How Does a Weed Killer Not Kill The Grass?

Many unwanted plants like crabgrass, dandelions, and clover thrive in our gardens. Weed growth hinders turfgrass from flourishing and can result in the deterioration of our lawn’s texture.

Grassy weeds, noxious weeds, and other types of weeds steal sunshine and nutrients from the soil. The question that remains is: how do we get rid of them without harming lawn grass?

While traditional practices like pulling out the weeds by hand and permanent weed plucking are the best ways to avoid weed development, sometimes a chemical weed killer might be all you need to save your grass. When nothing else works, try herbicides.

Herbicides – Weed Killers for Your Lawn

“It is always wise to read the labels” is what my mom always says! In this scenario, reading the labels on herbicides can tell you the types of weeds they work against. By reading labels, you’ll also learn the best conditions for herbicide application.

Many herbicides are only effective within a specific temperature range, and others only suppress the growth of weed seeds when used at a specific time of year. If we look at selective herbicide definitions, we’ll learn that herbicides are divided into three broad categories.

Pre-Emergent Herbicides

These herbicides finish off germinating seeds before seedlings get a chance to develop and come out of the soil. It is best to use these when treating crabgrass. One thing to consider is that many pre-emergent herbicides have an unpleasant side effect of killing germinating lawn seeds as well.

Post-Emergent Herbicides

Post-emergent herbicides put an end to flourishing weeds in our gardens. They are generally available in two types:

  • Contact herbicides only kill the part of the plant they come in contact with. These work fast and are useful for dealing with annual weeds.
  • Systemic herbicides work inside weeds to eliminate them. They’re more effective when it comes to battling perennial weeds.

Weed and Feed Products

Fertilizers and herbicides are combined in weed-and-feed products to accomplish two tasks at the same time. Note that these herbicides, which kill weeds and fertilize grass at once, contain dangerous and toxic substances so follow the label carefully.

Corn gluten with added organic fertilizer is the best weed-and-feed product to use and gives effective results.

How Are Selective Herbicides Absorbed Into a Broadleaf Weed?

How Are Selective Herbicides Absorbed Into A Broadleaf Weed

Herbicides function by preventing the plant’s cells from growing. They do so by inhibiting cell growth in enzymes that cause fat to accumulate. Since the enzymes responsible for cell growth in broad-leafed plants are different from the enzymes responsible for grassy plants, herbicides target and disrupt the enzymes in weeds while leaving grass enzymes alone. This ultimately destroys all the weeds without causing any harm to the lawn grass.

A Few Final Tips

As you learn to deal with pesky weeds in your backyard and garden, remember this: how you apply herbicide will affect its effectiveness. These weed killers can harm the plants you’re trying to preserve if you use more than the specified dose.

Before using any herbicide, read the label carefully, follow the instructions, and heed any warnings. Avoid herbicides that contain glyphosate, a non-selective herbicide that can kill flourishing grass along with unwanted plants.

You should also keep a close eye on your lawn to ensure that the herbicide you’re using isn’t accidentally damaging your other plants.

Last but not least, don’t use herbicides when it’s windy outside. You wouldn’t want them to get on your or other plants you don’t plan on using them on. Keep these things in mind and watch your turfgrass flourish!


Author: Matt Hagens

Hi, I’m Matt the owner of Obsessed Lawn. I love to be outside working on my lawn, planning my next project. I created this website to help people like you find the best products for yard care and great advice. Learn more about me and find me on Facebook.