Sugar for Weeds on Lawns!!

Discussion in 'Organic Lawn Care' started by michaelthomas1, Jan 28, 2011.

  1. michaelthomas1

    michaelthomas1 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 26

    Anyone using sugar to control weeds on lawns? Dr. Suzanne Prober says that sugar on lawns causes the microbes to eat like a glutten and causes the weeds to starve. 1 # per 1000. Any comments on anyone who has experimented with this? Some have said they mix it with soybean meal.

    Type in (google) Dr Suzanne Prober sugar on lawns:)
  2. fl-landscapes

    fl-landscapes LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,541

    probably wont kill the weeds, but you should get plenty of ants
  3. ICT Bill

    ICT Bill LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,115

    that dog doesn't hunt, if you think about it why wouldn't starve the turf too? But I have never tried it, pre chemical revolution most golf course supers used molasses as a fertilizer for green up, same idea
  4. Kmac

    Kmac LawnSite Member
    Messages: 4

    Im trying it for nutsedge. I have a customer that is inundated with it, and last spring she pulled a small section of top growth, put a bunch of sugar down (about that rate, 1 lb/K) and that section is bare of nutsedge. I have no idea what it looked like before hand, but is a clear section completely surrounded by nutsedge. So, we are going to copy it larger scale this spring and see how it works. I am going to use molasses drench instead though for cost savings. we'll see....
  5. dishboy

    dishboy LawnSite Fanatic
    from zone 6
    Messages: 7,231

    Do not know about weed control but sugar sure helps with dog urine spots.
  6. NattyLawn

    NattyLawn LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,643

    I used it around the shop at 16oz per gallon. It worked very well, but we had a very dry summer. I'll do more testing this year.
  7. I haven't tried sugar myself as an herbicide, but I'd suggest be a little careful. That much sugar could potentially drive the soil strongly bacterial.

    Soils with that much bacterial may promote the earliest successional (weeds) plants to thrive. Turf wants about 1:1 F to B ratio and I suspect that large quantities of sugar would create an imbalance. There may be a short term benefit with this type of method but with potential long term promotion of weeds.

    It may be a good idea to just use it as a spot treatment as opposed to a blanket application, but there are others that are more experienced with this than me.

    I'd be interested to hear more about results. Even more so on what the impact would be to the biology. Before and after microscopy may tell us quite a bit.
  8. Kiril

    Kiril LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 18,338

    I agree with the hesitation here. I will use molasses to stimulate nutrient cycling in the late spring, but other than that, I have my doubts. Too much of anything typically leads to undesirable results.
  9. NattyLawn

    NattyLawn LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,643

    Nutsedge is a different beast here guys. You're only misting the tops of plants, not blanketing the turf.

    Contrary to popular belief, molasses is a fungal food as well. Test yourself with a small jar, some good humate and a drop of molasses.
  10. Yes, agreed with molasses as a fungal food, however the thread is about sugar (so far).

    Sucrose (white sugar) is a simple sugar, molasses is a complex sugar substate containing several different types of sugars as well as humic acids.

    I have seen folks over do it with molasses though. I'd suggest that not more than 1/2 gallon per acre/year is applied without testing. But that is for feeding microbes, not killing weeds.

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