Gardens can bring so much joy to the owner; it can also be a source of frustration. One of the issues that cause so much frustration for gardeners whether newbies or professionals is the issue of weeds. Weeds can be a nuisance in a garden because they take away the sunlight, nutrient and water that the garden plants need which limits the growth possibilities of these plants.
You may have tried several ways of curbing the growth of weeds in your garden or eradicating them completely to no avail. Well, it might be time to introduce herbicides. This is because they are effective means of preventing or controlling the growth of this unwanted vegetation.
Some gardeners fear using herbicides due to some preconceived ideas but there are times when they are the only way of getting rid of weeds that have defied every other removal method. Read this article for information history about herbicides. In this article however, we will discuss about this solution and safe ways of using them in your garden.
Professional Herbicide Solutions
Herbicides are chemical solutions that prevent the growth of weeds or kill unwanted plants. The way these chemicals work depend on the plant that they are formulated to take care of. There are different types of herbicides and they are divided into 2 main categories which are selective and non-selective.
Selective and Non –selective Herbicides
These are chemical solutions that are targeted at some types of plants and will only kill those ones and leave others unharmed. This type of weedkillers is great for use in gardens and lawns. They are further classified into pre and post emergent herbicides.
The pre- emergent ones are used on the soil so that they can kill the seedlings of unwanted vegetation as soon as they emerge. The post emergent variants on the other hand are used on the leaves of a plant at the point where they can get into the tissue of the plant.
Non-selective weedkillers are those that can kill any type of plant. They are mostly used when clearing out land for new gardens.
These chemicals work in different ways which are described as their modes of action. Usually, the active ingredient in the solution will focus on a growth function or two of the plant to stop it from growing. An example is solutions that stop the function of photosynthesis.
4 Most Commonly Used Herbicide Chemicals
Many chemicals are used to make these solutions, but the most common ones are as follows:-
- Glyphosate – This is used for making weedkillers in the systemic and non-selective category. They stop a growth function of the plant which is the production of protein.
- Treflan/Trifluralin- This is a pre-emergent chemical that prevents a plant from having roots by stopping cell division.
- 2,4-D- This is a chemical used in making selective herbicides for broadleaf weeds. It is used in products such as the bow and arrow herbicide which is known for effectively killing broadleaf weeds such as Plantain, White Clover, Cat’s ear and Capeweed. They function by making the plant cells to divide rapidly thereby causing it to become diseased and eventually die off.
- Lmazaquin – This chemical is used for selective weedkillers and is used on grasses that grow during the warm season. They function by stopping the plant from producing amino acids thereby hindering the growth of the plant.
Tips for Herbicide Use
We have mentioned earlier that many people are wary of using chemical solutions to deal with stubborn weeds. But like we said also, there is no cause for alarm as far as you follow the instructions for use and safety tips. We will help you in this regard by sharing safety tips for herbicide use.
Always Read the Product Label
Never make the mistake of applying any solution in your garden without reading the product label. Because these solutions contain highly potent chemicals, there are laws and regulations for production and use by State Departments of Agriculture and Environmental Protection Agencies. So you would do well always to read the label to get specific instructions for use.
Know Words that Signal Toxicity
There are words that different manufacturers use to alert users to the toxicity level of their products. The toxicity level is based on how harmful the solution is and how severe the symptoms can get if you are exposed to the solution.
- Caution means that it is slightly toxic
- Warning means that it is moderately toxic
- Danger means highly toxic
Understand How the Solution Works and How it Should be Applied
Understanding the mood of action of your weed killer of choice and the way to apply it is very necessary for the prevention of accidents of any kind. Herbicides usually come in powder/granules, liquid or gel form, and they can be applied specifically (at a spot) or broadly (over a large area of soil).
If you are applying to a large area of soil at once, ensure that you spread the solution uniformly so that there will be no chemical buildup in any spot. To apply in specific spots, ensure that you first identify the weed before application. Visit https://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/health/healthyliving/farm-safety-and-handling-agrichemicals to understand the effect of chemical buildup on a garden.
Apply the Right Quantity
Overusing herbicides can expose you and your family to an increased risk of the effect of chemical toxicity. Studies have also shown that using too much herbicide can make the weeds resistant to the solution. There is really no benefit to overusing your herbicide; in fact, you only end up wasting it and harming your garden.
Herbicides can be great allies in the maintenance of your garden. However, as with everything in life, you must learn how to use them effectively. We have shared some information on this solution in this article. However, one thing we must not fail to mention in closing is that you should always wear protective gear when applying herbicides. Ensure that you are well protected as instructed on the label of your preferred product.