The Q&A Archives: Overrun With Weeds

Question: I am over run by weeds and burrs, out of control. What herbicide spray or granuale can use on various crops without any ill effects?

Answer: I imagine by "no ill effects", you mean a product that won't kill your crops, too. I'm afraid there's no herbicide available that will kill full-grown broad-leaf weeds growing in with your vegetables that will spare your vegetable crops. You can try "painting" herbicides on weeds, but you may as well hoe them out considering how much time and effort it takes. Flame weeders are effective, but any weeds growing close to crop plants you'll need to pull or cut, or risk roasting your corn on the stalk!

Fortunately, next year you can avoid most of your weed worries with mulch. Lay two or more sheets of newspaper down and cover it with several inches of straw or old hay. This also prevents moisture loss and encourages earthworms. To prevent weed seedlings from coming up within the planting row, use the new pre-emergent herbicide that is so natural it's also used as animal feed - corn gluten! It's sold under several different brand names. If you can't find it locally, let us know, and we'll find you a source. The key to success with corn gluten is to use it after your desired crops have germinated, or the corn gluten will keep them from sprouting, too. I hope this makes your gardening more enjoyable next year!

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