Non Selective Herbicide

Non selective herbicide falls under the category of post emergent weed control. These kill anything the chemical comes in contact with.

Refer to herbicides outline to better understand how this page fits into it.

Post Emergent Weed Control

The Action process for post emergent weed control falls under
two categories:

  • Systemic 
  • Contact.

1) Systemic

          a) Selective (See Outline for both Systemic and Selective)

2) Contact

          Contact herbicides do not differentiate between the different
          types of vegetation. This includes dicots, monocots and Sedges.

          These herbicides will kill everything they come into contact
          with regardless of plant, plant stage or size.

These chemicals are most effective on annual weeds. 

Unlike selective herbicides, these don't kill the entire root system.

b) Non Selective
(Residual; Also called Broad Spectrum Herbicides)

Non-selective's work by attracting the common elements found in weeds and grasses. This is why it is important to remember that they kill everything they come in contact with. They have also been termed a total vegetation herbicide.

These are usually sold as sprays and shouldn't be used on windy days so chemicals do not carry to wanted flowers and plants.

Don't use these products on wet areas or rainy days either. These herbicides can carry into other areas and ,again, kill wanted flowers and plants. This is why they are referred to as Residual.

  • Residual

    Residual refers to the fact that the chemicals can be carried into the soil where they can prohibit any type of growth for a period of time. How long would depend on factors such as sun exposure, microbes in the soil, chemical compounds in the soil and how far the herbicide travels into the ground.

    It is a good idea to water the area where you will be treating about a week before you spray. This will loosen the soil and make it more pliable once the chemicals are used.

If contact herbicides are over-used they can also promote
and cause soil erosion, tree-rot, possible exposure of the tree roots or injury to tree roots with cold temperatures.

As with selective, these chemicals have similar drawbacks. Once the soil welcomes new growth weed populations can come back and be more difficult to control.

It is recommended to rotate methods of weed extermination. While certain types of weeds are killed by each, a selective and non selective herbicide, rotating methods of weed control helps to clear up other types of weeds.

A alternative to more toxic chemicals, and are also good on perennial weeds, are herbicidal soaps.  These are considered a broad-spectrum, non-selective herbicide for spot treatments. These soaps destroy plant cell walls upon contact, drying the plant out and eventually killing it.

An herbicidal soap works especially well on seedlings and mosses. Weeds with deep tap-roots or perennial weeds will need multiple applications.  Soap will break down within a few days after use.

Also notice:

Systemic Weed Control - Falls under Post Emergent Weed Control

Selective Weed Control - Dicots, Monocots and Sedges

    Back from Non Selective Herbicide to How to Kill Weeds

    Back from Non Selective Herbicide to Easy Butterfly

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