Thursday, March 22, 2012

Poison Hemlock... my nemesis.

Well, praise His Almighty Name, spring is here!! What a blessing this weather has been!! Sunshine beaming, flowers in full bloom, grass greener than I can remember...wonderful!! 

Oh, and the weeds are thriving as well. Our farm sat empty for several years and in the back near our creek, poison hemlock has taken over. Hemlock is poisonous to just about everything including people, horses, goats, chickens, so needless to say it has got to go!  

This is the year that we claim victory over this battle!! Hemlock...your days are numbered...

First, we had a weed expert come out (from a nearby university) and he recommended treating with 2-4-D. He said it was safe and just fine to use near the creek. 

Look at the rap sheet for this chemical...

 Symptoms of 2,4-D poisoning in exposed people include irritation and inflammation of eyes and skin, hives, nausea,
vomiting, throat irritation, headache, dizziness, coughing, and difficulty breathing.
In laboratory animals, human cells, and exposed people 2,4-D caused genetic damage. Scientists have also demonstrated that 2,4-D affects hormones in exposed people and laboratory animals. Three recent laboratory studies indicate that 2,4-D has the ability to reduce the effectiveness of the immune system.
2,4-D (and the entire family of phenoxy herbicides) is classified as possibly carcinogenic by the International Agency
for Research on Cancer. Studies of exposed farmers support this classification.
New studies indicate that 2,4-D reduces fertility in several ways. 2,4-D exposure is associated with low sperm counts.
2,4-D also damaged sperm and male sex organs in laboratory studies. When low doses of a commercial 2,4-D herbicide were fed to pregnant laboratory animals, average litter size was reduced by about 20 percent.
According to the most recent data collected by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, some 2,4-D is contaminated with 2,3,7,8-TCDD, a potent dioxin.
Monitoring by the U.S. Geological Survey showed that 2,4-D is frequently found in rivers and streams. It is also often measured in air samples.
2,4-D use on lawns is linked with an increased risk of cancer in dogs.

Umm, I think we'll pass! Between the babies (present and future!), dogs, broodmares, and us it is not worth the risk!

So, we've decided to attack the hemlock with 1. our weed eater, 2. fire, 3. good ole' white vinegar. 

I'll keep you posted! The vinegar definitely weakens the plant with one treatment, but I'm trying to figure out if and how often it might need to be reapplied. There are two dirt mounds that are covered with hemlock and ... we have our burn permit ready to go!

Make sure as you get ready to tackle any weeds you have to read the labels on these chemicals! Or better yet, don't use them at all! A gallon of vinegar is about $2.25 at Walmart (get the Heinz brand, as it is not made from petroleum)  I'm using full strength for this project but for more mild weed control, I bet you could dilute and it would go further.

If anyone has other all natural herbicides (or suggestions) let me know!!

No comments:

Post a Comment