There are many natural insecticides in the world, but the effective natural herbicide which can help fight against the weeds are not that many. Also, if these plants are used in the wrong place, they may result in more hazards than the benefits. Generally, black walnuts, sunflower, Artemisia shrubs and spotted knapweed are some good options as natural plant herbicides. These plants will secrete chemicals which is able to kill surrounding plants.
Many researchers have strong interests on these chemicals because they can be extracted for commercial use. For example, scientists extract catechol chemicals from spotted knapweed root for controlling the expansion of weeds. Currently, there are a lot of similar herbicide options people can choose from. These chemicals can only kill specific plants instead of all plants in the surrounding area.
Black walnut is another common option for weed removal and extraction of essential oil from its leaves is often used in the production of commercial herbicides. Other organic herbicides are primarily used to control the weeds on commercial lawn. They will be applied before the germination of vegetable seeds so that they can effectively destroy other plants roots before they get established. One of the examples is the corn gluten meal which was originally developed as fungal growth medium. Researchers have found that it can also inhibit the growth of other plants including some types of weeds. It is often applied during the sprouting phase on lawns.
Today, more and more researches on natural herbicides still continue. Some agricultural experts also noted that the winter rye and wheat straws can inhibit the grow of some plants. Some researchers believe that crop covering with a layer of rye can effectively kill weeds. The latest cereal herbicide can kill invasive plant as well while preserving the crop. Usually, natural weed killer will draw more attention than their chemical counterparts. However, they are still toxic substances which have negative effect on both humans and animals. Usage of such natural herbicides also needs to take necessary safety precautions.
Image provide By Alan Vernon (Flickr: Spotted Knapweed (Centaurea maculosa)) [CC-BY-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
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