Weeds are spreading everywhere, even in the lawn, where they are continually being displaced. For many lawn owners, weeding is time consuming and arduous. In addition, the roots often get stuck when they are pulled out and the weeds have grown again after just a few days. With the following instructions, the production of an environmentally friendly product with the same effect as chemical commercial products is possible for everyone.
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Legal regulation for weed killers
Basically, the use of weed killers in Germany is restricted by law. Paragraph 1 of the Plant Protection Act sets special conditions and states that only approved products may be used, the components of which do not have any natural endangering effects or these are only approved for a specific area of application.
Commercially available products meet these conditions. When manufacturing weed killers, attention should be paid to substances that do not violate the law.
Vinegar and salt
Many hobby gardeners are familiar with the effects of salt and / or vinegar on weeds. However, they belong to the forbidden substances and may under no circumstances be brought into the soil as weed killers (Section 12 (1) PflSchG). They can also cause the following reactions:
- Change in soil quality
- The surrounding plants die
- Salt or vinegar will damage the sward
- Leaves large bare areas
- In the worst case, no lawn or other plants will grow on treated areas for years to come
Nettle manure is highly effective against most weeds in the lawn. Its use has not yet been prohibited by law, although rumors about it are often circulating. This is based on a ban in France. A few years ago the law was passed here and nettle manure was banned as a forbidden substance for weed killing and fertilization.
The reason given was that it had not been proven whether the manure was completely free of pesticides. In Germany such a law against the manufacture and use of nettle manure is not to be expected.
The Plant Protection Act clearly stipulates where weed killers, regardless of their type and ingredients, may be used. In general, there is a ban on sealed floor coverings such as asphalt, tar surfaces or terraces. Use on lawns is permitted as long as there are no solid trails or the like. As soon as the surface has hardened / sealed, the weed killer collects on the surface when it rains / irrigation and cannot drain into the soil. So it gets into the sewer system, where it can cause massive problems in the waterworks. Accordingly, care must be taken to ensure that even weed killers made in-house are only distributed over the lawn and that any soil compaction is left out. If you still want to use weed killers on these areas,
Effect of nettle manure
Nettle manure has proven its effectiveness against dandelions, groundgrass and bindweed in the lawn countless times. You need to be more patient with moss. It may be necessary to repeat the application and a satisfactory result may take up to two weeks to come.
Nettle and especially the most common nettle (Urtica dioica) contain formic acid. This is located in the fine hairs, especially on the leaves. In addition to the nitrogen compounds that are released during fermentation for manure, the poison of formic acid ensures that weeds die off.
In order not to attack the lawn, a weaker concentration is used than that used for fertilizing with nettle manure. Anyone who has already made the manure for fertilization must dilute it accordingly to kill weeds.
A location should be chosen for the container and the production of the nettle manure that is at a sufficient distance from seats or places to stay. A strong odor will develop during fermentation, which is usually perceived as very unpleasant. For this reason, the container should not be under open windows, near the terrace, but also not too close to the neighboring building, where the smell could also be annoying.
Prepare to manufacture
- Required materials from nettle manure
- Fresh nettles (can be found mainly on the edges of fields and in forests – amount: about one yellow sack full)
- Plastic buckets or buckets
- A lid, a plate or the like to close the container
- Stick for stirring
- 500 grams of primary rock flour to neutralize the odor
- If necessary, face mask
- Watering can for manure application on weeds
Make sure that the base is solid so that the vat cannot tip over.
Instructions: Making the nettle manure
- Protect exposed skin with gloves and a long-sleeved shirt
- Cut the collected nettles into small pieces
- Fill the container three-quarters full with the nettles
- Fill the container completely up with water
- Add primary rock flour
- Stir the mixture well
- If possible, close the container somewhat airtight
- Open every two days and stir the contents (if necessary, put on a face mask against the odor)
- After about two weeks let the contents rest (do not open or stir)
- The nettle manure is ready after three weeks at the latest
Nettle manure as a weed killer
Once the nettle manure has been produced, it must be diluted for use as a weed killer. A ratio of 1: 9 is sufficient.
It is best to use a watering can, into which one liter of the liquid manure and nine liters of water are filled. It should then be stirred well again so that the liquid manure is completely mixed with the water. Now the nettle manure is ready to use as a weed killer for the lawn.
The weeds are moistened with the nettle manure wherever possible. It is important to ensure that it is not drowned, because too much of the natural weed killer can pollute the surrounding lawn. The soil could become acidic and the liquid manure could get into the groundwater.
For these reasons, the application should in principle also be limited to a maximum of twice a year. It is best to use it in spring, when the first weeds grow, and in summer / late summer to remove new weeds.
The use of weed killers of any kind is subject to certain legal conditions that must be observed. Nettle manure is an optimal, environmentally friendly alternative to chemical products. The production is uncomplicated with the help of the instructions here. The effects are effective when the correct dose and dilution are used.