When I was a little boy my dad would recite this silly poem every year:
“Spring has sprung, the grass has riz, I wonder where the flowers is?”
And now it is spring, and the grass has riz, as well as the dandelions, and all the other weeds that we find distasteful in our lawns, gardens, and in the cracks of our sidewalks. Most people spray their lawns with herbicides like Roundup to get rid of the unwanted plants, thinking that except for the targeted plants, it is a safe thing to do. Indeed, even Monsanto says that the active ingredient in its product Roundup, glyophosphate is as safe as aspirin. But is it?
A recent article published in the journal Entropy states that glyophosphate may be the most biologically disruptive chemical in our environment and may be responsible for a litany of diseases such as cancer, neurological diseases, and developmental problems. This chemical disrupts the bacteria found in your intestines, which are necessary for proper health as they play in helping you to digest food, support immunity, and synthesize vitamins. Glyophosphates may also interfere with certain liver enzymes enhancing the damaging effects of other toxins that we are exposed to.
Since Roundup is the most widely used herbicide on the entire planet, 180 million pounds per year in the US alone, human exposure is increasing as the toxin accumulates in our environment. Knowing the potential health hazard this product produces, is this something you wish to be part of while manicuring your lawn?
There are safe alternatives to weeding that can protect you and the environment while also giving you a yard to be proud of.
Although it’s tedious, pulling weeds by hand is not a bad idea. If the ground is dry, pour some water around the root to loosen it. If you keep up with the weeds this way, they won’t spread.
You can also eat them. Yup, that’s right! Many of the so-called “weeds” are actually edible and have medicinal qualities to them. The young greens of dandelions, dock, chicory, plantain, and other common “weeds” can be eaten raw in salads or cooked like fresh spinach. They are high in anti-oxidants and can be a good source of Vitamin K.
And if none of that sounds appealing to you, spray them with a home-made weed killer. To do this, fill a spray bottle with pickling vinegar. This is better than regular vinegar because of the high acetic acid content. Add half a cup of salt and a dash of dishwashing detergent, and spray away. This works best on a sunny day. However be careful as you spray since this will kill all the plants it touches, such as your grass, so aim well.
It is said that you can be part of the problem or part of the solution. If you use products like Roundup, you will not only kill the weeds, but you are also harming the environment and yourself. Choose natural, it’s always the best way to go.