What Do The Labels On Weed Control Products Mean

Who doesn’t want a pristine looking lawn? The problem is that nature doesn’t really care how your grass grows, and weeds care even less. Nothing can be more ominous to your landscaping than weeds. With many options for weed control, it can be difficult to know which one is best for your type of weed-specific problem.


When you read the ingredients of any weed killer, you can quickly start to feel like it is another whole language. Not only is the timing of weed control important, but so too is the type of weed killing chemical that you use. Typically, weed control is most effective in the early spring and fall when growing seasons are at their greatest.

The biggest offender to a beautiful green lawn is a lack of nutrients or an imbalance. Other likely culprits are soil problems. Make sure that if you are trying to grow a green lawn, that it is in an area that is conducive to growth and will respond to the best weed control products,or you may just be working against yourself. If an area of the lawn doesn’t have the right conditions, you might want to forget about the weedkiller and put in different types of foliage instead of grass.

When choosing the right weed killer, you will want to decipher which type of product to use, either an organic herbicide or a chemical. If you are going to use an herbicide, these definitions will help you to find the right product for your particular problem.

Pre-emergent herbicides – Pre-emergent herbicides work by preventing a seed from germinating. So, they aren’t a good choice after the weed has emerged. Typically best for “spot” treatment where the grass isn’t growing, like weedy patches, they are best to use during dormant seasons like late summer or winter.

Post-emergent herbicides – Post-emergent herbicides work by killing a plant once it is growing. It works by interrupting the chemical process of photosynthesis, root growth, and protein production. These types of products are best used when a weed is actively growing. They are also good to use during the fall when weeds are likely building up nutrients in their roots. They work on contact to kill only the things they touch, or they can work systematically by being absorbed into the entire plant.

Selective herbicides – Selective herbicides work by specifically targeting only certain types of plants and weeds. They use specific enzymes or other plant chemicals to attack and eliminate only certain growth. They are usually used for monocots or dicots. So, knowing what type of weed you are trying to eliminate, is important for a selective herbicide to be effective.

Total vegetation herbicides – You have to be careful with a total vegetation herbicides because they will kill all plants that they touch. Used to sterilize the ground to begin new growth, they should be used very sparingly and only on areas where you want to kill everything that is growing.

Nonselective herbicides – Non selective herbicides are weed killers that only work on a plant if touched. If a plant comes in contact with them, they are not specific, and will not be able to tell what is a “weed” and what is not. So, be careful when using them.

Glyphosate – A post-emergent product, this is typically a herbicide that is called Round-Up. It is a nonselective product that kills any active growing plant that it touches. It may help for spot treatment, but there have been concerns about its overall safety.

Trifluralin – A product typically referred to as “Preen Garden Weed Preventer”. It is pre-emergent product that is only good to use before a plant is actively growing. Good for establishing new gardens, it will stop the growth of weeds before they appear.

Weed & Feed – These types of herbicides contain post-emergent and selective herbicides. They are designed to specifically target weeds while not harming other foliage. They also work once weeds are actively growing.

Grass killers – Grass killers are both post-emergent and selective weed killers. Good for flower beds, they kill only grass.

Corn Gluten – Corn gluten is a natural substance that is made from corn, and it prevents weeds from growing through pre-emergent means.

Combination Herbicides – A combination herbicide can contain more than one type of post-emergent and nonselective herbicides. They are extremely potent and can make sure that nothing grows in an area for up to a year.

Before you put anything on your lawn for weeds, it is important to find the right product for your particular weed problem. Or, you could have a disaster on your hands. Evaluate what your lawn needs and buy an herbicide, accordingly, for best results.

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