Thursday, May 08, 2008

Organic Herbicide Recommendation? - UPDATED

Can anyone recommend a really effective organic herbicide? I want to annihilate a whole hillside of weeds and vines, but I'd rather not use Weed-B-Gon or other nasty, expensive chemicals.

I've heard of corn gluten and various dilutions and mixes of vinegar.

Does anyone have experience with either of these? I'm leaning toward the vinegar because of cost and application (I can spray it on existing leaves). But that's only because Ben won't let me slash and burn with a blowtorch. Party pooper.


UPDATE:
Here are the additional suggestions from the comments so far:
  • Kill it with giant piece of old carpet (psychedelic orange shag optional)
  • Kill it with some plastic sheeting
  • Pour vinegar on the roots
  • Get a goat.
  • Solarizing
  • Nature's Avenger organic herbicide
What else you got??

9 comments:

The Litter Box House said...

My friend has tried corn gluten, but she thinks she applied it too late. Apparently timing is everything.

My favorite way to destroy an area of all living material is to cover it with carpet. There is usually someone in the neighborhood during summer ripping out carpet, so I just pick it up from their curb. Lay it over an area and soon you will just find dirt beneath it. My favorite carpet last year was this crazy orange shag from the 70's. I should have taken a photo of it...

simplyserina said...

Hi! I've lurked here for a while. Thought I'd chime in...

Old carpet is a great way to recycle. If you don't have any, plastic sheeting works, but is difficult to recycle/reuse afterward.

What about a goat? They eat anything. You could borrow one.

Kristen said...

Hi Serina! It's nice to hear a new voice. I love your blog - do you live in PGH? Your house looks very Pittsburgh to me.

So, carpet, huh? I was kind of hoping for a more immediate solution, even though I know that will involve spraying something on plants and dirt that will probably mess up whatever balance is going on... This is going to turn into an experiment, I can tell...

Kristen said...

PS: Forgot to say - I WANT A GOAT! We're going to have pygmy goats some day. Do you have goats?!

Anonymous said...

Vinegar definitely works! It takes a few days for the stuff to die though. I didn't spray it, I just poured a little white vinegar right on the roots of the weeds (making sure any runoff went to other weeds). Thought it didn't work until a few days later and voila, all dead. My yard smelled like salad for a while though. Maybe that's better than smelling like goats. But then my kids sometimes smell like goats, so I don't need a real goat...

monica said...

another lurker, hi!
kind of like the carpet thing, but with clear plastic: solarizing

Kristen said...

Hello to Anon and Monica - thanks for commenting!

Solarizing, huh? I like it. I've heard about getting rid of grass in a similar way (I think the Muddy Clogs blog did this in the early early spring).

Di said...

Rototiller?? Personally, I just use a 3 tine cultivator to rip out weeds. If you chop it into the ground, then pull it towards you, it's very effective at ripping out weeds by the roots. And since it's manual labor, it's earth-friendly!

Anonymous said...

Hey, Kristen -

(this is serina - can't seem to get openID to work right tonight?)

My house is, indeed, *very* Pgh. ;o) We just sold it, though (in one day! I'm still not over the shock!), and we're moving out of state. Soon, apparently.

Goats: Yes, I want some very, very much. Not possible on a lot the size of a master bedroom, in Swissv*ale nonetheless. But we're hoping our next home has more room for roaming goats. Outdoors, that is.

Hope you figure out how to kill those plants soon. We used clear plastic on our two back beds, and they did a very nice job. We re-used the plastic during our scrape-the-old-lead-paint-off-the-porch projects, to keep the kiddos safe.