Safe Solutions - Natural Herbicides

Safe Choices for Weed Control

For homeowners looking for products that will help them in their constant battle with weeds, products that will not harm them, their children, their pets or the planet, the news is good. In recent years, there have been some great new products; and now for the first time, we even have a safe, selective herbicide to offer. Finally you can kill weeds in your lawn without harming the grass and without using 2,4-D. It’s called Weed Beater Fe (active ingredient is iron HEDTA - soluble iron); and from what I’ve read so far, it seems to be somewhat effective on some weeds and very effective on others (oxalis for one). Here in Florida we can even use Weed Beater Fe in the winter, as long as you have weeds actively growing. However, do not apply this product on days when the daytime temperature will exceed 85°. If your lawn needs water, irrigate it first and then apply the product after the grass has dried. Weed Beater Fe is available in a ready-to-use formulation only (quarts and gallons).

Maize Weed Preventer is an effective, natural pre-emergent herbicide (suppresses weed seed germination). It is a ready-to-spray liquid formulation (one quart bottle—attach it to your hose) of corn gluten. Because it does not have nearly as much nitrogen as the granulated form, it can be used earlier in the season and more often. According to the manufacturer, you can use Maize up to four times per year. Wait at least a month between applications.  It is best to apply this product in the spring and fall when temperatures do not exceed 90°. If you must apply Maize Weed Preventer during the heat of the summer, water your lawn in the morning and then apply Maize in the evening after the temperature drops below 90°. As with Weed Beater Fe, you should always avoid using this product when your lawn needs irrigation—irrigate first, then apply after the grass dries. Definitely do not apply Maize in newly seeded areas as it will suppress all seed germination (not just weed seeds).

We have two safe products for when you are in need of a contact herbicide. These products are usually used around driveways and sidewalks and around the base of mature trees, buildings and fence lines. Care must be taken if you use them on weeds in close proximity to plants you do not want to harm. They will kill or damage any plant you apply them to. Bonide BurnOut is rainproof when dry, works at temperatures as low as 40° and does not translocate. Made from natural ingredients (citric acid and clove oil), BurnOut is approved for organic gardening and is safe for use around people and pets. It’s available in concentrate and ready-to-use formulations (one quart bottles). Monterey Herbicidal Soap (active ingredient - Ammoniated Soap of Fatty Acids) is an environmentally-friendly product that quickly controls and kills moss, weeds and algae and also does not translocate. It is fast acting, providing results within hours after application. It may be used whenever desired but is most effective during warmer weather. It does not stain bricks, concrete or asphalt. We originally began stocking Monterey Herbicidal Soap at the request of a customer who uses it to control poison ivy but got tired of paying the freight charges that came with online ordering. We’ve since had good feedback from other customers trying this herbicide for the first time. It comes in a one gallon concentrate.

So if (when) you have problems controlling weeds in your landscape and you get tired of pulling, come see us and we can help you choose the right (safe) product for your situation.