Weeds can be the bane of gardeners’ lives. Not only can they be unsightly and persistent, but they may also compete for water, oxygen, and nutrients with healthy grass which needs the same resources to survive.
Most weed killers are nonselective and will damage any aboveground plant they come into contact with, including grass. As such, only use it when necessary.
Weeds are a natural part of your lawn
Glyphosate and 2,4-Dichlorophenoxyacetic acid, two main ingredients of weed killer, can be toxic to pets, children and wildlife alike. Even pre-emergent products contain harmful ingredients that could potentially poison your pets if they access a treated lawn during eating or playing activities. Furthermore, rainstorms or snowfall could wash these chemicals away into groundwater supplies, potentially creating harmful algal blooms which affect aquatic life as well as drinking water quality.
Liquid weed and feed solutions often end up drifting onto desirable perennial flowers, shrubs, trees and vegetables – often killing or damaging these precious blooms – inadvertently depriving these precious plants of necessary nutrition and potentially polluting soil fertility by polluting its fertility further.
As long as you use nontoxic weed control products, you can enjoy a healthier lawn without resorting to chemical sprays. This means fertilizing only when necessary, watering adequately, mowing at an appropriate height, and getting a soil test – which will inform you of which nutrients your yard requires and how best to balance them out.
They help keep the soil healthy
Weeds play an integral role in maintaining healthy soil by drawing nutrients up from their roots to the surface, where they’re released back into the ground when the plants die, helping increase both nutrient levels and organic matter levels in the soil. They’re also a good source of carbon which plays an essential role in supporting soil health.
When using a weed killer, it’s essential that the product specifically target the type of weed you wish to eradicate. Otherwise, the chemical could be absorbed by grass or other plants and cause lasting damage; plus high temperatures during herbicide application could result in vapor drift that damages neighboring plants as well.
As the presence of certain weeds may indicate a need for specific soil nutrients, it may be prudent to amend your soil when necessary. Chickweed grows in compacted soil and absorbs airborne nitrogen while simultaneously collecting calcium, sulfur, magnesium, iron and potassium from its roots – while its flowers produce nectar-filled flowers which attract pollinators insects.
They help prevent weeds from coming back
Weeds steal water, soil nutrients and sunlight from grasses and flowers. Additionally, they produce seeds which spread easily, even by an untidy weed puller, being carried around your yard by animals, people and even water sources. Furthermore, some weeds grow new plants with tough roots which persist even after being pulled up – even after their own weeds have been eliminated from your yard!
Use of an appropriate weed killer is crucial to effective weed control, so always read and follow its instructions before spraying any chemical on any vegetation, including grass you intend to keep. Some non-selective herbicides may damage all vegetation including grass you want kept; others, such as 2,4-D can be toxic to pets and children if accidentally swallowed so extra care must be taken when handling such products.
Pre-emergent herbicide is essential to combating summer and winter annual weeds from emerging. You should wait three days after treatment before cutting your grass so the chemical has time to work its magic in the soil. Irrigation after treating can help ensure the chemical will stay put.
They are a great way to add colour to your lawn
Weeds may compete with crops for nutrients and light, yet they attract pollinators that improve soil. Instead of resorting to chemicals to eliminate them, weeds can easily be managed organically. If pulling by hand is too difficult, try covering weeds during summer with clear plastic; heat from sunlight will kill off weeds without harming grass beneath; or burn weeds when winds are calm with extreme caution.
Post-emergent weed killers come in both selective and non-selective formulations. Selective herbicides will target specific weed types while non-selectives will destroy everything they come into contact with. Before spraying, please read and follow all directions listed on the label carefully before making your selection.
Overusing chemical treatments, like weed and feed for spotty weeds, release fertilizers and herbicides into the environment without necessary reason, increasing chances of polluted runoff into lakes, rivers, oceans during rainstorms or irrigation and increasing chances of polluted runoff contaminating lakes, rivers and oceans during rainstorms or irrigation. Some products even contain quick-release fertilizers which cause algae blooms which suffocate fish and wildlife populations.