As a homeowner or simply someone who likes to keep the garden and lawns neat, the number one threat is – weeds!
All of us would love to make sure weeds do not even come back – but it is certainly not an easy task. Weeds are one of nature’s mysteries that will always figure out a way to sneak out stronger than the last time.
No matter how many times you get rid of them, they come back with the same fierce strength next year, if not sooner. Well, stop worrying about what you are doing wrong and follow our expert advice to get the best results.
Today, we will discuss exactly when is the best time to spray weed killer to get the best results for all your hard work. You will not need to be well-equipped with the right tools, the right knowledge and the right timing for your desired results.
So, if you want to have a long-lasting impact of keeping them off, then you must also commit to permanently working to get rid of them.
Common Weed: What Is It?
By definition, weed is a plant which independently grows in the wild and more often than among your garden plants, grass lawn, etc. Also, any green plant that you did not plant is considered a type of weed.
You will see them in various forms such as creeping out of the cracks of your driveway, in between brickwork and almost always in between your lawn grass. These can either live all year long or even longer, which is why you are always cutting them off, yet they keep on coming back.
It is not just a particular type of grass, plant or flower which is referred to as the common weed, rather it is anything or everything that grows up unwanted.
It may feel like a never-ending battle, and it is true, it’s nothing short of it. It’s like fighting any of nature’s various facets, you fight to survive but there’s no winning.
Which is why it is crucial that you learn all about them and treat them in a way which is proven to be more successful.
Why They Are Impossible To Get Rid Of?
Weeds are difficult to get rid of because every time that we remove them, we are simply cutting the heads off. The roots and the entire root structure remain so, they eventually return – sooner, rather than later.
In addition to this, even if you got rid of them including the roots, they easily spread by the wind. Their seeds can attach to other plants, people, pets, etc. and spread to different areas easily. As a result, they are truly never completely rid off to begin with.
The only way to get rid of them for sure would be for you and your neighbours to use the same removal method, and their neighbours to do the same – which is highly unlikely!
Prevention Is The Only Way & The Best Cure
Since there is no real likelihood of completely getting rid of weeds by killing them, removing them or treating them – prevention is the most efficient option!
There are many best practices which can be put into place to ensure that you dramatically reduce the likelihood of weeds growing. Now, this may require a lot more time, effort and money at first, but the results are worth it.
Before we discuss them in detail, the following is a quick list of the best practices for prevention:
- Using a preventive layer of material under patios and driveways
- Using weed control sand or other methods of covering gaps in brickwork, paving, etc.
- Removing new weed by pulling out the root rather than cutting off the head
- Avoid having bare soil, plant something or anything to prevent weeds from taking over
- Use industrial strength weed growth preventive treatment
Weed seeds, as we mentioned briefly earlier, are able to spread using the wind very easily and can stay dormant on other surfaces for many years. This is why they are so difficult to get rid of.
So, if there is new weed growing, do not give them the chance to spread their seeds, get rid of them immediately.
One of the most effective methods is to use a material in between the ground underneath and the top soil. For example, you can lay down thick plastic to block sunlight and space for weeds to grow.
You can use mulching which is the method of covering up the ground using cardboard, newspaper or straw which decompose in a matter of months. They also help by adding nutrients in your soil when they decompose.
Remove all weeds including their root structure, dig up the soil to make sure there are no roots left, lay down an old carpet or other layer to cover the soil and then use top soil on top of it. Of course, plant something on the top soil immediately and use anti weed growth treatments for your soil.
A great hack to use is ensuring you take all precautions and apply all of the best practices!
Step By Step Guide: How To Control Weeds In Your Lawn
Before we tell you when the best time to spray weed killer is, we want to make sure that you do everything that is needed to best control weed growth in your lawn and garden.
So, let’s begin with our step by step instructive guide for controlling weed growth.
Step 1: Identify Weed Problem
The first step in reaching any sort of resolution is to identify the problem. So, before you do anything, carefully assess your lawn and garden to point out signs of weeds.
If you notice that there is an approximate 10% of your garden or lawn area covered with different looking plants – meaning weeds – then you must take action. Consider weed treatment!
But if it is less than that, then you can safely say that you do not have a weed problem. Because with this limited infestation, you can get by simply removing them by hand and a more serious treatment for your lawn is not needed.
Step 2: Remove The Existing Weed Growth
If you have just over 10% infestation, then you should invest your time and energy in getting rid of the excess growth. If it is too much then you can jump straight to the treatment process.
Step 3: Preparing The Lawn or Garden
You should then prepare your lawn or garden using the best practices which we have discussed earlier as preventive measures.
You must understand that part of the treatment is to ensure that you slow down all sources for the weeds to survive or thrive by preventing easy growth.
Step 4: Selecting & Applying The Right Treatment Product
There are many different types of weeds such as perennials, annuals, nettles, thistles, etc. Identify the specific types of weeds growing in your lawn and get the appropriate treatment.
You must also take extra care in following the directions of applying the treatment properly. Even with the right product, if the method is not right you will not get your desired results.
Take the appropriate cautions such as keeping pets away from area where you have applied the herbicide treatment, wear safety gloves and equipment, etc.
Step 5: The Best Time To Spray Weed Killer
Once the weeds start to grow after all preventive treatments have been applied, you must make sure you are getting the timing right to kill them for good.
We will cover the best time to spray weed killer in the next section.
