If you want to kill broadleaf weeds, you’re probably wondering if you can spray a 2, 4-D on your lawn. Yes, it is safe to apply 2, 4-D on your lawn, but it is important to get the mixing ratio, timing, and application rate right.
2,4-Dichlorophenoxyacetic acid (2, 4-D) is a systemic herbicide that selectively kills broadleaf weeds. It destroys weeds by altering the way the cells of these plants grow, thereby killing them. In other words, it causes uncontrolled growth of cells in broadleaf weeds, thereby eliminating them.
2, 4-D is classified as an auxin-type herbicide because it causes cells in plant tissues that transport water and nutrients to grow endlessly.
Best 2, 4-D Weed Killers
Is 2, 4-D safe for lawns?
2,4-D is safe for lawns since herbicides containing as the active ingredient control most broadleaf weeds without harming the grass. You can spray it on your lawn in the right ratio to eliminate various non-grassy weeds.
Caution should be taken, however, before spraying 2,4-D weed killers on turfgrass. Read the label to ensure that it is indicated for use on your particular turfgrass variety.
Pro tip: I noticed Hi-Yield 2, 4-D is not labeled for use on St. Augustine grass. The product label cautions that the herbicide can cause injury to St. Augustine grass. If you plan to control broadleaf weeds using a selective herbicide on this type of grass, Trimec Southern Broadleaf Herbicide would be a better option.
However, Trimec is also not labeled for use on Floratam, a variety of St. Augustine grass.
Most of the 2, 4-D weed killer is safe for use on Bermuda grass – a common Southern lawn grass. Be careful not to apply this herbicide to kill broadleaf weeds in dormant Bermuda grass. It can destroy your lawn in its dormancy stage, usually around the month of January.
What weeds does 2, 4-D kill?
Not all lawn weeds can be killed using a 2, 4-D formula. Most products with 2,4-dichlorophenoxyacetic acid as the active ingredient are indicated to be used in non-crop areas to control weeds.
You can apply this broadleaf weed killer on lawns and on ornamental turf, driveways, patio areas, drainage ditch banks, and fence rows.
Here’s a list of weeds that 2, 4-D kills:
|Alligator weed||Carolina geranium|
|Red clover||Velvet leaf|
|St. Johnswort||Virginia creeper|
|Hoary cress||Orange hawkweed|
|Southern wild rose||Pennycress|
|Blessed thistle||Curly indigo|
|Box elder||Devil’s claw|
|Stinging nettle||Wild radish|
|Sunflower||Wild sweet potato|
|Bulrush||Flea bane (daisy)|
|Bur ragweed||Florida pusley|
|Many flowered aster||Puncture vine|
As you can see, the only grass that 2,4-D can kill is nutgrass. The rest is just a list of broadleaf weeds.
Does 2, 4-D kill crabgrass?
Crabgrass is a tough grass weed that keeps coming back if not controlled with a strong crabgrass pre-emergent and killer. 2,4-dichlorophenoxyacetic acid is indicated to kill broadleaf weeds, but not most grass weeds.
Therefore, 2,4-D will NOT KILL CRABGRASS. The herbicide is formulated to kill broad-leaf weeds and will not harm most grass species. Crabgrass is a species of grass and will not be affected when you spray 2,4-D to control weeds in your lawn.
If you have a crabgrass and nutsedge problem in your lawn, you might want to try a strong grass weed killer for lawns to help you get rid of those grassy weeds. Most of the best weed killers that control crabgrass are non-selective, meaning they will harm any plant they come in contact with.
Therefore, for crabgrass control, ensure you use the spot-spray technique and follow it with overseeding to prevent having bare spots in your lawn.
A great crabgrass killer I would recommend for killing crabgrass is the Drive XLR8 Herbicide. I’ve seen very great results eliminating this grass weed just by spot treating the areas of infestation.
2, 4-D Mixing Ratio and Application Rate
Each brand of 2, 4-D herbicide comes with its own mixing ration on the instructions label. The ratio and application rate depend on the concentration of the active ingredient in the herbicide.
In general, mix 2.5 oz of 2, 4-D weed killer (5 tablespoonfuls) with 1 gallon of water and use it to treat 400 square feet of weed-infested area in your yard. You can double to 5oz per 2 gallons of water for treating 800 to 1000 square feet of weed-laden grass.
Note that this is not the exact mixing ratio for all 2, 4-D liquid herbicide brands. Always read the label for the recommended ratios and rate.
For example, Hi-Yield 2, 4-D mixing ratio for small areas: use 3 to 4 fluid ounces (6 to 8 Tablespoons) per 1,000 square feet. Mix 1 – 3 gallons of water and apply uniformly over the area when weeds are small and growing actively before bud stage. The best time to apply is usually during spring.
When to spray 2 4 d on lawn
The best time to apply 2, 4-D weed killer on your lawn is when weeds are still young and starting to grow. This may be during spring, although some weeds germinate in fall and summer. Spray 2,4-D at least 6 weeks after newly seeding or sodding your lawns to prevent retarding the grass.
The timing for the specific day is also important. Ensure you apply this herbicide when the soil temperature in your lawn is below 90 F.
Take note that 2,4-D can also harm other plants such as flowers, so time well to spray it on a windless day. This is to prevent the herbicide from spreading onto other plants and harming them.
But should you apply 2, 4-D before or after rain?
Most labels indicate that 2, 4-D is rainproof one hour after application. However, since most brands do not indicate on the label, it is safe to go with a 6 to 8 hours of no rain. The ester in most of the herbicide formulations is rainproof within 1 hour.
It is important to use a fan-type nozzle when spraying 2,4-D.
How long does 2 4-D take to work?
Typically within minutes, the plant will start to feel the effect of the herbicide and you will start to notice browning in 48 hours.
- NPIC 2,4-D Fact Sheet
- Iowa State University Extension: Label Recommendations for Rain Delays with Postemergence Herbicides
Hi, Alex K. here. Growing up I remember that my family had one of the best lawns in the neighborhood. Richly green and lush. I did a lot as I grew up in terms of caring and tending for not only my families lawn but also my neighbors. I can say I have years of experience, and I am here to share it with you.
Please leave your comments below as I try to respond to everyone that has questions.