Many homeowners may be tempted to purchase Weed-n-Feed at their local lawn and garden store. However, before using these products it’s important to consider several factors as using them can damage grass or cause other issues.
Weed killers come in two forms: pre-emergent and post-emergent. Pre-emergent products aim to prevent new weeds from emerging while post-emergent ones kill existing ones once they appear.
Weeds are a natural part of your lawn
Weeds are an inevitable part of lawncare and can provide vital nutrients for grass growth. Additionally, they aerate soil by keeping nutrients close to the surface; though total weed elimination may not be achievable through maintenance alone. Managing them properly should reduce them significantly.
At times unnecessary, using weed killer is unnecessary and may even have harmful health effects if used incorrectly. Furthermore, spray drift (or overspray) from these products may damage other plants in the area – this is especially likely on hot, windy days.
People may resort to immediate solutions when confronted with lawn weeds, but this approach is often environmentally unfriendly and never effective; new seeds keep emerging with deep-seated roots. A better approach would be cultivating a healthy lawn without over-fertilization or the use of chemical fertilizers; use long-handled weed pullers instead for successful removal from roots.
They are a source of nutrients for your grass
Weeds compete with grass for sunlight, water and nutrients. Some weeds attract pollinators while others can be composted to improve soil. Organic ways are more effective and family and pet-friendly solutions available than toxic chemicals in managing weeds; there are even home-made organic solutions that can kill weeds quickly and efficiently.
Many weed killers contain the herbicide glyphosate, an ingredient linked to cancer risk in children and pregnant women. Although most lawn care professionals do not worry about glyphosate-containing products being used on their lawns, some individuals prefer to opt for products without this chemical ingredient altogether.
They are a source of food for insects
Weed killers are chemicals designed to eliminate unwanted plants. Available either pre-emergent, to prevent new weeds from sprouting, or post-emergent to kill already present weeds, some weed killers are selective; that is they avoid harming grass type plants while others are non-selective (meaning all vegetation). As with all non-selective products these are not safe around food crops or garden plants as the chemicals could easily drift in the wind and damage nearby vegetation.
2,4-dichlorophenoxyacetic acid (2,4-D) is the cornerstone of many weed killers, used both on plants and feed products alike. If ingested it may lead to nausea, vomiting, headaches and confusion – even organ failure!
Organic lawn care techniques may provide the most sustainable option. Mowing should be set at an ideal height according to your grass variety, while regular fertilization throughout the year helps control weeds. If using weed and feed products without 2,4-D is desired.
They are a source of water for your lawn
Weeds provide valuable moisture and erosion prevention, while also blocking views. However, they can become a nuisance. You can get rid of them either by digging up their roots or applying nontoxic pre-emergent herbicides such as corn gluten meal to the soil around your home or garden.
Chemical herbicides such as 2,4-D (2,4-dichlorophenoxyacetic acid) found in weed and feed products can wash off into nearby lakes, streams and rivers, polluting their water sources while also leading to buildups of algae that threaten aquatic life.
2,4-D can lead to vomiting, diarrhea, confusion, and even organ failure when taken orally by humans and pets alike. Even though weed killers have become more regulated over the years, their toxic chemicals still have adverse health impacts when exposed to windy or hot days; additionally they may drift and damage other plants or harm wildlife in their path.