Beyond the environmental circles where the ongoing debate revolves around the safety concerns of using weed killer, few lay homeowners and weekend gardeners face weed killer with little more than a respectable neglect, let alone an informed understanding of its properties, warnings, and expert use. But if such homeowners would take better heed to what weed killers contain, they would understand that they are in control of exactly effective the product is.

For example, the number one weed killer on the market is the Roundup brand weed killer, but Roundup’s active ingredient for their tough weed killer is glyphosate, which can be found in a number of other brands and generic products.  So, first of all, a homeowner may simply be overlooking the fact that they can get the same quality weed killer for less, if they would only pay more attention to the product they are using.

But the uses and cautions of weed killers go well beyond the simple finances. Too often, people use their weed killer products, whatever their manufacturer, without reading all of the instructions included on the label.

Here is a sampling of what most people miss when they forgo reading the posted directions on the labels of their weed killer:

  • The caution to avoid weed killer contact with plants termed “desirable vegetation” as noted on Roundup Pro’s label, include shrubbery such as rose bushes and trees, which some people incorrectly figure to be invincible to the awry mists of weed killer.dandelion-1424104-m
  • Do not apply weed killer at excessive speeds or with excessive pressure. Both conditions can contribute to an unstable release of the chemicals and cause unwanted damage.
  • Temperature inversions (the same ones that occur during the winter and produce high volumes of pollution in the air) can contribute to the drift of airborne herbicides.
  • Week killer is not ground killer. The weeds must be visible above ground in order for weed killers to be effective.
  • Attempts to kill one weed or stump (as many use glyphosate to rid their properties of unwanted tree stumps) could trigger the loss of other nearby plants as roots of plants often graft together underground.

So what is the point? Simply, that there is much to be learned about the correct use and application of weed killer that homeowners can access through the printed labels on the product and that when they do undertake to learn more about their weed killer they will be able to make better effective use of the product.

Photo Credit: ColinBroug,