Before now, the easiest way to remove weeds was manually. Today, you can spray a weed killer in garden beds to get rid of weeds. However, the question that begs an answer is, “is the weed killer safe for your vegetables?”
Not all weed killers are safe for your plants so it is best to find ways to kill weeds naturally. This post will answer the question of what weed killer you should spray in your garden.
It will also address the issue of safe and unsafe weed killers as well as the use of Spectracide. Without further ado, let’s dive straight in.
Is there a weed killer safe for flower beds?
Weeds are very annoying and frustrating. They not only make your flower beds look untidy, they compete with your flowers for nutrients. This competition stifles the growth of your flowers and results in poor productivity.
There are several ways of ridding your flower beds of weeds including killing weeds organically and spraying chemicals.
The danger of spraying chemicals is that many of them don’t just act on the weeds, they end up hurting your plants as well. Instead of losing your flowers because you want to kill weeds, why not choose a safe method by killing weeds organically?
The market is full of so many organic weed killers so it is difficult to choose one. To choose one that is safe for your flower beds, you must look out for certain factors. We will discuss a few of these factors include:
Post-emergent vs. pre-emergent
We can split organic weed killers into two categories just like their chemical counterparts. They are either pre-or post-emergent. Pre-emergent weed killers attack and destroy weed seeds before they sprout. Post-emergent weed killers, as their name implies, kill already growing weeds.
The difference between both is quite crucial as it determines if the weed killer will affect your flowers or not. If your flowers are yet to sprout, then you shouldn’t consider using a pre-emergent weed killer.
On the other hand, if the flowers are blooming, you cannot use a post-emergent weed killer. For a weed killer to be safe, you must consider the growth stage of the flowers in relation to the weeds.
Ever heard about killing weeds with vinegar? Yes, that’s a very potent way of killing weeds so you may see this ingredient in some organic weed killers. Other ingredients that you may see include essential oils like clove or cinnamon and even soaps.
Some of the lesser-known ingredients include caprylic acid, D-limonene, and citric acid. Usually, manufacturers combine two or more of these ingredients depending on the weed the substance will control. Check the ingredients list to ensure that the weed killer is made from organic substances alone before application.
Non-selective vs. selective weed killers
Selective weed killers work against specific weeds. An example is a herbicide for lawns that will target only broadleaf weeds like clover and chickweed. Such herbicide won’t hurt the turf-type grasses.
On the other hand, a non-selective weed will harm every kind of vegetation on the flower bed. What this means is that you should rather go for a selective weed killer if you don’t want to harm your flowers.
The challenge is that there are very few selective organic herbicides. However, if you check well, you should find one. If you don’t, then you can opt for homemade weed killers.
Can I spray weed killer in my garden?
As a gardener, you will always have concerns over using a weed killer in garden beds. Your concerns may prompt you to ask if you can spray weed killer in your garden. Yes, you can but it depends on the kind of weed killer and the time of application.
This is a good time to let you know that the best way to manage weeds in your flower beds is through prevention. If you prevent the growth of weeds, you wouldn’t have to spray weed killers when your flowers have already sprouted. We will look at a few weed prevention operations below:
- Lay landscape fabric over the area where you want to grow your veggies or flowers before you plant. Ensure that the fabric is porous and keep it in place using pins or sod staples at the borders.
- Mulch the soil after you plant your veggies. To do this, lay some older newspapers over the soil then spread your mulch over the newspapers. Ensure that the mulch is between two and three inches high. You can apply straw if you don’t have newspapers or make use of organic compost. Mulch helps to suppress weed growth and retain moisture within the soil.
- Reduce disturbing the topsoil as weed seeds are always beneath the soil and they can stay dormant for several years. When you disturb the topsoil, you uncover these seeds and give them a chance to grow.
- Use a pre-emergent organic spray before you plant your flower or vegetable seeds. Do this about 12 weeks before planting.
- Limit areas of bare soil as they invite weeds. Ensure that you plant your vegetables close together without overcrowding.
- Crop rotation.
While carrying out these operations doesn’t mean that you wouldn’t have to spray, they help you control weeds effectively. If you have to spray your garden, go for organic herbicides to kill weeds naturally.
Can I use Spectracide weed killer in my garden?
So far, we have shown you what to look out for when choosing a weed killer in garden beds. This section will answer the question, “can I use Spectracide weed killer in my garden?”
Spectracide is a weed killer that is non-selective. It kills every kind of vegetation that it contacts. This weed killer enters through leaves and goes down to the plant’s roots. With this mode of operation, it eliminates the plant completely.
If you have plants already in your garden, then this is not a safe option for weed control. The reason is that Spectracide will eliminate your plants along with the weeds.
For best results, you should use this product when your garden is fallow and there are just weeds present. You can plant new flowers or vegetables after using this product.
Weed killer in Garden Beds-Conclusion
That’s it for using a weed killer in garden beds. We have explained several important pieces of information including when to use Spectracide. If you have any questions, drop them in the comments section below.