Thursday 4 October 2012

Buying glyphosate

If you buy glyphosate as a ready-to-use spray, you are either very rich or have a very small garden. A back of the envelope calculation for a litre of diluted spray would be...
  • Ready to use - GB£4
  • Made up spray from garden centre concentrate - 60 pence
  • Made up from commercial concentrate - 6 pence

In the UK, pesticide regulations split the market into amateur and professional. A typically British system, part legislation, part smoke and mirrors, leads us to believe that it is illegal for the amateur to use the commercial product. This divided market suits the ‘trade’.
  • Margins are maintained for garden centres and shops.
  • Some trade suppliers do not want to deal with small orders: they are also very aware that certain agricultural products are very dangerous to the untrained user.

Commercial growers, farmers, landowners and those with official ‘smallholdings’ may use commercial glyphosate. I myself am certificated to use it (some say certifiable!). It must be very galling to a UK amateur gardener to know that if he went to a garden centre or supermarket in France he would find one-litre containers of commercial strength glyphosate (360gm/litre) on the shelves.

A few Glyphosate products
Numerous brands of glyphosate are now available. I love the way their names have preserved ‘the old corral’ image of the original Roundup.
  • Tumbleweed. You can just see tumbleweed rolling across the prairie. It also gives an apt image of how a sprayed weed just slowly disintegrates.
  • Hoedown. The product I currently use.
  • Lasso (not available in the UK)

Strength of the diluted spray
It is easy to fall into the trap of thinking that, because the commercial product is more concentrated, it is more effective. This is an illusion. When diluted at the recommended rate, for most practical purposes, all products are the same.

Recommended dilutions are slightly greater for more difficult weeds. It is important to appreciate that exceeding maximum limits is counter productive and the spray is less effective!

* But read this - it generated a very sensible comment from Maryann.

Maryann, VA  6 September 2012 15:24
A little glyphosate is good, a lot is NOT necessarily better.
It’s been found that it is possible to chemically burn plants before glyphosate has been delivered into the plant body. Plants treated in this way are able to re-sprout from their roots.


  1. I have a company in NZ that makes a gel from Glyphosate. This makes it possible to use glyphosate in a really targeted way and I have products for treating stumps of big shrub weeds, leafy weeds and weeds in your lawn. I'd love to bring them to the UK but the regs are a bit too complex to make it worthwhile. I'd love to find a company in the UK that would be willing to take this on though. You can see my products at

  2. Hi Andy best of luck with your products. I don't mind the occasional self promotion when it is constructive. Glad google did not filter you out as is does so cleverly with the usual advertising garbage!

  3. Hello Roger, can you please tell me where I can purchase Hoedown, thanks Colin

  4. Hi anon
    I have recently written about the problems of buying glyphosate
    Many firms at the moment freely sell it on the net. There is no special merit in Hoedown and my present form is Rodeo! As long as its 180gm/litre strength its the right stuff!
    If you read my link it explains why I cannot give you a supplier!
    If my link does not work (Its still a new trick for me) then it was posted end of July2015


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