Weed killers are chemical treatments designed to stop weed seeds from germinating and kill any growing weeds on contact, however they can also stop grass seed from germinating and kill healthy grasses in their tracks.
Weed killers come in different varieties, from selective herbicides that only kill certain kinds of weeds to non-selective sprays that cover all plants. Homeowners may use weed killer themselves or hire professionals.
Weed killers contain chemicals designed to either kill weeds directly, or stop their growth. Unfortunately, these chemicals may accidentally harm other beneficial flowers, trees and shrubs nearby due to something called spray drift – when wind blows the spray of weed killer onto areas with desirable plants in it and causes leaf spots, stunted growth or death of them.
Selective weed killers target dicot plants (those with broad leaves), such as trees, bushes, annual flowers and dandelions, but will not kill monocot plants like grasses and corn because their metabolism pathways differ. Dandelions have several potential health benefits including having been shown to reduce flu symptoms but more research needs to be conducted into their effectiveness.
Weed killers may kill weeds, but they also damage the roots of your lawn – leading to an unhealthy looking lawn over time.
Pre-emergent herbicides used in weed and feed programs prevent weed seeds from germinating, but at the same time damage your lawn’s healthy root system. Finding an equilibrium between weed-free lawn and lush environment is difficult but possible!
Weed and feed is an easy solution for many homeowners, but not always necessary. Chemical weed killers such as 2,4-D can absorb through skin pores into bloodstream and track indoors on shoes to cause health issues in children and animals; furthermore, some plants such as tomatoes and herbs may even consume it directly from soil.
Honey bees are vital pollinators species that help maintain crop health and biodiversity. Unfortunately, they’re also susceptible to parasites that threaten their colony’s sustainability.
Chemical weed killers can also be harmful to honey bees. Glyphosate-containing broadleaf herbicides contain toxicants that may harm or kill bees feeding on flowers.
Selective herbicides can be used to target only weeds without harming grass, but their application requires precision timing with your weekly mow day. Granular “weed and feed” products may be easier to apply but require rain for activation; additionally they take longer to work than liquid herbicides so must be applied more evenly than their liquid counterparts.
Gardeners find working in the soil therapeutic, yet weeds can ruin this experience and prevent you from spending time enjoying your yard. There are various methods of eliminating weeds, including applying weed killer or manually pulling.
No matter if it’s pre-emergent or post-emergent weed killers you use, it is critical that they are applied according to instructions. Timing of application also plays a critical role; spraying during windy weather increases its likelihood that some of it could drift onto more desirable plants than intended.
An effective selective weed killer that only kills weeds without harming grass is essential for flower beds and vegetable gardens, while using non-selective herbicides on lawns is difficult and less effective.
Many weed killers, including synthetic fertilizers in weed and feed products, interfere with growth by blocking photosynthesis, restricting protein production or dismantling roots. Furthermore, these chemicals confuse plants by changing their auxin hormone levels and confusing growth signals.
Hand pulling is an effective, low-impact way to manage weeds; however, it takes considerable time and can be challenging when done for an entire lawn.
Overuse of herbicides releases unnecessary amounts of chemicals into the environment, potentially endangering plants or trees in your landscape and possibly beehives. Furthermore, certain neonicotinoid pesticides (Imidacloprid, Clothianidin, Thiamethoxam and Dinotefuran) used on lawns have been known to affect bee foraging habits as well as reproduction or smell – potentially killing bees!
Many weed killers, particularly quick-release formulas found in most ‘weed and feed’ products, seep through untreated lawns to reach local waterways where they can harm plants, insects and fish. Nitrogen released by these products can also create algal blooms that choke aquatic life in lakes, rivers and streams.
Chemicals from weed killer can leach into groundwater and have adverse effects on soil microbes, animals and humans alike. Snapshot’s active ingredient 2,4-D is toxic to both cold water fish as well as warm water fish species.
Sunday Lawn Care offers eco-friendly weed killers made from natural ingredients that can effectively deal with dandelion, thistle, clover, moss, scabious species and speedwell. Their ingredients are listed transparently on their website.