When tackling weeds in the lawn, many homeowners question which herbicide products are the best to use and if a specific product is safe for their yard. No one wants to accidentally kill patches of grass or their entire backyard by misusing something.
So, to help you on the never-ending quest to battle weeds in your yard and save yourself the internal questioning, let’s talk about the popular product, 2, 4-D.
Many people are familiar with the product name, but it’s a fair bet that not everyone knows how the product should be used. 2, 4-D is a selective chemical herbicide used to control non-grassy or broadleaf weeds in turf and agricultural crops. Which generally means—and generally is the keyword here—it can safely be applied to your lawn and won’t kill the grass.
2, 4-D is a popular herbicide because it is highly effective. It works well on broadleaf weeds like clover and dandelions but is non-toxic to honeybees and many other beneficial insects. 2, 4-D is also well-liked because most turf varieties are resistant to the herbicide’s active ingredient, 2,4-Dichlorophenoxyacetic acid.
When applied to weeds, it alters the cells and vascular tissue that move nutrients and water through the blades causing them to grow endlessly. This inhibits the cells’ ability to deliver these necessary resources, and growth stops.
While it can be safely applied to most grasses, there are certain times when you should NOT use 2, 4-D on your lawn.
- Never spray it on St. Augustine grass at any time or growth stage. St. Augustine grass is the one type of turf that is strictly off-limits.
- Do not spray it on dormant Bermuda grass. Once the grass has broken dormancy and is actively growing, it is acceptable to spray on Bermuda grass.
- Do not spray it on Zoysia grass, just as it is coming out dormancy for the winter. Give it about two weeks after it greens up before applying.
- Do not spray on newly seeded or sodded lawns for at least six weeks to prevent inhibiting or retarding establishment and growth.
- Do not spray on any grass when wet, as the product won’t stick.
- Do not spray on any grass when temperatures are below 60°F or above 90°F.
No matter what, it’s always critical to read through the product guide as a precaution and double-check that it is safe to use 2, 4-D for your intended application. Then carefully follow all application guidelines to maximize efficiency and use proper safety equipment to protect yourself.