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How to Spray Lawn Weeds
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How to Spray Lawn Weeds

Spraying lawn weeds is necessary to maintain your lawn health and vigour. However it can get confusing, with so many herbicides on the market to treat different lawn weeds.

However, for most of us, if we know the weed types we’re dealing with we can usually purchase the appropriate herbicide for our needs and apply it with reasonable certainty when following the instructions on the packaging

In this article, we’ll cover the basics of spraying lawn weeds, including what you’ll need, the best methods to use, and other tips and tricks to keep those annoying weeds at bay.

Types of Weed Killers

There are many different types of weed killers that work in different ways to tackle different types of weeds. Which herbicide you choose will depend on factors such as your lawn variety, the type of weed, the season and the density of weed infestation.

Pre-emergent

Pre-emergent herbicides are very effective against weeds that have a habit of coming back, season after season. They work by creating a barrier in the soil that prevents weed seeds from germinating and should be applied before seeds begin to emerge, usually in early spring.

That said, pre-emergent herbicides typically work for three months, so you should aim to reapply every season.

Pre-emergent herbicides are very effective against weeds that have a habit of coming back, season after season.

Selective

Selective lawn herbicides are designed to specifically target only one or two weeds while having minimal impact on your lawn. For this reason, it is very important to be able to identify the weed you are tackling, so you can select the right herbicide for its control.

Selective herbicides are typically the most effective weed killer in spring.

Non-selective

Broad-spectrum, or non-selective herbicides, like glyphosate, are very effective at killing weeds, but they will also kill your grass. They should be used sparingly, for very tough weeds that cannot be treated with alternative methods, as they can be detrimental to your lawn and your garden.

Choosing the Best Weed Killer for Lawns

Before choosing the best weed killer for your lawn, you’ll have to determine exactly what type of weed you’re dealing with.

Different weed types require different treatments—what’s effective for one may do little or no damage to another.

There are three main types of weeds: Broadleaf, Grassy, and Grass-like.

  1. Broadleaf Weeds

Broadleaf Weeds have broad, flat leaves, and thrive in soil that’s lacking key nutrients. They come in different types—annual, biennial, and perennial, so different Broadleaf Weed varieties require different herbicides depending on their life cycle.

Examples of Broadleaf Weeds include Dandelions, Clover, Chickweed, Dollarweed, Thistles, and Oxalis.

  1. Grassy Weeds

Grassy Weeds, as their name suggests, have leaves that look like grass blades and they grow one at a time. Examples of Grassy Weeds include Wintergrass, Crabgrass, Goosegrass, and Foxtail.

  1. Grass-like Weeds

Grass-like Weeds resemble grass, but their leaves are more tube-like and triangular than flat. Examples of Grass-like Weeds include Garlic, Nutsedge, and Wild Onion.

Here is a selection of weed killers to use on the different weed types.

Natural Weed Killers

Natural weed killers (sometimes referred to as bioherbicides) can be an effective alternative if you are concerned about the safety of pets or children in the garden. They are often less potent than chemical weed killers and may require multiple applications to get the desired weed control.

Liquid Weed Killers

Pre-mixed liquid weed killers are convenient, as they don’t require dilution before use. They are also more expensive, and the costs may add up if you need to spray a large area.

For larger infestations, it is more economical to go with a concentrated weed killer.

Broadleaf Weed Killers

Many weed killers target Broadleaf Weeds, but unfortunately, they can also impact Broadleaf lawn varieties, such as Buffalo Grass.

Make sure to check the label to see if the product is suitable for your lawn variety. You can search for appropriate products in the myhomeTURF online store.

Herbicides and Lawn Varieties

Many of the most commonly-used herbicides can be toxic to some of the most popular lawn varieties. In most cases, these herbicides are used to kill Broadleaf Weeds in lawns.

The lawn types most adversely affected by these weed killers are Buffalo and sometimes Kikuyu. But other herbicides can also affect some grass types. Using the wrong herbicide may kill a lawn – so always check the label before purchase to see whether they are safe to use on your lawn type.

