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Weeds are undesired plants that grow in the fields or lawns. They contend with the main crop for food, water, nutrients, land, etc. The main crop becomes infirm due to lack of nutrients resulting in less production of the crop. So, weeding is the most crucial step in harvesting to build a weed-free area. Weeding is done exploiting several methods like hand weeding, making use of synthetic and natural weed killers, etc.
What is a Natural Weed Killer?
Though synthetic weed killers are effective at the beginning of usage, the weeds get resistant to synthetic weed killers if used frequently. The best way to put a check on weeds is done effectively using a natural weed killer. Natural weed killers are chemical-free, they can be prepared easily at home, and they are less expensive compared to synthetic weed killers. Natural weed killers break down easily and quickly in the soil. They do not leave residual material which affects the soil, and they are less toxic. Natural weed killers work effectively on post-emergent plants.
Natural weed killers are non-selective. The natural weed killers contain corn gluten meal (CGM) which is natural pre-emergence weed control. It is useful in eliminating broadleaf and grass weeds in turf. Natural weed killer’s effectiveness depends upon the type of weed, the size, and weather. These natural weed killers workS best on Lawn weeds that are four inches tall. For good results, apply natural weed killer to young weeds on a hot day.
Few Natural Weed Killers
Avenger Weed Killer
Avenger Organics is a Natural Weed Killer. It is a non-selective, post-emergence weed killer. It will work effectively in killing weeds, grasses and broadleaves without causing environmental damage. d-limonene (citrus oil) which is the active ingredient present in the weed killer removes the waxy plant cuticle of the weed. This results in dehydration of the weed plant and the plant die. Avenger weed killer gives the best result when combined with vinegar, citric acid, clove oil.
These natural weed killers are made from clove and cinnamon oil. It is a contact non- selective broad-spectrum weed killer. It leaves no harmful residue and is biodegradable in soil. This foliar weed killer will eliminate actively growing weeds like annual and perennial broadleaf and grass weeds. Weed zap only targets the plants that are coated with the solution. The percentage of oils used in it are 45% clove oil and 45% cinnamon oil.
Green Match EX
This weed killer gives good results when used for the weeds, which are less than 6 inches tall. Green Match EX is a contact non-selective broad-spectrum weed killer. This foliar weed killers effectively control actively growing weeds. It will not leave harmful residue into the soil. The active ingredient present in the weed killer is lemongrass oil. This percentage of lemongrass oil used will be of 50%.
The active ingredient used in making weed killer is clove oil. MATRATEC weed killer is a contact non-selective, broad-spectrum. This foliar weed killer eliminates actively growing green weeds like annual, perennial broadleaf and grass weed. This weed killer is eco-friendly leaves no harmful residue in soil and is biodegradable. The percentage of active ingredient used in the weed killer is of 55%.
Corn Gluten Meal
Corn gluten meal is a by-product of the corn which is obtained from the mill. It is most widely used for controlling weeds in farmlands. It has become an alternative to synthetic weed killers. Corn gluten weed killer is used as a pre-emergent weed killer. It is mainly used to control weeds like crabgrass and other lawn weeds. Corn gluten meal also contains nutritional properties which help in plant growth. It contains 10% of the nitrogen in weight. 100 pounds of corn gluten meal contains 10 pounds of nitrogen
Working of CGM (CORN GLUTEN MEAL)
CORN GLUTEN MEAL helps in preventing weed seedling before it germinates. The application of corn gluten meal must be precise. Timing is the most crucial factor which you have to take care of. If the condition of the soil is too wet, the crabgrass weed will recover and establish a root. Corn gluten meal is only useful as a pre-emergent weed killer. It does not work effectively when used as a post-emergent weed killer. If corn gluten meal is applied late, it will only act a fertilizer to plants. Make sure to water the field after the application of corn gluten meal. Corn gluten meal can eliminate or control nearly 60% of the weeds in its first application. If it is used frequently, it can control 80% of crabgrass. Twenty pounds of corn gluten meal is applied to 1000 square feet lawn.