Step 6: Monitoring & Maintenance
After you have done everything by the book, you must invest your time and energy in regularly reviewing the performance of your preventive measure and your treatments.
You should take pictures to have records of the growth and the simple proof for the answer to this question – did it work?
In your review, identify what you did wrong, which area you missed, if something was not done properly etc. to get your desired results.
When Is the Best Time to Spray Weed Killer?
Now that we know exactly what to do and how to do it, we will now cover the main course – WHEN should you do it?
It is important to understand the importance of the timing. This is because if you do it too early, it will not work and if you do it too late then it will not be powerful enough to counter the growth. So, it is essential that the timing is just right for getting your desired results – complete annihilation!
During the beginning of spring, when the weed first starts to grow, nutrients from its roots are being carried to the leaves for new stems, etc. At this point, if you spray treatment, then the herbicide will not get to the root and so it will not work.
When the weed is actively growing, it moves nutrients by photosynthesis from its leaves to its roots. This is the perfect time to spray herbicide as they will transported to the roots and killed at the source.
When the weed has grown and it is further extending by producing new seeds, stems, etc. The nutrient will again flow in reverse from the roots to the shoots, so treatment will be ineffective at this point.
Every year you will fight a brutal force of common weeds that come back stronger and stronger and so you must also make the most of your opportunity by picking the right for maximum effectiveness. Or else, you end up wasting your time, energy and money on treating your lawn.
Let’s now look at the more defined times for spraying weed killer on your lawn:
Fall & Spring are the two best seasons for using weed killer on your lawn.
In spring, you get them first at the time when they are growing into their full length. Then again, 8 weeks later, when they go through the second growth spurt give them a second dose for increasing the chances of eliminating them.
In fall, they start their preparation to go into a protective mode so they can come back after winter. During this time, they will be vulnerable so even if they don’t look like they are dying, keep spraying. Spray in 2 doses in a few weeks again. You will notice less of them coming back after winter.
Time of Day
It is not like clockwork, but there are certain times of the day which are peak time for weeks to grow and it is most effective to spray weed killing herbicide at that time. The time of day depends on the season as well, whether it is winter (cold climate) or summer (warm climate).
During the summer, or in warmer climates, the best time for their growth is during early morning and late afternoon. During these times, the weather is warm but not too hot. So, when sprayed at this time, the herbicides will be most effective.
When it is too sunny or too hot, the herbicides will dry up and not get enough time to be absorbed by the plant. As a result, you will be using a lot more herbicide but not getting the desired results.
Generally, winter or colder climate is not the time to treat weeds since they are either covered in snow or inside the ground. These are the problems which occur during warmer climates and are best treated at that time as well.
Having said that, during the winter or in cooler but not frozen climates, it is best to spray herbicide in late mornings and early afternoons. This is the exact opposite of the time of day during warmer climates. This is because there is dew in plants and the herbicide will not get absorbed directly.
The weather is also among one of the many factors when spraying weed killer.
If it is raining then don’t spray simply because the herbicide will get washed away. If it has rained recently, then wait until you no longer see raindrops on the plants, meaning they have dried. This is the best time to spray herbicides so they are effective. Also, if rain is expected soon, there is no point of spraying herbicides at that time either.
If it is particularly windy on a day, then it is best to not spray herbicide since the wind will carry it to other plants and kill them also. You will lose plants which you don’t want to kill. Also, it is not healthy for us to inhale the herbicides, if it is windy then there is an increased chance of breathing it in. So, it is best to select a day which is a non-breezy day for spraying weed killer.
Extreme Heat or Cold
As we have discussed earlier, both extremes – hot & cold weathers are not effective for herbicides to work effectively. If it is too hot, the herbicide will evaporate and if it is too cold then it will freeze. This is why, it is best to use weed killer during moderate weather when it is neither too hot nor too cold.
Remove Unwanted Weeds Using Simple Home Remedies
Want to keep weeds from growing in the cracks of your paved patios, driveways, walkways and other brickwork?
Let’s look at some cool home remedies which are DIY methods for getting rid of weeds.
- Baking Soda – Simply sprinkle some baking soda into the cracks which will prevent them from growing.
- Bleach–You can pour undiluted bleach on the weeds and in a day or two, you can simply pull them out using your hands. Be sure to use gloves as you dealing with bleach.
- Boiling Water–A simple way is to heat up your kettle and pour the boiling water on stubborn weeds, it will disrupt their growth.
- Salt–You can also try making a solution with about 1 cup salt and 2 cups water by boiling them. You can then pour them directly on the weeds and in the cracks where they grow.
- Vinegar – Use full-strength white or apple cider vinegar and spray it directly onto the weeds, its flowers, its roots and stems to kill them.
- WD-40 – You can use your handy can of WD-40 spray on the weeds so they will wither and die from the chemical.
As you may have understood from this guide to controlling the growth of weeds on your garden and lawn, that killing weeds is a lifelong battle. You must always continue to fight with consistent, measured and proven techniques to keep them at bay!
As discussed, there is more than just a magical bottle of spray which you can spray to kill weeds. A lot of factors to consider such as the weather, climate, type of weeds, the preventives measures put into place, etc. that come into effect for achieving the desired results.
There is no simple, quick and easy method – but given that you follow the step by step instructions, the best practices and the best time to spray the herbicides, you will reduce your frustrations and increase the effectiveness of your weed treatment.
Put these tips, tricks and best practices into practice and let us know what worked for you. Share your tips with our readers for a beautiful, clean and weed free garden and lawn.