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.