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Weed Killer -- When To Use It?

Lawn Care
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Weed killer, also known as herbicide, is something that every homeowner needs to use periodically. No matter how hard you try to eradicate weeds by cultivating a thick carpet of grass and pulling weeds up as soon as you see them, these plants are very stubborn and most homeowners have to resort to weed killer, now and then. Here are some tips for using weed killer successfully.

Identify what kind of weeds you have. Different weeds require different weed killers. A weed with a deep root system will not die if you use a weed killer that only affects the top of the plant. There are broad spectrum weed killers that will destroy a wide variety of weeds, but if you’re only having a problem with one or two types of weeds it may be better to get a more selective herbicide.

Choose the right weed killer

Choose the right weed killer for your purpose. Herbicides are classified as pre-emergence and post-emergence. Pre-emergence means that you apply the herbicide early in the growing season, before the weeds have had a chance to germinate. These types of herbicides can be applied either as a liquid that is sprayed on to the soil and beneath existing plants, or in a granular form that is mixed in with mulch or fertilizer. They are also divided into selective and non-selective types. Post-emergence weed killers are applied after the weeds appear. There are two other terms that are relevant: selective and non-selective. A selective herbicide will only kill specific kinds of weeds. A non-selective herbicide takes the shotgun approach, and will kill a wide variety of weeds.

Apply the weed killer correctly

Apply it correctly. Read the label to find out when you should and should not apply the herbicide. Many herbicides need 24 hours to remain on the weed in order to be effective, so you should not apply them if rain is in the forecast. Don’t apply herbicide to young grass, because the chemicals will likely burn or kill it. Also, take heed of the wind speed and direction before you start spraying, or you may get herbicide on nearby plants.
Be patient. Effective weed control takes patience, because weeds are hardy plants that can produce thousands, even millions, of seeds. Those seeds often stay in the ground and germinate a year or two later. Even when you’ve used weed killer effectively against an infestation, the weeds can come back. Keep treating the weeds whenever you see them, and eventually you’ll get rid of them for good.

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