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Old 09-15-2017, 04:30 PM
 
404 posts, read 548,637 times
Reputation: 765

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Yeah, I know I am probably poking a stick in a hornet's nest saying this, but I will never use Roundup (or any Glyphosate based weed killer) ever again.

Why may you ask?

Because of the "frankenweed" Roundup seemingly created on my driveway. Here is my story and I swear it is true.

Last year I started to use the weed killer Roundup on my gravel driveway. I sprayed the weeds in the gravel once a month, for the months of May, June, July and August. Roundup killed the weeds and grass in the gravel, but in the weeds' place sprouted a weird blue-green algae. I thought nothing of it last year and just "ass"-umed the algae was the result of rain (even though we had an average rainful last year).

The winter comes and goes and this year in early May I once again spray the weeds in the gravel driveway with Roundup. A week later the weird blue-green algae appeared in the exact spots that I sprayed Roundup. Stupid me, I assumed it was the result of rain and a couple weeks later I spray the blue-green algae with Roundup hoping to kill it.

I told you I was stupid.

Roundup didn't kill the algae, it turned it into a "frankenweed" which took over my entire gravel driveway. Come to find out, I had Nostoc Commune (a species of cyanobacterium) growing in my driveway. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nostoc_commune

Awesome!

After searching the web and finding others complaining about this Nostoc Commune taking over their driveways (see this interesting thread Nostoc commune - brown slimy scum | Rae Roadley - New Zealand author), I finally deduced that the common denominator in this Nostoc driveway problem was the use of Roundup weed killer.

Aha! It was only after I started to use Roundup on my driveway that the Nostoc Commune appeared. What to do, what to do? Well, the first thing I did was STOP using Roundup weed killer on my gravel driveway. I stopped using all Glyphosate based weed killers. The Nostoc Commune still thrived in my driveway, but I was not going to give it any more fuel (Glyphosate).

Then I purchased three boxes of Arm & Hammer Super Washing Soda (sodium carbonate) from Walmart. I poured 6 cups of washing soda into a typical garden watering can and added hot water to dissolve it. I then filled the watering can to the top with cold water. I then went outside to my driveway and watered the Nostco Commune with the washing soda. It took me three watering cans to do my entire driveway. I made sure to water the Nostoc Commune with the washing soda when the commune was green and puffy (right after a rain).

A week later the Nostoc Commune turned brown. I then picked up as much as the commune as I could and threw it in the trash. Two weeks later I did the entire process all over. I then did a final third wash two weeks after the second wash. Finally after two years of having my driveway filled with slimey, slippery Nostoc Commune, my driveway was clear of the "frankenweed."

I will never use Roundup again, besides the fact that cyanobacterium love Glyphosate (the main ingredient in Roundup), Roundup has been possibly linked to cancer, and may be one of the reasons blue-green algae is taking over many lakes in the U.S. Speaking of lakes, I live 380 feet from Oneida Lake (in NY) and this is the only year I have seen the lake covered with blue-green algae for almost the entire summer and as of today Sept 15th, the lake is still covered with blue-green algae. Very weird. I have lived near the lake since 1978.

Oh well.
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Old 09-15-2017, 05:14 PM
 
Location: Left coast
1,921 posts, read 673,851 times
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Good post OP, very useful info.
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Old 09-15-2017, 06:19 PM
 
Location: S.W. British Columbia
4,317 posts, read 4,671,862 times
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I understand your reasons for not wanting to use Roundup like that again (and I agree with that) but don't mistakenly vilify the cyanobacterium as a bad thing because it's not. I know it is yucky, feels strange and is unsightly looking but it's not your enemy, it's a friend that produces copious amounts of oxygen and contributes the oxygen into dying, stagnant soil or water. The cyanobacterium is trying to counteract the Roundup and make your driveway soil healthy again after you poisoned it with so much of the Roundup.

If you have a lot of blue-green algae / cyanobacterium growing in your lakes it's because the lakes have been getting warmer and becoming oxygen-poor and stagnant (maybe partly from roundup run off or other agricultural run off / air pollution as well as climate shifts ???). The cyanobacterium (previously known as blue-green algae) is trying to oxygenate and clean the lakes and make them healthy, vibrant and stable again for all the other natural life forms in the lakes whose existences depend on fresh clean water.

Some types of cyanobacterium are also edible (such as in salads, soups, stir fries, infused teas) and have medicinal anti-inflammatory properties that are helpful for people with inflammatory diseases (i.e.arthritis, inflammatory bowel disease, etc.).


.
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Old 09-15-2017, 06:28 PM
 
Location: NC
5,396 posts, read 5,703,955 times
Reputation: 10030
Good for you. Everyone has a choice.

Have you ever read the Round-up label in full? Did it ever claim that it would eliminate nostoc? Would the nostoc have come no matter what? There is something called the scientific method and it does not involve jumping to conclusions. But it is nice you found a solution to the algae problem.
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Old 09-15-2017, 06:54 PM
 
404 posts, read 548,637 times
Reputation: 765
Quote:
Originally Posted by luv4horses View Post
Good for you. Everyone has a choice.
Yes they do. My choice is to never use Roundup again.

