Biodegradable, glyphosate-free weedkiller on trial
I’m usually not one for using weedkillers, preferring to hoe them instead. However, my gravel paths and drive have become a bit overrun, so I wanted to use a product that wouldn’t introduce unwanted chemicals into the garden.
I tested Neudorff’s ready-to-use WeedFree Plus, available as a 750ml spray. It is glyphosate-free and contains pelargonic acid*, a chemical found naturally in pelargoniums (geraniums).
This fatty acid destroys the cell walls of the leaves of weeds, causing them to lose their cell structure, drying out within a short space of time.
Pelargonic acid will only attack the green parts of the plant and can be used under hedges, bushes and trees without destroying the whole area.
As well as pelargonic acid, WeedFree Plus includes the growth regulator maleic acid hydrazide*, which is transported by the plant’s vascular tissue into the root system, preventing cell division at the root tips.
Both active ingredients are biodegradable and do not stay in the soil after use.
Treated areas can be re-seeded or replanted soon after treatment, causing minimum disruption and allowing children and pets to enter treated areas as soon as the solution has dried.
After drenching the weeds (a mixture of grasses and broad-leaved weeds) thoroughly on a dry morning at around 10.30am, there were marked results by 5pm that day, so well within the company’s one-day recommendation.
Acts on small weeds
By the next day, the weeds were brown. There was no regrowth from the grass, which is often the downfall of other weedkillers.
It acts on even small weeds but is most effective where there is enough foliage cover to absorb the active ingredients.
As you can see by the photos above, one week later and the broad-leaved weeds were dead. The grass still had a tiny amount of green left but that is always the hardest to shift when there’s not much foliage.
We also had several very rainy days since the application, including on the evening after application, which I thought may harm results, but doesn’t seem to have affected them.
Do beware, though, it is a broad-spectrum herbicide, so it will kill all plants it is sprayed on – protect those plants you want to save and don’t apply on a breezy day.
All in all, a very effective glyphosate-free weedkiller.
You can buy Neudorff WeedFree Plus at good garden centres around the country – for more information and search for a stockist, visit www.neudorff.co.uk.
*Active ingredient content 31.02 g/L pelargonic acid, 4.95 g/L maleic hydrazide.