If you’ve missed the recent news coverage on herbicide, you might have been living in a cave! Hundreds of articles have been written about just this topic, and many homeowners and turfgrass managers are left in a difficult situation when it comes to weed control. While there is no conclusive scientific evidence that glyphosate is a carcinogen, sometimes perception makes a change necessary.

If you or your customers are interested in making the switch to organic herbicide, there are some data that will help you get the most out of the change, as well as adjusted expectations for those products:

  • Natural (Acetic acid, also known as vinegar-based) products generally work by burning foliage and are considered contact herbicides, not systemic.
  • These products only kill emerged weeds and have no residual activity, thus require repeat application for larger weeds and perennial weeds.
  • These products can damage desirable plants if application is not targeted.
  • Prolonged or repeated exposure to acetic acid can have adverse health effects.
  • The need for higher concentrations and repeat applications increases weed control costs.
  • These products fit in well with an integrated pest management program.

As with any chemical applied to your turf or managed landscape areas, always check state and local regulations regarding the use of natural herbicides and follow label instructions.