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#95105 January 16th, 2007 at 05:00 PM
Joined: Oct 2006
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We make our own compost, and we want our compost to remain organic. We try to maintain a completely organic yard, but the lawn weeds are getting the best of us. Trying to even partially keep up with the lawn weeds by hand is taking needed time away from my job and other responsibilities. We're considering using a pre-emergent weed deterrent and/or "weed 'n' feed" on the lawns (although we'll continue to pull weeds by hand elsewhere in the yard). However, we currently use the lawn clippings in our compost, and we're not sure how safe it would be to do that if we use the weed deterrent products on the lawns. (The compost is used for our vegetable plants, which we want to remain organic.) Can anyone tell us: 1) How much of a health risk would there be if we use lawn clippings in compost used on vegetables after using weed deterrent products on the lawns? 2) If there is an unacceptable health risk, how long after application would it take for the chemicals to dissipate enough that it would be safe to use the lawn clippings in the compost again? (Note: Removing the lawns is not an option, because we don't own the home where we live.)

#95106 January 16th, 2007 at 05:16 PM
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Hello Carolyn.

I use a liquid weed 'n' feed method as you mentioned, and this has instructions on it with regard to composting. It says to throw away the first 2 cuts, and then to allow the remaining cuts to compost for a minimum of 6 months.

See if your preferred brand has similar instructions on the pack.

#95107 January 17th, 2007 at 03:23 AM
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Try mowing your lawn longer and get it more healthy. It will largely outcompete weeds if it is in good condition and is nice and thick. Most people mow their lawns too short.

#95108 January 17th, 2007 at 04:55 AM
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There is also a product out there called... corn gluten or cornmeal gluten that works as an organic pre-emergent. Here\'s an article on it. I've heard that it can get expensive if you have to buy a whole lot though... From what I remember it runs around $40-50 for a 50 lb bag that covers 2500 sq ft...

#95109 March 5th, 2007 at 10:06 PM
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I pour boiling water over the crabgrass and when it dies I dig it out , add some compost and fresh soil and add some grass seed over the top . It works too . It is a little unsightly for a few days with the dead spot or the bare spot but after the seed takes it fills in nicely . I also do this with dandelions , just remember when you dig them out both have a long tap root and you must get it all or they come back .


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