After weeks of early rain, the summer of 2019 turned south Florida as green as it gets. For those with newly planted lawns, seedlings took off like a NASCAR at Daytona. Flowers bloomed and made new seeds, as did every other living plant…especially weeds. And because of the Roundup Debate worldwide, those aggressive weeds are winning the day.
The debate began in 1974 when Monsanto packaged the molecule “glyphosate” as the active ingredient in a new product called Roundup. It quickly became an overnight sensation in the herbicide world because it attacks and kills a weed’s roots. Twenty years later, Farm Chemicals Magazine said that it “helped change the face of agriculture.” And why not? No product other than glyphosate kills the root; alternatives only kill the leaves and flowers, but not the root. No root, no weed.
When Monsanto’s patent expired in 2000, other companies throughout the world began to produce their own version of Roundup. Because chemicals must be safe, glyphosate was routinely tested and evaluated. Some studies said glyphosate presented a “low risk” to human health, and others said it’s cariogenic. Whether glyphosate causes cancer is still being disputed — in the labs and in the courts.
So how do we fight weeds without using glyphosate? Here are few tricks any homeowner can use:
- block light with deeper mulch around landscape plants.
- prevent weed seed production and spread by keeping landscape beds clean.
- weed early and often, before weeds grow strong root systems and before they go to seed.
- use herbicide alternatives to wilt the leaves of weeds and slow seed production.
- manually remove the weeds before they go to seed.
- use post-emergence herbicides to kill to the top of weed on contact.
- let Jenkins Landscape’s crews do it for you.
Jenkins Landscape is doing everything in our power to reduce our use of Glyphosate to zero and are actively testing alternative products. We will stay on top of the Roundup health issues and share significant updates with our readers as they are published. In the meantime, for all our valued customers, weed control will be top-of-mind this summer as we continue to design, plant and maintain beautiful landscapes.