Read the Label

If you want to be “weeding” by example…make sure to always read the label on products you use on the lawn and landscape. Labels are there for a reason and tell us a lot about what we need to know to be safe and successful. Take for example these unfortunate people who had their “Lawn-gevity” dealt a blow when Glyphosate was mixed into a tank sprayer as opposed to the lawn weed killer which was intended…talk about “involuntary plant slaughter!” Labels on everything from fertilizers to weed killers to bags of grass seed give us important information…… so take the time to read them before getting to work or buying them for that matter. Take for example grass seed. Anyone can put a pretty picture on the bag and a catchy title like “Surefire Heavenly Lawn Seed Mix” but the proof is in the label on the back of the package. That’s where we find if the seed is a quality mix of named varieties of Kentucky Blue Grass, Perennial Rye and Fescues. We see the proportion of the mix and see what percentage of the bag is “inert” or filler. We are given a seed germination rate, percentage of weed seed statement and application rates. There is even a “sold by” date as if you were purchasing a gallon of milk. All these issues are important and 9 times out of 10 if the price on the front of the bag is too good to be true the label on the back of the bag will forewarn us with things like a high percentage of cheap annual grass seed that only lasts a season as an example.

You know you might be a redneck if you spend hours staring at the label of a bottle of Roundup because it said “concentrate”. OK, a bad version of the Jeff Foxworthy joke but you get the idea. Check labels for active ingredients and the % of active ingredient. Take for example the Glyphosate in the bottles of Roundup pictured here. One is a RTU or ready to use that is pre-mixed and ready to apply. It has only 2% of the active ingredient. A bottle of concentrate has 18% and may be a more economical purchase when you mix it yourself in a tank sprayer. Again make sure to mix at the rate recommended for your safety and the safety of your landscape when mixing concentrates.

Ready to Use

Here is a bottle of “Grass Beater” grass killer for use over the top and around landscape ornamentals and groundcovers.

Grass Beater

Here too make sure to follow label directions as you’re spraying around valued landscape plants. The label will also give you input on when to apply and how to apply…with many herbicides they are most effective at a certain temperature. If air temperatures are too cold they might not work and if air temperatures are too high they might burn. In the case of “Grass Beater” you might want to pull up a chair to read the label…..they’re small pages but there are 36 of them on this bottle!

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