Broadleaf Weed Killer

Broadleaf weeds are among the most typical and easily recognizable lawn weeds. They include dandelions, clover and other commonplace lawn plants that can be near impossible to completely eradicate without a specialized broadleaf weed killer.

Difficulty in broadleaf weed control comes from the plants’ prolific seeding pattern. Each plant can produce thousands of seeds which can disperse easily, sometimes traveling for miles before landing on your lawn. Once there, they can produce large, ugly patches of weeds that can be hard to remove.

Broadleaf weed seeds also occur naturally in soils and can linger for 30 or more years. Other sources of broadleaf weed seeds are poor quality grass seed and store-bought top soil.

Identifying Broadleaf Weeds

More than a dozen plants fall under the category of broadleaf weed. They can be divided into two main groups based on their growth patterns.

Rosette Weeds – These broadleaf weeds feature leaves that radiate from a central point on a very short stem that barely rises above soil level. This makes them almost impossible to pull cleanly from the ground. These plants also produce flowers on the tops of tall stalks, further ruining the look of your lawn. Common rosette weeds include:

- Dandelions

- Plantains

- Docks

Creeping Weeds – These broadleaf weeds also feature stems that radiate from a central point, but they hug the ground. This can create the appearance of large unsightly patches in the lawn, especially if several of the weed plants overlap each other. These low-profile often establish roots at multiple points making them harder to remove by hand. Common creeping weeds include:

- Clover

- Chickweed


Choosing a Broadleaf Weed Killer

Pulling broadleaf weeds might seem instinctive, especially if there are just a few patches. Unfortunately, this is not only ineffective but can worsen the problem.

Creeping weeds, for example, can establish roots at multiple points making it hard to truly eradicate them without broadleaf weed killer. Pulling plants like dandelions, meanwhile, risks spreading their highly mobile seeds further.

Broadleaf weed killers work by interfering with plant growth, either by blocking photosynthesis and protein production or destroying or inhibiting root formation. If there are just a few weeds in your lawn, spot applying broadleaf weed killers might be a good idea. Apply a general purpose mixture including 2,4-D; MCPP (mecoprop) and dicamba (Banvel) to leaves,  being careful not to saturate them.

Always read the directions and take safety precautions before using any broadleaf weed killer. When in doubt, contact a trained weed control specialist to explore options for getting rid of your broadleaf weed problem.

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