Monday, March 7, 2011

Mushrooms Are a Natural Weed Killer

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Researchers in Saskatchewan are developing a new all-natural herbicide which could solve many weedy problems.

"Things like dandelion, Canada thistle, chickweed, plantain, clovers — lot weeds that are in our lawn areas," Karen Bailey, one of a team of researchers with Agri-Food Canada, told CBC News in a recent interview about their work.

Bailey said the weed killer is derived from a fungus found in the Melfort area of Saskatchewan, about 160 kilometres northeast of Saskatoon.

"The seedlings come up white and they die very quickly," Bailey added, describing the effect of the fungus on a dandelion. "It's taken up by the plant roots and as the fungus grows inside of the root itself it's releasing the toxin into the plant."

In two weeks, the dandelion is dead.

She said the best part about their discovery it that it does not harm grass or grain crops.

She added it take about two to three years before the product can be produced for commercial sales.

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