Glyphosate (e.g., "Roundup") Use in Contra Costa Gardens

Help for the Home Gardener from the Help Desk of the
UC Master Gardener Program of Contra Costa County

Help Desk Request:  I've just moved into my first house, and I would like to grow a moderate-sized vegetable garden in the back of the property. However, the prior owner did not maintain the area I'm considering and it is heavily infested with weeds. I would like to remove the weeds.  I'm considering the use of Glyphosate for weed elimination and maintenance. What would Master Gardeners recommend?

Help Desk Response: Thank you for contacting Master Gardeners of Contra Costa County Help Desk. Your request is quite active in the public eye these days in California. The use of weed controls such as Glyphosate are regulated both by the Federal and the State Government. Master Gardeners isn't a regulatory agency, but one area we provide information on to home gardeners is the use of herbicides. We get that information from the University of California's Agriculture and Natural Resources (UCANR) on the use and effects of herbicides like Glyphosate. Under that structure, MGCC recommends the use of Integrated Pest Management procedures to effectively reduce and/or minimize the use of herbicides such as the legal use of Glyphosate. 

UCANR has as of April 2019 updated their response to "Why UCANR provides scientific information and guidance on the use of Glyphosate in California". You can find this 2 page document attached as well as on the web.

It is obvious from the ongoing news that many will not agree with that guidance but it is based on science, best practices, and legal requirements for this herbicide that has been in public use since 1974.

If you have further questions, please do not hesitate to contact us.  ... And always follow the directions for use...

Help Desk of the UC Master Gardener Program of Contra Costa County (SIM)

Note:  UC Master Gardeners Program of Contra Costa's Help Desk is available almost year-round to answer your gardening questions.  Except for a few holidays (e.g., last 2 weeks December), we're open every week, Monday through Thursday for walk-ins from 9:00 am to Noon at 2380 Bisso Lane, Concord, CA 94520. We can also be reached via telephone:  (925) 608-6683, email:, or on the web at MGCC Blogs can be found at You can also subscribe to the Biog.

By Steve I Morse
Author - Contra Costa County Master Gardener

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