Even with proper care and weed control, lawns and gardens can still be bothered by an occasional weed or two, the majority of which are in the form of broadleaf weeds. Thankfully, a broadleaf weed is one of the easiest types of weeds to identify. Generally, the leaves are broad and flat, as with dandelions. However, the narrow leaves of wild garlic are the exception.
In addition to dandelion and wild garlic, other common broadleaf weeds include wild violet, morning glory, thistle, goldenrod, ragweed, spurge, plantain, chickweed, and clover. Broadleaf weed control usually requires the use of specially formulated broadleaf herbicide. However, before taking any action, especially where the use of chemicals is concerned, homeowners are encouraged to take some precautionary measures.
First, correctly identify the target weed and then try to determine why the weed is there to begin with. Weeds can be indicators of underlying problems. For example, a variety of weeds may indicate poor soil conditions. Finally, make changes accordingly using cultural methods whenever possible. In other words, change the environment that may be helping the weeds, such as improving poor soil conditions.
The best approach to broadleaf weed control is keeping lawns and gardens lush and healthy. For instance, many weeds appear in empty areas of the lawn or garden. To avoid this, homeowners should maintain thick grass coverage or lush garden plantings. This eliminates both the light and space needed for weeds to germinate and grow. Only after other measures have been taken, and when all else fails, should an appropriate broadleaf weed herbicide be used.
There are a number of broadleaf weed herbicides available for use. Broadleaf weed products are available in liquid spray or granular forms. Liquid is normally the preferred type, as weeds can more easily be spot-treated. Liquid sprays are also better for use in smaller areas. Granular forms are generally better for larger areas, such as lawns, and best applied to early morning, dew-covered grass.
Special care should be taken when using chemicals to kill weeds. In fact, if at all possible, organic methods are still the preferred method of eradicating weeds. Keep in mind that windy conditions can result in the chemical herbicide spreading to other areas. Although for some applications it’s often necessary to saturate the soil beforehand, rain or heavy watering can result in contaminating runoff. When properly mixed and applied, however, most broadleaf herbicides won’t harm lawn and garden areas.