View Full Version : method/tool for applying weed control

04-07-2008, 07:52 AM

i live in central indiana (zone 5) and have already applied "step 1" pre-m to my roughly 1/3 acre yard. this was done about 2 wks. ago. over the past couple of weeks, i'm noticing many (a variety) broadleaf weeds...some that appear to be leftover from last year as well as weeds (chickweed???) that seem to be new for 2008.

2 days ago, I bought some weed-b-gone max in both the pre-mixed form (it came in 1/2 gal container with spray gun/wand) as well as some of the weed-b-gone concentrate. I applied the pre-mixed but was only able to "spot treat" some of the areas (buckhorn???) due to the spray-stream coming out of the gun. after a couple days...it appears this did not produce the desired results.

My problem is I need a more complete coverage and thought I could use one of those Ortho dial-a-spray contraptions and fill the container with the concentrate weed-b-gone max. this is the thing that hooks to your garden hose and allows for a greater/wider distribution....higher volume of liquid weed killer. This is the only thing i know to do to attack the chickweed that seems to be spreading all over the place. does anyone have experience using the Ortho dial-a-spray with weed-b-gone max???? will this work better for me???

04-07-2008, 09:27 AM
With all due respect, sir...

Throw the stupid, useless hose-end sprayer in the garbage can (or even better, the recycle bin) and go out and invest in a quality Gilmour 2 or 3 gallon handtank...or backpack sprayer.

Look for something (like Gilmour / Solo) that you'll be able to access replacement parts for, down the road, if /when you need them.

Buy a sprayer, then you can use mix according to directions on the pesticide label.
Don't forget to add a tsp or so of dish soap (Palmolive /Dawn) per tankful to help increase the spread/ stick of your solution.

As far as weed control the 1ST week of April is concerned...
You're on the "cusp"...as we say in the industry !! :laugh:

It's early enough for weeds to grow, (obviously)....
but, for many products out there on many shelves, it's too early for them to work !!!!

Right now I'm using Lesco's Three Way Ester II...but that's a COMMERCIAL product sold in very large containers. (Maybe you can find something RETAIL that's similar ?!?)
(' ester means "alcohol based", and that means the chemical will break into the tissue much easier than "water based" amine formulas do later in the summer...
But beware IF you go out and BUY any ESTER selective weed controls !!!
They often can be very volatile as it approaches....say...70 to 75 degrees F...(and lots of sunshine involved), and may even damage leaves on landscape plantings if applied too closely underneath.
And they, of course, will 'dry' the grass more than amine formulations, if drought conditions are a factor at all.

04-07-2008, 04:41 PM
thanks for the information.....you are absolutely right, invest in a backpack sprayer. i didn't realize the err of my thinking when i suggested the dial-a-spray. it is junk....but i never thought of a backpack sprayer.

i'd love to buy a quality backpack sprayer to do my lawn....and maybe my 80 y/o mother's lawn. i don't want junk...i want the best that will get the job done right...and fast. any suggestions/recommendations for a high quality backpack sprayer.......and what makes it the best.

again, i don't want junk!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

04-07-2008, 06:34 PM
Look for a "pump rebuild kit" for the sprayer you want to buy..If you can't get a kit easy, don't buy the sprayer. I like the "solo" best 'cause parts are easy to get

also, make sure the seal is seated properly in the cover before you put it on tight. Nothing worse than pesticides running down your back to the crack of your...

04-07-2008, 09:04 PM
Solo has has some quality control issues in the past...but I think they're up to snuff now.
And I have seen Solo rebuild kits in littler stores like Ace Hardware, so they're definately at Lowes and HD.

04-07-2008, 09:16 PM
thanks ALL who have replied. admittedly, i know nothing about backpack sprayers (evidence my post), however, surely there isn't a big debate about who makes the best sprayer. i don't want the homeowners special...even though I'll only be using it on two or three lawns. i want something that will last and last and last. i want something that will do the job FAST, efficient, and will do a top quality job.

obviously, i started this post asking about the ortho dial-a-spray and we're a long ways away from that technology (junk). however, i want something repairable...should the need arise. something that will put out a good volume of spray weed killer in a short amount of time.

by the way, for comparison purposes, what will i notice in terms of difference of performance between a backpack sprayer and say....an ortho pump up sprayer...which i have used??? also, am i just wasting my money if all i'm able to use the sprayer for is ortho weed-b-gone max??? how can i (just a dumb ole homeowner) obtain landscape grade broadleaf weed killer???

04-08-2008, 01:17 PM

I have used a lot of different brands - Birchmeier Sprayers are the best by a long shot. See link to compare a few sprayers.

