Herbicide Tips and Advice

Herbicide -

Herbicide Tips and Advice

Most of us have memories of spending hours pulling weeds in the yard or garden. Weeds that take over your yard can be one of the most frustrating parts of growing a lawn or garden. Fortunately, there are many types of herbicides to kill or slow down the growth of unwanted plants so you don't have to pull them manually. Herbicides kill plants by stopping metabolic processes in the plant. Read on to learn about the different types of herbicides and the best ways to keep unwanted weeds from taking over your crops.

Terms to Know

Selective. These herbicides can be applied to your crop and will only suppress the targeted weeds while leaving your crop unaffected. 

Non-Selective. Also called broad spectrum, these herbicides kill all vegetation in an area by working on processes that work in all present plants.

Residual. These herbicides have a long lasting activity in the soil and are usually applied directly to the soil before planting crops.

Surfactant. A chemical compound that helps herbicides penetrate the leaves of the plant instead of rolling off.

Contact: Herbicides that only affect the plant tissues that they come into contact with.

Systemic: Herbicides that are absorbed and transported throughout a plant eventually killing the entire plant and roots.

Weed Control Tips

While spraying for weeds is a simple process, there are steps you can take to make your herbicides more effective for killing weeds.

  • Identify the weeds you need to spray so you can select the proper herbicide.
  • Read the herbicide label and follow directions for the best results.
  • Check the weather and other conditions when you apply your spray. Rain, wind, and temperature can all change the effectiveness of the herbicide.
  • Most weed killers are pet safe after they dry, but you should always check this on the product label.
  • After you spray, make sure to clean your equipment well so left over residue doesn't mix with your next spraying.

Choosing a Weed Killler 

There are many herbicides that work well for crops and plants that grow in the intermountain area. Before you start to spray you will want to determine what type of weeds you want to kill. Different chemicals will kill different types of weeds so you want to make sure the herbicide you choose is labeled for your particular weed.

Most herbicides are either selective and only kill broadleaf weeds or are non selective and basically kill every weed they touch. If you are spraying weeds in your lawn, you will need a selective weed killer that only kills the broadleaf weeds so it won't kill your lawn, too. For your yard, you can use a nonselective weed killer, such as Glyphosate, for total weed control. 

You will also want to watch for weed killers with a residual effect that can keep weeds away for longer if that is what you desire. Some herbicides prevent weeds from growing at all and some only work after the weeds have started growing.

Common Ingredients

Knowing common ingredients in weed killers can be useful when you are deciding what type of herbicide you need. For example, if you have crabgrass you will want to look for an herbicide that has the active ingredient quinclorac in it. Below are some of the common ingredients you will want to watch for.

Dithiopyr. A key ingredient in preemergent herbicides to prevent target weeds from emerging. Dithiopyr restrains weeds by interrupting microtubules which are needed for plant growth, so basically the target weeds can't grow. This must be applied every 90-120 days for the desired effects.

Treflan. Treflan is another preemergent herbicide made of trifluralin. This orange chemical should be applied in early spring right before planting. It is great for control of certain annual grasses and broad leafed weeds.

2,4 D Amine. 2,4-D kills broadleaf weeds but not most grasses. This herbicide kills plants by causing the cells in the tissues that hold nutrients and water to divide and grow without stopping. These types of herbicides are called auxin-type herbicides.

Dicamba. Dicamba is similar to 2,4-D. Both are auxin-type herbicides that control hormones kill plants. When plants are treated with dicamba, they grow in unusual and uncontrollable ways, causing the plant to die. Dicamba is used on many broadleaf weeds and woody plants.



Weeds Targeted

Use In Active Ingredients Our Recommendation

Crabgrass, Dandelions, & more

Lawns, around the yard Dithiopyr

HJE Dimension

Selective Clover, Dandelions, & More Lawns 2,4-D, Dicamba, Sultentrazone, Triclopyr PBI Gordon Tzone

Crabgrass, Goosegrass, & more

Shrubs, flowers, gardens Trifluralin HJE Trifluralin 5G
Non Selective

Broadleaf weeds & grasses

Around the yard, non crop areas Glyphosate Hi Yield Killzall

When to Spray

The best time to spray your crops varies depending on type of weed and its lifecycle. Depending on the season you are spraying, a preemergent or post emergent herbicide may be best. You may want to spray before your crops start growing or wait until you are seeing plants to start. If you have questions about when or what weeds to spray for, give us a call at 800-888-4545, and one of our pest control specialists can help you out!