Selective herbicides are products that control or suppress different plant species without harming the growth of desirable plants.   If your lawn in Emmaus has weeds in it, Green Turf will use a turf herbicide that is selective. Most all of the broadleaf herbicides are good examples of selective herbicides because they will not injure the lawn when applied.

Anytime selective herbicides are used, make sure that you are aware of the conditions that surround you. Is the turf stressed from heat, drought, low mowing or other factors? Always use the correct rate of product, understand the environmental conditions, plan for the perfect application timing, and identify the species and cultivar being treated. In simple terms, if you use too much herbicide or apply the product at the wrong time, it could damage your grass.

Nonselective herbicides control or suppress plants regardless of species. Common products that fall in this category are: Roundup, Finale and Reward. Nonselective herbicides are used to spray along fences, rock beds, and sidewalks. Make sure that you read the label before applying the product. Not every nonselective herbicide will control every weed.

Selective Herbicides vs Non-Selective Herbicides

How Do Selective and Non-Selective Herbicides Work?

Herbicides play a very important role in weed management programs. Having knowledge of the activity, as well as, mechanisms of herbicides will improve the viability and impact of herbicides as a lawn management procedure.

As you already know, there are a few different types of herbicides including selective and non-selective herbicides or also known knockdown herbicides (paraquat, glyphosate, and etc. that can damage most plants).

Let’s see, how do selective herbicides work exactly.

MCPA and 2,4-D herbicides are selective for broadleaf weeds and they work by breaking the balance of common biochemical processes that usually occur in these types of weeds. The herbicides imitate a naturally occurring chemical known as IAA or Indole Acetic Acid. The herbicides cause unregulated Indole Acetic Acid production which leads to twisting, extension, growth, and destruction as the weed grows to death.

There are other selective herbicides that target photosynthesis which as we all know is the process where plants produce energy from sunlight. Blocking this process would result in a slow death. The herbicides speed up the process. Another thing that may happen when speeding up the process or blocking photosynthesis is that toxic oxygen from within the weed. Toxic oxygen and other compounds destroy the weed for good.

When kept in their container, a number of herbicide products aren’t herbicidal. The reason for this is because they aren’t produced as proherbicides that transform into active chemicals when inside the weed. Selective herbicides including disclofor-methyl are one example of proherbicides.

Wondering why don’t selective herbicides destroy the plants? Well, one of the reasons is because plants can break down or metabolize the herbicide more quickly than the weeds, helping them to survive.

One real issue affecting sustainable weed control is the development of herbicide-resistant weeds. Herbicide resistance happens when the plants that would be controlled by herbicides, survive the application and the transformation that caused the herbicide resistance is genetic. If the transformation is genetic, it can be successfully passed onto future generations of the weed by using seeds.

In other words, selective herbicides deliver the ultimate in pest control: an opportunity to get rid of the weeds without harming your turf and loan. However, sometimes, you need the opposite – a solution that will destroy vegetation. The solution you are looking for is non-selective chemical.

The non-selective herbicides work differently than selective chemicals. Some are soil-applied and enter your plants directly through root uptake, ensuring immediate control. Others are follar-applied and destroy existing vegetation. The type of chemical you use depends on your specific needs.

The systemic herbicides, for example, are excellent at destroying perennial and woody plants. They tend to work quickly and efficiently and are known as burndown herbicides, however, they aren’t the ideal choice for controlling perennial weeds and lawns. The follar-applied chemicals guarantee little or no soil leftover. The systemic herbicides are the most popular and widely used non-selective herbicides.

Benefits and Issues of Selective and Non-Selective Herbicides

Non-selective or knockdown herbicides destroy all plants when used in adequate quantities, under specific environmental conditions.

Some of the benefits of using knockdown herbicides are:

  • Use of non-selective herbicides can enhance the timeline of sowing
  • Non-selective herbicides successfully destroy weeds and they are a cost-effective solution
  • Use of non-selective herbicides effectively reduce the risk of erosion, improve plant available lawn water content, and enhance soil structure.

There are, of course, certain issues related to using knockdown herbicides:

  • Before using non-selective herbicides, make sure to check the suitability of herbicide use for pre-sowing or fallow weed control by evaluating environmental conditions
  • Unhealthy or stressed weeds will not be effectively controlled by non-selective herbicides
  • The overuse of non-selective herbicides goes with resistance
  • Specific meteorological conditions for moisturizing and spraying can be limited, especially in the summer season, for weed control.

The selective herbicides control weeds that have arisen since crop establishment and can be used with little damage to the crop plants.

Some of the benefits of using selective herbicides are:

  • The selective herbicides deliver high levels of target weed control with one extra benefit – improved crop yield.
  • Examinations made prior to application of these herbicides allow adjusting of herbicide selection to meet weeds’ needs.
  • The timing of herbicide application can be adapted to suit crop growth stage, weed size, and specific environmental conditions.
  • Some herbicides may have pare activity on weed germinations.

The issues related to using selective herbicides are:

  • When selecting the best herbicide to use in specific situations, you need to be super careful.
  • Application of such herbicides to unhealthy weeds can result in increased crop damage and reduced weed control.
  • The method used for application must be well suited for the specific situation, especially if you want to maintain control.
  • Crop competition is crucial for successful weed control.
  • Always use the right adjuvant to provide effective lawn control.
  • Selective herbicides used early or applied as a stand-alone method have little or no effect on the weed seed bank.
  • For each situation, you need to choose the most suitable composition of herbicide
  • The effectiveness and success of selective herbicides are affected by different environmental factors.

How Do Selective Herbicides Separate Weeds from Grass?

