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Weed control
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Weed control
Is there any spray for weeds that is organic? We have a lavender crop which we had hoped to keep organic but the weeds are beating us. Thank you for any suggestions. Ann Chaney

There is now a product on the market which is certified organic - it is not systemic and does not harm earthworms or soil life. It works by dehydrating the foliage by intercepting the transpiration process, causing cell collapse and root stress. The product is a restricted input under Bio-Gro certification.

Otherwise, Richard Llewellyn Hudson, author of Organic Gardening in New Zealand, says that hoeing off the new growth in the weeks following cultivation will knock out a lot of weeds. This is followed by laying on as much compost as possible to smother new seedlings. Don't allow annuals to shed seed or put seeding weeds in the compost, unless your compost is hot enough to kill them. Laying thick layers of newspaper topped with a thick layer of mulch will starve them of light, a process done during the growing months, rather than when seeds are dormant. Once they are cleared, keep them at bay with mulch.

He says that digging is often the only way of ridding the ground of the perennial deep-rooted weeds which compete with food plants, but avoid bringing the subsoil to the surface.

For a commercial operation you need more detailed advice than this forum offers. The following books are recommended:

Healy, A. J. Mason, R New Zealand Weed and Pest Control Society, Mechanical weed control - keys to getting good yields while reducing or eliminating the use of herbicides,

French, Jacqueline, Jorgenson, Greg, Organic control of common weeds, 1989

Readman, Jo, Weeds - how to control and love them, 1991

Also, for a general picture, read the following:

Controlling California Thistle Organically

Roadside Weed Sprays





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