Choosing the Right Herbicide for Your Lawn & Plants

Keeping your lawn and garden pest free is difficult enough, but when weeds begin to overtake the area, it can get quite frustrating. 

But simply pulling weeds or using the last of the herbicide in the garage may not work – weeds are tough, and they need specific solutions based upon the situation at hand.

If you notice areas of weeds cropping up around your property, here are some questions to ask yourself before attacking the problem.

Identify the Problem Weed Varieties 

Many homeowners do not realize that different weeds require different types of herbicides to eliminate them.

One product does not fit all, so the first step in treating an infestation of weeds is knowing what you are dealing with.

Crabgrass, for instance, is seasonal. Dandelions, on the other hand, are perennials.

Depending on where they are in their own individual growth cycles, you may need different herbicides to treat them. When shopping for herbicides, you will notice that the bottles identify which weeds that herbicide is formulated to treat – so be sure to choose the correct product.

Learn About the Two Types of Herbicide 

Herbicides are produced in two varieties. Pre-emergent herbicides prevent seeds from germinating by creating a barrier prior to growth.

If you have an ongoing, annual problem with certain types of weeds, you can use the appropriate pre-emergent herbicide when you are preparing your soil for the season. This should stop any growth of the recurring weeds before it starts.

Conversely, post-emergent herbicides are used on weeds which are already growing and have taken root. You can apply to the foliage once the weeds appear, causing the herbicide to be absorbed. The herbicide will then kill the weeds from the inside out.

Post-emergent herbicides can be further broken down into selective and non-selective types.

Selective herbicides attack leafy weeds while keeping your grass safe and unharmed.

However, these herbicides often need to be applied more than once to make much of a difference on your lawn.

Non-selective herbicides do not distinguish between your viable plants and grass, and weeds. Instead, they will destroy any plant they touch. In order to successfully utilize these products, you must carefully apply small amounts of herbicide to the areas you wish to treat.

Use the Herbicide Correctly 

Overusing herbicides can cause toxicity in your plants and soil, which can cause harm in many ways. Especially important is to make sure that any plants which are going to be eaten – such as vegetables – are not overloaded with pesticides.

The more chemicals are in your herbicide, the more precautions you will want to take to keep the formula off of your skin and out of your eyes.

Once you decide which herbicide you wish to use, do not over-treat the weeds, as you can cause groundwater contamination and leaching.

If you are applying herbicide into a small area, do not dilute with water. This will prevent the herbicide from flowing out of the immediate treatment area.

Overall, you want to make sure that you choose an herbicide which:

  • Targets the specific type of weed which you are trying to kill.
  • Targets the growth stage the weed is exhibiting (pre-or post-emergent).
  • Can be safely used with as little contamination as possible.

If you are unsure as to your options, or have any questions regarding toxicity and contamination, be sure to consult an expert.

The professionals at Big Earth Landscape Supply will be happy to help you to select the herbicide best for your situation, in order to guarantee a beautiful lawn and garden.