When selecting an herbicide, it is important to determine which chemical will be optimal for your specific situation. If you have determined that broad-spectrum control is in your best interest, there are many other non-selective herbicide options in addition to glyphosate. Non-selective herbicides are herbicides with chemicals that will kill any plant it comes into contact with, including your grass. If you do not want to kill certain plants with an application of weed spray, a selective herbicide may be a better alternative. These glyphosate alternatives include Scythe (active ingredient: nonanoic acid), Finale (active ingredient: glufosinate-ammonium), Reward (active ingredient: diquat dibromide) and many others.
Scythe is an herbicide manufactured by Gowan that has contact control, which means that when sprayed on a living plant, it will quickly disrupt the cellular membrane of any green plant tissue it touches. Since it is formulated as a liquid, it can be easily mixed with water at the desired rate and sprayed onto plant foliage. Scythe works quickly, with visible results in just hours or sometimes as little as 30 minutes on warm, sunny days. However, because this is a contact herbicide and is not translocated through the plant, it is only effective on top kill of perennials.
Finale is an herbicide manufactured by Bayer that works mainly through contact activity and has some translocation activity in a few plants. This product has a longer application window than most herbicides (spring and fall) and results can be seen in one to four days. It is effective against many tough weeds and can be mixed with many other popular herbicides if desired, as it is compatible with many other products. Another benefit is that it does not remain in the soil, so it is possible to transplant or seed within hours of product application. This product is also formulated as a liquid and is sprayed onto living plants, making application quick and easy.
One final product is Reward, which is manufactured by Syngenta. Unlike the other products discussed, it can control weeds in landscapes, as well as aquatic areas. This product works quickly, with initial damage occurring in as few as 30 minutes to one hour. Reward is also formulated as a liquid and can be effective with relatively low use rates. This product is extremely useful for people with ponds or yards that back up to lakes, as it can quickly kill aquatic vegetation as well as common above ground weeds. However, if used for aquatic application, a surfactant will also be needed. Another benefit of this product is that it can be used in cooler weather and quickly becomes rain-fast.
All of the products mentioned are post-emergents, which means there are a few steps that can be taken to ensure you are using them to their full extent. Post-emergent herbicides are designed to control weeds AFTER they have germinated and appeared in your yard. Selecting the right product for your job is essential, which means reading the labels carefully before making a decision. The label should also provide you with the optimal timing and temperature for application, as well as the most effective application method. Finally, post-emergent herbicides will work best when sprayed on actively growing weeds. As always, it will be essential to read the label of these products carefully so that you can use the proper safety equipment and wear the appropriate protective equipment. Be sure to follow the instructions carefully for use, clean up, and storage so that the product is effective and there are no unintended consequences.
If you really want to consider the use of glyphosate on your lawn as a viable option for removing weeds or killing off old grass, you can learn more about this non-selective herbicide in All About Glyphosate. To learn more about controlling weeds, visit our Weed Control article. Be sure to check out the variety of herbicides available on our Sod Solutions website here.