Working With Glyphosate

For anyone who does a lot of gardening you have probably heard of glyphosate. This is a very broad spectrum herbicide that is used to kill weeds in vegetable gardens. While it is a very effective herbicide, it should be handled very carefully and can lead to some health problems.

What Is Glyphosate?

Glyphosate is an organically based pesticide and herbicide that does affect the nervous system much like other different pesticides. It is a non-selective herbicide. This means that glyphosate does not discriminate in what it kills. It will kill all the plants in the area that you apply the chemical to. Grass, vegetables, plants, and flowers are all targeted as well as the weeds.

How It Is Used

Glyphosate is generally absorbed through the leaves of the plant, or weed. After that it is then transported through the entire plant killing all the parts of the plant. Use of Glyphosate is wide spread and is used in many different applications. Used to controlĀ  many different annual, biennial, and perennial grasses, broad leaf weeds, creeping ground covering weeds, and woody shrubs you can find Glyphosate in many areas. Fruit orchards, vineyards, personal gardens, and plantations will all benefit from the use of this herbicide.

Crops And Non Crops

Glyphosate is used in a lot of crop applications, but it is also used in many different areas. Foresters will use the chemical to help with the growth of new trees. Public works departments will also make use of it by controlling weeds on the shoulders of roads.

Toxicity of Glyphosate

There is some concern with toxic poisoning when Glyphosate is used as on crops. This is mostly seen in the use of large applications and very high doses of the chemical. Some of the other chemical found in pesticides, and herbicides with Glyphosate are very toxic. In particular, polyoxyethylene amines are more toxic than Glyphosate and is a leading cause of problems associated with workers who become sick after application.

This does not mean that Glyphosate is not toxic to animals or humans. In California alone, Glyphosate is the third leading cause of pesticide related illnesses. Fish and invertebrates are more susceptible to the chemical than are humans and animals, so use must be regulated around any wetlands.

Handling Glyphosate

Never handle glyphosate with out protective equipment. Gloves at a minimum should always be used when handling this chemical. Really, a full set of protective gear should be employed. Safety glasses, air breather, apron, and even heavy rubber boots.

Mixing Chemical With Water

Measure specific amounts of the Glyphosate and water into a sprayer according to the package directions. Once the bottle is full, place the lid on securely and shake the bottle to thoroughly mix the two ingredients.

Spraying on Garden

Glyphosate is most commonly used prior to planting any crops. This should be done a few weeks before sowing any seeds in the ground. Spray the herbicide onto the leaves of the plants and weeds that you want to eradicate. Do not spray into the ground as this will severely inhibit the soil and result in not being able to grow anything that season.