As a National Historic Landmark based in Miami, Florida, this world-famous museum and garden’s mission is to “preserve Vizcaya’s cultural and environmental resources to engage people in connecting with the past, understanding the present and shaping the future.” Recently, Vizcaya Museum and Gardens took another step in achieving that mission by continuing to reduce its chemical usage and overall impact on the environment.
“We are definitely at the forefront of sustainability initiatives in Miami “
“Our museum has responsibility for a lot of native areas in Miami, and we are definitely at the forefront of sustainability initiatives in Miami in our efforts to preserve our land, the sea, and freshwater sources,” said David Hardy, horticultural manager at Vizcaya. “We’ve always tried to avoid chemicals in treating weeds and pests. In fact, over the past few years, we’ve completely phased out our use of Roundup.”
During this phase-out period, Vizcaya tried natural weed killers such as orange oil and vinegar. Volunteers, as well as the landscaping crew, spent hours at the museum hand-pulling weeds to support the organization’s efforts. With the area’s year-round growing season, it was challenging to stay on top of the unwanted plants.
During a trip to Joe Blair Garden Supply, a Miami based supplier of commercial landscaping equipment, Hardy came across a bottle of W.O.W. from EcoMIGHT. Based on the shop’s recommendation, Hardy decided to give it a try.
“I never use Roundup at home so I decided to try W.O.W. there first,” Hardy explained. “I was pretty impressed. I’d say as a homeowner who has tried many natural alternatives, it’s by far the best product I’ve seen in the last five to ten years. We’ve been using it at Vizcaya ever since.”
,When Hardy shared the EcoMIGHT product with his landscaping crew, they were excited. Not only did the product relieve them of the painstaking work of hand weeding, but it released them from worrying about weeds for longer periods of time.
“The other alternatives we were using only burned the top of the weeds so they grew back quickly,” Hardy said.
“We’ve noticed that W.O.W. kills weeds to the roots; they don’t reappear for a couple of months. The initial burn down is a little slower than Roundup, but the results last longer than for sure. It’s more effective.”
Vizcaya’s experience is counter to the general belief that organic herbicides don’t work. EcoMIGHT’s herbicide contains only non-toxic ingredients already found in nature yet its formulation is effective keeping unwanted plant growth at bay.
EcoMIGHT products are sold as a liquid concentrate, which is diluted with water before usage. At six ounces per gallon, a single gallon of W.O.W. concentrate makes about 21 gallons of herbicide. The effective cost of W.O.W. is as low as $2.21 per gallon.
Although Hardy noted that glyphosate-based products are somewhat cheaper when compared directly, the fact that less labor and fewer reapplications are required may balance out some of the differentials.
“We’re about to start our next fiscal year so I’ll be doing some cost comparisons in the future,” Hardy said.
The more important factor for Hardy and Vizcaya, however, is the cost to the environment and the museum’s visitors. “We host half a million people a year here, and EcoMIGHT weed killer is safer for them and for our native areas. That’s a priority for us.