Selective Herbicides

The increasing popularity of Soft Leaf Buffalo varieties like Sapphire®, Prestige® and Palmetto®, and their susceptibility to many weed killers has led to the development of special herbicides for Buffalo Grass. Look for these first if you own a Buffalo lawn.

Restricted Herbicides

There are many weed types that are found in home lawns – most of the common weed types can be controlled by the homeowner with the use of herbicides bought from shops, such as myhomeTURF’s online store.

But there are some weeds that the homeowner cannot treat themselves, as the poison is considered too toxic to be handled and disposed of safely by the general public.

These restricted weed killers are available to licensed weed sprayers, so if you do find yourself faced with weeds you cannot control – the best and easiest option is to make a quick call to a licensed professional weed spraying contractor.

Herbicide Safety

Herbicides are highly poisonous. Be sure to store herbicides in a safe place out of the reach of children. Always be sure to keep children and pets off your lawn for several days after application. Even better, would be to wait until after the first lawn watering before allowing pets and children back onto the lawn.

How to Spray Lawn Weeds Correctly

lawn weedsThe best time to spray your lawn for weeds is on a dry, still day. Avoiding a windy day restricts the amount of drift, which means you won’t accidentally poison beloved plants from other parts of the garden.

You should also ensure that there is no rain forecast for two to three days after you have sprayed. Rain can cause your weed killer to become diluted, making it less effective, or even spread to parts of the garden that you don’t want to be sprayed.

Many herbicides rely on photosynthesis, so a good tip is to spray early in the morning. This allows the maximum window of sunlight for the herbicide to work.

When it comes to preparing your herbicide, be sure to follow any instructions on the label, including dilution ratios. Don’t mix your weed killer with other chemicals – you never know what might happen.

Make sure that you use relevant protective equipment, including gloves and eyewear for your personal safety. You should also make sure that any dogs or children are out of harm’s way at the time of spraying, and for several days afterwards.

Lawn Mowing and Weed Spraying

Mowing lawns create open wounds in the grass leaf, while these wounds remain open the lawn will absorb any weed killers which are applied to it.

The lawn can become very sick or even die in areas if herbicides are applied to newly mowed lawns, so the general rule is to wait for one week after mowing before applying weed killers to the lawn. Also, wait one week after applying weed killers before mowing the lawn again.

For more information, check out our helpful articles on Lawn Mowing and Weed Control.

Lawn Watering and Weed Spraying

watering a green lawnNeedless to say, if a lawn was watered or if it rained after applying herbicides, the herbicide would be washed away with the water. Always be sure that no water will go onto the lawn within a few days of spraying – a few days more would be even better. For more information, make sure to head over to our Lawn Watering Advice articles.

Herbicides such as Wintergrass Killer are not absorbed by the leaf of the weeds like most other herbicides. This herbicide will need to be watered into the soil after application in order for it to be absorbed by the roots of the Wintergrass.

Recommended Herbicides

Bow and Arrow 500mL

Bow and Arrow 500mL is one of the most effective broadleaf liquid herbicides on the market. Suitable for Zoysia, Kikuyu, Couch and Buffalo grasses however transient discolouration may occur on Kikuyu, Carpet and Queensland Blue Couch lawns. Always read the safety directions and instructions on the product label before use.

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Oxafert

myhomeTURF recommends OxaFert, which is a combination product containing both fertiliser and pre-emergent herbicide. Always read the safety directions and instructions on the product label before use.

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Spartan 500mL

Spartan is one of the leading pre-emergent Herbicides for the control of Crowsfoot Grass, Summer Grass, Winter Grass, Paspalum and other grassy weeds. Suitable for use on Zoysia, Kikuyu, Couch and Buffalo grasses. Always read the safety directions and instructions on the product label before use.

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In conclusion

Lawn weeds are an annoying part of being a lawn owner, but understanding how to spray them properly will make it easier to manage their appearance. Choosing the right herbicide for your lawn and weeds is the most important thing to get right – spray the wrong herbicide, and you could end up with more problems than you started with.

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