Choosing And Using Lawn Herbicides

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Gardeners who want perfect green lawns must often resort to lawn herbicides. A lawn weed killer needs to be applied at the correct time in order to be most effective. The best weed killer for lawns depends upon the type of turfgrass and the variety of weeds that infest the area. Good cultural practices can reduce many weeds, but a lawn weed killer spray or pellets, will enhance the health of the grass. 

Choosing And Using Lawn Herbicides

Keeping a lawn green and weed free takes some action on the gardener’s part. Using weed killer for lawns is part of annual maintenance that reduces pest plants and promotes grass growth. Frequent mowing and hand pulling of weeds can reduce their presence, but often in areas with heavy weed populations, the best defense is a chemical application. 

How to Control Weeds in Lawns

Promoting healthy turfgrass can reduce the presence of some weeds. 

  • Apply the correct amount of fertilizer, and avoid over-fertilizing. 
  • Water the lawn at a rate that keeps soil moist but not soggy. 
  • Mow at the proper height for the variety of grass, and mow frequently to keep weed seeds from forming. 
  • Control insects that can make patches in the lawn, perfect weed seed beds. 

Grass with heavy thatch is not healthy and can die out in areas, resulting in places where weeds will grow. Even with best practices, a lawn will get weed populations. Using weed killer for lawns, in combination with good cultural methods, is the most practical direction for control of weeds. Using a weed n feed product is not recommended by experts because fertilizing should be done in fall, whereas most herbicide application occurs in spring. 

Types of Herbicides

Most gardeners have to contend with annual, perennial, and occasionally biennial weeds. Good control can often be achieved by using a pre-emergent herbicide. These prevent seed germination and are applied in spring when temperatures of soil have warmed to around 60 degrees Fahrenheit (15.55 C). 

A post-emergent herbicide is applied directly to weeds. This can be difficult in a lawn because any contact with the grass could cause turf kill. Selective herbicides are used that will control just listed weeds without affecting turf health. Non-selective products are not recommended in the lawn because they kill a wide range of plants. 

Lawn Weed Killer: Spray, Powder, or Granules? 

There are several different formulations of lawn herbicides. The type of product used depends upon your preference and conditions. 

In high wind areas, a granular product is better than a spray, which can float and contact wanted plants. Powders must be mixed with water and sprayed. They tend to suspend and the solution needs to be shaken frequently during application. Sprays are concentrates mixed with water and are applied on windless days where temperatures are around 60 Fahrenheit ( 115.55 C). Each formula will list the weeds controlled and the amount and timing of application. Follow directions carefully and wear long clothing, gloves, and eye protection. 

Note: Any recommendations pertaining to the use of chemicals are for informational purposes only. Chemical control should only be used as a last resort, as organic approaches are safer and more environmentally friendly.

Bonnie L. Grant

Bonnie Grant is a professional landscaper with a Certification in Urban Gardening. She has been gardening and writing for 15 years. A former professional chef, she has a passion for edible landscaping.