Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Spectracide Is Superior To Ortho

Just because we don't have lawns full of green grass in Arizona (and if you do have a full yard of grass, why do you live in the desert again?) does not mean we lack weeds. With the abundant Spring rains we had that filled the Salt and Agua Fria rivers, weeds are plentiful this year.

I used to use Roundup, on the basis of a) it worked rapidly and killed weeds and b) Dr Desert Flower was a proponent of it, saying how once it hits the soil, it begins to break down & degrade into simple carbon and nitrogen compounds, so it doesn't build up soil toxicity. Then I saw Food Inc, and how Monsanto is destroying small independent farmers who don't use their seeds - but whose neighboring fields do - and I vowed not to buy Roundup again.

On a side note, I know a "Master Gardener" in South Carolina, Kelly, who told me to use boiling water to kill my weeds. I went out and bought a tea kettle, and boiled water, and poured it on my South Carolina hearty weeds, and it took forever and it stunk terribly (imagine rotting cabbage smells), and it used a great deal of fossil fuel generated energy to make the hot water... so while boiling water is the least environmentally invasive solution, it's a massive pain in the neck.

So last year I went out and bought a gallon of Spectracide. It was made by United Products, a conglomerate, but not affiliated with Monsanto. It worked. I ran out of Spectracide about a month ago, so I am at Home Depot and they have Ortho in gallons, so I buy one. First subtle warning sign of the market - it was 1/2 the price of the Spectracide, which I should have realized was a bad thing straight away. But I dumbly thought I was getting a bargain! I bring the Ortho home, and spray some of the weeds around my house, and the weeds laugh at me. They wilt a little the first day, and then keep right on growing, and pollinating, and thriving. I reapply 2 days later, DOUSING the weeds, dripping wet - like one plunger pull, per weed - and then they slowly, over a period of about a week, turn brown and die. Not very efficient.

Across from our mailboxes is an abandoned foreclosed home, with 5 to 6 foot tall weeds in the front yard. I see it everyday when I go to get my mail, and I noticed that some of the giant weeds are starting to pollinate - Ugh! SO I go and get my gallon of Ortho, and from the side walk, apply about 1/2 a gallon. Again, the weeds laughed at me. So 2 days later, I put all the rest of the gallon, aiming mainly at the seed pods, getting ready to fly in the wind, to knock them down to the ground of the foreclosed home. 4 days later, the weeds are still thriving in the foreclosure, Ortho uselessness proven again.

So I have purchased a gallon of Spectracide. It has one of those annoying triggers to it, that cramps my hand after repeated use, so I will rinse the Ortho gallon, and transfer Spectracide ingredients into the Ortho pump-pull, making sure to not mix residual herbicides.

Use boiling water if you have the time, patience, and ample heating sources
Use Roundup if you support the demise of the small American farmer and the dominance of giant agribusiness to bring you all of your food.
Use Ortho if you want your weeds to laugh at you, and waste alot of time putting herbicides on your lawn that don't work,
Use Spectracide, and kill your weeds quickly.


  1. If you still have some of the Ortho put some Dawn or Joy in your sprayer - a tiny bit. That will help with the Ortho. But yeah, stick to Spectracide. I used to use RU but Monstanto sucks.

  2. Try straight white vinegar with some dawn and a little water in a pump sprayer ...works great & completely enviromentally friendly

  3. I have no more grass to kill =) ...but I will take it under advisement if I ever need to kill grass again.


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