Roundup is a popular weed killer that has been used for decades. However, there is growing concern about its health risks, including cancer, reproductive problems, and neurological damage.
In 2018, a California jury awarded $289 million to a man who claimed that Roundup caused his non-Hodgkin lymphoma. This was the first time that a jury had found Roundup to be a cause of cancer.
Since then, thousands of others have filed a Roundup lawsuit against Monsanto, the manufacturer of Roundup.
If you are concerned about the health risks of Roundup, there are several alternatives that you can use for weed control.
In this article, we will look at the six safe alternatives to control weeds in your yard.
1. Manual Weed Removal
The most natural and effective way to control weeds is to manually remove them by hand. Though it is also the most labor-intensive method of weed control.
Manual weed removal is a great way to get some exercise and fresh air. It also safeguards your health against harmful toxins present in chemical herbicides.
TorHoerman Law notes that Glyphosate, a widely used herbicide ingredient, is linked to cancer. Numerous studies have raised concerns about its potential carcinogenic effects. As a result, there are ongoing debates and regulatory scrutiny surrounding its safety for both human health and the environment.
Mulch is a material layer placed on top of the soil. It helps in weed control by blocking sunlight from reaching them. Mulch also helps to retain moisture in the soil, which can help to prevent weeds from germinating. Additionally, mulch can help to improve soil health by adding organic matter and nutrients to the soil.
Some common types of mulch include bark, wood chips, and straw. Bark and wood chips are relatively inexpensive and easy to find. Straw is also inexpensive, but it can be more difficult to find.
Mulch is a great way to control weeds and improve soil health. It is a natural and effective alternative to Roundup.
3. Thermal Weed Control
A relatively new method of weed control, thermal weed control kills weeds by using heat. The method is becoming increasingly popular due to its environmental benefits. Thermal weed control can be used to kill weeds in a variety of settings, including gardens, lawns, and agricultural fields.
There are two main types of thermal weed control: flame weeding and steaming. Flame weeding uses a flame to heat the weeds to the point where they die. Steaming uses a stream of hot steam to kill the weeds.
Both flame weeding and steaming are effective at killing weeds, but they have different advantages and disadvantages.
Flame weeding is a more affordable option, but it is not as effective as steaming. Steaming is more effective at killing weeds, but it is also more expensive.
4. Natural Herbicides
Plant-based substances that can be used to control weeds are called natural herbicides. They are generally less harmful to the environment than synthetic herbicides, and they are often just as effective.
Some common natural herbicides include:
- Neem oil: Neem oil is extracted from the neem tree and is a powerful insecticide and fungicide. It can also be used to kill weeds.
- Clove oil: Clove oil is a natural herbicide that is effective against a variety of weeds. It can be used as a spot treatment or as a broadcast spray.
- Citrus oil: Similar to clove oil, citrus oil is a natural herbicide that is effective against a variety of weeds.
Other than these, corporations and governments are taking initiatives in response to the growing demand for natural herbicides. According to The Business Journals, an agricultural technology company located in Research Triangle Park has successfully raised approximately $10.5 million for this effect with the backing of a global nutrition company.
This funding will aid Harpe Bioherbicide Solutions in expanding its range of natural herbicide products, offering organic farmers innovative tools for weed control.
You need to note that not all natural herbicides are safe for all plants. It is always best to test the herbicide on an inconspicuous area of the plant before using it on a large area.
If you are concerned about the health risks of synthetic herbicides, natural herbicides can be a safe and effective alternative.
Solarization is the use of plastic sheeting to kill weeds. The process involves placing a layer of clear plastic over the soil, then covering it with dirt and leaving it in place for 6-8 weeks. The sun’s heat causes weed seeds to die, which prevents new weeds from growing after you remove the plastic sheeting.
More recently, according to Hometown Pages, starch-based mulch films are used to control weeds. These films are eco-friendly alternatives to conventional petroleum-based plastic films used for weed control in agriculture.
Made from biodegradable starch compounds, they safeguard the soil while addressing concerns over plastic pollution and fossil fuel depletion. These films offer a promising and sustainable approach to farming practices, supporting environmental conservation.
Solarization can be used to control a variety of weeds, including annual grasses, broadleaf weeds, and perennial weeds. However, it is ineffective against deep-rooted perennial weeds, such as dandelions and thistles.
Solarization is a safe and effective way to control weeds without using chemicals. It is a good option for gardeners who are looking for a natural way to control weeds.
6. Planting Cover Crops
Cover crops are plants that are grown between rows of crops or other plants. They are often planted in the fall or winter when there are no other crops to grow. Cover crops help to suppress weeds, improve soil health, and attract beneficial insects.
According to Cotton Grower, selecting appropriate cover crop species that complement the cash crop is crucial. For broadleaf cash crops like cotton, a mix with a strong presence of grasses is recommended.
Beginners may benefit from starting with single-species cover crops, like cereal rye, known as a beginner-friendly option due to easy establishment and termination. However, to maximize soil health benefits, diversity in cover crops is essential, and cereal rye can be a good starting point to explore cover crop farming possibilities.
If you are considering planting cover crops, choose crops that are appropriate for your climate and soil type. You should also consult with a local nursery or agricultural extension agent to get more information on the best way to plant and manage cover crops in your area.
There are several alternatives to Roundup that can be used for weed control. These alternatives are as effective as Roundup in controlling weeds and are much safer for you and your family.
If you are concerned about the health risks of Roundup, we encourage you to try one of the alternatives listed in this article.