Weeds can be unsightly and drain lawns of water and nutrients essential to healthy lawn growth, competing with grass seed for space in their turf area and shading it out altogether.
An effective solution is to implement a regular schedule of lawn care. A professional lawn care company can perform double-pass aeration to restore oxygen back into the soil and stop new weeds from sprouting up.
1. Damage to Grass Seeds
Grass seeds can become damaged when using broadleaf herbicides to kill weeds such as dandelions, clover or ground ivy – which often grow clump-like formations that distinguish themselves from grass by way of distinctive leaves or flowers.
Some types of weed killer are designed to kill broadleaf weeds by burning off their leaves, effectively starving the weed of its primary food source and ultimately killing it.
Other types of weed killer work by attacking the roots of weeds. Unfortunately, this method often takes more time to stop working than others and makes planting anything immediately impractical – depending on which product it is applied with and its instructions/warnings carefully before use.
2. Damage to Your Pets
Many popular weed killers are non-selective, meaning that they will damage any grass or plants they come into contact with, including pet-friendly versions that claim to be pet-safe. Unfortunately, such chemicals can irritate skin and lungs and are potentially toxic when consumed by pets.
Veterinarians report seeing an increase in dog herbicide poisoning cases. Dogs may become exposed to lawn chemicals by walking on or licking wet weeds, brushing against plants after spraying or accidentally inadvertently intaking some through grooming themselves.
Pet-friendly options to control weeds exist. Vinegar is less invasive than many chemical weed killers; however, its effectiveness drops considerably when applied late spring. Boiling water may also kill weeds directly when applied directly onto their roots.
3. Harm to Children
Weed killers contain chemicals that are toxic to the environment, infiltrating soil and water supplies to contaminate food we eat as well as our natural resources. Furthermore, they could pose harm to pets and children should they come into contact with these toxins.
Many chemical weed killers are nonselective and will damage desirable grass alongside unwanted plants, making their use crucial. Therefore, to get maximum effectiveness from this method it’s essential that either using selective spraying or timing your spraying properly are used.
Applying a weed killer early in the spring can be especially effective at killing off emerging weeds before they have the chance to sprout. Be sure to fertilize the lawn prior to spraying, and follow all instructions closely – in dry weather you may also require irrigation after spraying!
4. Harm to Animals
Weed killer seeps into soil, polluting grass, flowers, shrubs and trees while washing away into streams, lakes, rivers and the ocean. Quick-release fertilizers found in many “weed and feed” products can cause algae blooms that suffocate fish and aquatic life; while dichlorophenoxyacetic acid, which is the key component in many weed killers has been proven toxic for animals that consume it.
Make your lawn healthy without using chemical sprays that could endanger pets or children with chemical treatments like weed killer. If necessary, read and follow application instructions precisely when applying any weed killer. Also keep pets inside during spraying; once dried allow them back out on treated areas. Alternatively hire a lawn care service that offers natural weed control options, such as soil health tests, overseeding and aeration.
5. Harm to Plants
Chemicals designed to kill weeds also have the potential to injure desirable grass and flowers, especially non-selective weed killers that do not discriminate between weeds and grass. Injury symptoms may include leaf burning, yellowing and eventual death; to minimize accidental dosing use a separate sprayer when spraying; when possible try spraying during cloudy weather as sunny conditions intensify symptoms of drift caused by these products.
Overusing weed killer can increase the amount of fertilizers and herbicides that wash away with rainstorms or snowfalls into rivers, streams, lakes, oceans and the groundwater supply during rain storms or snowfalls, leading to algae blooms that threaten aquatic life and impact drinking water quality. Furthermore, its ingredients often enter groundwater supplies, potentially impacting both its quality as well as animals living near or relying upon bodies of water.