Engaging in Positive Environmental Management while Controlling Weeds

As sustainability and environmental management become increasingly important topics, many homeowners who value both the larger ecosystem and their beautiful lawn are seeking different methods for keeping the weeds away from their verdant grass. The good news is that toxic herbicides are no longer the only or easiest methods available for preventing and killing weeds. Here are some of the new and betters to accomplish these goals:

Types of Sprays Available

It’s important to understand the toxic, traditional sprays, even for those who never intend to use them. The basic weed killers on the market fall into these three categories:

  • Residual herbicides
  • Contact herbicides
  • Systemic herbicides

Residual herbicides go into the soil, poisoning it and all plant life trying to derive sustenance from it. Clearly, these are the worst in turns of impact and potentially harming more wanted plants nearby.

Contact and systemic weed killers are more discriminating, targeting on the plants into which they come into physical contact. The first category (contact) kills the parts it touches, especially leaves. Systemic killers are absorbed into the plant in hopes of killing the entire thing. They can get into the soil as well, causing contamination, through the roots because of this, harming healthy soil.

What about Biological Agents?

These are a friendlier approaching to weed control. In general, biological agents are composed of living organisms that effect weeds. These agents include friendly insects, nematodes, some bacteria-types, and fungi. These require more effort, and science, to utilize properly than a bottle of weed spray, but the results are just as good and better in terms of forward-looking environmental management. As their primary method of action, many of these organisms eat the weeds or their seeds or render them chemically sterile, unable to reproduce more weeds next season.

Hand-weeding or Topsoil Hoeing

In addition to removing weeds without ecological damage, these methods produce healthy soil and healthier gardens and lawn-owners through the amount of physical labor involved. The clear advantage of this type of weed control is that nothing is added to the soil, whether its toxins or non-native organisms. The disadvantage is the time and labor required by this process, although as any farmer will explain, the technique improves over time and becomes much easier than in the beginning. Plus those who use this method will feel like they have a lawn that they truly earned.