Weeds are the bane of gardeners and landscape architects all over the world, but they can be easily controlled with the use of herbicides.

Herbicides work through either speeding up or outright stopping a weed’s natural growth pattern. Speeding up a weed’s growth pattern will force it to drop its leaves, whilst stopping its growth pattern will dry up its stems. In both cases, the invasive, unsightly part of the weed will cease to be a problem.

Broadly speaking, there are five types of herbicides. Broad spectrum, or nonselective herbicides, will work on a wide variety of weeds, but can also damage desirable plants if they are not used with care. Selective herbicides will only work on a narrow range of weeds, and can thus be used after garden plants have established themselves.

Contact herbicides will not spread through the weed, but will instead only destroy the weed tissue at the point of contact. Systemic herbicides are injected into weeds before proceeding to move through their circulation systems. Finally, residual herbicides are applied directly to the soil, remaining active for a set amount of time.


The type of herbicide you should use will depend on three things:

  • The grass variety
  • The specific type of weed
  • The scale of the problem.

In most cases, the weeds must be actively growing in order to be vulnerable to herbicidal treatment. This means that it is not usually possible to safeguard your lawn against weeds. The use of herbicides is not a preventative measure. It’s a cure.

When choosing, mixing and applying herbicides, it is vital that you follow to the letter all the directions outlined on the label. It is particularly important that you adhere strictly to the recommended application rates. Herbicides are never more effective when used in greater quantities, and such practices invariably cause more harm than good.

If you want to know which specific herbicide is suitable for your needs, contact your local cooperative extension service. They will be able to provide advice and recommendations based on your climate, your soil type, and your grass seed variety.

For more information on weeds and herbicides, feel free to give us a call on 352 748 2085.