New To Weed Control? 2 Things You Need To Know Before You Start Treating Your Lawn

That lawn might look green from a distance, but how does it look up close? If you discover a yard laden with noxious weeds, you might be ready to head to the store, buy a bag of weed killer, and start piling it on without abandon. However, unless you understand what you are using and how to apply it properly, your efforts might be in vain. Here are two things you need to know about chemical weed control, so that you can make your lawn beautiful and lush again:

1: Know Your Herbicides

When you get to the garden store, you might zero in on the most popular, powerful weed killer available. Unfortunately, unless you are familiar with your herbicides, you might unintentionally destroy your own lawn along with those dandelions. Here are a few vital pieces of information about herbicides, so that you don't make the wrong choice:

  • Broad Spectrum Herbicide: Stronger herbicides might seem appealing, but if you pick up a broad spectrum herbicide, it might shrivel any plant that it touches. Broad spectrum herbicides, like glyphosate, work by inhibiting key protein enzymes that plants need to live. Unfortunately, since these herbicides are systemic, they can take a little time to work—making it hard to determine which parts of your yard you have destroyed. For example, glyphosate can take between 4 to 20 days to kill plants. Although broad spectrum herbicides aren't the right choice for lawns or crowded gardens, they work well for areas that you need to kill off completely—such as empty flowerbeds or undeveloped fields.
  • Selective Herbicide: Fortunately, some herbicides are selective, meaning that they will kill particular plants and leave your lawn alone. Before you shop for a selective herbicide, take the time to identify the weeds you are having a problem with. To do this, take a few pictures of your weeds and take it with you to the garden center. If an employee can help you to identify the plants, you can choose a selective herbicide that will target your lawn villains.  
  • Pre-Emergent Vs. Post-Emergent Herbicides: As you shop, pay attention to whether the herbicide is labeled as a pre-emergent or post-emergent variety. While pre-emergent herbicides target seedlings and prevent them from growing in the first place, post-emergent herbicides only work if they come in contact with more developed plants.

After you find the right chemical for your yard, pay attention to the active ingredients and the concentration of the product. To save money, look for similar generic products that contain the same ingredients.  

2: Proper Application Matters

Although you might be excited to slather that yard with your chosen herbicide, proper application matters. Here are a few herbicide application tips that might save the day:

  • Spreading Technique: Sometimes, people decide to save money by manually spreading granules or mixed liquid herbicides instead of buying the right equipment to do the job. However, tossing herbicides by hand might mean that too much ends up in one spot, while other areas are missed altogether. Do yourself a favor and invest in a mechanical spreader for granules or a pump sprayer for liquid herbicides. In addition to making spreading easier and more effective, you can use the equipment in the future to apply fertilizer or plant food.   
  • Watch That Water: You spent so much time choosing and applying those herbicides—don't let them wash away. Pay attention to the weather and your watering schedule. Read through herbicide instructions before you apply the product. Some chemicals need to be applied directly after the grass is watered, while others need an arid environment to work properly.  

Selecting the right herbicide and taking application seriously might help you to destroy those weeds without damaging your lawn. If your lawn is overrun with weeds, you may want to get the assistance of professional weed control services. You can contact one of these companies online at sites like