Saturday, February 7, 2009

Sarritor: fact or fiction?

I've been hearing a lot about Sarritor as an effective weed control and thought it was about time to explore this product, since some lawn companies are pushing it as "God's gift to weed control". Let's compare it to other methods of organic weed control.

Sarritor: A product developed by Dr. Allan Watson at McGill University. Sarritor is a naturally occurring fungus. When applied to a broad leaf weed, the fungus will grow into the weed and absorb the plant tissues until the weed is completely gone. Once the weed is gone, the fungus disappears.

Control: Basically for dandelions. Little or no effect on other broad leaf weeds.

Application: Spot treatment.

Time: It usually takes between 5 and 7 days to eliminate the weeds while leaving white fungal blotches on your lawn until weed is gone.

Lawn Flag: Although registered by the PMRA, pesticide signage is needed. So if you were thinking you were going to escape the guilt trip from an eco-conscious neighbour, think again.

What you need to do: Watering is the most important aspect of getting this product to work. Watering the lawn after the application is finished, or as soon as possible, you need to water for a minimum of 15 mins. If rain is not forecasted for the next few days then you may be required to keep the lawn moist for the next few days, to ensure it does not dry out.

Normal mowing practices can be resumed 3 days after the application of Sarritor. Also try to avoid heavy traffic on the lawn for at least 3 days to allow the product to work more effectively.

Cost: The cheapest 1 year program I could find in Durham with this product was $237.15 prepaid for 4,000 square feet of lawn, but did not include aeration.

Turf Maize Pro: Corn Gluten Meal, organic mixture acts as a fertilizer,crab grass pre-emergent, weed inhibitor.

Control: Smooth crabgrass, all broad leaf weeds.

Application: Broadcast in a spreader at 10 lbs per 1,000 square feet. Will leave the lawn looking slightly orange. This product must be applied as a preemergent in the spring and a post emergent in the fall for best result.

Time: Unlike the previous product, the lawns hue will return to normal with precipitation or watering. This is a preventative application and has little or no effect after the weed has established.

Lawn Flag: If applied as a fertilizer, no pesticide sign is needed.

What you need to do: Water this product, or wait for natural precipitation if it is forecast soon after application.

Cost: Approx $249.00 for the season, included 1 application of Turf Maize Pro as well as aeration and over-seeding based on 4,000 square feet.

Traditional methods: Otherwise known as pulling the frickin' weed out by hand.

Control: Everything if you want to spend hours picking it all out.

Application: Spot treatment. A Weed Hound device I find works best. The Fisker weed pullers take too much of your turf.

Time: Although a little more time consuming than Sarritor spot treatment, you don't have to wait for the weed to die. You simply pull it and it's gone as long as you get the root.

Lawn Flag: Regular company flag, or none at all.

What you need to do: Nothing.

Cost: The most budget conscious program I could find with this element in it, was $149.00 prepaid for the year based on 4,000 square feet.

Eco-clear: Organic liquid compound. Works well on driveways and interlocking, but is not recommended for lawn treatment unless you're looking to kill everything around the treated area much like Round-up. Applied in spot treatment usually and is relatively effective on all weed types.

Regardless of what method or product you decide to use the best way to keep your lawn weed-free and healthy is by a sound maintenance regimen of fertilization, over-seeding, aeration, irrigation, dethatching and cutting. If that's not working , you need to have the soil tested, because there are deeper issues at work.


  1. If the New Lawn grasses can cope up with the stress, it will be healthy and dense and will be able to resist disease. Sometime the disease may spread and it becomes out of any control. However, the disease resistant cultivars can be implemented to avoid future problems.

  2. Thanks for the valuable feedback. I think that strategy is sound and can be easily replicable.Great posts. I love this article.
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