HERBICIDES explained

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Weeds can be described as any plant growing in an area where it is not wanted.

Weeds can be small (clover) or large (Bugweed) in size. They are typically fast growing and spread rapidly impacting on plant growth in and around them.

In gardens, weed growth most commonly refers to weeds growing in existing lawns. Weed growth in paving, vegetable gardens and flower beds are also problematic.

Weeds are characterized as: narrowleafed (grasses), broad-leafed or woody.

Large weeds can often be removed by hand, but the use of an effective herbicide can eliminate hours of arduous weeding.

There are two types of herbicides:

  1. Selective herbicides control certain types of weeds – either broad-leafed or grass-like weeds
  2. Non-selective herbicides control and kill ALL plant types with which it comes into contact.

Selective Herbicides

These products are effective on either broad-leaf or grass type plants.

The application of a broadleaf herbicide will affect and control the growth of broadleaf plants. As such, this herbicide can safely be applied onto existing lawns, but will control broadleaf weeds.

A grass herbicide controls the growth of grass type (parallel veined) plants.  Grass herbicides can safely be applied to flower beds and will have no impact on broadleaf plants, but will control and impact on grasses.

Non selective herbicides

Non selective herbicides are effective on all growing plants. These herbicides should be applied with extreme care as they have been developed to retard all types of plant growth.  Drift from the herbicide application will impact on the plant growth in the vicinity, so herbicides should always only be applied in cool, calm conditions.

Herbicides are most effective on actively growing plants.

The solution is carried by the sap of the plant. The faster the plant is growing, the quicker the solution will be translocated through the plant, impacting on plant growth.  Applications done during less active growth period are also effective, however the results will take longer to be observed.

Weeds are persistent. Most weeds are not controlled after only one application and several, consecutive applications are recommended. Applications should be done every 2 weeks during the growing season and should continue until the weeds have been successfully controlled.

Remember – weeds are fast growing and quick to set and disperse seed. These seeds germinate to form new weeds, so regular herbicide applications are essential.

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