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New homeowner warned against using common garden method to eliminate stubborn weeds: 'Proven to cause cancer'

"I'm desperately looking for ways to avoid it."

"I'm desperately looking for ways to avoid it."

Photo Credit: iStock

After moving into a new home, one Redditor was excited to get started on a garden renovation project.

In a post in the r/gardening community, they wrote they were looking forward to planting a vegetable garden and keeping things as organic as possible. However, something significant was standing in the way. 

"[The house has] neglected landscaping and thistles that are three feet tall," they said. "My husband wants to use Round Up. I'm desperately looking for ways to avoid it."

With hopes to grow food and keep things as natural as possible, spraying chemicals on the land didn't seem like a sensible decision.

"I am also looking at organic weed killers from Sūnday and Dr. Earth's," they continued. "Does anyone have experiences with either to share? Or other organic products that can help?"

Redditors chimed in with advice, with one user suggesting to steer clear of Roundup.

"You might want to mention to your hubby that roundup has several class action lawsuits against them because their product has been proven to cause cancer," one user noted.

A study from United States government scientists, summarized by the Guardian, found that people exposed to glyphosate, a chemical used in weedkillers, have been found to have biomarkers in their urine that have been linked to cancer. 

Bayer, the company behind Roundup, has denied that glyphosate is the cause of oxidative stress, which can lead to some forms of cancer.

Meanwhile, another Redditor said the product might not even be that effective for their gardening needs.

"Roundup doesn't really give 'end all' results on thistle," read the comment. "It requires physical intervention (minus harsh chemicals)."

In terms of products that might be useful, a few Redditors suggested agricultural vinegar.

"Agricultural Vinegar works wonders," one user said. "45% or higher concentrations. Works better than glyphosate and has the added bonus of not causing cancer."

Vinegar appears to be effective for thistle, but it can also kill surrounding grass, so it's important to only apply it to the troublesome weeds. The grass may yet return, but the vinegar will likely cause it to at least turn yellow.

There are a number of lawn-friendly, chemical-free weedkillers on the market, but it depends on what type of growth you're trying to contain. 

Weed control is one of the least desirable aspects of gardening, but regardless of the green-fingered activity you're doing, being out in nature and breathing in the fresh air can help to reduce stress and improve health. What's more, if you're growing vegetables, you can save money on the weekly shop and increase your fiber intake by eating the resulting yields.

Just make sure your vegetable patch stays free of harmful chemicals.

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