best spot weed killer

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I would like to zap weeds growing in the lawn and garden without harming the grass and plants growing around the weeds. What is the best way to do it? I saw something called a Weed Stick online, where you supposedly walk around injecting any kind of concentrated weed killer directly on the weed. Anyone try it? Would WD40 or gasoline work using a direct applicator? It sounds like a lot of folks use Roundup, but I find that it works too slow. It seems to take a couple of days for the leaves to begin turning brown. Thanks for any suggestions.
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Roundup, WD40 or gasoline will kill anything it touches, including the grass and plants growing around the weeds. For spot killing I've always had good luck with Killex. Comes in a handy squirt bottle and is easy to use. Found at most garden centres. But it really doesn't hurt to get on your hands and knees, use a little elbow grease, and dig them out by hand.
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tenplay wrote:

Roundup becomes inert when it enters the soil. Thus, it is much better for the environment than gas or WD-40 as well as your grass.
The weed stick looks interesting. It looks like you can put any thing in it. That would minimize the collateral damage from spraying. I might have to check that out.
Nick
-- Nick Owen http://www.gardentodo.com
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Not sure about your location, but the best time to treat for weeds is in the spring, when weeds are young and vigorously growing. For broadleaf weeds I like to use Weed-B-Gone and Spectricide, alternating between these two. I mix it up in a garden sprayer, usually a little stronger than recommended, then hit each weed. The best time to spray is on a windless sunny day with no rain predicted in the next 48 hours. Even with the "Rain-proof" formulas, it is better to use with no rain in the forecast. Do not mow a day before nor a day after treatment. If you are in the US, overseeding now will result in fewer weeds next spring. I found that the fall overseeding has greatly reduced the need for herbicides and almost wiped out the crabgrass. Do not use a petroleum product. Unlike Weed-B-Gone, RoundUp will kill both weeds and grass.
I see nothing wrong with RoundUp taking a few days to work. I use it along curbs, cracks in the driveway, and mulched areas.
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But a weed torch. You can get them at Home depot. IT fries the weed and nothing else.

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Yes on Roundup and weed torches or flamers.
But, keep in mind that herbicides and flamers do not actually remove weeds. Even if they successfully kill the weeds, the weeds are still there. This means that they take space in lawns, for example, where you need good grass to grow.
That's why it's better to use a tool that actually removes weeds, like the "Herbicide Helper" Weed Twister. This tool will twist out crabgrass dead or alive. The sooner the crabgrass is gone, the sooner your good grass can take its place.
For more info on the Herbicide Helper check out weedtwister.com.
Twist, clean up on weeds after Roundup, and save on herbicide costs!
BTW not all weed twisters are the same...
kenv wrote:

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wrote:

Nonsense. When the weed is dead it is gone, not producing any more seeds nor sending out any runners. The weed biomass will be there until it decays and becomes part of the soil structure (a good use for a dead weed).

More nonsense. Removing part of a weed does not get rid of it as part of its root structure is still in the soil and will promptly develop into a new weed plant.
Dead crabgrass has already produced seeds which will sprout into new crabgrass unless treated with a pre-emergent herbicide, organic or other. The "twister" removes only the old crabgrass plant which I can do easily with my bare hands if so inclined.
JMHO but I have nothing to sell.
John
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If you prefer to use your hands, go to it!
Some people prefer a tool that makes the job just a little bit easier.
John Bachman wrote:

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raycruzer wrote:

I am quite curious about the points that Mr. Bachman raised. Could you kindly address them?
--
John McWilliams

Coach: "Are you just ignorant, or merely apathetic?"
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I agree that they are usually dead and harmless, IF DEAD. The glyphosate is active IN THE PLANT for several days, even though the chemicals decompose IN THE SOIL. The chemicals don't decompose in the plant, because if they did, they wouldn't be effective. Most people don't kill a weed just to stop it from growing. They really want it GONE!. Once they think it's dead, they remove it! This is double effort and cost. IF you're going to remove it anyway, in most cases, it's quicker and easier to remove it right away with a mechanical approach, either by hand or by using a tool. If you're not going to remove it but you're content to let it stay in your lawn or garden, even though it causes a toxic hazard for at least a few days, then, you may have at least solved the problem of stopping the weed from further growth.

The "twister", in this case the twister with the coiled tines, effectively removes more parts of a grass like crabgrass than any other tool known to man. It pulls out large chuncks of networked stems, roots and rhizomes by the twisting motion. Although some parts of the stems may remain, the twister allows you to "fish" for remaining strands and stems fairly efficiently. If you use your hands, you will work much harder and accomplish much less in the same amount of time. If you use a hoe, for example, you will chop up pieces of stems, and make the job of finding them even harder!
Spraying postemergent herbicides on crabgrass or bermudagrass can only be done in spots where the good grass or plants are safely separated from the bad plants. When you reach the margins where they intermingle, you cannot use the herbicide without also killing your preferred grasses or plants. Here you must use your fingers or a tool of your choice.
In my opinion, we have seen a siginificant increase in crabgrass pressure in recent years, partly because we all want to do things in a simple way, and spraying stuff seems simple. Over the years, I have cleared large areas of my garden from bermudagrass, crabgrass and Saint Augustin, simply by repeatedly tugging away at these pesty grass sprouts with my handy twister. A combination of appropriate herbicides, when and if necessary, and appropriate tools and a little sweat is the ticket. Everything takes time...
-- Raycruzer weeder
John McWilliams wrote:

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raycruzer wrote:

How about Weed-BeGone, which claims to kill weeds without harming the grass around the weed? Wouldn't that do the job?

