Herbicides and food safety

njbiologyJuly 19, 2014

Hi,

I need to eradicate non-native, invasive annual grasses (barnyard grass & crabgrass, in particular). The grasses are among a plot of wildflowers and native perennial grasses -- these are much shorter than the already well-grown annual grasses I wish to get rid of. Unfortunately, the area is too large for hand-weeding.

My options:

*As carefully as practical, brush/mat Roundup (glyco-phospate) onto the upper portion of all the annual grasses and broad-leaf weeds I can, without going too low to the ground, which is where the native stuff I seeded in the spring is growing.

*Use a product such as Envoy or Agrisel's Grass Out Max which contains Clethodim. This will kill all the grasses I don't want, and a bit of the native grasses I wanted (which I can replace in the fall). This would mean that I still have to hand-weed the broad-leaf weeds, which are way easier to remove in most cases than the grasses.

I will be spraying plants that are near enough to perennial edibles (strawberries, etc.) and where I have garden pond that I intend to stock amphibians into, in the future. I don't need to eat any of the edibles this year; I can hold off until next year, if that's a concern to consider.

I'd rather go with the Round-up (glyco-phosphate) strategy if this is much more environmentally safe. As far as I know, Round-up will cease to be toxic to the environment in a relatively short time following application. It seems to me that frogs will not be damaged by it, being introduced one year following application. As for Envoy or Grass Out Max which contain Celthodim, this could be a problem -- could it be?

I'd rather do more work than cause lasting ecological damage to my yard; it's a native plant/wildlife reconstruction feature -- 1/4 acre.

Thanks,
Steve

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alan haigh

Glyphosphate is the material of choice for ecologically oriented prairie reconstruction, although it is not without some controversy. It binds with soil and doesn't tend to move much. I've not read of it creating any pollution type problems and would use it without much worry, especially if you use a wick stick type applicator. Much of the worlds corn and soybeans (i.e. meat and veg oil) is produced by the wholesale spraying of the stuff every single year fields are in cultivation.

    Bookmark   July 19, 2014 at 3:22PM
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alan haigh

Glyphosphate is the material of choice for ecologically oriented prairie reconstruction, although it is not without some controversy. It binds with soil and doesn't tend to move much. I've not read of it creating any pollution type problems and would use it without much worry, especially if you use a wick stick type applicator. Much of the worlds corn and soybeans (i.e. meat and veg oil) is produced by the wholesale spraying of the stuff every single year fields are in cultivation.

    Bookmark   July 19, 2014 at 3:25PM
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alexander3_gw(6 Pennsylvania)

Glyphosate

Glyphosate

G-l-y-p-h-o-s-a-t-e!

The name comes from glycine phosphonate.

Sorry, a pet peeve of mine :)

Glyphosate certainly does not have much residual activity. I've used it to kill weeds between fieldstone, and a few weeks later, a new batch of weeds germinates and grows. A few years ago I killed a 10X30 patch of grass with roundup. A week later I planted a mixed cover crop, which germinated well and grew to three feet tall in a coupe months.

I'm sure the detergent in roundup would be more harmful to frogs than the glyphosate, and I agree that after 1 year, there will be no residual effect on the frogs you are introducing.

    Bookmark   July 19, 2014 at 10:54PM
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alan haigh

And how is it useful to get that letter right? I think I will start railing on pet peeves that have absolutely nothing to do with function (what is the definition of neurosis?). I waste entirely too much time switching to dictionary.com to appease this particular affliction, but I must stop at the names of all the chemicals that are discussed here. The spellings just never sink in- chemistry is a foreign language to me.

I actually had to look up prairie before I finished my previous note. Ecosystems trump chemicals for me- had to at least get that one right- even if it was a two minute waste.

    Bookmark   July 20, 2014 at 5:41AM
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ltilton

I've used that painting method with some success and little collateral damage to desired plants.

It works best on annuals. Deep-rooted perennial weeds can come back, and of course annuals will always reseed.

    Bookmark   July 20, 2014 at 9:18AM
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alexander3_gw(6 Pennsylvania)

I'll stik to riting abowt apels and other froot now.

    Bookmark   July 20, 2014 at 10:55PM
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