This has been a rainy spring. If you have a lawn, chances are your weeds are growing like, well, weeds. Before you reach for Roundup—said to be the world’s most popular herbicide—to kill them, check out this recent MIT study on its health effects.
Heavy use of it has been linked to all sorts of health problems and diseases in adults and children, including cancer, Parkinson’s, and infertility. The negative impacts of herbicides and pesticides are said to manifest slowly over time. Residue of glyphosate, Roundup’s chief ingredient, has been found in food. Monsanto, its maker, says it’s safe, of course. If you’re not willing to spray something that MIT says enhances the damaging effects of other food-borne residues and toxics in the environment, here are other ways to get rid of weeds. Check out our herbicide-free weeding methods, guaranteed not to harm your kids, you, or the earth.
- Pull them. All it takes is some elbow grease.
- Put the kettle on. Boiling water kills any plant it touches, including weeds. What could be cheaper or easier?
- Vinegar. Want proof it works? Google Image “vinegar as a weed killer.” You’ll never be without a bottle in your potting shed again.
- Mow them. If you do it before weeds flower, you can reduce the spreading of seeds.
- Torch them. Ok, so a weed torch does involve some propane, but you’re still not spraying herbicide where vulnerable kids are playing. Devotees swear by it.
- Embrace them. What’s the problem, really? If they’re not harming another plant, do you need to get rid of your weeds? After all, some people like dandelions.