There are many different types of weedkiller available on the market – but which one should you choose? The different types can be split into two basic groups – selective and non-selective. Selective weedkiller will target a specific group of plants and non-specific weedkiller will kill all plant life it comes into contact with. This article will explain when non-selective weedkiller should be used and how it works.

Non-selective weedkiller can be further categorised into three groups – residual, contact and systemic – although some products in these categories overlap and could be classed as being in two groups.

Residual non-selective weedkiller should be used when you are looking to clear paths and gravel of weeds. This type of weedkiller remains in the soil, sometimes for months and even years, and kills all germinating seeds and shoots from roots that may be lying dormant in readiness for spring when they will attack! Residual weedkiller is absorbed by the roots of germinating seeds and existing roots of plants and kills it from within, using various methods from stopping photosynthesis to reducing cell growth meaning seeds will not germinate.

If you are looking to clear a large patch of land quickly, possibly prior to sowing or planting the weedkiller you require falls into the ‘contact’ category. For this type of weedkiller to work it must land directly onto the plant you are trying to kill, it will not destroy the roots of plants which appear every year but if used regularly these plants will be easily removed from the soil. ‘Contact’ weedkiller also works in various ways – some variants destroy green plant tissue immediately on contact, some attack the walls of the plant cells causing rapid dehydration and others prevent photosynthesis.

The final category within the non-selective weedkiller group – systemic – should be used when clearing weeds that are well established, this type of weedkiller is also beneficial for the removal of old tree stumps which may have become a nuisance. Systemic weedkiller is absorbed by the foliage of the plant and then transported down through the rest of the rest of the plant all the way to the roots destroying it as it goes. This type of weedkiller should only be used if you are willing to wait for the effects to occur as it can take up to two to three weeks to completely work. Before using this systemic type of weedkiller you should also remove any seeds that are on the plant before application as the chemicals in the weedkiller may not reach them before they spread and therefore may start growing elsewhere. When using this type of weedkiller to kill tree roots, holes should be drilled into the stumps and the weedkiller poured into the holes.

So if you are looking to clear a path, gravelled area, a large patch of land before cropping or need to get rid of old tree stumps then a non-selective weed killers is what you require. Please also be aware that all types of weed killers can be dangerous so be sure to read all safety instructions before using and follow them carefully to ensure the safety of yourself, your family and your pets.

Author's Bio: 

An expert article author with knowledge on mnay subjects ranging from energy efficiency to gardening!