Least-toxic Weed Management Tactics: Bob's Favorites Part Ii

Least-toxic Weed Management Tactics: Bob's Favorites Part Ii

Burn Down products, we’re kind of following up on rec park, when we did our training here, for a safety training we did some pilot work out here and you know there's something to that with these things and also we talk about some small power equipment[00:21] and some hand tools……and that’s about it.

So, burn down, when we talk about burn down herbicide applications farmers, l talk about using you know roundup, canva… …….. to burn down young weeds either early in the season you can start it , or at the end of the season when the summer weeds are going out and you are trying to get a head start on winter annuals, so usually burn down you know to be a larger scale and at least you know you can use lower rates on some of these more toxic form chemicals to do that.

But when we talk about burn down, we're talking about mostly these by and large acid products. So, the big green herbicides that are you know really prominent on the internet and everyone studies in the universities and stuffs to see if there is anything there. And there is something to this stuffs. In San Francisco, our climate is getting warmer and sunnier a lot, especially out this way and previously you know I've been working here at the botanical garden for twenty years and twenty years ago this really wasn't a good day to use the stuff because you need the sun behind it but that’s changing and so, I think there is a fit for that.

And, you know, basically we're looking at things that are derived from either oils like clove oil, acetic acid, vinegars, orange oil, there are herbicidal [01:54] soaps. They work pretty well, but these are generally all in the same ballpark, there are combination products that combine these two different things but you have to be careful if you use these things to not necessarily combine it yourself, because sometimes it's just not really synergistic at all. It can counter each other.

Some of these things you know can be pretty effective on young emerging weeds [02:23], especially on annual weeds with you know follow up treatments on perennials. You know, it's just another all of these things I'm talking about today are hitting the tops of weeds. If you have good enough times, you can really knock something out.

You know this is an example of you know, one thing about burn downs is that you know they do work fast. So you know if you have a sunny day, you know you can see results pretty quick and what you see after that often is re-growth.


So if you, you know you treat something with a tap root, you can really burn down the top very quickly and get some results but you're going to come back and are going to have to retreat or do something else.

So this is part of the package, this is not, you know just like anything else. Right with IPM we put things together and we complement each other it’s the tactics, right, any one strategy is not really IPM, it’s the integrating of these other different things.

So one of the most widely used products is Avenger, we use Avenger and that was formerly called “Green Match” and it was originally developed in Davis by Marrone Bio Innovations. So that product is really, if you do a search for green herbicides, you’ll see that, right. The real, we will get to the benefit of that. Avenger is 78% D-Limonene and you know the downside of that is that d-limonene is a skin sensitizer …[04:04]….of title. Right, so with a lot of expose to the limonene that come, that's about it, that’s really good, the problem in my mind about that ………, so and there’s a little cast of oil in there and I’m not really sure what the PH of the concentrations of this stuff is, I couldn't really quite get it, this is like, I believe this is going to mean water, I don't really understand it, but this, it's an acid and it's fairly strong, it cost about $60 a gallon when you buy the stuff in bulk and you know, you really kind of need the higher rates, which are really higher rates 33%, so if you really do a back pack sprayer you need three gallons of it to spray, you need a gallons of this stuff. A gallon, you know, 60 bucks for backup purposes. Ok, that seems kind of expensive. But it depends on you know, what you’re doing with that.

If you’re going to spray out a turf area that’s a waste of time, if you’re going to spray out an area this size with this stuff, I wouldn’t do that. But for spot treating, for cracks and crevices and asphalt, you know as far as a package, we do one of those other things or sheet mulching. Burn down products like a flamer in a can, okay, so $60 for a backpack of the product… yeah!

Another speaker:

And this is the only one that we know or about two or three, this is the lowest ever, why? Because it’s less high in skin effect and that means that can only, you only have to post it on the day of treatment. That’s is the advantage of Tier IIIs….

First speaker:

Which is really key and it is true, it's the only one and it's hard to come with up with another one. And if you don't work for government, if you’re in the private sector and if you do work for others and if you happen to do work on properties that are LEED, certified properties; that Tier III things is really gold because nobody who works in that environment wants to do what they call universal notification, so if you have a campus say for like Google and you do contracting for them and you do gold, platinum


If you were to do good application of something that was not Tier III, you would have to notify every Googler , which is sort of like school the school IPM. thing it gets really tough.

