• Jen Haynes

Answers to your herbicide questions.

There is a lot of controversy surrounding use of pesticides these days. Herbicides are a group of pesticides used to control plants. Selective herbicides kill specific plants. Non-selective herbicides kill all plants. An herbicide is a substance that typically blocks a chemical pathway in the plant preventing photosynthesis or increases levels of growth hormones causing the plant to grow itself to death. When you see recipes on the internet for making your own weed killer think about the potential impact of the vinegar, soap, or other ingredients on the poor microbes in the ground. Some of the recipes on the internet may cause more harm than good to the soil. Just because you made it yourself and are familiar with the ingredients doesn’t mean that it is a safe non-toxic product. When you purchase herbicide, it is important to read the label to see which plants it is most effective on. You don’t want to waste time and money on something that won’t work or will kill plants that you want to protect. Herbicide can be a very effective tool, but it is important to know what you are using. The label on the product will tell you which plants it is most effective on, how long it is residual in the soil, what safety precautions you need to take and a lot of other very important information. It is important to have a plan for your property and keep track of where you have used herbicide, when you used it and how long the residual is. You don’t want to use a selective, broad leaf herbicide with a residual of 4 years on an area and then the next year plant a flower bed there. Your flowers will not grow. You should always make sure that you mix your herbicide and water to the proper specifications. If the mixture is wrong, you could end up not killing the plants or sterilizing the soil. Calibration is important. If you are using a backpack sprayer you would not use the same amount as if you were using a tank sprayer. If you would like to do your own spraying the RDKB has a program where residents can borrow herbicide spray equipment. You purchase the herbicide and you can borrow equipment. If you would like someone else to do your spraying, you can hire a contractor. The RDKB also has a new invaders program and a cost share program. For more information you can contact the Boundary Invasive Species Society at 250-446-2232, info@boundaryinvasives.com, Facebook and www.boundaryinvasives.com.