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Weed-Be-Gone is safe for grass, according to the Ortho instructions, except for certain grasses like St. Augustine, for example. Ortho has a different product for St. Augustine grass weeds. Quoting from Ortho: "Do not use on Floratam, a variety of St. Augustinegrass common in Florida. Do not spray on Carpetgrass, Dichondra or desirable clovers."
I've seen one complaint on the web of a tree that was half-killed by something coincidentally shortly after spraying the stuff on weeds around the tree. This may be merely a coincidence.
In all cases, it's important to read the label. Of course, the instructions are usually in very fine print and sometimes we're hasty in not reading the instructions very carefully. There's a large image of the instructions on a Roundup container published on the weedtwister website, so that people can read the details and take their time. No need to rush into buying this or any product or tool. Our timing is rather irrelevant as far as the world of weeds is concerned.
--
Raycruzer
weeder
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wrote:

Probably not a coincidence. Your trees are your largest "broadleaf weeds" in the weed-n-feed worldview. Use these chemicals at your own risk.
Keith Babberney ISA Certified Arborist #TX-0236AT
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I'm curious to know if people are willing to spend, say, an hour a week on mowing their lawns, how much time are they willing to devote to pulling weeds?
--
Raycruzer
weeder
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On Sat, 14 Oct 2006 12:39:31 -0500 in

A master gardener at the nursery told me that a broadleaf killer is the way to get rid of suckers popping up in the lawn, and won't hurt the tree. Of course, this is an established tree, but my guess ist that a cup of broadleaf sprayed on the lawn isn't going to have an affect on a thirty foot tall, 20 year old tree.
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wrote:

No need for a cup full. I use a hand sprayer, the kind that you hold in one hand and pull a lever to eject a small stream. Squirt it on the broadleaf, usually dandelions in my area and it is gone in couple of days. I use Weed- B-Gone. No danger to trees or non-target species.
John
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Has anyone else lost a tree to a broadleaf killer?
If you're trying to get rid of crabgrass in your lawn, will weed-be-gone work?
--
Raycruzer
weeder
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wrote:

I cannot imagine losing a tree if you follow the label instructions.

self-descriptive.
The best crabgrass control is a pre-emergent herbicide (both organic and non-organic exist) in early spring before the crabgrass seeds germinate. Turf grass spreads through runners, not seed, and hence is not affected.
ALWAYS FOLLOW THE LABEL INSTRUCTIONS.
John
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wrote:

a number of links below to support the statements I made previously.
If you read through the links, you will likely notice that, as others have said, most herbicides will not harm trees if used properly. That raises two points:
1. even people who make mistakes often think they are doing everything right. When an amateur gardener applies chemicals, it is more likely he will overlook a simple mistake.
2. you want to be careful that you don't use one of the "other" herbicides.
I have seen trees damaged by weed-n-feed. I have heard it mentioned at many lectures in tree conferences as a common cause of tree damage or death. I have read about it in industry journals and texts. I stand by my earlier statement: use them at your own risk. But, of course, if you choose to use them, follow the instructions carefully.
K
the links:
http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/MG249 "Fertilizer mixes that contain weed killers should be used sparingly, if at all, within the root zones of trees because the weed killer could harm the tree."
http://www.extension.umn.edu/projects/yardandgarden/diagnostics/elmother-c.html "Injury can be by direct herbicide contact or through uptake by the roots, causing browning, curling, and dying of leaves. Leaves may also be stunted, leathery, and/or contain irregular growth patterns."
http://cipm.ncsu.edu/ent/Southern_Region/RIPM/CHAP4/OPM/chap3.htm "Environmental contamination and injury to nontarget plants can occur occasionally when all normal precautions are taken. However, such contamination and injury are more common when pesticides are mishandled or applied under improper conditions."
http://www.plantanswers.com/garden_column/mar03/4.htm "Most broadleaf herbicides kill trees as well as weeds and are able to move readily through the soil. Pramitol, a non-selective herbicide commonly applied to gravel driveways and beneath above-ground pools, will kill trees at a considerable distance from where it is originally applied."
http://www.ext.nodak.edu/county/ramsey/hort/trees/general/weeds.htm "SPRAY ONLY THE WEEDS AND DO NOT ALLOW THE HERBICIDE TO DRIFT ONTO THE TREES AS DAMAGE WILL OCCUR."
http://www.blackburnnursery.com/tips/herbicides.htm "Trees often recover from exposure to the first group (compounds used to kill broadleaf weeds). The leaves will become distorted and will often drop, but depending on species and dosage, the trees will appear normal in about 2 years. However, death can occur if the dosage is high."
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wrote:

I have purposely killed a (small) tree using a broadleaf killer, but it is faster and easier to pull it out by hand. I recommend using broadleaf killers cautiously and sparingly. RoundUp is safer to use because it decomposes quickly and won't harm the root systems of plants you really want to protect.

No. Weed-B-Gone is formulated to distinguish broadleaf plants from grasses. Crabgrass is a grass. However, there are lawn products to kill crabgrass but not other grasses--I tried one product and it was not effective. Best defense against crabgrass is a thick lawn. I overseed every year and no longer have the need to use pre-emergence applications, plus fewer weeds. Years ago I thought premium grass seed was expensive, but in the long run it saves time and money and results in a very nice lawn. All my neighbors ask me how I did it!

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