A lot of vinegar based products are out there. You know the ones that really are effective are the ones that have the concentrated acetic acid which is 10 to 20 or greater percentage which is really corrosive and really dangerous. Like if you get the stuff in your eyes, you can go blind. So you know, this stuff works better than household vinegar but you know for our purposes, you know we don’t deal really with danger labeled pesticides. Right, so even though this is organic, it’s natural, etc and realistic, you know you use this stuff straight. It's not like you buy weeds form and then mix it with water, that the risk is right there mixing and loading. You use it straight. So it was from the time you purchase, you store, you transport, all the way to cleaning. You have that corrosive material there and you only need a little bit in your eye, to do permanent irreversible eye damage.

So is it worth it for us, no, I will answer that question. Unfortunately, it’s not. We don't need that. You know to burn down the weeds, there's probably going to back in a couple weeks, no we can do other things but and then there's a lot to concoctions and a lot of recipes. But most of them when you go on the Internet, you'll see that most of them want household vinegar, just so maybe a little epsom salt or table salt whatever, that stuff works, it works pretty well if you try it at home, for what will it cost you to do it pretty good…. yeah

Another Speaker:

On your previous slide, like you had a not good for tank mixing ….

First speaker:

Well, I just said that you don’t want to mix and match, you say the same thing if I just put these two different things together, you know because a lot of times it will tell you on the label not to do that. You know and so there are products that are combined different acids but you have to be careful, you know mixing those things.

And then they might not be compatible. They don’t, and I've done these things, where I’ve tried it myself, right and I got less results you know. But the thing that is important about any of these things is coverage and sticking so it remains to be compared……[08:29]… as if you do good writers for the sticker because a lot of these things turn the world right off especially on grasses.

This is the Avenger; different forms, this is the weeds farm label, you can see it’s a danger label and it is about 25% acetic acids. So we, promise we’re ready to use products about $30 gallon for $90 backpack right there. And you know you'll see also that even the weeds farm is just 20% to 25% acetic acids with a little bit of I think yucca extract in it or something like that.


That people just buy 20% vinegar, you can buy that for a lot of the reasons. There is a heavy duty cleanser, there is also this stuff called horticultural vinegar, there’s label, there is for horticulture. It is not labeled as an herbicide; it is labeled with a supplemental label to adjust the PH of your water which is an interesting concept.

The Stuff is got a PH of about 2. Doesn't take much to make your spray solution more acidic using these, but how much is permitted. This is an interesting topic. So I just said, I don't think there's really a role for using Tier one doing your available products and even this little horticultural vinegar in the workplace is really, you know is 20%, is the same thing. It's dangerous and closer to your eyes mostly. So I don't think it belongs here but…

Another speaker

Kind of still in it

First speaker

Yeah, I think again, there is a commonsense kind of thing, it really isn't very harmful, it’s cost effective, I know some people want to do it. You can do it at home, and it seems to work really well for me like to be able to able to let it work. May be in the future, it will be able to work something out along those lines, yeah.

Another speaker

You mean that is going to affect the PH level of the soil?

First speaker:

Not household vinegar, I don't think it's, because now horticultural vinegar part of the label on that is to actually lower the PH in soil. But they’re somewhat stronger, but once the 5% acetic acid, I think the effect unless it's a lot of use, repetitive use probably not so much. But it is acidic, you know.

Yeah, and it’s not they get very far into the soil profile. Interestingly enough, whether this is true or fake news, this one here in Europe right now, licensed through Scott who you know we are all familiar with, is still in this roundup products made with vinegar. And there's talk about you know because the round up name has so much cache as the weed killer, you put in your weeds killer, clean that tissue, round up the side and you know since life's.. where it is right now in the world to have the name round up and then happen just be the vinegar as an herbicide.

