Wishing for a weed-free lawn this season? When pulling out these pesky plants by hand isn’t enough, you may need something more than manpower. Don’t let dandelions, crabgrass, and clover spoil your landscape. Here’s what you need to know about using herbicides to kill common weeds.

What Is an Herbicide?

Herbicides are chemical treatments applied to kill common weeds. Used to eliminate unwanted vegetation, these toxic products are categorized by how they work. Some target plants early on before they grow, others work on weeds that have already sprouted. Herbicides can be selective and non-selective. Selective weed killers target a specific type of weed without harming other vegetation around it, while non-selective ones kill all actively growing plants that come in contact with the chemical. A selective herbicide is your best bet for dandelions, because it kills the weed without harming the grass that surrounds it. An example of a use for a non-selective product is a weed killer that targets the unwanted growth in cracks in the pavement or sidewalk.

Two Types of Herbicides

Choosing an herbicide to kill common weeds depends on your goal. Do you want to prevent weeds or eliminate existing ones? And timing is everything.

Pre-emergent herbicides kill the plant seeds before they germinate. This type of chemical is helpful with crabgrass and other annual weeds that appear each year in the same areas. Basically, it works like a barrier to prevent anticipated weeds from growing. To use this chemical, apply to the soil in early spring two or three weeks before seeds germinate.

Designed to target already established weeds, post-emergent herbicides can be contact or systemic. Contact herbicides kill only what they touch, while systemic chemicals are absorbed into the plant to kill the entire weed. Apply these chemicals later in the growing season after weeds are visible but before they set seed.

Safety Tips for Using Herbicides to Kill Common Weeds

Herbicides are potent chemicals that must be handled with care. It’s important to identify the weed first and pick your product accordingly. Always read the labels and follow directions exactly for application. You’ll want to use the correct amount and apply at the right time to get the best results.

Dress appropriately by wearing long sleeves and pants, plus a pair of rubber boots. Wash all clothes thoroughly afterwards. It’s important to wear protective gloves at all times when handling the chemicals or anything that comes in contact with them.

After the application, keep kids and pets away from the treated location. It helps to mark off the areas if possible.

Let Us Give You a Hand

Knowing which herbicide to use, when to use it, and how to apply it can be confusing and intimidating. If used incorrectly, these chemicals can do more harm than good. If you have any questions about using herbicides to kill common weeds, call in an expert. Contact Contact Free Spray Lawn Care at [phone] and we’ll provide you with a year-round maintenance program to eliminate weeds and prevent them from coming back.