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Homeowner warned against using common herbicide to tame weeds in yard: 'It won't do much … speaking from experience'

"It's usually a digging thing."

"It's usually a digging thing."

Photo Credit: iStock

A Redditor who took to r/landscaping to ask for advice about a yardwork project was warned against using a common herbicide.

"Any Glyphosate recommendations for weed and brush and stumps?" they wondered. "Not sure how the herbicide stuff works. But I want to spray the areas of brush I am clearing. They are full of weeds, vines, brush,etc. Should I buy round up or those $70 concentrate bottles I see on Amazon? Or is there a better weed killer?"

Glyphosate is an herbicide that is commonly used in agriculture. The Environmental Protection Agency has approved its use despite other countries' bans, but it has been linked to cancer, nervous system damage, and respiratory issues. Monsanto, the maker of Roundup, has settled nearly 100,000 lawsuits about the chemical for $11 billion.

As one commenter pointed out, the poster had answered their own question.

"If you're physically clearing the brush, I'm not sure why you need to poison it also," they said. "What's your plan for the space after you clear it? Consider using cardboard and sheet mulching, it's highly effective (better than poison) and it's safe for the environment and you and your pets and neighbors."

This is the safest method for clearing weeds and preparing a lawn or garden for new plantings (native species, anyone?). When cardboard breaks down, it injects valuable nutrients into your soil, creating a nourishing home for worms and flora. If you're growing your own food, it's especially important to use such a clean method to protect your crops.

The poster, though, seemingly had a lot of work on their hands. Brush and stumps likely aren't going to fold in the face of cardboard, so manual labor was on the table. And maybe that's why they wanted to kill off everything before getting down to business. Clearing brittle vines and plants can be a lot easier than wrestling strong and woody stems.

But the tradeoff would not be worth it. Pesticides pollute our groundwater and atmosphere, contributing to the mass die-off of beneficial bugs and insects, including the pollinators that protect our food supply. This problem is becoming increasingly worrisome as food insecurity rises around the world.

As another user wrote: "It won't do much for brush, or for most weeds. Speaking from experience. Depending on the tenacity of the species you're dealing with it's usually a digging thing."

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