We’ve learned that herbicides destroy plants by blocking metabolic processes in your plants. Selective herbicides destroy certain plants as they work on processes that happen in those plants only, while non-selective herbicides will destroy any plant as they work on processes that happen in all present plants.  

The herbicides that can be used in your lawn will destroy grass and broadleaf weed. But, how exactly do selective herbicides separate weeds from grass?

  • Synthetic Growth Regulators: One kind of selective herbicides for broadleaf weed is the synthetic growth regulator. These regulators cause uncommon growth patterns, obstruction of the circulation system, and finally, rapid destruction of weeds. The main issue with these kinds of herbicides is death to plants outside the planned zoned. A few examples of selective herbicides (synthetic growth regulators) are dicamba and 2-4 D.
  • Root Inhibitors: Some selective herbicides obstruct cell division or cell wall formation in developing root tissue. These selective herbicides are also known as pre-emergent herbicides and are applied to the soil before weed seeds grow. When using such herbicides, timing is important and will depend on when the weed seeds grow in your area. Based on the stage of expansion or growth, they are pretty selective. As a matter of fact, the herbicide can be absorbed by the plant until the shoots grow from the soil, so your grow is not affected at all. A few examples of pre-emergent selective herbicides are oryzalin, trifluralin, and benefin.
  • Inhibiting Protein Synthesis: A combination of herbicides that have been actively used for the last 60 years are those that prevent protein synthesis. The metabolic processes are successfully controlled by proteins, however, different types of plants have specific pats to energy production and consumption. These selective herbicides can obstruct one pathway while allowing others to continue so they kill only plant’s type. In this group, many of the herbicides are arsenates. Even though they are legal, their use in the US is being phased out. Oday, they are used to control sedges and specific (difficult to destroy) broadleaf weeds. A few examples of this type of herbicide are DSMA, CAMA, MSMA.

These herbicides are for lawn-use only while some can cause serious damage to certain species of grass. The synthetic growth regulators can cause damage to ornamentals and trees every year when they are used for the root area. Other herbicides can be destructive to pets and children or pollute drinking water. Before use, we recommend you to read herbicide labels and follow the directions and information on the label.

In order to ensure safe pesticide utilization, consider hiring a lawn care company for optimal lawn care. Risking to destroy your lawn or grass is not necessary when you have professional lawn care services near you, that can provide you with the best lawn treatments for your weed, grass, and plants.

Which Herbicide is Right for Your Lawn Project?

Keeping your plants green and healthy and the pest weeds can be difficult to control, especially if you don’t have any experience. As most lawn care companies can assist, it takes the perfect combination of product knowledge, professionalism, and expertise to treat unwanted vegetation and weeds without seriously destroying the desired plants and your surrounding.

The first thing you need to do is understand the types of weeds you want to get rid of and the difference in herbicide options. You know that there are two main herbicide options – selective herbicides vs non-selective herbicides. Under these two options, there are sub-categories and depending on your specific needs, a combination of different types may be needed.

Selective herbicides target specific weeds only, for example, clover, dandelions, plantains, henbit, wild onion, and etc. without destroying other turfgrass. We’ve already discussed that there are different types of selective herbicides, for example, one type targets broadleaf weed that grows in turfgrass, other type controls annual grassy weeds, and etc. There are selective herbicides that will manage broadleaf weeds growing in decorative beds – pre-emergent and post-emergent herbicides. The pre-emergent herbicides are for specific areas where you don’t have weeds and want to block the growth of other plants. The post-emergent herbicides are for areas where you already have existing weeds.

The non-selective herbicides destroy any plant it touches. The application of such herbicides should be done carefully ( we highly recommend you to contact a lawn care company). The non-selective herbicides should be used for plants you only intend to cut off. Some herbicides may last a few hours while some last several months. When using non-selective herbicides, proper product selection is the ultimate key.

If you are still not sure which weeds or plants you are treating or which of these herbicides work best for your lawn project, visit website today and speak with an expert. If you are not familiar with these products or with the application protocol, it is important to speak with an expert to ensure proper safety measures are followed and you achieve the wanted results.

Why Hire a Lawn Care Company

Now that you know the differences between selective and non-selective herbicides, how do both types of herbicides work, the benefits and issues that come with each herbicide type, and more, it is time to decide – are you going to take care of your weeds by yourself or allow professionals to help you.

Hiring a lawn care company is safer, for you, your family, and your plants. Using herbicides without previous knowledge or experience is not recommended and you can face serious damages.

With a lawn care company, by your side, you can rest assured knowing you will receive the best lawn treatment, including aeration and seeding, fertilization, grub control, and more.

Green Turf Care is one example of a professional lawn care company, with over a decade of lawn care experience. The company provides the best services in Macungie.

Why hire a lawn care company to take care of your unwanted weeds?

There are a few reasons why one would want to hire a professional lawn care company to take care of the unwanted weeds and plants:

  • Quick service: You can count on effective and quick service. Your quote (free of charge) will be ready in less than 12 hours and you can take advantage of professional lawn care services whenever you need them.
  • Satisfied and happy clients: The goal of any lawn care company is to make their clients happy and satisfied! Quality work is 100% guaranteed. If you want to give your lawn the best possible treatment and keep your grass looking fresh, hiring Green Turf Care and the team of experts is the answer.
  • Professional care: The lawn care companies such as Green Turf Care, have years of experience and passion. Your lawn will get everything it needs (selective or non-selective herbicides).

Get rid of a lawn full of weeds and enjoy fresh, healthy, and green grass! Hire Green Turf Care today!