Yeah, but the thing is there is no systemic activity, right. ….. but anyway…

Another Speaker:

So that product has no glyphosate[11:38]

First Speaker

No, it has no glyphosate in ut. Suppose to be true, it’s.. for real I did a little bit of research on it and this is the link that…

Okay so, this to wrap up the whole thing about burndown herbicides, so certainly not a replacement for other traditional conventional herbicides right, but, they are useful you know, especially when you target the right weed at the right time, you know, if it’s expensive, you do currently and use something like suppress for a vinegar or ask, okay, you know if you feel you get into your program and it’s like doing a very low percentage of your overall weeding. You know just to follow up with a full scale, definitely where you know that it works for you because it’s really sunny and warm. You that kind of thing, you like to see those like instant results.

If you have like really persistent weeds and when we see more …[12:40]….. injuring these things.

But for annuals, you know young and things in the academy stage, you know is a matter of balancing the ability to spray and wet the cover you know without using a whole lot of material. And it’s the still, it’s the same amount of time to vote for posting, recording, reporting, training, you know, but we’re doing a lot of stuff already. So you know, the ability to post the same day at least for Avenger, of those that we use, my favorite is still the suppress, I think overall, I get better results with that.

[00:13:14] But anyway, moving on, yeah…

Another speaker:

Before we move on…. my favorite definition of weeds are plants that are adaptive to colonizing their ground biographs [13:32]. Well, the main problem I see is spraying anywhere beside like spraying is when you get the biograph, so you're going to ….. what you do next. One very simple thing that you can do is cut the worst weed, get them out however you can and you know most of what’s left….the end of the season border over the summer.

First speaker:

I totally agree and that's why, so this stuff that I’m talking about, especially with this. This is for the targeted spot application. I'm already assuming that you have done a lot of work in using mulch and that you're quickly getting these weeds before they go to seed…[14:23]… and get informed. You know these… And this is the stuff they mixed and now you want it like maybe not disturb the soil which is one of the benefits of this stuff. And you know we maybe don’t have the time to ….. but definitely yes, not, we want to landscape and not weed-scape. Alright we want, alright, that's the whole point.

But, so just like keep going and get to Christine thing, so we want to talk a little bit about what I call power weeding. So if you go to buy a power weeder, what the hell would you be buying? There isn’t any power weeder, right? I mean there is certainly real weeders and more of us….


Investment like 3 days, making the same, he could have bought it for 50 bucks and this doesn’t work. you see you next like wait a minute, that’s pretty awesome right there. Right, so I think that from that you know somebody comes up with some simple line or new things, there's an ability to get that out to the rest of the world now. You know it's good for us. But when it comes to like some of these machines, you know you can take tools that have really exist for certain purposes and just sort of not necessarily modified along single line and start taking wheels off and putting squares on instead of doing that. Don’t you a work? Ok, you’re not allowed to do that.

But I mean you know you, do have a certain tool that is designed for something with just a little different use, a little different purpose, you can get it to do different things. If you have a big diversion of something, so maybe you have, you know you have a line trimmer that you use for fence lines and really you know trimming grass and those ones that you work into the soil you know with computer, right. But you keep them separate, you have one tool that’s really for demolition work and one tool for finding …. It’s just a good philosophy. And as a tool get older, we have a lot more that we used to cut grass leaf often. It’s getting kind of tired and the new one, that older one, take it on the available.

So one of my favorite things is something I turned line cultivation which is really just using a stone turner but to really work it into the ground, takes a long time to learn how to do that well. You know but you can work into the roots of plants, you can definitely get rid of annuals …16:35… things like that doing that. You know the nice thing about that is that there is no degree piles compose, there is no transfer of weeds from one place to another. All that material put there including weeds, but if you want to see more, you could do this before things proceed, it works pretty well.

And you can flush out as we were saying; that the easy weeds things needs to be managed in a large area like that and the stuff that comes back or the fact that you know stuff that you can go back now and do by hand after you know dig them up those kind of things. Typically large areas and for me I can listen to podcasts because I’ve got hose headphones with the chords you know to the phone. But I don’t have any really good pictures of this, is actually very old but this is the same area you know and basically turn it into what looks like mulch and like twenty minutes or something like that. So there are real benefits to doing this but you already have these tools, right it's just a matter of practice and how do you use them using the shoulder strap appropriately you measure into your body and getting the right balance with the tool which is a good thing anyway. People have used this tool for a long period without a harness sign of it…..17:47… you can use it harness and balance that your body, you just kind of guiding it, less vibration. You don't have to rakeup all these piles as just quick. Drawbacks are you know, there are small allies but inside that will put the force through tremors and lots of the available.

