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Extension > Garden > SULIS > Maintenance > Sustainable Lawncare Information Series > Weed Management > Organic Weed Control

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Organic Weed Control

One of the biggest challenges in an organic lawn care program is providing adequate weed control.  It is important to remember that good cultural practices are just as much a part of controlling weeds as are the use of herbicides.

When wanting to grow lawns organically, be sure that sound cultural practices are in place or can be implemented to give as much of a competitive edge to the desired grass plants as possible. Table 10.3 lists organic weed control products currently available to homeowners.

Table 10.3. Organic Weed Control Products

The availability of natural products for use in killing weeds is quite limited. Currently there are two major groups where these products are found.


  • Corn gluten meal
  • Dried Distillers Grain; It should be noted that any claimed herbicidal effects of DDG have not been proven or verified as they have been for corn gluten meal

Postemergence, nonselective:

  • Acetic acid and/or citric acid combined with various plant oils such as clove oil, garlic oil, sodium lauryl sulfate

Recent research at the University of Minnesota involving corn gluten meal as a fertilizer and weed suppresser were evaluated. For a complete report of this study see Corn Gluten Meal Fertilizer / Weed Control Study in the Appendix.

For more information on corn gluten meal see:

Corn Gluten Meal - A Natural Weed and Feed for Lawns and Gardens

Proceed to Choosing an Herbicide

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