What is in this article?:
- Do organic herbicides work?
- Temperature and sunlight
- In recent years, several organic herbicide products have appeared on the market. These include Weed Pharm, C‐Cide, GreenMatch, Matratec, WeedZap, and GreenMatch EX, among others.
Temperature and sunlight
Temperature and sunlight have both been suggested as factors affecting organic herbicide efficacy. In several field studies, we have observed that organic herbicides work better when temperatures are above 75F. Weed Pharm (acetic acid) is the exception, working well at temperatures as low as 55F. Sunlight has also been suggested as an important factor for effective weed control.
Anecdotal reports indicate that control is better in full sunlight. However, in a greenhouse test using shade cloth to block 70 percent of the light, it was found that weed control with WeedZap improved in shaded conditions (Table 3). The greenhouse temperature was around 80F. It may be that under warm temperatures, sunlight is less of a factor.
Organic herbicides are expensive at this time and may not be affordable for commercial crop production. Because these materials lack residual activity, repeat applications will be needed to control perennial weeds or new flushes of weed seedlings. Finally, approval by one's organic certifier should also be checked in advance as use of such alternative herbicides is not cleared by all agencies.