You know when there's a lot of noise, it’s just like when you’re doing other kind of park operation. And basically you know it's like any other kind of cultivation. You know you're not removing the roots of weeds. You're cutting into them pretty deep but for some of these things with the timing and you can get really good results and not everybody wants to do this and then everyone never really goes to do to go from training to this cultivating …..18:32….. To do just take some practice over time but you can do really a lot of good with that.

These little mini tillers like the mantis and really this particular one is still on the machine. If you go to YouTube and you look up “Powerweeding”, you will also find that in India, there are people that are really interested in this idea of power wheels and they're really trying to stress that tool. In fact, I couldn't find this image again, but someone came up with this drone …[19:01]…. that was really looking like a smooth really nice…. sort of like a weed ….., you know, it has been around, it’s little drone with like a wire fitting and just little digging up of the roots of the grass and just passing through. But you know these machines; they can be used for weeding. Alright, so under the right circumstances and not just for tilling but for cultivating within areas where there are weeds for sure. And if you are going to do this you know in conjunction with the sheet mulching operation, you know maybe likely in areas like this and then quickly you get to lease materials that you can kind of grade and fill in divots and voids before you put cargo down the mulch. Yeah, all these things costs like 350 bucks. Get the 4/1 versus the 2/1, the smoke and it work a little better. And it’s a pretty good tour.


Bed redefining which is walk behind and stick models, than we define it as modified edges and this particular steel model, we can see in this picture, it’s better. It has a kind of scoop and the cut the scoop soil up and so when you work it along the edge of the bed, it makes a very nice one. Just a nice thing and it’s about 3 inches deep. And then you come right back into the mulch. It’s a great tool in that industry, you have lots of beds, the edge, and the mulch. But also it's getting really close to like doing the things you want just to totally do. It’s like you walk along and you just keep out the grass and some soil and make a little line, but quit a little contrast there.

But you can see we’re facilitating that the idea was a little further, a little wider, it’s actually weeding. You know you can just push it along. Actually, not pushing but pluming.

you know kind of weird in this tools, the need to move, you know the early analysis is if you’re going to move forward that you don’t use another, you using backward. And it’s always like reversed. It’s like everyone is like is like using it backwards and walking. But these are really cool tools in there and they're not that expensive, they’re dedicated ones, still has …..21:07… the tool, we can change its head or one of the heads, but except here, it really is, if you see this videos and you see what these people are doing, and they’re really close to it. I would want if I wanted them to really stay on. And now, you just the high and you can just go down about an inch. And if you want you can just cut into those weeds and grass. You can do that with this machine. So that also is getting very close to what I would call a power weeder.

You could also use it for this. That you know. That’s pretty awesome. So talk about hacks but this is a good image of the tool though, so you know here it is, it’s just that you know it got up here wheel or there spinning something right? And this …[21:49]…. about the skates. And then you can see here that’s a tuner head. Ask them if they still use them, it’s pretty impressive that you just push it in and it sounds praaaa, you know, it’s not on your body and everything. Yeah for like 500 bucks, it's something worth looking into.

Sod Cutters, I really have a place in my heart for these things because I've done a lot of these bay friendly turf conversion work in the past, among street meetings, and a sod cutter, if you just cut the strips off, flip ……into the sand and it crowns It’s bed. You created a place for your cardboard, but you’re dropping under a curb. You just do this like instantaneous conversions. You just cut the sides and flip it over and you laid out a cardboard, pool in the soil away down the mulch in one day. Right, now you can’t plant directly into that for sure but if you just mulch that for a while it cooks, ok, it cooks fast. You can go back pretty soon and especially if you do in one of these things remounting like foot of soil on top of all that.

[22:52]We have conclude with that and haven't really not come back very easily. That one you can plant the same day or very soon, but even if you don’t remove the sod or flip it over, if you undercut some, it might turn side anything you can mulch. Like weed and stuffs that’s you can mulch because apparently the side cutter has a very short gap between the bed night and the rig, right, it’s clogged. So you can’t go over tall... [23:19]. So you can mould something down, right, whatever it is grass and weeds and you get the bed knife under there, you cut it, three quarters of an inch, an inch and half whatever you want to do. Maybe that’s all you want to do. Alright, with cold water, should look like we’re spraying.

