Garden Q&A: Are chemical weedkillers used in public spaces?

Whether you're a gardening beginner or expert, Irish Examiner columnist Peter Dowdall has the answer to your questions
Garden Q&A: Are chemical weedkillers used in public spaces?

Irish Examiner gardening columnist Peter Dowdall. Picture: John Allen

QUESTION

Are chemical-based weedkillers used in public spaces?

ANSWER

A motion from the Green Party's Mark Hackett calling for chemical-based weedkillers to no longer be used in public spaces in Offaly on a trial-basis measure received unanimous support from Offaly's county councillors recently.

This is an interesting move and one to be largely commended. 

I will be very interested to see what they use instead to control weeds. 

Will they go back to the good old-fashioned hand-weeding? 

I do hope so. 

Anything that will reduce the blanket devastation of wildflowers and habitats on roadside and kerbside verges is to be applauded — but I hope it’s not replaced by organic weedkillers containing some far more harmful ingredients and instead these verges are left alone.

What will be just as interesting will be to see how they control invasive species such as Japanese knotweed and Himalayan balsam in Offaly for, to the best of my knowledge, glyphosate is what is used by local authorities throughout Ireland to control these invasives.

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