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Which Herbicide is Right for my Project?

Turf, Herbicide

January 19, 2018


Keeping the right plants healthy and the pest plants (aka weeds) at bay can be a tall order. As most professional landscaping contractors can attest, it takes the perfect blend of expertise and product knowledge to successfully treat unwanted weeds and vegetation without harming the surrounding, desired plants. The first step to master this process is to understand the types of weeds you’re treating and the differences in your herbicide options. There are two main herbicide types: selective herbicides and non-selective herbicides. Under these two main types there is a series of sub-categories. Depending on your client’s needs and the project at hand, a combination of the following may be needed.

Selective Herbicides: A selective herbicide, like LESCO®’s Three-Way Selective, targets specific weeds such as dandelions, clover, henbit, plantains, wild onion and other broadleaf weeds without damaging surrounding turfgrass. There are different types of selective herbicides. One type controls broadleaf weeds growing in turfgrass. The other type controls annual grassy weeds growing in turfgrass or in ornamental beds. There are very few selective herbicides that will control broadleaf weeds growing in ornamental beds.

Pre-Emergent Herbicides: A sub-category of selective herbicides, pre-emergent herbicides are for areas where you don’t have existing weeds and wish to prevent the growth of unwanted plants. Pre-emergent products like LESCO®’s Stonewall may be used. Because they target specific weeds they’re approved to apply over or around established, desired plants listed on the product label. Some pre-emergent herbicides prevent both grassy and broadleaf weeds.

Post-Emergent Herbicides: Another sub-category of selective herbicides is post-emergent herbicides. For areas where you have existing weeds, post emergent herbicide products like LESCO®’s Momentum FX2 may be used. Because they’re targeting specific types of weeds growing in desirable plant material, most selective post emergent herbicides will not injure the desirable plant material when used properly per the label. There is a huge number of post emergent herbicides that can range from being very broad spectrum to only targeting one type of weed growing in a certain area.

Non-Selective Herbicides: As the name would suggest, this other main herbicide type controls any plants it touches. Application of non-selective herbicides like LESCO®’s Prosecutor Pro should be done carefully and only to plants you intend to terminate. Some non-selective herbicides will only last a few hours while others may last several months. Proper product selection is key when using a non-selective herbicide.

Not sure which weeds you’re treating or which of these products would work best for your project? Visit a SiteOne® branch and speak with an associate today. Given the intent of these products, if you’re not familiar with application protocol it’s best to speak with a professional or take part in an herbicide introductory course to ensure proper safety precautions are followed and you achieve the desired results.


*LESCO® herbicides are offered to professional contractors only