Organic herbicide is a substance used to control weeds. There are plenty of chemical herbicides as well, but organic gardening does not encourage their usage in any form or dosage. We suggest organic herbicide types, since mostly they are as effective. Their only disadvantage when compared with other chemical counterparts is that they are non-systemic. A typical organic herbicide doesn’t affect plant systems of weeds, as most chemicals do.
However, any chemical substance can prove to be very dangerous for other plants besides weeds and can prove to be hazardous for your health too. Chemical weed control measures have very limited application in home gardens, while organics have far less precautions to comply with. Therefore, their usage is so widely spread.
Organic herbicides are non-selective, i.e. when applied they affect any plant they are sprayed at. They kill above surface plant vegetation. You mainly find one of the following ingredients in any organic herbicide:
- •Acetic acid
- •Citric Acid
- •Concentrated D-limonene
Organic Gardening with Vinegar
Caution: handle responsibly to avoid an eye contact.
Vinegar is probably the most popular organic herbicide out there and many books on organic gardening state vinegar is their herbicide of choice.
To make vinegar application most effective, you need to spray it under dry and sunny weather conditions. This is recommended in order to avoid vinegar being washed away by the rain. The acetic acid in vinegar attacks plants in the next few days after its application when the sun begins heating the leaves. Hence, at least two sunny days are required after the vinegar has been sprayed. In case the weather forecast was incorrect and some rainfall has took place, try to apply the vinegar again.
Next to common home vinegar, other types with higher acetic acid content can be found often in the farmer’s stores. Some enthusiasts also suggest boiling vinegar to gain desired concentration levels for a better weed control results.
Some recent studies suggest acetic acid contained in the vinegar is not as effective as most people consider. They claim acetic acid is not able to terminate root systems of many larger weeds. Nonetheless, vinegar is still the most popular organic herbicide for many professional gardeners.
Newer Organic Herbicide: Corn Gluten
Corn gluten is a byproduct of corn starch production which was found to be an effective weapon in organic gardening. Its usage for household needs is somewhat limited due to the fact that it’s not easy to get. With the vinegar, you can simply go to your grocery store or easily, grab a bottle from your kitchen. Still, corn gluten is a common substance to find in a farmer’s shop, and it’s a widely spread organic herbicide in many farms. Many herbicide producers use corn gluten as one of the ingredients for their unique substances.
As in the case with vinegar, two to three dry days are required for the best results. Make sure you first apply corn gluten in the late summer or early fall, since at this time most of the weeds are already dead. As any organic weed control material, corn gluten is non-systemic, and you’ll have to apply it twice a year to get the most result out of it.
The problems with corn gluten are similar to those of the vinegar. It is very poor weapon against any plant that has grown large enough (about 4 inches high). Another setback is its inability to destroy weeds that have already developed its mature root systems and therefore are able to resist gluten attacks.
None of these herbicides will be enough to fight weeds by themselves. You need to provide your garden with proper care, fertilizers and non-herbicide weed control measures as well. This way you can get rid of the weeds on your lawn or in your garden.