The Bottom Line
A subsidiary of The Scotts Company, Ortho recently unveiled one of the first natural broadleaf weed killers ever. It's active ingredient is iron, so while not labeled organic, iron is a naturally occurring substance and it's safer to use than conventional broadleaf weed killers containing 2,4-D.
EcoSense lawn and weed killer has so far proven to me to be a valuable tool in staving off the advancement of common broadleaf weeds like plantain, clover and dandelion while avoiding the use of chemicals like 2,4-D, Dicamba, Mecoprop and others.
- Safer than 2,4-D based broadleaf weed killers
- No mixing, just spray it directly onto the weeds
- Safe re-entry for people and pets as soon as product dries on plant
- No chemical smell
- Repeated applications may be necessary
- Not labeled organic
- Heavy applications can discolor turf, turning it black temporarily
- Available in 24 oz. Ready to Use spray bottle or 1 Gallon Pull 'N Spray jug
- Water based with active ingredient derived from naturally occurring iron
- Repeat treatment in 3 to 4 weeks for best results
- Controls or suppresses many broadleaf weeds including: Dandelion, Clover, Black medic, Chickweed, Broadleaf plantain, Moss.
Guide Review - Reviewed: EcoSense Lawn Weed Killer by Ortho
While not quite the silver bullet that organic landscapers have been hoping for, it is a step in the right direction. Iron has been used for quite some time as a foliar spray for a quick green up of turf without the growth spurt that fertilizers provide. It has only recently been discovered to have a deadly effect on broadleaf weeds.
Going organic usually means limitations on product choices and effectiveness. There are organic alternatives for almost every conventional lawn care product except for selective weed control. Thankfully, organic innovations are rapidly catching up to their conventional counterparts. When I discovered Ortho EcoSense Lawn Weed Killer, I was skeptical but relieved to at least give it a try. I've been using it regularly as a spot spray ever since with excellent results. Ortho EcoSense is not organic though and can best be described as naturally occuring, and in that sense it may be safer than traditional chemical pesticides.
It still has some limitations. Like many lawn care products, it shouldn't be applied if the temperature is above 85˚. It can discolor the surrounding grass, turning it dark green or even black temporarily. It works best when the weeds are in their beginning stages, and several applications may be necessary for full effect.
Even with these limiting factors I still like this product. Compared to conventional broadleaf weed killers, there is no headache-inducing odor, children and pets can return to the lawn upon the product drying on the plant, and the health and environmental risks are reduced compared to traditional selective herbicides..