Keeping The Dandelions Out of Your Lawn

Getting rid of dandelions, crabgrass, and unwanted weeds can seem like a tough task, but if you choose the right weed killers, you can easily keep your yard looking beautiful. Weed killers, or herbicides, are chemicals formulated to kill certain plants, either by affecting the plant’s seed, or by killing the weed after it has grown.

Getting rid of dandelions, crabgrass, and unwanted weeds can seem like a tough task, but if you choose the right weed killers, you can easily keep your yard looking beautiful. Weed killers, or herbicides, are chemicals formulated to kill certain plants, either by affecting the plant’s seed, or by killing the weed after it has grown.  Choosing the right weed killer is important to keep your lawn looking its best. Before you buy a weed killer, think about the following:

·         Are their plants around the weeds that you need to protect?

·         Will you be planting or seeding in that area in the near future?

·         Would you rather use a liquid weed killer or granular weed killer?

·         What types of weeds are you targeting?

There are four major categories of weed killers. Understanding how each works will help you determine which kind of herbicide will work best for your lawn or garden.

(1)  Emergence. You will want to use a preemergence or postemergence herbicide depending on the stage of the weeds. An herbicide that contains both preemergence and postemergence herbicides will be effective in controlling existing weeds and preventing new seeds from growing.

Preemergence herbicides are:

·         Most effective if they are applied two to three weeks before the weed seeds germinate.

·         Highly effective on annual weeds.

·         Most effective if watered into the soil and applied just before weed germination begins.

Postemergence herbicides are:

·         Effective on weeds that have already surfaced and are visible.

·         Sprayed onto the leaves of weeds.

(2)  Selectivity. There are two types of selectivity within herbicides, selective and nonselective. Selective kill weeds without harming nearby plants, and are best for crops, lawns, and ornamental plantings. Nonselective herbicides kill all plants within the area that it is applied, and are used in areas such as fence rows, greenhouse floors, and irrigation ditches.

Use a selective herbicide to:

·         Kill dandelions but not the lawn.

Use a nonselective herbicide to:

·         Kill weeds in the cracks between sidewalks.

(3)Persistence. Some herbicides last longer than others after application. If an herbicide prevents regrowth of a weed it is considered persistent. Herbicides that breakdown quickly are nonpersistant. Consider how long-term you want your weed control when choosing an herbicide. For example, if you plan to replant soon after, you will want to use a nonpersistant herbicide to ensure the soil is fertile.

(4)  Contact or translocation. Herbicides can come in two forms: contact, which kills plants on contact, or translocation, which kills plants by working its way through the plants system.

Contact herbicides:

·         Kill only the part of the plant contacted with the herbicide.

·         Kill weeds quickly.

·         Should be used on annual and biennial weeds.

 Translocation herbicides:

·         Are absorbed in the plant and attacks the whole plant, including the root.

·         Should be used on perennials.

When choosing the right weed killer, be sure you have considered the type of weed you are targeting as well as other factors such as regrowth. When using any herbicide, or pest control product, read all labels carefully and use proper application techniques and amounts to achieve the best results and keep your lawn looking its best.

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