If you’re hunting for an easy and efficient way to control weeds in your lawn, a tow-behind spreader might be the perfect solution.
These spreaders are handy tools that hitch onto your riding lawn mower or ATV, allowing you to efficiently distribute an even layer of fertilizer, seed, and other lawn care products across your lawn.
While these are a popular pick for fertilizer applications, you can also use them for weed control products. They offer a straightforward approach to weed control, helping you maintain a thick, healthy-looking, and weed-free lawn.
Why Use a Tow-Behind Spreader?
Weed control can be cumbersome, and if you’re looking for a solution to keep it under wraps, a tow-behind spreader can be the perfect fit. Tow-behind spreaders are an excellent choice for many homeowners, as they easily follow your lawn tractor or ATV.
Here are a few reasons why a tow-behind spreader might be the perfect fit for your lawn care approach:
Benefits of Using a Tow-Behind Spreader
- Efficient: These spreaders are an excellent option for homeowners with larger lawns, as the design allows you to cover more ground faster and more efficiently. Since it attaches behind your lawn tractor or ATV, you can cover ground faster than you would on foot, so it’s excellent for treating a large lawn or multiple areas.
- Accurate: Tow-behind spreaders are often more precise than other types of spreaders, as you can better control the speed and direction of the spreader by adjusting the vehicle it’s towed behind. This can help avoid over-treating or under-treating parts of your lawn, ensuring it gets what it needs but nothing more.
- Durable: These spreaders are often more durable than other types of spreaders, like manual push options. Since they’re designed to be towed behind a vehicle, they can handle the bumps and jolts that come with being on the road. This helps ensure the spreader will last longer, giving you the most bang for your buck.
- Versatile: While they work great for applying weed control products, tow-behind spreaders can also be used as an applicator for fertilizers, seeds, and other lawn care products. They’re an excellent option for evenly applying all sorts of products to your lawn quickly and efficiently.
- Excellent investment: Between the speed, accuracy, and durability of these spreaders, they’re an excellent investment for homeowners who want a convenient weed control option.
Preparing Your Lawn for Weed Control
Prep is an essential part of the lawn care puzzle, even when it comes to weed control. So, if you’re planning to apply herbicide to your lawn to tackle those pesky weeds, don’t forget to prepare the area.
Mowing and Watering
Before using a tow-behind spreader on your lawn, it’s essential to ensure your lawn is properly mowed and watered. A healthy lawn has a better chance of fending off stubborn weeds than a thin, patchy, and unhealthy lawn, so ensure you stay on top of watering and mowing. Here are a few tips:
- Mow your lawn to a height of between 2 and 3 inches or whatever is recommended based on your grass type. This will encourage your grass to develop a deep root system, which is essential to resisting drought and weed invasions.
- Never take over ⅓ of the total grass height in a single mowing session. Cutting too much at once can shock the grass and make it more susceptible to disease, so ensure you only take off about ⅓ of its height at a time.
- Water your lawn deeply and infrequently when it’s thoroughly established. Most grasses need around 1 inch of water weekly, so ensure your lawn gets plenty of moisture. Watering deeply and less frequently encourages your grass to develop deep roots and builds its resistance to drought and weeds.
- Water during the morning if you can, as this will allow your lawn to absorb the water before it evaporates under the sun’s heat. On top of that, it will enable your grass to dry out during the day, which helps prevent fungal diseases.
Testing Your Soil
Understanding your soil and its contents is an essential step in overall grass health and preparing your lawn for weed control. The soil test will tell you your soil’s pH level and nutrient content, allowing you to make adjustments as necessary to boost the grass’s health and encourage weed resistance.
Here’s how to test your soil:
- Use a soil probe or trowel to collect samples from varying locations in your lawn.
- Mix the soil samples together in a clean bucket, ensuring they’re well combined.
- Take a small amount of soil and send it to a soil testing laboratory for analysis. Most universities and agricultural extension offices provide soil testing services for a small fee.
- When you receive the results, review them and follow the recommendations for fertilizer application and pH adjustments.
Choosing the Right Herbicide
Selecting the correct herbicide is part of a successful weed control application with your tow-behind spreader. Here are a few factors to consider when choosing the ideal herbicide to tackle the weeds in your lawn.
Types of Herbicides
Herbicides come in two main types: selective and non-selective. Selective varieties are designed to target specific types of weeds but leave your grass unharmed. Conversely, non-selective herbicides don’t discriminate against any plant and will kill any plant they come into contact with, including your grass.
Beyond that, you can find herbicides in two more classifications: pre-emergent and post-emergent. Pre-emergent varieties are designed to prevent weeds from germinating via an early application. In contrast, post-emergent herbicides are applied after the weeds have already appeared on your lawn.
Factors to Consider When Choosing an Herbicide
When selecting an herbicide, you need to consider several factors, including the following:
- The type of weed you are trying to control
- The season in which you are applying the herbicide
- Your lawn type and grass species
- The size of your lawn
- Environmental factors, including wind and rain
As you search for a suitable product, read the label carefully. Once you select a product, follow the instructions on the label for proper application. Applying too much herbicide or applying it at the wrong time can damage your lawn and have negative environmental impacts.
Using Your Tow-Behind Spreader to Apply Herbicide
Once you select an appropriate herbicide to address the weed problem in your yard, it’s time to apply it. Here are a few tips for a successful herbicide application using your tow-behind spreader.
Calibrating Your Spreader
Proper calibration is crucial in a successful herbicide application, as too little or too much product can detrimentally impact your lawn. Calibration will ensure you apply the right amount of herbicide to your yard, so remember to make proper adjustments.
To calibrate your spreader, start by measuring the area you want to treat. Next, fill your spreader with water and set it to the recommended setting for herbicide. Tow your spreader over the measured area at a consistent speed.
When you’re done, measure the amount of water left in the spreader and calculate the correct amount of herbicide you need to apply to reach your desired application rate.
Applying Herbicide with Your Spreader
Once your spreader is properly calibrated, you can apply the herbicide to your lawn. Remember to carefully review the instructions on the herbicide label to ensure a successful application. Here are a few tips for applying the product with your tow-behind spreader:
- Ensure your lawn is dry before applying herbicide.
- Apply herbicide when the temperature is between 60 and 85 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Choose a day to apply when there is no rain in the forecast for at least 24 hours.
- Tow your spreader over your lawn at a consistent speed to ensure even coverage.
- Overlap each pass slightly to ensure you don’t miss any spots.
- Once you finish applying the herbicide, water your lawn lightly to activate the herbicide.
Once you apply herbicide to your lawn using your tow-behind spreader, staying on top of post-application care is essential. This helps ensure the spreader has done its job effectively and that your lawn remains healthy and green.
Watering Your Lawn After Application
Watering your lawn after applying the herbicide is essential to activate the weed killer and ensure it penetrates deep within the soil. Generally, you should water your lawn within 24 hours of application.
Water deeply to ensure the water reaches the grass roots, but don’t oversaturate the soil, as this can lead to runoff. If the herbicide washes off your lawn, it won’t be able to do its job, so ensure you water enough to activate but not too much that you oversaturate the soil.
Mowing Your Lawn After Application
Wait at least 24 hours after application before mowing your lawn, as this will give the weed killer enough time to penetrate the soil and kill the weeds. Once the waiting period is over, make sure to adjust the height of your mower to avoid cutting your lawn too short.
Chopping too much of the grass height at once can stress your lawn and make it more susceptible to weed growth, so ensure you keep the mower at a suitable cutting height.