Weeds are pesky little plants that seem to pop up overnight and can be difficult to get rid of. No matter how hard you try, it can be easy to feel like you’re losing the fight against your yard.
If you find yourself with a weed problem, there are a few things you can do to nip it in the bud (pun intended). In this blog post, we'll give you a rundown of both natural and chemical options, tips on how to use weed killer, reasons to choose a natural or pet safe weed killer, and how to spray weed killer for best results.
Different Types of Weed Killer
Invasive crabgrass, sedges, weeds, and dandelions can wreak havoc on your pristine landscaping. If you want to keep your grass looking its best all year long, incorporating a weed killer is a must.
2 types of weed killers:
- Conventional weed killers
- Natural weed killers
Conventional Weed Killers
The first group, known as conventional or chemical weed killers, comes in a variety of styles and concentrations. Most come as a weed killer spray and are available in different focuses, such as for lawns, flowers, or vegetable gardens. Although they can save you hours of time spent laboring away in the yard, they require careful application and attention to detail to ensure you’re using them correctly. They’re also not as safe as an organic or natural weed killer.
There are 3 types of conventional weed killers:
Residual Weed Killers
These work by preventing seed germination and photosynthesis in the soil, which kills and prevents any plant growth within the treatment area. The chemicals can remain in the soil for months, some even years, making these a danger to edible plants, animals, and more.
Systemic Weed Killers
These weed killers target the entire plant, including the roots, through absorption into the leaves. These sprays prevent growth by limiting the amount of chlorophyll and protein in the plants and are a good choice for mature lawns because they won’t impact the grass. In most instances, systemic weed killers protect the safety of the soil, however you won’t begin to see results for up to two weeks.
Contact Weed Killers
These are a great choice if you want to be precise in the type of weed you target or the location. It’s important to note that these spray weed killers do not kill the roots, but can help deteriorate the plants after multiple applications. These concentrations are typically sold as weed killer sprays, and are available in selective or non-selective varieties, and are typically not offered as natural weed killers.
Selective weed killer sprays, such as the Fiesta Selective Weed Killer, target a specific variety of weed while non-selective is a popular choice for clearing larger areas or multiple types of weeds or grasses. Selective sprays are great for treating weeds that are entangled within your lawn. It’s possible to find natural weed killer sprays that are selective, too. For pet safe weed killer, be sure to read the labels.
Natural Weed Killers
If you have pets that share your yard, or even if you want to be more environmentally friendly to nature around the neighborhood, we recommend searching for a natural weed killer. These products allow you to feel good about your purchase while still achieving the results you’re looking for in your yard.
Finding a pet safe weed killer for your yard means taking extra time understanding the ingredients. Glyphosate, carbon tetrachloride, trimec, chloroform, and sethoxydim are all ingredients found in common weed killers. According to research conducted by Tufts University School of Veterinary Medicine over a six-year period, dogs that were exposed to yards treated with lawn chemicals were up to 70 percent more likely to develop cancer. The study, “Household Chemical Exposures and the Risk of Canine Malignant Lymphoma,” not only found correlation between chemical weed killer sprays and dogs, but also questioned what that meant for human exposure as well.
When shopping for a natural weed killer that’s also pet-friendly, pay attention to the labels. Take notice of the organizations that are responsible for certifying the product as a natural weed killer and who certifies that it’s safe for your four-legged friends and do your research.
If you are looking to prevent weeds, a pet safe weed killer that acts as a preventative is the way to go. However, if your yard has already been infiltrated, you can look for a pet safe weed killer to get your yard back in shape.
3 Tips to Getting the Most out of Your Weed Killer
No matter which method you choose, there are a few tips that will help you get the most out of your weed killer:
- Make sure to apply it on a day when there's no rain in the forecast. You don't want your hard work to go to waste, and rain can also increase runoff and contaminate water supplies nearby.
- If possible, try to apply the weed killer spray early in the morning or late in the evening when it's not as hot outside. This will help minimize evaporation so that the weedkiller can work its magic.
- Be sure to give your weeds a thorough spraying so they're completely covered, but not too much that you’re wasting it.
If you’re having issues with insects as well, there are plenty of natural and organic insect control options, too.
How to Spray Weed Killer
The best way to learn how to use weed killer is to read the directions on the package carefully. Regardless of whether you choose natural weed killer, something chemical, or a pet safe weed killer, each product will have its own instructions, so it's important that you follow them precisely for the best – and safest – results. One thing that is generally true across all products, however, is that you should always wear gloves and eye protection when handling or spraying weed killer.
Once you've put on your gloves and goggles, it's time prepare the product. Many weed killer sprays come in a concentrate you must mix with water. Once that's done, transfer the mixture to a pump sprayer, which will make it easier to apply evenly over the weeds. Be sure not to get any on your skin or clothes, as it can be harmful if ingested or if it comes into contact with your skin.
Now that you're all set up and ready to go, start spraying! Be sure to focus on the leaves of the plant rather than the stem or flowers. The leaves are where the plant produces food for itself, so applying the weed killer directly to them will help kill the plant faster and more effectively.
Weeds can be such a pain. Thankfully, there are plenty of ways to get rid of them for good. In this blog post, we explored some of the different options for using weed killer, including pet safe weed killer and natural weed killer. We also shared some helpful tips for getting the most out of your weed killer spray application. So, what are you waiting for? Go out and create the yard of your dreams.