[00:23:37]Although place is not here right now, looks like …… just spray ….. and walk away on a hot day, the water for 2 days, put the water back on and in the same area, the sod that was caught is dead, right looks like it’s spread out. And this side makes it look alive because it didn’t get that treatment and as soon as it dies and decompose, it’s pretty close to a power weeder.

So you can kind of see here, if I, I don't have time to go back to see, almost the same day. I just, you know it took like 20 minutes to cut these lines, go back out there now, looks like the next straight line, like I just spread it out.

So, moving on to just the hand tools, you know they're just so many tools. Right and the people have museums, right [24:23]. like cultivator museums. And some of these tools have been around for hundreds of years and works just as well as they did originally and people are just always kind of tweak these things and take them all further. There's really nothing new in a cultivator or hoe but you know little improvements make a difference.

I'm promoting this bully brand of tools for no other reason, I just think they're really good tools and you know, they make a full line of shovels and hoes and rakes and construction tools. You can get the you know familiar with that tool that is used to taking off asphalt shingles off the roof, that a little weird, you know it’s just like this couple hoe and all these things are really, reasonably priced, You know when there was a couple of different shovel off competitions, the best shovel, I really like steels shovel like the wolverine shovel, you know steel handle shovels as long as it’s well when working around with ….,.it’s a great tools to have. They can do a lot of work for you. But in a head to head comparison with the wolverine and the other steel shovels and other wood handled shovels this bully one is like $30. Some of these shovels worth 90 bucks or more.

So we have the full line of tools and I just find, I get them from Robert's hardware because Robert Hardware is an approved vendor for the city and they're doing the best, chain hardware store like these and they get these bully tools and no, I’m just finding out more and more and the people really like them and that’s important, right. We get the tools and say yeah, I like this shovel. But then do something with it, you know, but they make these kind of hoes, you got to step on and rock, get the leverage and really dig up big clumps of grass and that kind of thing.


And believe me, the quality of these tools, the steel, the welds all that stuff is really there. They will add to Donald Trump’s White House making America great again because you know they're America ..[26:36].. … they have a small business and they make these nice tools and you know that's something to be proud of.

Another speaker:

Can you explain that again, what you said there.

First speaker:

What the Bradford?

Another speaker:


First speaker:

Yes, so, it's a one or two personal tool. They actually made two personal versions of these things with two people who are side by side. You get behind the thing, you work it down into something, right and then you step on it and you could use your leverage to hold back and for weeding, I mean it's for farming, right basically, but if you have a clump of grass that you're trying to get rid of, I wouldn’t say necessarily pompous grass or something like that, but maybe if it was the young one, you just get the leverage so it’s just full fork, but because your whole body is big and those cranes [27:22] are sharp and thick, you get deep end and you get a very good leverage on it.

Another Speaker: …… Blackberry roots

First speaker:

No, not as good, because there, you know, the roots of blackberries aren’t fibrous. It’s really bad for fibrous stuffs, grasses especially. But yeah, but I mean really anything, you’ll get a clod out. You get a big clog much bigger than a shovel, easier on your body. And they do make these two person ones

The thing that's really good for that for me is the trench shovel. So, I didn't bring in a lot of tools, but the thing I like about trench shovel is that for weeding and for blackberry in particularly, is that it's very strong right here.

Ok, this is real and if you get four to five of it, really good leverage. It’s very specific and then you just get right down on it, on the tap root of something and then one we do Blackberry wiggle it, wiggle it down in there you get the lever, you get a lot of flex, it doesn't break, it put the head a collar and trench shovels, we just have it for planting too because they're just more user friendly if you need small holes, you know for one down and smaller stocks. And then you very quickly dig your holes, loose in the soil, especially if it's like Michael, I don’t need like school bell [28:46] or whatever, move it over here and dual is like basically just kind of turning the soil off up, making it ugly side to have hole for roots to go in, to get the plant in and then your weeding and planting is lightweight to go forward, it’s a good tool.

There is always different sizes and widths you know down to three inches, five, seven, but you know $30 for a trench shovel, it’s really $30 that’s well spent.