Learn / Ask The Landscape Professional
I understand that Sprigs and Twigs uses only organic solutions and I was wondering what options were available to stop weed growth through mulch. In the past, I have used applications of Preen prior to adding new mulch to the beds, is this safe?
Sprigs & Twigs has chosen to stay away from Preen for a number of reasons.
First, Preen contains corn gluten, which is marketed as a pre-emergent weed
preventer. Although corn gluten has been around forever(and is certainly
organic), it is has never taken hold as a weed preventer. Independent research
has shown corn gluten to be largely ineffective and a waste of money. Second,
corn gluten is loaded with nitrogen which can "over fertilize" the soil. Once this
happens, weeds and grass will grow more, which, in turn; increases thatch buildup,
basically creating more trouble and maintenance. Third, Preen contains
over 98% "inert" ingredients (which are likely not organic) that the manufacturer
doesn't have to reveal. There have been a number of court cases where "inert"
ingredients found in products have turned out to be toxic. Billions of dollars
are spent marketing these products as "safe", when in reality they can be
very harmful, or a waste of money! There is no way of really knowing until the
contents are revealed by the manufacturer (not likely to happen). Finally, up until
fifteen years ago, I used Preen in my own gardens and sadly discovered that
birds eat it and it kills them as evidenced by the number of bird carcasses I had
to clean up after I watched them eat Preen.
The best approach for weeds is mulching and manual weeding any that come
up. Sprigs & Twigs also successfully uses "Avenger" Organic Weed Killer which
kills weeds safer, better and faster than Roundup. Avenger is a broad spectrum
weed killer, meaning it will kill anything it touches, so you must be careful it
doesn't get on your plants. We sell Avenger in both ready-to-use and concentrate
forms at our office at 41 Kings Highway in Gales Ferry. Give us a call at
860-235-0752 for more information on Avenger or any of your landscape, lawn
care or tree care needs.
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About Linda Lillie
Linda K. Lillie is the President of Sprigs & Twigs, Inc, the premier
landscape design and maintenance, tree care, lawn care, stonework, and carpentry
service provider in southeastern Connecticut since 1997. She is a graduate of
Connecticut College in Botany, a Connecticut Master Gardener and a national
award winning landscape designer for her landscape design and landscape installation work.