Some weed killers can also harm desired grass and flowers, particularly nonselective versions that kill all plants. Organic options tend to be safer but still damage soil and nearby plants.
By employing the appropriate strategies, it’s possible to stop weeds from taking over your yard – and even prevent their return the following season – but occasionally using weed killer is necessary.
1. It can damage the soil
Weed killers are chemicals designed to eliminate weeds by restricting their growth. They typically work by binding soil particles together so the roots of the weed cannot spread through the ground; or by interfering with its ability to take in nutrients – leading to its starvation and eventual death. Furthermore, they may change pH levels of soil which makes it unsuitable for grass or other desirable plants, rendering it unusable as growing space for these pests.
Utilizing weed killer is harmful to the environment as its chemicals can wash into rivers or seep through soil, damaging vital microorganisms that keep soil functioning correctly.
Some weed killers may not be appropriate to use under certain weather conditions. For instance, spraying lawns during summer is often inadvisable due to heat and sunlight causing weed control products to damage grass and other desirable plants. Conversely, cold weather tends to slow plant metabolisms down so less plants respond adversely to weed killer applications.
2. It can damage your pets
Even though lawn chemicals have become an integral part of lawn maintenance, there are natural solutions available to you for killing weeds without resorting to harsh chemical products. One such natural method is vinegar; by extracting moisture out of them it causes them to wither and die off. Salt can also help stop future weed growth when applied directly onto soil surfaces.
Pre-emergence weed killers like 2,4-D or triclopyr are another option to effectively manage weeds before they emerge, killing them before the first sunlight reaches them. Unfortunately, these herbicides will also kill grass and other desirable plants.
Your pet could become seriously ill from ingestion of weed killer, especially if it was applied directly onto wet grass or weeds. The severity and symptoms will depend on how much was taken in, so contact with a vet should be made immediately – in any event, symptoms vary based on dose and health condition of each individual animal ingested; so be sure to seek assistance immediately from vet services if suspected symptoms appear.
3. It can damage your children
Chemical weed killers often contain dangerous toxins that should not be used near children and pets, and some have even been shown to lead to cancer through repeated or overexposure.
When applying a weed killer, it’s essential that you follow all of the instructions on its label in order to use it safely and appropriately. This includes wearing all appropriate protective equipment and following treatment times according to weather conditions.
Although no permanent solution exists for ridding oneself of weeds, you can keep them at bay with non-selective herbicides that attack their roots directly. Applying pre-emergent treatments at regular intervals can also help stop new weeds from emerging altogether.
If you must use a weed killer, opt for organic products which are safe for children, pets and the environment. Organic options contain less harmful chemicals that could pollute local water supplies or threaten wildlife populations and permanently damage soil conditions.
4. It can damage your plants
Many weed killers are non-selective, meaning that any plant they come into contact with – be it grass, flowers or vegetable gardens – is damaged. Therefore it’s especially important to use selective formulas when spraying around these areas and check the label to make sure it’s safe to use around edible crops such as flowers or vegetables.
Timing of application of weed killer is also essential. Summer heat combined with chemicals found in weed killers can have severe side effects on plants you cultivate, including scorching or killing them outright.
Your yard can become free from weeds without resorting to chemicals by employing several lawn care treatments from spring through fall, aerating it regularly, and working to build healthy soil. Over time, this combination will restore its health. And if necessary, seek weed killers formulated for slow release with targeted applications so they won’t pollute the environment.