04-08-2008, 07:46 PM
RedMax just introduced two new sprayers, made by SP Systems. I bought the 4 gallon unit, haven't used it yet. Looks like a nice sprayer... I have had too many dealers warn me off the Birchneiers, and they were carrying them. Nothing specific, just poor opinions of them.

The Ortho 3 way isn't a bad product actually, and it should have worked if applied correctly. Some of the commercial stuff is very similar to the Ortho 2,4-D three way. You can also go to Lesco for herbicides, but they sell large containers, which is a problem for you.

04-08-2008, 08:15 PM
once again, thanks to all who have replied to my questions/concerns. i do appreciate the recommendations.

i want to emphasize i am a homeowner who is trying to learn about lawn care. i like to spend time in the yard making it look good. part of my enjoyment is treating the lawn...and trying to win the war against weeds. as a homeowner, i have 2 options. 1. hire this work to be done by a pro. 2. do it myself and use products available to diy homeowners. i have chosen option 2 and therefore am limited (i think) to purchasing products at the local box stores or ace hardware. i have chosen to use the Scott's 4 step lawn pro program and it seems to do okay...not great. weed control (in between Scott's applications), i buy Ortho stuff (weed-b-gone max) as its all i know.

according to an earlier reply, it seems i may have gotten a little excited about trying to control my early season broadleaf weeds and may have jumped the gun. now that its been 4 days since the weed-b-gone was put down, i'm starting to see signs it has worked...just a little. some of my weeds have begun to look pretty sick...but not all. the CHICKWEED??? is what is really killing me as it seems to spread over rather large areas of the lawn which makes it hard to treat using that stupid squirt gun which only sprays a direct stream of weed killer. this does not help when trying to cover fairly large areas of turf infested with chickweed...spreading weeds. therefore, i asked for advice on a different way to spray a broader area.

this is when the suggestions came in about a backpack sprayer. i have looked them over on a website (gemplers) and think i may buy a SP 3. i'm guessing it will work well for me when i mix up a batch of weed-b-gone (from concentrate). ANY THOUGHTS??? i have learned the backpack sprayers have 2 different types of pumps (diaphram and piston). i haven't been able to determine which type the SP3 is and whether it will be best for using/spraying liquid....as opposed to using a powder. i don't know that i'll ever be able to buy a powdered broadleaf weed killer since i'm learning that only the pro's can purchase the "good stuff".

i don't rule out hiring a pro lawn service to wage war against my weeds. however, i've been told most companies don't want to take jobs where only weed control is involved. they want the whole enchalada....5, 6, 7 applications...fertilizer and all. i hate giving up my enjoyment of doing it myself.

thanks again for any and all input. p.s. sure wish i could buy better, more effective weed killer than weed-b- gone max, but i guess i'll have to make due.

04-08-2008, 08:47 PM
I think I'm the guy you're talking about...who told you that you may have "jumped the gun" on your weed control timing, as you had it worded.
You may have... but maybe you didn't.....it's only been 4 days.
Systemic broadleaf weed controls take 10 days to 2 weeks to do their work, even in the most ideal of conditions!

The reason I brought up the "timing" issue on your spraying is this simple fact:

Systemic broadleaf weed controls kill weeds by amplifying the metabolism of the target weed(s).
...and if the weeds simply not growing FAST ENOUGH (because of the still very cool nights we're getting in the midwest...and /or too much rain...not enough sun) then it's very feasible that the results you get will be poor as a result.

If indeed chickweed is your biggest headache....:cry:
that's a symptom of a much BIGGER problem.............. not enough "COMPETITION" in your lawn to keep crawly weeds like chickweed and crabgrass in check !......or, in other words....you will probably want to consider some good SEEDING & LAWN RENOVATION work, at least in the "worst" areas, beginning this coming August.

I have no experience with Gempler's stuff.
But I am partial to piston backpacks over diaphrams.

As far as finding "the good stuff" in weed control.....it's out there, you've just got to keep calling around !
Do you have any "Tractor Supply" stores around you ? (TSC)
Or.... "Quality Farm and Fleet" ?
I've seen some residential-friendly sized containers in these stores before.
Try them.

04-08-2008, 09:42 PM
Just another homeowner here, following up on Marcos' suggestion of finding a smaller-package product similar to Lesco's Three-Way Ester II. TWE II is an ester formulation with MCPA, triclopyr, and dicamba.

