Avoiding weed killer on your lawn for many reasons. Too frequent applications of this chemical may damage grass strands and buildup of potentially toxic chemicals in soil.
Always follow the dilution rates and application guidelines found on product labels when applying and cleaning sprayers, otherwise these could leave residue behind and kill plants in your lawn or garden.
Weeds are a natural part of your lawn
An appealing lawn is the key to eliminating weeds without resorting to chemical treatments, and the most effective means are non-chemical cultural practices like mowing at an appropriate height, overseeding regularly and topdressing with compost – these practices create thick turfgrass which chokes out most annual weed seeds.
If weeds cannot be avoided, various herbicides are available to tackle them. Some pre-emergents target germinating seedlings before their arrival on site while other post-emergents kill established ones. Choose one that fits with your garden and lawn situation best – selective weed killers may kill broadleaf weeds without damaging grasses while non-selective herbicides will affect everything they contact.
When using herbicides, be sure to follow label instructions in order to avoid accidentally spraying desirable plants with them. Granular products should be applied when grass is wet so the chemicals “stick” to its leaves; also try watering treated areas within 48 hours so all weeds have been eliminated.
They help to aerate the soil
Weeds are plants that compete for water, oxygen, and nutrients with healthy grass for survival. Additionally, weeds remove valuable microorganisms from soil as well as cause erosion if left unchecked. However, there are ways to control weeds without resorting to toxic chemicals which are dangerous to people, pets, and the environment.
Hand pulling weeds regularly is one effective method for combatting weed growth, particularly for deep taproot weeds like creeping woodsorrel, nutsedge and dandelion that produce deep taproots that extend deep underground roots. Use a dandelion fork or fishtail weeder to quickly eliminate these invasive plants before they produce seeds or produce rhizomes that grow back underground.
When using chemical weed killers, it is essential to adhere to label instructions carefully. Do not apply herbicides when your lawn is waterlogged or soil temperatures exceed acceptable ranges; improper application could damage desirable turfgrass species in addition to plants found elsewhere in your landscape.
They are a source of food for birds
Your lawn’s weeds aren’t simply eyesores – they also provide food for birds. Additionally, recent research demonstrated that farm-land weeds contribute to biodiversity – this makes natural control methods much preferable to herbicide use when managing weeds in this regard.
If it becomes necessary to use weed killer, be mindful of both its type and method of application. Selective herbicides target specific weeds without harming grass; these treatments may be applied broadcast-wide or spot by spot treatments. Liquid herbicides must be mixed with water prior to being applied by handheld sprayer while granular varieties should be spread using fertilizer spreaders according to label directions. When selecting either one for application follow its label directions carefully.
Cover nearby plants with fabric to avoid spray drift. Rinse and dispose of any rinse water from your sprayer or water can after each use; do so on an unplanted area rather than directly onto plants. Finally, avoid walking on newly treated areas as herbicide may transfer onto shoes and spread into neighboring gardens and flowerbeds.
They are a habitat for insects
Maintaining a lush lawn requires keeping it free from weeds, but you don’t need to resort to harsh chemicals for this task. There are many natural weed killers that will help restore your yard without harmful fumes and polluted waterways. A selective herbicide such as 2,4-D or MCPP spray is available as an easy way to target just unwanted weeds in a ready-to-use spray can.
Nonselective herbicides such as glyphosate (Roundup) and gluphosinate ammonium (Finale) are highly effective at eliminating broadleaf weeds and grasses, but will also damage garden plants such as turf. As these types of herbicides will kill both grass and garden plants as well, spot treatments in small areas or tough weeds such as creeping Charlie or crabgrass may require multiple applications of nonselective herbicides are best used. Pre-emergent products are available both granularly or pellet form; combined with fertilizers.