Weeds are pesky and can quickly take over your garden or lawn.
Weed killers are a necessary part of any weed control program, but with so many types of weed killers on the market, it can be hard to know which one is right for you.
Knotweed Removal provides in-depth reviews of all the most popular weed killers on the market, so you can choose the one that’s best for your needs.
The range of weed killers available
With so many different types of weed killers on the market, it might be difficult to choose the right one when the time comes. It’s easy to be overwhelmed by the vast selection of pesticides available online or in your local DIY store.
To make things a little easier for you, we’ve broken down the many types of weed killers available, their features, and when they’re appropriate to use.
The types of weed killer include:
It’s crucial to remember that selecting and using the wrong sort of weed killer on your lawn or infected area might cause major harm.
So understanding which weed killer to use is crucial. After all, ‘Roundup,’ the most widely used herbicide, is also contact, systemic, and non-selective weed killer.
1. Contact Weed Killers
Best suited to annual weeds.
If you want to fight weeds in a specific area or even a specific weed then a contact weed killer is what you want. This method of weed control is rapid-acting and kills only the plants or plant sections with which it comes into contact.
Although these weed killers do not kill root systems, they do weaken plants with repeated applications, especially on aggressive perennial weeds, and this is the most widely used variety.
This sort of weed killer destroys weeds as soon as it comes into touch with them. The herbicide is consumed via the plant’s stomata (tiny holes) in this case. The stomata, on the other hand, must be open for the weed killer to be effective.
These are only open when the plant is actively growing and during the day when the photosynthesis process is occurring.
As a result, contact weed killers should be administered to target plants early in the day during the growing season, to the green, living foliage. This allows the herbicide to work its way into the stomata for the entire day.
Many homeowners and lawn care enthusiasts use contact weed killers since they have no effect on the garden soil surrounding the target plants.
When glyphosate, a common type of contact herbicide, is sprayed, it becomes trapped inside soil particles, rendering it unavailable to plant roots and rendering it redundant in the soil.
Contact weed killers take around two weeks to fully activate and are an excellent choice for dealing with and controlling annual weeds. However, two or three treatments of contact herbicide are required to control perennial weeds.
- Contact weed killers are easy and convenient to use.
- They are effective in killing weeds quickly.
- They are less expensive than other weed killers.
- Contact weed killers can kill nearby plants if they come into contact with them.
- They can be harmful to pets and people if ingested.
- They can pollute waterways if not used properly.
2. Systemic Weed Killers
Best used to eliminate deep-rooted perennials such as dandelions and dock weeds
The vast majority of herbicides are classified as systemic weed killers. This means that the herbicide enters the plant and works its way through the plant’s transport system, targeting and killing all of the plant’s regions.
A systemic weed killer, for example, would enter a plant through its foliage and work its way down the plant until it reaches the roots, where it would finally kill the weed altogether.
Weed killers that are systemic are absorbed by the leaf and then carried to the rest of the plant, including the roots.
Systemic weed herbicides work by limiting the amount of protein and chlorophyll in plants, which inhibits growth hormonally. It could take up to two weeks for this form of weed pesticide to totally destroy the plants and show results.
These, too, can be used on specific species without causing harm to nearby plants. This sort of weed killer is safe to use on existing lawns and won’t harm the grass. Because only systemic weed killers influence plant material, the soil should be appropriate for additional plants in most circumstances.
- Systematic weed killers are more effective in controlling weeds than selective weed killers.
- They are also more economical, as less product is needed to achieve the desired results.
- They are typically less harmful to the environment than selective weed killers.
- Systematic weed killers can damage or kill desirable plants if not used carefully.
- They can also be harmful to animals and humans if ingested or inhaled.
- Some systemic weed killers can stay in the soil for long periods of time, potentially causing damage to future crops.
3. Residual Weed Killers
Best used along walkways, paths or in the spaces between paving stones.
Residual weed killers are herbicides that are applied to the soil before or after planting to control weeds. They work by killing the weed’s roots, preventing it from growing back.
Soil acting weed killers are another name for these types of weed killers. When choosing and using these herbicides, keep in mind that they will poison the soil surrounding the target plant, rendering it dormant and worthless for producing any further plants, weeds, or flowers for a significant period of time.
The bulk of leftover weed killers remains in the soil for months, preventing any type of plant growth. These herbicides, on the other hand, have little effect on smaller plants like algae and lichens.
Hard-standing places like walkways, paths, driveways, and patios are great for residual week killers, however not locations where you want to grow plants or vegetables in the near future.
Seed germination and photosynthesis are both inhibited by soil-acting weed killers. Some of these weed killers might last months or even years in the soil.
As a result, you should avoid applying to places that have edible plants. Caution should be exercised in locations near flowers, plants, or trees. After using these weed killers, it is not advisable to plant anything else in the area for a period of time.
- Residual weed killers are effective in controlling weeds for an extended period of time.
- They can be applied to the soil before or after planting
- They are safe to use around children and pets
- Residual weed killers can kill desirable plants if they come in contact with them
- They can be harmful to the environment if not used properly
- They can be expensive
4. Selective Weed Killers
Used for lawns, turf and paddocks where you want to kill a weed but keep the grass.
A selective weed killer is a herbicide that kills weeds while leaving the grass undamaged on your lawn or sports surface. A selective weed killer is an excellent strategy to help reduce weeds in your lawn or turf if cultural methods have failed and the situation has gone out of hand.
These herbicides function by killing a specific plant while leaving the soil and other plants intact. Certain selective weed killers, for example, are designed to selectively kill broad-leaved plants like buttercup, dandelion, and daisy, while having no effect on narrow-leaved plants like grass.
Because the two types of plants constitute two early evolutionary divisions within the plant kingdom, their vascular and transport systems are highly distinct. This means that herbicides targeting one of these two plant kinds can be developed.
- A selective weed killer kills weeds without harming the plants you want to keep.
- Selective weed killers are available as liquid concentrates, granules, and wettable powders.
- They are easy to use; just mix with water and apply.
- As soon as the lawn is dry, it is safe for children and pets.
- Selective weed killers can be expensive.
- Some selective weed killers only kill certain types of weeds, so you may need to use more than one product to get rid of all the weeds in your garden.
- Selective weed killers can harm beneficial insects such as bees and butterflies, so it is important to read the label carefully and follow the directions.
5. Non-Selective Weed Killers
These are herbicides designed to kill any vegetation they contact. They kill weeds as well as your plants
Non-selective weed killers, like contact weed killers, are herbicides that kill everything that comes into touch with them.
Non-selective weed killers, on the other hand, will kill or seriously injure any plant they come into contact with, unlike contact herbicides. As a result, extra caution should be exercised when using and applying this type of herbicide.
Always spray during calm weather, avoid walking over areas that have been sprayed before, cover plants near the target weed, and handle chemicals and knapsack sprayers with care.
- Weed killers are very effective at killing all plants, including weeds and grass.
- Non-selective weed killers are easy to use, just apply and it will kill all plants in the area.
- Kills weeds quickly, usually within a few days.
- Non-selective weed killers will kill anything they come in contact with, so be careful when using them around desirable plants.
- Some people may not like the idea of killing all plants in an area, even if they are weeds.
- Can be harmful to the environment if not used carefully.
With so many different types of weed killers available, it’s important to choose the right one for your needs.
Likewise, the best method used to apply the weed killer, which is predominantly spraying must be used carefully to avoid damaging surrounding plants and vegetation.
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Governmental advice can be found here and the UK law covering the removal of Japanese Knotweed as stated under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 can be found here.
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