An herbicide is applied to prevent the growth of weeds and to eradicate existing weeds. There are several different types of herbicides and the method of application is partly dependent on the herbicide in question and where it is being applied.
Specific vs Non-Specific Herbicides
The most commonly used herbicide fon lawns is a specific herbicide. This type of weed killer targets a specific type of weed or unwanted plant and can be applied to an entire lawn or to specific locations to attack areas in the lawn where where weeds are present.
Non-specific herbicides are not commonly used by homeowners because they kill all plants they come in contact with. For this reason, non-specifc herbicides are not recommended for garden use. They are, however, frequently used to remove plants and foliage from large areas in preparation for building or new landscaping.
Pre-Emergent vs Post-Emergent Herbicides
Pre-emergent herbicides should be applied before the ground begins to warm and weeds begin to germinate. Their purpose is to prevent seeds from growing and they should be applied to lawns before the temperature reaches 60 degrees. You should be sure that aeration is completed before applying a pre-emergent herbicide.
Pre-emergent weed killers are often available in granular form and are combined with weed and feed formulas. A common method of applying granules is to sprinkle them across the lawn. You may want to use a small bin that is hand cranked and walk across the grass to apply them. Or, you may want to use a wheeled spreader to disburse the herbicide. After the granules have been placed on the lawn, then water the lawn to activate the herbicide. If you use a sprinkler system your lawn will be evenly watered.
Use post-emergent herbicides after the weather has warmed up and weeds have begun to sprout. These herbicides are most effectively applied when temperatures range between 60 and 90 degrees. Granular versions of post-emergent herbicides are now being introduced for consumer use and can be applied in the same way as pre-emergent granular herbicides.
Another method of applying herbicides is to spray the herbicide directly onto the weed or plant. If you do not want to purchase a pre-made mixture, prepare a solution by mixing the herbicide with water. Follow directions on the package. Place the mixture in a sprayer, direct the spray at the plant and apply, taking care not to create overspray that can affect nearby plants.
Another method of applying an herbicide is by lightly brushing the herbicide solution on a weed or undesired plant. This can be done with a small paint brush or even a cotton swab. Dip the brush or swab into the herbicide and then brush it against the base of the weed, thoroughly saturating the plant so that the herbicide will be absorbed into the plant and work its way down into the root system.
Other common methods of applying herbicides include cutting the weed or unwanted plant and then saturating the remaining portion of the plant with the herbicide to send the plant killer into the plant to the root.