We don’t spray Roundup or equivalent herbicides here at Altamont Farms. They work incredibly well but the science on the effects is still working itself out and our primary concern is the health of our honeybees. Glyposhate is starting to show up in honeybees and while I can’t control where the bees travel during the day, I can manage what they visit on our property.
Organic farming is hard and you just can’t hand weed your way through a season. This is why large scale organic farms still rely on tilling for weed control while the traditional ag industry has adopted no-till farming for the environmental benefits (think about the Dust Bowl).
I recently tried a product called Weed Zap that has promise. Made from equal parts clove oil and cinnamon oil, with some additional ingredients, this is a spray on product that is non-selective. This means that whatever you spray it on will be killed.
It works on broad leaf and grasses but I have only had success with grasses over multiple applications. It needs to be sprayed on to the point where it has saturated the target. As an added benefit, it smells really pleasing and the smell lingers through a full day.
This stuff is pretty concentrated, 1 gallon of concentrate will mix with 20 gallons of water and a single gallon of mixed Weed Zap will cover a large area of property. You will see results within a day, with leaves browning and wilting. It does not appear to rely on temperature or time of day for maximum effectiveness, but the product documentation does indicate the weeds under 6″ in height are optimal.
One word of caution, wear gloves. I got some on my hands while clearing a blockage in my sprayer and my hands burned for over 12 hours.