Regenerative Fertilizers and Herbicides

Before there were herbicides farmers used the plow to control weeds. Lawns were composed of what many now call weeds.

Our staff has researched many synthetic herbicides. Everyone we have reviewed has either been toxic to human or wildlife and/or an endocrine disrupting compound (EDC).

Prior to 1911 there was no synthetic fertilizer. The great German chemist Franz Haber co-invented the Haber Bosh process. This created an agricultural revolution in part allowing rapid growth of human population on Planet Earth. But there is the law of unintended consequences even with something as wonderful as synthetic fertilizer.

Human production of food and energy breaks the triple bonds of atmospheric nitrogen into what is called reactive nitrogen (Nr). Nr eventually washes into our bays and oceans and suffocates wildlife.

SoilKeepers regenerative landscape management only uses synthetic herbicides surgically, such as when controlling invasive trees and vines. We try to never spray synthetic herbicides our of concern for potential health impacts on our staff and wildlife. And we never spray synthetic herbicides close to streams and rivers.

So, how do we do control “weeds” – as some say a plant that is out of place? We use the following cultural methods and materials most often in combination.

Selective and conservation mowing allowing desirable species to compete with undesirable ones. For example, this can mean paying close attention to mowing height when some weeds produce seed.

Combining complementary desirable plants that together can effectively fight weeds.

Horticultural vinegar

Heat and Flame


Alteration of soil biology to provide less favorable growing conditions for some weeds

Note: Our view is that there is a role for synthetic herbicides but only when used with much greater degrees of caution than generally presently employed by most users. And we also believe that there will always be a need for inorganic nitrogen, but likely at much lower doses than generally employed by most users.