What is Broadleaf Weed Killer?

Weeds hinder lawn maintenance for a variety of reasons. These nuisances can ruin the appearance of one's lawn by taking away nutrients, sunlight, and water from other plants. Not only do weeds prevent these plants from flourishing, but they can be incredibly difficult to remove. However, identifying the type of weed you're dealing with can make it easier to restore your lawn to its pristine condition.

To successfully rid weeds from your lawn, you must identify whether the plant is a grasslike or broadleaf weed. In addition to determining the type of weed, it's important to understand how herbicides affect the kind of weed you're dealing with. Since grasslike and broadleaf weeds affect lawns differently, there are products specially designed to destroy each class of weeds.

Broadleaf Weeds vs. Grasslike Weeds

Grasslike weeds, like grass, nutsedge, iris, and lilies, can result in an unruly lawn. These types of weeds can be difficult to pinpoint because they resemble regular grass. To differentiate between the two, you must look closely at the stem shapes. While regular grass features round stems, grasslike weeds have triangular stems. Since grasslike weeds can grow among grass, either annually or perennially, it is a good idea to keep an eye out for these weeds all year round.

Indicative of their name, broadleaf weeds are identified by their wide leaves. These types of weeds include trees and non-grasslike plants. Similar to grasslike weeds, broadleaf weeds can grow either annually or perennially. However, perennial broadleaf weeds can cause long-term problems for property owners. Some broadleaf weed roots can become deeply embedded in the ground, causing broadleaf weeds to spread.

Pre-emergent Herbicide vs. Post-emergent Herbicide

Since grasslike and broadleaf weeds grow differently, they require different herbicides. For instance, grasslike weeds require pre-emergent herbicide. This form of herbicide prevents weed seeds from sprouting; however, pre-emergent herbicide should not be used in the same location as other plant seeds because it can destroy these seeds as well.

While pre-emergent herbicides prevent weeds from developing, post-emergent herbicide is used to treat broadleaf weeds present in one's lawn. A main advantage of using broadleaf weed killer is that, if used properly, applying it directly over grass will not cause healthy grass to die. Broadleaf weed killer is effective in killing non-grasslike leaves; however, it does not destroy grasslike weeds. Broadleaf herbicide is also ineffective towards nutsedge. It's also important to note that post-emergent herbicide does not prevent new broadleaf weeds from emerging.

How to Use Broadleaf Weeds Killers

Broadleaf weed killer is available in two forms: granules or spray. Before applying granules, the broadleaf weed must be wet so the spread will stick. Since weather elements can knock granules off the plants, most people use broadleaf weed killer spray. Spray herbicide is available for purchase in a concentrated bottle, spray bottle or aerosol can.

Here are a few tips when using broadleaf weed herbicide:

  • For herbicide to be useful, it must be applied when the temperature is between 55 to 80 degrees. If temperature is too low, the herbicide will not be effective. Hot temperatures may cause the plant to burn.
  • As with other pesticides, it's important to read and follow the directions on the label.
  • To keep excess chemicals from air and water, always use the lowest effective dose (LED).
  • Since broadleaf weed killer spray and granules are easily transferable, it's advised to keep children and pets off the lawn for a few days afterwards.
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