Verdict in on Natural Selective Weed Control: It Works
Several months ago we blogged about Fiesta weed control from Neudorff, a selective weed killer that allows grass to grow, but kills dicot weeds such as dandelions and plantain etc. Back then, we didn’t have any feedback from SafeLawns members or any experience with personal use, so our only function was to pass along the message that the product exists.
Feedback, from SafeLawns followers and our own back yard, shows that the product is working — but better on some weeds than others.
Here’s a sample review that came in recently from John Wesenberg:
Five days ago, I applied ferric HEDTA (aka Iron-X when bought from Gardens Alive) to a small area of my lawn. I bought one 16 ounce bottle of the concentrate and used 2/3 of it to make 2 gallons of solution per the product instructions. I applied this to about 300 square feet (28 square meters) of a northern Illinois lawn which hasn’t has a bit of fertilizer or herbicide applied to it in 27 years. Very few parts of the lawn are 50% grass and a few are almost 100% broadleaf weeds and clover. (I don’t consider clover a weed.) I intentionally applied the product at varying rates from about 0.5 to 1.5 gal/100 sq ft to judge its effectiveness. It was applied immediately after mowing and three days before a 1.4 inch (36mm) rain.
Even at lower application rates, it did a good job of knocking down dandelions, which seems to be the species most affected by this product. It only killed plantain at the higher end of its application rate. Ground ivy (creeping charlie), thistle, violets, catnip and garlic mustard seemed to be moderately affected by it. It killed the few garlic mustard plants I sprayed, but those were along a fence and may have received a higher dose. White clover seemed to be least affected by it. I couldn’t discern any damage to grass. Flowering and seed release in surviving dandelions was noticeably lower than in the rest of the lawn.
Even though the product didn’t completely eliminate weeds, it reduced them enough to make me decide to treat the entire lawn with it.
That review is consistent with what I experienced in my lawn in Maine. Some plants such as dandelions die back quickly; other plants need a second application. Now that I’ve used the stuff, mind you, I probably won’t use it again. I’ve learned to enjoy the presence of “weeds” on my lawn.
As we said in our original blog, the product has been licensed exclusively by Ortho for traditional retail sales. It’s in the EcoSense line that the company introduced broadly last year. Interestly, though, the company doesn’t seem to be making any big marketing waves with this weed killer — especially given its massive potential to replace chemical herbicides such as 2,4-D. My only conclusion is that Ortho doesn’t want to give a defacto admission that it’s synthetic herbicides are toxic by promotion a more environmentally friendly alternative.
In the meantime, you can order the exact same product from GardensAlive by mailorder. The link is here: http://www.gardensalive.com/product.asp?pn=3721.
Please keep letting us know how the product performs for you.