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Organic weedkiller

slwslw Posts: 14
Just taken over an allotment which is brand new but the plots have been left for 3 years and so is wild with weeds. I am wanting to use an organic weedkiller and have started to research products. Does anyone have any recommendations which won't hurt the worms?


  • pansyfacepansyface Posts: 21,932
    What kind of weeds are we talking about?
    Apophthegm -  a big word for a small thought.
    If you live in Derbyshire, as I do.
  • slwslw Posts: 14
    Grass, thistles and dock leaves mainly.
  • pansyfacepansyface Posts: 21,932
    Well, if you want to do it the truly organic way rather than in a “let’s try to be as nice as we can to the worms” way, there is always the Henry Doubleday website to advise you.

    Here is their take on controlling docks, for example.

    Notice how they only recommend mechanical means and don’t recommend any chemical weedkiller. I don’t believe, though I may well be wrong, that any chemical weedkiller can be described as organic.

    Apophthegm -  a big word for a small thought.
    If you live in Derbyshire, as I do.
  • slwslw Posts: 14
    Thanks for the link. Some of the weedkiller I have looked up use natural based products like oil and vinegar. I know a lot of people may think I am a wimp not digging it all up manually but it is super cloddy clay.
  • pansyfacepansyface Posts: 21,932
    Oil and vinegar will have no effect whatsoever on docks, thistles and couch grass. But they will have a very unorganic effect on the soil ecology. 

    Save the oil and vinegar for a salad when the weather warms up.

    You have got yourself an allotment. Allotments involve an awful lot of digging. Work your way into it gently. You have a long road ahead.
    Apophthegm -  a big word for a small thought.
    If you live in Derbyshire, as I do.
  • nutcutletnutcutlet Posts: 27,172
    Don't forget, organic does not mean safe. Digitalin is organic, and Ricin and many other poisons.
    Plus what Pansyface says about soil ecology, from that point of view you're probably better off with a recognised weedkiller. Not that I would recommend that, nasty stuff

    In the sticks near Peterborough
  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Posts: 84,041
    The only organic weed killer is a sharp hoe and elbow grease. 

    Gardening in Central Norfolk on improved gritty moraine over chalk ... free-draining.

  • Blue OnionBlue Onion Posts: 2,957
    And then thick layers of mulch.  Worms love mulch.   :)
    Utah, USA.
  • The oil- based products can sometimes be used to kill insects, but not plants.
  • Allotment BoyAllotment Boy Posts: 6,172
    edited April 2018
    Neudorf make a "natural" weedkiller based on plant extracts but it is an organic acid. It always amazes me that people say they don't want to use nasty chemicals but they propose putting all kinds of other toxic substances down which are in some cases worse than the "chemicals" they despise so much. There is another thread on here where the OP is proposing salt and vinegar- it should be saved for their chips.
    Apart from the other suggestions the only other thing you can do is to put down a heavy mulch sheet that will exclude all light, if plants can't photosynthesise they will weaken and die-EVENTUALLY  it may take a year or two.
    AB Still learning

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