residual Herbicides in Vegetable garden

Asked July 31, 2017, 5:09 PM EDT

A neighbor is resurrecting her vegetable garden after two years of abandonment. She wants to use Roundup to kill all plants and bushes. How long will the Roundup last and how much time is needed before she can plant vegetables? Are there any safer alternatives? She is a senior citizen.

Howard County Maryland

1 Response

When is she hoping to plant?
If not until next year, she could consider pulling/pruning out any shrubby plants, mowing and then covering the area with landscape paper or other material to smother the plants that are there.
"Lasagna" gardening begins this way. Here is an article from our website about it: http://extension.umd.edu/growit/food-gardening-101/step-3-prepare-your-soil

Certainly another organic option is to hand pull. It is hard work, but perhaps there is a younger person in the community willing to help or be hired briefly to accomplish this.
Having someone till the area is also an option, just be sure there are no plants like thistles there... they can grow from every little peice that is cut up, becoming a real pest.

While we always opt for the most organic practices for edible gardens, there are formulations of Round Up which are labeled for use in vegetable gardens. She would have to read the label carefully for the intervals listed for when edible plants can be planted after using the herbicide. Some vegetables, notably tomatoes, are very sensitive to herbicides, and the intervals are very long.

cm