There is a homeowner product called Spurge Power, made by Monterey Products. You can buy it online or in certain greenhouses. It's an ester formulation with the same active ingredients, in nearly the same ratio, as the TWE II. It comes in bottles as small as 16 oz., and while I can't remember the application rate per K, I recall it was a half ounce per gallon for spot spraying. It is pretty pricey - about $25-30/pint.

Another product homeowners can frequently find is Gordon's Speed Zone, an ester formulation with the same actives (2,4-D; MCPP; Dicamba; CArfentrazone), in the same ratio, as the professional speed zone (can't say whether its inerts are different). Concentrate available in 20 oz. bottle, mix 1 oz./gallon for spot-spraying. Also a bit pricey - Believe it was around $15-20 for a 20 oz. bottle.

I've used both products and have found they last a long time (Esp. the Spurge Power - I have about half of each left, and I've had the Speed Zone for a year and the Spurge Power for 2 years and used it both). The Speed Zone works faster, but both gave me quality kill in small amounts.

Mostly did spot spraying. Did one blanket app. with Spurge Power - killed creeping charlie well in one app. with some follow-up spot spraying.

04-08-2008, 09:47 PM
Squirter... I'll say it again... the Ortho weed-b-gone is a near duplicate of many commercial 3 ways.... and should be just as effective. Now, spike that with some Quicksilver fron Lesco, and that's a weed app as good as any.

Marcos is one smart man... and I agree, 4 days is not enough to judge the effectiveness of your past app. Some of the tougher weeds may need a follow up app... but Ortho will usually take chickweed out in one app, just be patient.

04-09-2008, 01:14 AM
Squirter... I'll say it again... the Ortho weed-b-gone is a near duplicate of many commercial 3 ways.... and should be just as effective. Now, spike that with some Quicksilver fron Lesco, and that's a weed app as good as any.

Marcos is one smart man... and I agree, 4 days is not enough to judge the effectiveness of your past app. Some of the tougher weeds may need a follow up app... but Ortho will usually take chickweed out in one app, just be patient.

Gee....thanks, Whitey ! :)


By the way, there's nothing stopping you from going into any Lesco store and asking them for recommendations for the smallest "residential" sized containers of selective broadleaf weed controls.

Nobody needs a "license" to buy there...(unless whatever they're buying is a "restricted use" chemical, then a pesticide lic w/proper category is needed)
Professionals (only) need licenses in the "field" where they're applying the products.

I believe there's at least two of them in Indy proper. Just go to their website and key in your zip code, and you'll see a map to the closest one.

Just be aware that they reserve the right to charge retail pricing to a retail customer, and wholesale pricing to those in the industry...
And usually their policy is that their wholesale customers take priority-in terms of customer service focus-so keep that in mind if/when you go there and have lots of Q's for them.

They're open for the general public, landscapers, seeding, lawn care & pest control people, and can sell most anything they have in their stores to anyone.

04-09-2008, 05:51 AM
Squirter... I'll say it again... the Ortho weed-b-gone is a near duplicate of many commercial 3 ways.... and should be just as effective. Now, spike that with some Quicksilver fron Lesco, and that's a weed app as good as any.

Marcos is one smart man... and I agree, 4 days is not enough to judge the effectiveness of your past app. Some of the tougher weeds may need a follow up app... but Ortho will usually take chickweed out in one app, just be patient.

Ortho Weed-B-Gon is now Triclopyr, MCPA and dicamba. That is a 2,4-D free threeway. I find that all amine based threeways are disappointing if you do not add a nonionic surfactant at 1/3 oz per gallon of spray. They are water based and have poor ability to penetrate weeds. I will agree as well that 4 days is not enough to judge the action of a herbicide. Even with Speedzone, I see the leaves burning up on the 2nd day, but complete death as in kicking the dried taproots out of the ground does not happen for two weeks.

04-09-2008, 07:26 AM
Now, spike that with some Quicksilver fron Lesco, and that's a weed app as good as any.

I was at Lowes the other day looking at labels and the Spectracide Weed Stop has the regular 3-way cocktail plus sulfentrazone so he wouldn't need to spike it with quicksilver.

04-09-2008, 04:50 PM
wow, some really helpful suggestions. thanks to all. just as a follow-up, what is the preferred backpack sprayer for the homeowner given the usage of products y'all say are available (lesco, etc. etc.)...even weed-b-gone max??? thought i read where piston-type pumps are (work best) for a certain type of chemical and the diaphram type pumps work best for another. seems the wild card was using powdered formulas/chemicals?

will i be satisfied with buying a SP3 backpack sprayer??? i'm really hoping the sprayer i end up buying will be easy and fast to clean-up....as well as being repairable should something fail, break, go bad, etc. etc.