Some Notes on Herbicide Application

There are two basic types of Herbicides namely Pre-emergent and Post-emergent. The Pre-emergent prevents the seeds from germinating. Post-emergent herbicide will kill weeds once they have germinated and developed into plants.

When to apply :

Pre-emergent herbicide must be applied before the weed seeds begin to sprout. If you wait until the weeds have emerged, the weed killer will have no effect other than being a total waste of money and possible pollution of the soil, underground water and/or rivers & lakes.

If a person wants to be ready for the next spring season, one should take note of when the weeds emerged this year and count back 3-4 weeks. This will give a good indication of when to apply a pre-emergent herbicide next year.

If the weeds have already sprouted, one can apply a post-emergent herbicide. Before doing this, however, it is essential for one to carefully read and understand the product label, as there are selective herbicides which kill specific weeds and there are non-selective herbicides which will destroy every living green thing in your garden, be it grass, shrubs, flowers etc.

In terms of timing related to the weather, it is always best to spray during a few days of dry weather. This will give the herbicide time to be absorbed into the plant’s system without being diluted.

Another important weather consideration is wind, which can cause “ drift “, thus depositing the herbicide onto plants which were not intended to be targeted and killing them.

With respect to Legislation, all users of pesticide products have a responsibility to use the pesticide safely and within the current legislation and to have a reasonable understanding of particular elements of legislation relating to pesticides.

How long does it take to work ?

Glyphosate is the most commonly-used which is a non-selective herbicide. It kills anything green by entering the leaf and using the plants circulation to reach the roots and crown. It takes between 4 -20 days to kill completely.

How much to use ? – Cost & Environmental Implications :

It is essential to read, understand and follow all of the product label directions when mixing and/or applying herbicides. Make sure that the label states that the particular product can be used in the manner in which you intend to use it and that you use the Correct Application Rate.  More is not better!

“Over-dosing” will not be more effective and will cost more money than is necessary.

Remember that some herbicides have ingredients which stay in plants & soils for long periods of time and some tend to move through soils to underground water.

Again, the importance of reading the product label and understanding all aspects of it, cannot be over-emphasised.

Professional Service :

All operators at Nigel Jeffries Landscapes have been trained and have successfully completed the PA1/PA6 course which covers the following aspects : –

Legislation, Interpreting product labels & literature, Personal safety & contamination, Pesticide & container storage, Disposals, Record keeping & Environmental factors.

Nigel Jeffries Landscapes provides specialist commercial grounds maintenance for councils, schools and commercial organisations in Berkshire, Buckinghamshire, Hampshire, Middelsex and Surrey. If you would like to find out more, please get in touch.

September 2016