Choosing an Herbicide

Herbicides come in two major forms; there are some that kill grasses and some that kill broadleaf plants. First, I would like to say Roundup is a brand, not a type of herbicide, and it does not kill everything.  Now that I got that off my chest, let’s continue.

Grassy Plant Herbicides

Most of the grass killers are made from a chemical called glyphosate which is mostly specific to killing grasses.  The best uses for this type are to kill grass in your sidewalk cracks or planter beds.  You could also use it to kill off your lawn if you want to replant.  There are several options but mainly look for one labeled for your weed and that contains glyphosate.

Broadleaf Plant Herbicides

For broadleaf weeds, two major chemicals are Triclopyr and 2,4-D.  These target weeds like dandelions and blackberries.  My favorite is a brand called Crossbow because it actually kills my neighbor’s blackberries that creep over my fence.  It is specific enough that I’ve actually sprayed these chemicals in the middle of my lawn and the grass was fine.

Pre-emergent Herbicides

The herbicides already described work great for growing, already emerged plants.  You can reach the advanced stage of herbicides and use something called a pre-emergent.  These keep plants from growing when they haven’t already sprouted.  They aren’t nearly as targeted and they tend to keep the plants you want from growing as well.


Make sure that you are getting the right chemical for the job and you’ll never be disappointed.  Put these chemicals on around 70 degrees, when it won’t rain, and in the right concentration and you’ll be thrilled with the results.

2 thoughts on “Choosing an Herbicide

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    1. While they aren’t my favorite choices, Vinegar and salt are some of the most popular organic alternatives out there. The key is to remember that, even though they are common household products, when they are applied in too high of a concentration they can still cause damage. They are going to affect good plants as well as bad plants so make sure to aim well and you should be okay. I tend to go more towards using landscape fabric and thick mulch for organic weed control.


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