Round up the weeds

The use of weed killers has become normalised in everyday life. They are available on supermarket shelves ready to drop into your trolley when you do the weekly shop. it is becoming a major problem in agriculture and gardening; the reliance on a quick fix without any real understanding of the consequences.

Weed killer neatly stacked on a supermarket shelf next to food!

It is claimed that glyphosate weed killers are neutralised when they hit the soil but there is of evidence to prove otherwise. There is a research to shows that it can persist in soil and that it damages vital soil organisms.

The other misunderstanding is in the way that it is used. Glyphosate is a contact herbicide meaning that it has to fall on the fall the plant to kill it. Spraying it on, say the cracking in paving slabs will not prevent weeds from growing.

If the ground is has lots of weeds it will kill them but soil contains thousands of seeds waiting for the right conditions to germinate. So there is an endless cycle of killing top growth, seeds germination, more weed killer applied and so on. That’s good for sales but bad for the soil.

We need to change our attitude to keeping everything neat and tidy all the time. Pull weeds out by hand, use a hand weeder, try an oscillating Swiss hoe in the garden and compost the weeds!