Weed Management Tips

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  • March 2006 edition of Small Farms Magazine has an interesting article on using household sugar to manage weed problems. Researchers from the CSIRO have found that amounts of sugar up to 500g per square metre inhibited the growth of most annual weeds. It has to be applied every three months.
  • Jason Spotswood showed a great tip. To stop grass growing where you don’t want it to run and you don’t want to spray with a herbicide, pile up dead grass and it won’t cross over.
  • I’ve been asked a number of times over many years for an alternative to Glyphosate and other herbicides.  I’ve been testing and using vinegar for quite a while as a means for killing weeds. It is easy to use and will not harm the environment. Usually within 6 to 48 hours the plant growth will wither and die. Young seedlings less than two weeks old will be killed entirely; older weeds will have their top-growth killed but may still report from the roots. It will affect the leaves on trees when you accidentally spray them. We use Acetic acid (often called ethanoic acid) which is created by the fermentation of alcohol with a dilution rate from 15 to 20 : 1 depending on the application. Common household vinegar has about a 5% acetic acid concentration.  Will the acetic acid in vinegar harm my soil? It can temporarily reduce the pH of soil but this effect typically lasts only a couple of days. Acetic acid rapidly breaks down in water and so for the best results do not spray weeds just before a storm. The rains will dilute the vinegar and greatly reduce its effectiveness. Young weeds will be killed by spraying with plain household vinegar (5%); older weeds may require some additional spraying for effective control. Wear protective clothing and eye shields while using high concentration vinegars and clean out spray tools after use. We now have 90% Acetic Acid on sale.  Dilute 20lt into 160lt of water and you have 180lt of ready to use vinegar. Just contact us if you are interested in some vinegar.
    Angela & Heinz Gugger, Mary Valley Orchards, 255 Amamoor Creek Road , Amamoor QLD 4570 e-mail: info@maryvalleyorchards.com.au     http:/www.persimmons.com.au   Tel: 61+ (07) 5488 4315
  • Weed Killer  Mix in a container 1 gallon white vinegar (3.78 ltr), 1 cup table salt, and 1 tablespoon dishwashing liquid together and spray on weeds. To mix, remove approximately 2 cups of vinegar from the container, pour in the salt and dishwashing liquid, then return the 2 cups of vinegar to the container. Close the lid and shake to mix. Transfer to a spray bottle (after shaking to mix the ingredients) as needed. It works as well, if not better, than chemicals, but is much cheaper. Be careful, it will kill whatever you spray it on! If you purchase vinegar, 10% acidity is ok, 20% acid would be better, and spraying it on the weeds in the heat of the full sun, you will have an effective weed killer.