Asked April 12, 2013, 1:50 PM EDT

There are so many weed killers out there that can be used to control weeds in the garden but how do I know what one is best and wont harm the plants I want to grow? I see some that are for broad leaf but a lot of the plants are broad leaf will they kill my vegetable plants? I am very confused when I look at the store. I just don't want to kill my plants too.

Berrien County Michigan weed control

1 Response

Unfortunately, there is no one magical solution to all weed problems. You are correct in stating that there are so many weed killers out there. Therefore it is most important to read the labels, and to know which kind of weed you are targeting. There are two types of weeds that tend to invade the garden, broad-leaf and narrow-leaf or grass-like.
Corn gluten is a pre-emergent herbicide that is a natural byproduct of corn and that has the ability to prevent seeds from germinating. Corn gluten is nonselective, so you must only use this after your vegetables are growing. Corn gluten has many brand names and can be commonly found in garden centers.
Post-emergent herbicides include glyphosate, horticultural vinegar and several different types of oils. The key to success of using these sprays is to spray the weeds when they are young. Be careful not to spray on a windy day. Drift from these herbicides can kill your vegetable plants and flowers too. You might try to shield desired plants with any non-porous material.

Most flowers and vegetables are broad leaf plants, with the exception of corn, which is classified as a grass. No broad leaf herbicides will selectively kill only weeds and not your flowers and vegetables. However there is an effective grass killer. This material is called sethoxydim, or Poast. Poast can be used to kill actively growing grasses, such as crabgrass, barnyard grass, johnsongrass, orchardgrass, quackgrass and many other types of perennial and annual grasses. Review the label for instructions, the list of recommended flowers and vegetables and for the Post Harvest Interval (PHI). The PHI lets you know how long after you spray that you need to wait before harvesting.

Hope this was helpful.