The emergence of weeds in the garden is, to many, a challenge. However, people who are aging, busy, or otherwise uninterested in dedicating hours of their day to crouching down and pulling out weeds, there are other options such as post emergent weed killer.
As you might imagine, post emergent weed killer certainly isn’t the healthiest option for your garden. The chemicals included in these products are designed to kill weeds, and these chemicals may then seep into your garden bed and continue to wreak havoc long after the weed has been killed.
However, in some cases, there are no other options.
What Is a Post Emergent Weed Killer?
A post emergent weed killer, or a post emergent herbicide, is a type of chemical product designed to kill weeds after they have already emerged, that is, begun to grow above-ground.
These differ from pre-emergent weed killers, which can be useful as a preventative measure and to kill weeds before they have started to grow above-ground.
There are a variety of different ingredients used in post emergent weed killers. These ingredients can vary from quite toxic to relatively harmless. If you’re going to be killing weeds in a garden that you plan to grow vegetables in, it’s in your best interest to look for the least toxic product you can find.
However, it’s important to remember that in many cases, a product’s toxicity is related to its potency. A non-toxic product might not be as effective at killing weeds as a more toxic product.
Your best bet, in this case, is to thoroughly read the ingredients of any product that you’re considering purchasing.
Different Types of Post Emergent Weed Killer
There are two main different types of post emergent weed killer: systemics and contact herbicides.
- Systemic weed killers are those which are drawn into the plant’s system and circulated throughout it. This leads to the complete, systemic destruction of the plant. Systemics are generally used on perennial weeds so they don’t come back the next year.
- Contact weed killers are those which only kill the targeted or exposed parts of the weed. For a lot of annual weeds, all you need to do to kill the plant is destroy its leaves.
These two types of weed killers are further divided into two categories: selectives and non-selectives.
- Selective weed killers are those which only work on certain plants. These are useful because they won’t harm any other plants or grasses that might be surrounding your weeds.
- Non-selective weed killers don’t care. They’ll kill every plant that they come in contact with. These are best used in wide spaces where you’re not concerned about any plants.
Tips for Applying Post Emergent Weed Killer
The specific instructions for each weed killer can be found on its packaging. However, a few tips will ensure good activation.
- Apply when it’s not raining. Rain will wash away the weed killer.
- Apply during moderate weather (55-80 degrees F, 12-26 degrees C).
- Apply when there is no wind.
Follow these tips and the instructions on the bottle and you’ll find that your weeds are gone in no time.