So you want to kill some weeds, eh? Go into any mainstream lawn and garden center and you’ll find many chemical herbicides for sale, the most common ones contain the active ingredient Glyphosate. They all work pretty much the same way – application of a poison that kills the weeds. But what are the consequences of applying that poison to your lawn?
- There are serious health concerns associated with even just a little exposure (see below). Exposure comes from touching the liquid, from simple inhalation, and from eating foods grown in the soil treated with it (any food not organically grown can fall in this category).
- You are going to inhale and maybe touch the spray when you apply it.
- Your children and pets are going to inhale it and possibly tough it when they are near it or playing in that area. It’s still active for weeks after spraying…
- Wildlife is going to inhale or touch it, too.
- A 2011 study shows that the active ingredient in the popular herbicide “Round-Up” (glyphosate), is readily flowing into the ground water under the areas where it is being applied.
Why This is a Problem
Round-Up/Glyphosate has been linked to many serious long-term health effects such as lymphoma, DNA damage, glyphosate toxicity, hormone disorders in children, low testoterone in men, hairy leukoplakia, lymphoma, oxidative stress, hemolytic anemia, multiple myeloma, rhinitis, Parkinson’s disease, infertility (see footnotes below)…the list goes on. It is a powerful endocrine disruptor (unbalancing hormones). It is genotoxic (damages your genes), neurotoxic (damages your nerves), hepatoxic (impairs your liver), and nephrotoxic (injures your kidneys). There are indications that it may contribute to birth defects and abnormal fetal development. As if this isn’t bad enough, it has also been shown to be carcinogenic (causes cancer).
Safe Weed Killer Solution
Your local organic and biodynamic farmers are a treasure of valuable information for gardening and landscaping in a health-preserving way. When Mr. Mueller and I were first looking into natural weed killers many years ago, it was one our local farmers who gave us the following recipe.
1. Don’t spray this mix onto areas where you will want to plant other things. The salt will “kill” the soil (the beneficial organisms) and prevent you from being able to grow most things for quite a while.
2. If you want to use a weed killer on an area where you will later want to grow something, find a source for 35% White Vinegar and spray it straight on the soil from your pump sprayer.
from Frog Holler Organiks
You can use backpack sprayer or Hand-held sprayer for this
1. Pour three 26 oz containers of Morton Salt into a pantyhose (1 knee-hi works fine)
2. Toss filled hose into your backpack sprayer 3. Add 3 gallons white vinegar to your sprayer.
4. Put on your back and shake up and down and sideways a little (helps if you have some good tunes on your IPOD crankin’)
5. Spray weeds in the sunshine with temps 70 and above.
Some stubborn ones may take twice but hey, you just saved your DNA and endocrine system from Round-up so you’ll have more time! AND, you spent a lot less money, and helped drive Monsanto stock down. Don’t you feel good while spraying weeds?!!!!![/gn_highlight]
A Few Studies