Vicki, I am with you, I detest them also. If you understand that weeds flourish for a reason, and that they do have a job to do, you can work towards minimising them by adjusting their environment so that they do not do so well. THis is what we are working towards....Already in bringing up the PH, we are seeing a good reduction in guildford grass.
We have found an organic herbicide. After untold hours weeding in the garlic, and a never ending battle in the grape paddock with the whipper snipper, spotted this one. Its called Bioweed.
Still a herbicide, I know, but its not a nasty trademarked chemical. Based on pine oil, smells like pine o clean. Available in Perth at EE Muir in Wangara, and maybe soon at the Dardanup farm shop. Expensive. $180 for a 15 litre drum, and its a 1:5 mix with water. So for five acres of grapes it will be about $800 - $1000 a year for a single application - this is enough to take care of 80% of the weeds though, and help reduce the weed seed burden. We are down to using it at half the recommended strength and still working well. It works by dissolving the coating of the plant's leaves, dessicating it, and not systemic like roundup etc, so if you miss bits of the plant, it can recover - depending on what the weed is. It is completely decomposed (the pine oil) in 72 hours. You can see the weeds darkening and dying within half an hour. It also works on weed seeds in the top couple of millimetres of soil if you spray it on thickly, or onto a prepared seed bed. No withholding period. May be trying this next year with the garlic area as a pre-plant spray - considering the $600 in backpacker labour, plus our countless hours we had to spend on weeding this year for only 600 square metres, I think a drum at $180 for an acre next year might not be a bad investment.
While we have not done this, because I don't use glyphosate, apparently a tiny tiny amount of glyphosate in the mix will improve the efficacy of both by multiples.
Only thing is,I detest the pine-o-clean smell!
You know the other interesting thing with herbicides such as roundup, and zero? They only need to label the ACTIVE ingredient - being glyphosate. They do not have to label the other ingredients. Given that most glyphosate based herbicides are at less than 40% glyphosate, which is bad enough... what is in the rest of it?