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The Best Natural Weed Killers: A chat with Tessa from the HuffPost

Jody, Owner of Wild Heritage Gardens, recently had the pleasure of speaking with Tessa Flores from the HuffPost. Tessa wrote an article with information from a few different Landscapers throughout the USA trying to make a difference in the Natural Landscaping realm.

Find that Article here or continue reading below...

The Best Natural Weed Killers, So You Can Stop Worrying About Your Health

Roundup has been in the news for potentially causing cancer, so here's what natural landscapers recommend.

On Monday, a jury in Pennsylvania unanimously ruled that Monsanto and its parent company, Bayer, were responsible for causing a man’s cancer after he used their popular weed killer Roundup — and its key ingredient, glyphosate — for two decades on his property. (Monsanto disagrees with the verdict and plans to appeal.)

There’s long been some awareness surrounding the dangers of unregulated pesticide use (it was even outlined in classic books like Rachel Carson’s “Silent Spring”), but there’s still very much a consumer demand for weed killers. They might even be in your shed or garage right now.

Giles C. Thelen, co-owner of Montana-based Native Yards, a nursery dedicated to restoring natural landscapes, claimed that the majority of weed killers on your average store shelf contain glyphosates and 2,4-D, another herbicide that’s been linked to health problems and can be toxic to wildlife.

And, according to Kelli Rohrig, owner of Montana-based Mountain Organic Landscaping & Irrigation, even fertilizers that appear to be marketed as “natural” are often owned by major chemical companies that are attempting to greenwash.

Jody Ash, owner of Colorado’s Wild Heritage Gardens landscape company, takes an earth-centered approach to management of weeds and unwanted plants.

“Healthy plants and a full garden will always win the competition against weeds,” Ash said. To do this, she encourages people to opt for landscapes containing plants that are not necessarily always native, but are prone to thrive in your specific climate.

Her company utilizes online resources like to help determine which plants are suitable for Colorado’s environment and believes that similar platforms exist for many different regions. (For example, a quick Google search revealed the National Wildlife Federation’s Native Plant Finder database.)

“Also having plant diversity, generally areas with 10 or more different types, will usually keep out the weeds,” Thelen said.

According to Ash, it’s important to be conscious of the weed-management products you introduce to your green space, even if they are completely natural. This is because they can still disrupt balance and just exchange one problem for another, be it a new overgrowth of another weed species or an invasion of insects that were deterred by the plants that you just exterminated.

“We’re always going to have weeds,” Ash said.

“And that’s OK because everything is beneficial.”

But, Ash admits that there are instances where it’s necessary to control a particularly persistent plant. For situations like these, Ash and a few other natural landscapers have some techniques and effective natural products that are much safer alternatives to the weed killers that many of us have become so wary of. Check them out below.

Click the link above to see the article in it's original format!

Feb 2, 2024, 05:45 AM EST | Updated Feb 2, 2024

©All Photos by Chante Ash

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