Corn gluten meal gave good results in controlling weed species like bentgrass (Agrostis palustric) and crabgrass (Digit aria ssp). Corn gluten meal is applied to the soil surface as a pre-emergence weed killer or applied to mix the topsoil as a pre-plant incorporated weed killer. Weeds like black nightshade (Solanum nigrum), low lambs’ quarters (Chenopodium album), creeping bentgrass, curly dock (Rumex Crispus), purslane (Portulaca oleracea), and redroot pigweed (Amaranthus retroflexus) are controlled using corn gluten meal.
Vinegar as a weed killer
Vinegar is an inexpensive weed killer. It works effectively in controlling weeds from the lawn or farmlands. It is also a safe weed killer. Vinegar contains 5% of acetic acid. It will damage the plants contacted. So, make sure to spray vinegar only to targeted plants and take care of non- target plants because it will damage the cell membrane of non-targeted plants resulting in the death of the plant. Vinegar is chosen as a weed killer due to is burning properties. It can easily dissolve the tissue of the plant. Make sure to give accurate dosage because higher doses may damage the perennial plants.
Mustard Seed Meal
Mustard seed meal (MSM) is the by-product of mustard seed oil obtained during the pressing process. Mustard seed meal is also a non-selective natural weed killer like corn gluten meal. Care must be taken during the application of weed killer. Apply mustard seed meal only to targeted plants for crop safety. It is most widely used in turf, onion, potato, solanum and peppermint farms. Mustard seed meal can control weed at a large extent. It can control weeds like redroot pigweed, green foxtail, Kochia, Russian-thistle, low lambs’ quarters, barnyard, annual sow thistle, buckhorn plantain, common chickweed, large crabgrass, Italian ryegrass, prickly lettuce, and wild oat. One should take of applying it properly because the mustard seed meal kills germinating and emerging crop seedlings.
Pelargonic is a fatty acid used to control weeds. It is a post-emergent contact weed killer. This weed killer gives tremendous results in controlling weeds, even less volume of it is applied. One should take care that it is only applied to targeted plants. This weed killer controls the plants that come in contact with it.
Ammonium nonannotated Racer
It is a soap formulation of pelargonic acid. It contains 40% of ammonium nonannotated. This weed killer belongs to the non-selective group and is a contact weed killer. It will control the plants that come in contact. This will control small annual broadleaf and grass weeds. The frequent application may also control larger weeds. Make sure to apply this weed killer only to the targeted plants because it may affect the non-targeted when they come in contact.
Clove oil is the active ingredient in several post-emergent non-selective weed killers like Matratec, Matran EC, and Matran. The percentage of clove oil used in these weed killers is of 50 per cent. Clove oil is a post-emergence non-selective weed killer. This contact weed killer controls actively growing weeds that come in contact. It can effectively control perennial and annual broadleaf and grass weeds. Its effectiveness increases with the application rate because it is a contact non-translocated weed killer. Its effectiveness also increases with a decrease in weed size. Effectively, even the application rate is low. Repeated application of this natural weed killer can be able to eliminate giant weed grass.
D-limonene Green Match
D-limonene is the active ingredient of the weed killer. It is a post-emergent, non-selective weed killer. This contact weed killer can control actively growing annual and perennial broadleaf and weed grass. The percentage of active ingredient used is 55%. The timing and application method plays a crucial role in eliminating the weed from the farmland.
Advantages of Natural Weed Killers
Natural weed killers are environmentally friendly. Natural weed killers do not leave any residue of harmful chemicals in the soil, and most of the natural weed killers are biodegradable in soil. There are various advantages of adopting natural weed killers. Chemical weed killers settle on plants resulting in dangerous health issues, but there will be no harmful effects caused by natural weed killers.
Natural weed killers are less expensive because most of them can be prepared at home. You can create your household solution like spraying vinegar directly on weeds. It is a safe alternative method to synthetic weed killers. Weeds get resistant to synthetic weed killers, but in the case of natural weed killers, this will not take place.