isurf/tech/cgmwebsite.html.
To kill weeds, spray them with vinegar. If they’re just getting started, plain white vinegar should work fine. (It’s made up of 5 percent acetic acid, the weed-zapping ingredient.)
For older, tougher weeds, try a vinegar-based herbicide; these contain more acetic acid. But be sure to wear gloves and eye protection; at concentrations higher than 5 percent acetic acid, vinegar can burn the eyes and skin. Look for products at bradfieldind.com, greensense.net, sumrset.com/prod- 02.htm, and biconet.com/lawn/burn- out.html.
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