NORFOLK, Va. — Weeds can get in the way of the perfectly manicured lawn. At the Norfolk Botanical Garden, they are working on some chemical alternatives to get rid of those pesky plants.
At the Garden, Alexandra Cantwell, the adult education manager, explains what they've been working on for a couple of seasons, "these are our testbeds where we’re testing out different weed control methods. We've got various chemical alternatives."
"In the middle, we have a greener patch, that’s the control that was left to see for comparison," Cantwell notes.
They've used various chemicals like pelargonic acid, d-limonene, and glufosinate-ammonium to strip the outer cuticle layer of the weeds and cause them to dry up.
If you're looking for a more natural option, "there’s also alternatives where people are using clove oil or citrus oil."
Many of the chemicals they used are more suited to fight the broadleaf weeds, which in some cases resemble a clover. The grass family of weeds is a little more resilient and that's where the team recommends the old hand weeding technique - but weeding at the right time is essential, "some seeds are viable in the soil for up to 7 years so you want those out before they set their seeds because it saves you in the long run."