Weedy weed killers

Am I alone in finding that the commercially available weedkillers in France are just not up the job despite all the blurb on the packaging? Unlike Ronseal garden furniture stains etc. weedkillers don't do "exactly what it says on the tin"!

Talking to an assistant in Bricomarche, Riberac, she informed me that a lot of weed killer 'ingredients' are now banned in France, they're probably the ingredients that actually kill the weeds!!?

Despite this the products such as Round Up are still claiming the same devastating affects on all types of weeds and undesirables that infest our gravel drive!

Can anybody recommend a weed killer that actually does the job?

(I know that ground cover sheeting underneath the gravel would work, but removing the gravel, laying the sheeting and replacing the gravel on 300 sq mtrs is not a job I'm contemplating!)

Sorry to hear about your wife Peter. Yes, we have to be vigilant. Anything unatural, is definitely suspicious and should be avoided, if possible, of course.

That's good Véronique. I have a job and a life too, and definitely can't do it all either, but would rather have weeds than use chemical products on the ground. The earth doesn't deserve any more abuse than it is already under.

I pull my weeds out by hand Rachel - or mow them, except on my gravelled terrace where I sprinkle granulated weedkilling stuff & also pull up anything that the granules have missed. I can't do it all by hand as it is over 200m2 and I have a job and a life!

My wife suffered from cancer for seven long years before losing the battle at the tender age of 56 years. We lived in a property which went with the job on a golfcourse for about 7 years before any of her symptoms started. Behind the house at about 75 metres run 5 HT cables, you know the very high tension national grid power lines. I strongly suspect these to have been a contributory factor in the cancer but how on earth can I prove it Rachel ? Do we ban all HT power lines ? Certainly we need to be vigilant at least ?

All the best to you.

Peter, I agree there is no answer to large areas and farmland etc, but surely people can weed their own driveways? I used to live in a city and thought moving to the countryside I would have clean air, but I am not so sure. I have never met so many people in my life who have cancer and have passed away. Something is going on. They say it is lethal to live near vineyards. I live near vineyards, they are so pretty, but we all know what they are treated with. No one seems interested in finding a solution. That is why I say silly things sorry! Just trying to make people think that is all. I know there is no easy solution, nobody wants to know or try. I have discussed with farmer friends and they say well that is the way it is. We are all "foutu"! :) I was wondering who would be the first person to reply to my hoe suggestion ;-) All the best Peter.

Rachel, with respect. I worked on a golf course with 200 acres of land, 100 of which were cut regularly. Can you imagine how many people it would take to weed out 100 flipping acres ???

I still don't understand why people are not even contemplating bending over and pulling the weeds up by hand or using a hoe? Surely that is far more healthy? Certain products are about to be banned in our village and alternatives chosen so I am waiting to hear exactly which ones. Perhaps group/village weeding events could be organised. We have already had one event at the local cemetry :)

It's unlikely that Roundup or glyphosate will be banned. The WHO have recently identified it as a likely carcinogen but it's been widely used for decades in farms, parks, pavements and gardens without much evidence for it causing cancer. I wouldn't drink it and would wear gloves when spraying it but fears that it will kill your pets are unfounded. I know people are against synthetic weedkillers but there is virtually nothing to separate them from using "natural" chemicals like soap and vinegar. Roundup does work, it just takes about 1-2 weeks, requires that it is used at the right dose and it doesn't affect all plants. But as people have said, hand-weeding is better.

Even ground cover sheet doesn't stop all weeds. A friend says Scott weed killer is good. Round up is going to be banned because there is evidence apparently that it is carcinogenic.

I find a strong dose of Roundup still works, takes about a week/10 days to take effect, a bit less if it rains a few hours after you apply it.

I use Glyphosate It does the job not to use on grass though as will kill it,I like you have gravel stones and weeds are always popping up.It is best to use no less than 5 or 6 hours before it rain.Takes a few days before you see the weeds turning brown.

They would bahly have any teeth left! Chickens would do the job, but then start on the lawn and anything else green in the garden!!

Yes we have a holistic farmer in the vicinity too, thank goodness. Perhaps Paul can rent some sheep, although they might break their teeth on the gravel ;-)

My French neighbour is into permaculture and all things holistic and so are some of his friends so there are a small minority. If you mention weed killer here it is met with a tut tut! We also solved some of our weed problems by getting sheep although they do prefer rose bushes to yarrow! Lol. They do however like dandelions :-)

No problems Rachael, 'conversations' often go off at a tangent anyway!

Actually it's good to hear a different perspective on subjects such as 'weedy weed killers', it helps us all make informed decisions on everything.

You may indeed struggle to change the French mindset though!!

Wonderful Wendy will look forward to reading that. We bought some tomato plants yesterday and they told us to use nettles as fertiliser. So all very interesting. Sorry Paul for stealing your weed killer "post". I do tend to get boring and on my high horse about chemical products these days and keep annoying everyone including all our local farmer friends. Doesn't go down well in these parts as you can imagine :)

Nettles always grow in mineral rich soil so are a very good source of these nutrients. In the past I have put them in my juicer (have to wear gloves!) and also used them to make very potent but smelly fertiliser! I have also used dandelion leaves in salad as they come from the same family as rocket and are very similar in taste. Nettle infusion can be used to rinse hair after shampooing and is supposed to be good for dandruff. Not tried it myself as I don't suffer with this infliction. http://www.gardenersworld.com/plants/features/wildlife/10-uses-for-nettles/1087.html

This is an interesting read: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Urtica_dioica


That's a useful tip about the vinegar Wendy - I didn't know that. Next time I am too lazy to hoik the weeds out I will use vinegar. Weeding by hand though is great exercise, and actually I have been eating some of my weeds. The other day I made a soup out of nettles and dandelions. Quite tasty! :D

I use neat white vinegar in a spray bottle. Kinder to the environment and as we have animals, much safer. Takes about the same time as weed killer to kill the weeds. Cheap too - I buy a 5 litre container of it from Intermarche.