What’s the Best Broadleaf Weed Killer for Your Lawn?
How To Minimize The Impact Of Broad Leaf Weeds
Tips for Controlling Broadleaf Weeds On The Lawn
When talking about the most problematic broad-leaf weeds, dandelions and chickweed are the ones that spring to mind. Of course, there are hundreds of different varieties besides the usual suspects and they are easy to spot on a lawn as they don’t resemble grass.
Controlling broadleaf weeds is typically easy, but to completely eradicate them can be almost impossible and impractical and there are not many weeds that people want growing in their lawn.
The best way to manage broadleafs or any type of weed for that matter is by practicing good horticultural practices. Without good practices, you only encourage the weeds to thrive which is not what you want.
Good practices include cutting grass regularly but not so that it is too short, not making use of fertilizers and too much or too little water. Weeds are as strong as they are invasive and can easily tolerate dry or wet conditions and compete with the grass and other plants for nutrients by effectively starving them.
Where Do Broadleaf Weeds Come From?
Broadleaf weeds are naturally occurring plants that appear from seeds that are spread by the wind and wildlife or by root encroachment. The problem with broadleaf weeds is that they can survive in the soil for 30 plus years and the high quantity of seeds they produce can mean a never-ending cycle of removal and invasion.
Another place that broadleaf weeds can come from is from low-quality grass seeds, think along the lines of budget brands. They can also appear from the use of topsoil introduced to the garden that contains root fragments or dormant seeds.
Chemical Weed Killer to Control Invasion.
One of the most common chemical weedkiller methods is to use a mixture that is composed of two to three of the individual herbicides or active ingredients. Using a combination of ingredients helps target different reproductive cycles of the weeds and disrupts seed production, death at the root and sterilization.
Timing weedkiller application can help enhance its effectiveness. For perennial broadleaf weeds, it is best to start applying in September to November. When winter is fast approaching, weeds store their energy reserves in the roots and stems which allow the chemicals to enter the plant’s food reserves thus leading to the poisoning and death of the plant.
After fall and winter have passed, the next best time is in spring and early summer after the weeds have already flowered but before the produce seeds. The plant will have expended most of its energy when flowering making it weaker and more susceptible to herbicides.
Take care to avoid using it on or near areas containing your flowers, tree’s, shrubs and vegetables as these can be affected by herbicides resulting in plant damage or death.
If you are lucky enough to have just a few random weeds on your lawn, you can use the spot method rather than apply the chemical mix to your whole lawn. The spot treatment approach uses a quantity that is enough to dampen the leaf but not leave it saturated.
It is best to apply herbicides to actively growing young weeds as they are vulnerable at that point and try to avoid using it when the soil is too dry as it is less effective and can increase the risk of turf damage. The best type of day to apply it is on a clear and calm day with temps between 50 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit.
If it happens to rain after an application, wait for around 10 days to see if it has worked before reapplying again. It is important to avoid using herbicides on new or freshly laid grass and areas that have been excessively wet. You should also avoid mowing any areas you have treated for a minimum of 3 days post treatment.
Summer Annual Broadleaf Weed Control
Weeds such as knotweed, spurge, and purslane thrive in the summer months and they are also some of the most difficult plants to completely eradicate. As they germinate at various different points and have different growth cycles, a single application of herbicide may only control one species or one wave of growth. To control summer broadleafs requires a multifaceted approach.
Beginning in April you want to apply a herbicide that contains idoxiban, a herbicide which destroys seeds before they have a chance to sprout. Then in May, you want to apply one application of a general broadleaf herbicide.
So What’s the Top Broadleaf Weed Killer for Lawns?
Some resistant and stubborn weeds such as ground ivy and wild violets are difficult to manage as they proliferate via underground root systems. The best way to try to deal with weeds like these is with multiple and regular herbicide treatments. Broadleaf herbicides containing 2,4-D, MCPP, and dicamba should be used. A herbicide containing triclopyr or fluroxypyr can also be helpful in controlling these weeds.
We recommend Agri Star’s Triclopyr 4E Herbicide as the best best broadleaf weed killer for lawns, because it provides a cost effective solution for treating almost any property with trilopyr. Available in a 1 gallon container means you’ll have ample supply to eradicate broadleaf for years (average size yard).
You need to remember that to have a 100% weed free garden is going to be impossible, nature has a way of ensuring the spread of them and unless you grow in a glass covered garden with sterilized soil and microscopic selection of seeds, it’s never going to happen. If you use a good broadleaf fertilizer in the fall you can, however, minimize the following year’s growth.
Good Garden Practices.
- When cutting the lawn, it is imperative to keep the length at around 3 inches and avoid exposing the soil by cutting too short. Try to mow often so that you are only removing the top tips of the blades of grass. This could mean mowing the lawn twice a week in the summer months.
- Water the grass by giving it a deep soak around once every two weeks. It is best to wait until the grass becomes stressed, which leads to a slight graying of the lawn, before watering again. Always deep and never frequently.
- Feed you lawn and create a dense layer of grass that prevents weed seeds from taking root by preventing them from reaching the soil and blocking out any sunlight. 2 to 4 pounds of nitrogen per 1000 ft2 per year is sufficient. If you have a lot of clover emerging then you know that your lawn is deficient in nitrogen and needs to be fed.
- Lastly, ensure your lawn is not covered by shade as this can lead to balding patches where many broadleafs thrive. In fact, broadleafs love a shady and damp soil to grow in, so if you have an area of shade in your garden, resolve to fix the issue as quickly as possible.
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