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Extension > Garden > SULIS > Maintenance > Sustainable Lawncare Information Series > Weed Management > Choosing an Herbicide

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Choosing an Herbicide

Herbicide selection is based on the following steps: The process of choosing an appropriate herbicide for controlling one or more weed species is not a random, hit-or-miss process. Though not particularly complicated, it is useful to take the time to develop a plan or strategy that will result in the desired level of control along with posing negligible human or environmental risks. The following steps are just one of many possible examples for developing a weed control plan:

  • Identify the weed and learn about its biology
  • Determine whether or not control measures are needed
  • Determine whether or not chemical control measures are needed
  • Determine the most appropriate herbicide product to use, should one be needed
  • Determine when chemical control measures need to be carried out

If you need assistance in identifying a weed, visit Is this plant a weed?. After identifying your weed, control information can be found by clicking on the “For more information and control options for…” at the bottom of the page (Fig. 10.16).


Figure 10.16. Screen capture of control options link on Is this plant a weed? website.

Several common perennial and annual broadleaf and grassy weeds are listed in Tables 10.4 and 10.5 below.

Table 10.4. Common Perennial Broadleaf and Grassy Weeds

Perennial Broadleaf Lawn Weeds:

  • Canada Thistle
  • Dandelion
  • Ground Ivy (Creeping Charlie)
  • Plantain
  • White Clover

Perennial Grassy Lawn Weeds:

  • Quackgrass
  • Reed Canary Grass
  • Smooth Brome
  • Tall Fescue
  • Creeping Bentgrass, Annual Bluegrass, and Rough Bluegrass (Poa trivialis) can become weeds in well-watered and fertilized home lawns even though they may be considered legitimate turfgrasses in some situations


Table 10.5. Common Annual Broadleaf and Grassy Weeds

Annual Broadleaf Lawn Weeds:

  • Black Medic
  • Prostrate Knotweed
  • Spotted Spurge

Annual Grassy Lawn Weeds:

  • Barnyard Grass
  • Large and Smooth Crabgrasses
  • Longspine Sandbur
  • Yellow Foxtail

Proceed to Control the Weeds or Start Over or Both

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