When we think about gardening and the wonderful world of plants, green is the color that comes to mind. But what do we do about the unwanted green, those plants that invade our carefully designed gardening world?
Over a period of many years spent in landscape gardening, vegetable gardening, and turf management, I have found Roundup® Weed & Grass Killer to be one of the most consistently reliable products ever created for the control of undesirable vegetation (weeds), and for the management of desirable vegetation (lawn grasses).
The main active ingredient in Roundup® is Glyphosate, isopropylamine salt. Varying percentages of this ingredient allow the Monsanto Company to offer several different products for sale at different levels of concentration and correspondingly different levels of selling price. In other words, the greater percentage of active ingredient in the product, the less of the product that will be needed to kill the weeds, and therefore the higher the price of the product. The Roundup® Weed & Grass Killer that I use most frequently is their Concentrate Plus which contains 18.00% of the active ingredient. Their recommendation for using this product is to mix 6 fluid ounces of the chemical with one gallon of water to treat approximately 300 square feet.
Other Roundup® Grass & Weed Killer products are the Ready-To-Use Plus which has an active ingredient concentration of 2% and is available with a built-in Pump ‘N Go sprayer for easy application, and the Super Concentrate which has an active ingredient concentration of 50.2%.
Roundup® kills the weeds and undesirable vegetation by stopping the plant photosynthesis; the plant is killed all the way to the roots, not just the top growth. Since the active ingredients in the products bind to the soil or are absorbed by the treated plants, it is not likely that surrounding plants will be affected, provided normal caution is exercised to prevent drifting of the spray.
One of the great benefits of using this product in turf renovation projects is that the Roundup® breaks down into natural elements, not poisoning or sterilizing the soil, and thus allowing the treated area to be replanted or reseeded soon after. (Roundup® suggests in the instructions that come with the Concentrate Plus that you “wait 3 days after last application to rake, till, or replant with seed or sod”). My experience has been that this holds true and that the treated area can be safely reseeded within 3 to 4 days after treatment. The area should then be watered well soon after seeding, the old grass acting as a mulch as it dies out and actually helping hold the new seeds and seedlings in place as well as providing shade and nutrients to the new plants as they develop.
Roundup® can also be used to kill weeds and grasses in the preparation of a plot to be used for the planting of fruits, vegetables, trees, or shrubs. Again, wait a few days after application before planting your new garden area.
One of the most common and frequent uses of Roundup® for the home landscaper is in the spot spraying of weeds in and along walkways, driveways, and landscaped flowerbeds and shrub areas. Spraying along the fence also eliminates the need for so much close mowing and trimming.
Other specialized products from Roundup® are the Extended Control weed killer which is supposed to prevent new weeds from growing for up to 4 months, and the Poison Ivy Killer which is designed specifically to, you guessed it, kill poison ivy!
Lots of vegetation control/weed killer products are available on the market, but for my money and from my experiences, the Roundup® products are as effective, safe, and easy to use as anything you can buy.