Non-selective herbicides kill any plants they are applied to, making them a smart choice if you do not know what type of weed you have in your lawn. Unfortunately, as they kill any plants they are applied to, they will also kill grass and other non-weed plants the non-selective is applied to, making them more ideal for spot treatments and small weed infestations.
Non-selective weed killers do not differentiate between plants when applied, so a non-selective product will affect any growing plant. This is why you must take great care when using this type of herbicide. Non-selective herbicides are contact or systemic. Contact herbicides kill the green tissues of the surface they touch. Systemic herbicides enter a plant at point of contact and move throughout the plant, often entering through the roots, and should be applied when plants are most vulnerable. These herbicides are post-emergent, meaning they should be applied to actively growing plants.
Using Non-Selective Herbicides
You can kill any plant that is causing you a problem with a non-selective herbicide. However, you’ll need to know how to use these products before applying. Here are a few facts that will help you use non-selective herbicides in the best way possible:
Most often, these products are used for post-emergent annual and perennial weed control.
These products often do not have persistent action, meaning they will not exist in the soil after weed has died. You will most likely have to reapply each time weeds emerge.
There are more advanced products on the market now that have persistent action. This means that when using this kind of product, you’ll want to take care about where you use it. If you use it in an area designated for a flowerbed, no plants will grow.
These products can be perfect for spot treatments around sidewalks, driveway cracks, and along fence lines.
Non-selective herbicides include ingredients like glyphosate, glufonisate, diquat, or pelargonic acid; you will recognize Roundup as a non-selective, post emergent herbicide product.
When applying any of these products around non-target plants, you need to take extreme care not to let the products come in contact with any part of the desirable plants.
As with any product, read all instructions and safety warnings before using.