The Content Of The Article:
Every hobby gardener knows the problem only too well: everywhere in the garden sprout herbs, grasses and flowers that are desired neither on the paths nor in the flower beds. Weeds and moss in the lawn damage other plants by depriving them of light and nutrients.
Many gardeners use herbicides, chemical weed killers, to control these weeds. But beware: The use of herbicides is not dangerous and even banned in many states.
What are herbicides?
Herbicides are a set of chemical weed control chemicals. They are applied to the built-up area with sprays, penetrate the soil and destroy the weeds growing there. In agriculture, herbicides are conditionally allowed. There they are - often to the chagrin of the residents and environmentalists - used so that the crops can grow better.
Above all, the glyphosate known under the trade name "Roundup" is also offered to hobby gardeners. There are special iron fertilizers in buckets for moss destruction in the lawn and on stones. The active ingredient is called iron (II) sulfate. In many communities, these funds may not be used in hobby gardens or on private land.
Worth knowing about herbicides soon
- Translated, herbicides are herbaceous or grasses and are substances used as weedkillers. A distinction is made between selective herbicides that only act against certain plants and so-called total herbicides that act against all plants.
- Herbicides are differentiated according to their effect - there are corrosive herbicides that damage harmful plants and crops alike. They should only be used if there is sufficient distance between the weeds and crops. The caustic herbicides include, for example, chlorates and quicklime.
- Another type is the growth hormone, which act as a growth factor. As a result, the plant provides much faster nutrients, which ultimately leads to death. The herbicides of the category prostaglandin synthesis inhibitors inhibit the formation of chloroplasts. They are responsible for the photosynthesis and nutrition of the plant. The photosynthetic inhibitors are herbicides against dicotyledonous weeds and inhibit photosynthesis of the plant.
- There is another classification possibility of the herbicides, namely the points of attack in the metabolism of plants. Thus, mitotic inhibitors or germ inhibitors inhibit cell division and amino acid antagonists inhibit the formation of important amino acids. If the individual active ingredients are used over a longer period of time, resistant weeds can be selected in monocultures.
- Particularly resistant are plants with a high reproduction rate, such as the field foxtail. Due to the different modes of action, a suitable combination of herbicidal active ingredients must be found for each crop and the respective accompanying herbs.
Although these crop protection products are often over the counter, this does not support their safety. Warnings that contact with the skin or the respiratory system can be dangerous are often missing. So if you do not want to give up your garden weed-free by herbicides, you should wear at least protective clothing and a breathing mask. Every gardener who uses herbicides should keep in mind that small children and free-roaming pets can be seriously damaged by the toxic substances.
Herbicides damage the environment and groundwater
Herbicides pose a danger not only to humans. Small organisms in the soil and in the air are harmed as well as the nearby crops. Through rain, the chemical components that are not biodegraded, enter the groundwater and pollute it. Also in the sewerage the poisonous substances penetrate. The contaminated water must be thoroughly cleaned in the sewage treatment plant. For this reason, the use of herbicides is prohibited in most communities. Anyone who uses such funds without authorization must expect to face severe penalties. Exemptions are usually issued when weed control is essential for the safe accessibility of public roads.
Weed removal by mechanical means
Instead of weed killing by herbicides, hobby gardeners only have to resort to hoe, weeders and scarifier. Many weeds are easy to remove by hand. If dandelion, daisies, chickweed and their colleagues are removed before flowering and thus seed formation, weeds are less. In deeply rooting weeds such as couch grass, greed or horsetail even the smallest root remains must be removed from the earth to stop the spread.Flowering weeds should never be stored on the compost, otherwise it spreads quickly.
On paving slabs, weeds are particularly unpleasant. With a joint scratch, however, it can be removed quite well, especially after rain. Larger surfaces become weed-free with a sandblaster. The gardener can prevent moss in the lawn by scarifying the lawn in spring, tearing out the moss and immediately removing it. Self-composed agents such as methylated spirits count as pesticides when used for weed removal. Like chemical weed killers, they are not allowed in the home garden or on terraces or driveways.
Instead of using herbicides, it is better to remove weeds by hand
Weed destruction by hand is laborious, that is undisputed. In the interest of one's own health and the environment, however, the use of herbicides in the home garden should be completely avoided. As a conclusion, it must be stated:
- Herbicides are subject to authorization
- they damage other plants and important micro-organisms
- they pollute the groundwater
- they may only be used with protective clothing, if at all
- small children and pets must be kept away from the substances