In 1999, we reported “Researchers are working on a fungus that will kill dandelions. Much more research is needed before this product will be on the market. It is hoped that it will be available by 2002.”
Well, now it is 2007, and more testing and work has been done. Much of it has been done at McGill University by Dr. Alan Watson. Now, the product is getting closer to being available, possibly in 2009 or 2010.
This new organic herbicide product has been named Sarritor. (Sarritor was a minor Roman god of agriculture, god of hoeing and weeding.) Sarritor has the potential to provide an alternatiive weed control to 2,4-D the most commonly used weed killer used right now for the ubiquitous dandelion.
According to the website at sarritor.ca , this product will eliminate dandelions and other broadleaf weeds in 5-7 days. Once the weeds have died, the fungus will also die and there will be no residue. The product does not pose a risk to human health or the environment and is compatible with normal lawn maintenance operations such as mowing, fertilization, and irrigation.
The active ingredient in Sarritor is a strain of Sclerotinia minor, a naturally occurring fungus in Canada that infects susceptible dandelion plants and destroys dandelion plant tissues above ground.
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