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ostinoh 03-29-2012 11:54 AM

Product to kill weeds but not the plants

I'm looking for a product (if any) that will kill the weeds I have in my shrub beds but not kill the shrubs.

Thoughts ideas??? I have a lot of them by the way. Weeds that is

Thank you

bob22 03-29-2012 01:12 PM

Use a pair of gloves; totally nontoxic.

TarheelTerp 03-29-2012 02:15 PM

1 Attachment(s)

Originally Posted by bob22 (Post 887954)
Use a pair of gloves; totally nontoxic.

Spend $10 on some knee pads too.

creeper 03-29-2012 02:21 PM


Try loosening the roots hold with a pitch fork first. Or wait until a good soaking

bbo 03-29-2012 02:29 PM

I also find removing them by hand gives me more satisfaction and looks much better than withering weeds.

Jay 78 03-29-2012 02:35 PM

+1 for elbow grease. :thumbsup:

user1007 03-29-2012 02:42 PM

If you must use an herbicide, RoundUp is among the most popular but pricey for consumer packaging sale. See if you can buy it from a landscape supplier, nursery that sells retail and wholesale, or a seed and fertilizer or farm supply place.

It is a non-selective, systemic, post emergent herbicide and will kill just about anything you spray it on (although some plants are being bio-engineered to be Round-Up Ready). So, invest in a tank sprayer and mark it so you remember to use it only with weed killer. You can still pick up a nice plastic two gallon tank sprayer for $30 or so I think? (I have not had to buy one in awhile). Adjust the pressure and spray pattern so you do not overspray on to healthy plants. You will get carpal tunnel with the stupid little sprayer set-up that comes with gallons of the stuff.

There are other non-selective brush and weed killers you may prefer if budget is an issue. They will kill what they touch but most of the cheaper ones are not systemic like RoundUp and will just kill the top growth.

As mentioned, with this poste-emergent weed killing approach you are going to end up with a bunch of brown and dead looking weeds in your landscape. You would be better off taking the time to pull them or till them under. Or bite the bullet and call Labor Ready for a crew to work a day or two for you.

There are some nice hand tilling tools but a plane old shovel or soil fork will do the trick with some due diligence. Yank and toss giant clumps of things of course. They also sell cute little garden bed rototillers but the things are a pain for hard or clay soil. They just don't have enough weight and bounce around a lot. They are not bad if you till everything with a larger unit first.

As far as preventing weeds? Products like PREEN, again expensive in consumer packaging, are pre-emergent herbicides used around shrubs, ornamentals, flowers and so forth to keep weed seeds from germinating in the first place. They will also keep flower and turfgrass seeds you want to grow from doing so also and they can stress young bedding plants. There are pre-emergents for crabgrass type weeds and for broadleaf. Obviously they will do know good on establish weeds or those that spread by rhyzomes or runners like established crabgrass, bermuda and so forth.

Then of course there are things like creeping charlie that are oblivious to almost everything. Boron still works great but please remember less is more and use it appropriately. It is banned in many states because it can render soil sterile for many years.

SingleGuy 03-29-2012 03:11 PM

You could also cover the weeds with black plastic and smother them.

user1007 03-29-2012 03:20 PM


Originally Posted by SingleGuy (Post 887992)
You could also cover the weeds with black plastic and smother them.

Doesn't always work like you think it might and any time you tarp living organic matter you ask for trouble. And frankly, it is going to look like you covered clumps of weeds with black plastic.

Sometimes you just have to bite the bullet or pay the piper and do things the way they have been done for ages. Pull or till the weeds. Or both.

My labor crews in California were all legals but worked very hard all day long and I paid them well above minimum wage to keep them loyal and because they deserved it. Find the right laborers, someone who speaks at least some Spanish and this issue is resolved in short order. Used to be I could hire teenagers wanting fun work in the sun too. No more from what I hear.

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