The sun is peeking out and if you really try, you can almost feel the warm, humid days of summer approaching. And you don’t even have to imagine the myriad of weeds that are already emerging in your lawn.

Every spring, homeowners rush to their local home improvement stores to pick up weed control products to get their lawns off to a healthy, weed-free start for the growing season. However, it is important to understand the products you are using and their intended purpose.

Below is a general overview of herbicide types that homeowners may encounter in their search for products to support a beautiful lawn:

  • Pre-emergence – As the name implies, these are applied before weeds emerge from the ground. This usually means a blanket application over the whole area, including where a desirable species is growing.
  • Broad Spectrum – These herbicides control a wide variety of weed species
  • Selective – These work on a narrower range of weeds
  • Contact – These herbicides kill plant tissue at the point of contact (they do not spread through the plant)
  • Systemic – They move through the plant to all tissue and roots
  • Residual – These are applied to the soil and remain active for a certain period of time and can control germinating seedlings

When using herbicides on your lawn, always remember – the label is the law. Safe herbicide use is essential in maintaining not only your lawn, but also to protect people, pets and the environment.