Monday, July 21, 2008

Organic Crabgrass Killer

Hello, and welcome to Miscellaneous Monday, where I'll diverge on various topics in the realm of organic eating and living more green.

Crabgrass is a stubborn weed that often suffocates our St. Augustine grass and takes over what used to be our lawn. Until a few years ago, many lawncare organizations used a chemical (name?) to kill this nasty stuff, but the authorities that be finally banned the product due to environmental safety issues.

Ironically, it turns out that long before the ban, many natural gardeners had discovered a safe alternative that I'll bet is in your kitchen pantry right now. Simple baking soda, sprinkled on the pesky stuff, gradually turns it brown and kills it off. It works great for small areas of crabgrass, so try to catch them early, before they spread like wildfire and take over, killing your St. Augustine, or whatever type of grass you have. Once the area is looking pretty dead, dig it up (it comes out easily) and put in plugs or sod to replace the missing grass. If you don't replace it, you can be certain that the area will fill itself in with weeds, and quickly, so don't put this off.

After the ban, my local lawncare company's representative finally confessed to this alternative solution, leaving me feeling angry. I had asked for safer, chemical-free solutions for years, but it seems that they were told not to recommend this option because of the possibility of loss of business.

I have also read a number of stories on the use of cinnamon bark, and have found a company online, Megagro, that sells a natural preparation that includes both cinnamon bark and baking soda. Anybody heard anything about their product?

I'll be discussing my foray into natural lawncare in an upcoming post. I have scheduled meetings with two of our local organic lawncare companies, and we'll see what they have to offer in services and prices. I've heard that one of them, Jolly Green Planet, is a chain. If you know anything about them, please leave a comment and share your experience below. Happy gardening!


Rick Dalrymple said...

thanks for this information. i will try this and see how it works.

Tina said...

I can't wait to try this. This is a major problem in our yard. This is the 2nd year we have had to hire a professional to take care of the crab grass. This could save me $150 per year. Thanks!!! Tina

greener planet said...

Jolly Green Planet is an organic pest control and lawn care company. If you would like for information about the company check out their website

Be carful using baking soda as it can harm all grass types. You have to only use a small amount on the Crabgrass you are killing and using a corn gluten as a Pre-M will help to keep the grass seeds from germanating.

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