Quote:
Originally Posted by luv4horses View Post
Have you ever read the Round-up label in full? Did it ever claim that it would eliminate nostoc?
No, Roundup has never claimed it eliminates Nostoc, but it also never stated it helps feed it. I am just relating my experience using Roundup.

Quote:
Originally Posted by luv4horses View Post
Would the nostoc have come no matter what?
I do not believe so. I have lived in this area since 1978 and it is ONLY when I used Roundup that the Nostoc appeared in my driveway. When I stopped using Roundup and killed it off with washing soda the Nostoc "magically" disappeared. Anecdotal? Sure that is how stats are compiled.

Quote:
Originally Posted by luv4horses View Post
There is something called the scientific method and it does not involve jumping to conclusions.
It only took three replies before someone accused me of jumping to conclusions based upon my own experience. A new record for City-Data! I knew I shouldn't have poked the hornet's nest.

Quote:
Originally Posted by luv4horses View Post
But it is nice you found a solution to the algae problem.
Yes. That is why I wrote the post. If others are having the same problem (regardless if the algae is "good" or bad") they may want to stop using Roundup and see if the Nostoc problem disappears. Plus the washing soda worked and it is available at Walmart by the detergents (bottom shelf). Not too expensive around $4.00 a box.
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Old 09-15-2017, 07:05 PM
 
404 posts, read 548,637 times
Reputation: 765
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zoisite View Post
I understand your reasons for not wanting to use Roundup like that again (and I agree with that) but don't mistakenly vilify the cyanobacterium as a bad thing because it's not. I know it is yucky, feels strange and is unsightly looking but it's not your enemy, it's a friend that produces copious amounts of oxygen and contributes the oxygen into dying, stagnant soil or water. The cyanobacterium is trying to counteract the Roundup and make your driveway soil healthy again after you poisoned it with so much of the Roundup.

If you have a lot of blue-green algae / cyanobacterium growing in your lakes it's because the lakes have been getting warmer and becoming oxygen-poor and stagnant (maybe partly from roundup run off or other agricultural run off / air pollution as well as climate shifts ???). The cyanobacterium (previously known as blue-green algae) is trying to oxygenate and clean the lakes and make them healthy, vibrant and stable again for all the other natural life forms in the lakes whose existences depend on fresh clean water.

Some types of cyanobacterium are also edible (such as in salads, soups, stir fries, infused teas) and have medicinal anti-inflammatory properties that are helpful for people with inflammatory diseases (i.e.arthritis, inflammatory bowel disease, etc.).


.
I agree not all cyanobacterium is toxic, but some of it is. Seemingly Roundup (Glyphosate) fuels the growth of cyanobacterium, good or bad, the Nostoc on my driveway was slippery and dangerous to walk on. Blue-Green algae has been a big topic in my area this summer and we have had a rather cool summer.

See this story today in my local paper:

Potentially toxic algae found in Skaneateles Lake, source of Syracuse drinking water | syracuse.com

Some of the blue-green algae in the lakes are toxic to animals. I believe many of our fresh water lakes turning into blue-green algae swamp like bodies of water will be a problem in the future. As you said, and as I believe, Roundup could be contributing to the "problem." I have researched the GMO/Roundup resistant crops being grown in this country and it is not pretty what our future may be with regard to drinking water and chemicals in our food. Oh well, just my opinion. Right or wrong, good or bad.
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Old 09-15-2017, 07:34 PM
 
Location: S.W. British Columbia
4,317 posts, read 4,671,862 times
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Peebola, thanks for the Syracuse news link above. They haven't released information yet about what strain it is (it says the results will be forthcoming next week) so if/when they do release that information could you please update this thread to let us know? I'm very interested to know what strain it is and whether or not they do confirm that it's one of the toxic strains. I hope it's not a toxic strain. Thanks muchly.


.
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Old 09-16-2017, 07:03 AM
 
404 posts, read 548,637 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zoisite View Post
Peebola, thanks for the Syracuse news link above. They haven't released information yet about what strain it is (it says the results will be forthcoming next week) so if/when they do release that information could you please update this thread to let us know? I'm very interested to know what strain it is and whether or not they do confirm that it's one of the toxic strains. I hope it's not a toxic strain. Thanks muchly.
The chance that Syracuse.com will update the story is pretty slim (like all news outlets they never followup their new stories, a beef I have with most news outlets). However, I found this web site:

Harmful Algal Blooms (HABs) Notifications Page - NYS Dept. of Environmental Conservation

It updates the HABs (Harmful Algal Blooms) in New York state. HABs has been a somewhat "big" topic this summer in this area. I am sure there are many reasons why HABs are becoming more prevalent, and the use of Roundup may be contributing to it, which is why I wrote my original post outlining my experience with Nostoc Commune after I used Roundup on my driveway. Something to think about.
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Old 09-16-2017, 07:24 AM
 
773 posts, read 357,603 times
Reputation: 1228
What led you to use the washing soda to kill it? That was pretty ingenious!
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Old 09-16-2017, 09:55 AM
 
20,658 posts, read 41,112,487 times
Reputation: 10153
PH balance probably
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