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Aussie Green Thumb – Top Gardening Tips For Everyday People

Glyphosate – Do you have to use it?

Here at Aussie Green Thumb, we try to give you our best tips so you get the best out of your garden, and you and your family can enjoy your own little patch of paradise just the way you want it. To do this, we like to give you guys a heads up on trends and ideas that we as professionals pick up along the way.

Now you may not have heard of the chemical Glyphosate before, but I almost guarantee you’ve heard of the brand names it goes by…Roundup, Zero, Eraze…starting to ring any bells?

So this stuff is AMAZING at killing weeds in your garden, so much so that it is by far, the worlds most popular pesticide. It is such an incredibly effective broad spectrum herbicide that it will kill almost any plant it touches, and can help you wrestle back control of an unruly backyard. But, it’s also a chemical and has a host of problems associated with it including big time problems like pesticide resistance and health concerns. So as a home gardener, do you really have to use it? Is there any real alternatives that are easy to get your hands on, and easy to use? Luckily, Yes! Read on for a few tips and tricks to help you use less glyphosate in your home.

Firstly, don’t be lazy.
The first port of call for any weed control should be those big things hanging off the end of your arms (your hands, just in case you were lost). Hand weeding is easy, and 100% the most effective way to remove weeds for your garden. But don’t break your back, only pull out weeds that come easily for you, or that you can dig out with a hand digger, shovel, or maddock. You also need to be careful if your weeds are in seed, because disturbing them can send seeds straight back into the soil. If they are in seed, cut off the seed heads and pop them in a plastic bag and into the bin, then pull the plant out. So grab the weeds before you grab the round-up.

Image from page 80 of "Cole's garden annual" (1901)

 

Secondly, try some alternative chemicals.

Yes, swapping one chemical for another mightn’t sound like a great idea, but trust me, there’s some top quality alternatives on the market at the moment that are organic, and have active ingredients like pine oil, and salt and vinegar rather than harsh artificial chemicals. These herbicides work by physically stripping the leaves of their waxy cuticle, causing rapid dehydration. I gave one product (Amgrows Organix weed Blitz) a whirl and had weeds dying in a matter of hours! This product is a really good option for leafy weeds like dandelion, thistles, oxalis and clovers, but probably wouldn’t work too well on weeds with runners or bulbs, like couch or nutgrass.

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The other product is Richgro beat a weed, and it works in the same way, although the acetic acid (vinegar) is pretty rough on the nostrils if you don’t wear a face mask. Both also have to be applied pretty well for a kill to occur, but this also means any drift onto neighbouring plants is not going to cause nearly as much damage as glyphosate would. They’d also be a really good option for weeds in pavers or cracks.
These two options show you that there is actually a market for alternative chemicals out there, and you should definitely have a closer look at what your weed killer contains next time you go shopping.

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Lastly, spend time in your garden.

Weeding, mulching, and planting regularly…these will help keep your weeds down in your backyard. Don’t let a little problem turn into a big one that has no other viable option other than spraying glyph.

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Pull the little ones you can, spray some organic herbicides on some others, and mulch any bare patches regularly, and soon enough, you’ll have forgotten all about Round-up, Zero, and Eraze.

Happy Gardening.

Got any of your own tips or tricks? Let us know in the comments below!

 

 

About the author: Professional horticulturalist from NSW. Be sure to follow us on Instagram as well! Aussie_green_thumb.

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