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Allan designs and plants flowering gardens in Montreal, Zone 5 [USDA Zone 4] .

See website, design work and favorite flowering plants at  gardengurumontreal.ca

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Entries in Weed Pharm (2)

Thursday
Jul082010

Update on a Safe Weed Killer

To obtain this product, click on the image to link to the store of Pharm Solutions. On February 10, 2010, I posted a blog about Weed Pharm, a safe, organic weed killer made by Pharm Solutions with industrial food grade acetic acid. The intention was to test it and report back to my readers. Although I had purchased the product online early in the season, a cold spring season delayed my ability to experiment with it. Only in the last four weeks have I been able to use it. Boy is it effective!

For example, at 8 AM yesterday morning, a very hot and sunny day, I sprayed Weed Pharm on a strip of earth measuring 20 feet long and 2 feet wide that was smothered in weeds. By noon of the same day 99% of all of the weeds in the strip were toast, literally, because they shriveled up and turned brown. Repeat: shriveled up and turned brown in 4 hours. A few perennial weeds remain because they require more than one application of Weed Pharm. That is a small task that I am happy to undertake, given how efficient and quickly this product works.

Compare this timeline of four hours to the prolonged time for systemic weed killers to take effect. These glysophates usually take over a week or more to produce results and the extent of harm that they might cause to our planet and to us is not yet completely revealed or fully understood. However, the industrial food grade acetic acid used in Weed Pharm is also used in the manufacture of pickled foods and salad dressings and its organic classification is certified by the USDA. The only cautionary note is that eyes and skin need to be protected because the concentration of acetic acid in this product is 20% compared to 5 or 7% in ordinary kitchen vinegar. I wear prescription glasses so that my eyes are protected and I use leather gloves for all gardening chores so that my hands are sheilded from harsh substances.

I am pleased to have found Weed Pharm; an effective weed killer that replaces toxic herbicides without polluting the environment or placing users health at risk.

Monday
Feb222010

A Safe, Organic Weed Killer: Let's Test This Product Together.

A few years ago, the gardener who tended the lawns in our neighborhood died from exposure to herbicides. Since then I have been searching for a safe alternative to toxic chemical weed killers. It has not been an easy hunt. I hope that by this coming summer I will be able to report favorably on a new product that I will be testing this spring.

It all began when I saw an ad for an eco-friendly weed killer. It turned out to be Eco Sense by Scott and it was not eco friendly because the residual ingredient, petroleum distillates, will kill all living organisms and it says so right on the label. Furthermore, the only environmentally friendly ingredient in the product is kitchen vinegar that is too mild to be effective. However, the vinegar ingredient intrigued me.

Vinegar is a suitable weed killer when it is the correct strength. Household vinegar is between     5% and 7.5% acetic acid. That will kill weed seedlings but not mature weeds. In order to be effective, 20% acetic acid is required and that strength is unsafe for consumer use. It is used by the food industry to make pickles and salad dressing. It is unsafe if splashed in the eye and it will burn abraded skin.  Some marketers, aimed at the gardening industry, are selling it on line as horticultural vinegar only because they cannot register it for retail sale. It is not USDA approved because safety precautions are not supplied. Scientists warn that when horticultural vinegar is used undiluted, the treated land must be closed off until the spray has dried.

As a guideline, readers should be wary of any product that is sold as environmentally friendly, using such words as eco friendly, green, bio and all natural. If it does not have a USDA certification and does not have a USDA registration number stamped on the label, it is none of the above

Only one company in the United States has a USDA Certified organic weed killer that is environmentally safe. It is called Weed Pharm, manufactured by Pharm Solutions, and its active ingredient is 20% acetic acid which is food grade vinegar. In order to be sold as organic and deemed safe for humans and the environment, the acetic acid and all of the other ingredients in this product must be reported to the USDA through confidential statements of information that indicate the names of the ingredients, its sources and the shipping log into and out of the factory. Pharm Solutions complies with all world wide organic standards. Organic farmers that use any of their products anywhere in the world are required by law to keep on hand a copy of Pharm Solution’s organic certification.

How Weed Pharm works;- Weeds are sprayed when the temperature is above 60 degrees, and just before the heat of the sun kicks in, between 11 AM and 1 PM. Weeds taller than 4 inches should be cut and clippings removed before application. This allows for using less of the product and insures better results. Spraying immediately burns off the waxy coating of the weed that is responsible for absorbing light and water. Without the ability to transform the sun into energy, the plant is unable to thrive. Eventually it will die.

I have just purchased a bottle of Weed Pharm on line. I will test it in the spring and report my findings. Normally, garden writers do their testing first and write about a product afterwards. That procedure works well when one is evaluating a plant, while there are so many other plants to use in the interim. In this case, I thought readers might like to test this product with me. That will ensure that wider ranges of growing conditions are included. Testing together will also accelerate the spread of information. I consider that to be helpful when there are so few safe weed killing options available. At the time of this posting, The University of Guelph, is also testing Weed Pharm for approval in Canada.

Weed Pharm itself is available from Amazon. 

                                           

However, a much wider range of safe, non toxic Certified Organic garden products are available if one buys directly from the manufacturer's store. It is newsworthy that Pharm Solutions markets the only Certified Organic pesticides in the world. Getting rid of toxic herbicides and pesticides, that infect us and our gardens, is in the best interest of our health. By taking care of ourselves, we become better caretakers of our planet.

For more information click here to visit Pharm Solutions' site.