Joined: Tue Mar 18, 2003 3:45 pm Posts: 2884 Location: San Antonio,TEXAS
I just read today's newsletter on the organic weed killer. The Garden Weasel Crabgrass Control product has been around awhile - long enough that if you have kept up with it you know that you have to be careful with it. Despite the listing of cinnamon as the active ingredient, I believe the active ingredient is baking soda. The reason it works so well is the sodium in the baking soda kills all plants that are not salt tolerant. According to experiments performed on another forum, crabgrass and dallis grass die in about 4 hours after dusting with ordinary baking soda. Unfortunately, so does most grass. St Augustine happens to be very salt tolerant and is only slightly set back by baking soda.
While the use of baking soda is approved for organic use, it is another example of a product that can do significant damage to an organic garden. Baking soda is a non selective fungicide that will wipe out the beneficial fungi in your soil and on plant surfaces. Sometimes it is necessary to use against diseases where ordinary corn meal does not work. When you do resort to baking soda, I always suggest you wait 2 weeks for the baking soda to do all the damage it is going to do, flush the salt out of the soil with a lot of water, and finally follow up with compost at 1 cubic yard per 1,000 square feet (or 2 cubic feet per 100 square feet = a light dusting).
I'm always looking to save money. To me, paying $20 for 2 pound of baking soda is too much. I'll pay $2 but not $20.
_________________ David Hall Moderator Dirt Doctor Lawns Forum
Earlier this summer I made an initial test, trying out the crabgrass killer in one small area, and note what you point out - that it killed all of the grass (well, actually, it didn't kill the crab grass, just the Bermuda.) I decided to give it a different test and I have sprinkled it along the edges of walls where I don't want any grass to grow at all. It hasn't been there long enough to report anything here. But thanks for the tip about the baking soda in the product, that crabgrass killer is expensive for the space it covers.
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