2,4-D is one of the most popular and effective herbicides on the market today.
It is generally safe for grass, though it can kill a wide variety of weeds, garden plants, trees, and shrubs.
It must be mixed with water and a surfactant to be used, whether you’re planning on applying it with a water hose sprayer, a spray bottle, or even a backpack-style sprayer.
Getting the correct ratio of 2,4-D to water is important for the best results.
Read on to learn more about this and other aspects of using 2,4-D.
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Can 2,4-D Harm Grass If Used Incorrectly?
2,4-D is safe for most types of grass as long as it is used properly.
If you apply too much, however, it may kill areas of grass.
If you see dead or “scorched” grass in areas where you’ve sprayed 2,4-D, you probably used too much.
It is also possible that you did not mix in enough water when preparing the herbicide.
Keep in mind that overloading an area will not kill more weeds.
Instead, it will damage your lawn.
Best Practices for Mixing 2,4-D
Mixing 2,4-D is fairly easy, but there are some best practices that you should follow to ensure that your lawn does not get harmed.
Follow these tips to ensure that you mix 2,4-D properly:
- 2,4-D from different brands may have different dilution specifications
- Follow the manufacturer’s specifications for diluting the 2,4-D
- Follow the manufacturer’s specifications for applying 2,4-D
2,4-D Application Rates
When applying 2,4-D, it is important to maintain a steady application rate.
This is often the biggest problem that people have when using 2,4-D, especially people who have not sprayed herbicide before.
If you are new to this sort of thing, it may be best to go slow to ensure that you are following the application rate specified by the manufacturer.
Even if you’ve applied 2,4-D before, keep in mind that 2,4-D from a different manufacturer will probably have a different application rate.
Mixing 2,4-D: Water Hose Sprayer
Water hose-end sprayers are quite popular with 2,4-D and other herbicides, as you can set them up to mix the solution on the fly.
However, most homeowners will not have a water hose sprayer.
If you are lucky enough to have one, all you have to do is set it to the manufacturer’s recommended mixing specifications and get to work.
Mixing 2,4-D: Hand Sprayer or Backpack
If you are mixing 2,4-D for a hand sprayer or a backpack-style sprayer, you will have to do it manually.
While 2,4-D is not considered to be extremely dangerous, you still must take precautions when mixing it for a hand sprayer or for a backpack.
Here are the steps you should follow to safely mix 2,4-D for your hand sprayer or backpack sprayer:
- Put on protective apparel, including goggles and gloves at the very least. A mask may be a good idea.
- Pour the 2,4-D into the sprayer before the water. This way, the ingredients will instantly mix when you pour in the water.
- Add water according to the manufacturer’s specifications.
Mixing 2,4-D: Spray Bottle
If you need to treat small parts of your yard with herbicide, a spray bottle is an affordable and convenient applicator.
You should not use an ordinary spray bottle. Instead, you should use a chemical-resistant model.
These can be found at any home improvement store.
Even though you will be mixing a much smaller amount when using a spray bottle, you still use the same ratios.
A standard 32-ounce spray bottle should hold enough 2,4-D for 250 square feet of weeds.
Using Surfactant With 2,4-D
Surfactants cause 2,4-D to stick to weeds, increasing its effectiveness.
You can buy ready-made surfactants at any home improvement store.
However, many people use dish soap instead.
Dish soap is still effective, though not quite as effective as ready-made surfactants.
If you do decide to use dish soap, you should mix it at one tablespoon per gallon of water.
When mixing, you should add the 2,4-D and surfactant first before adding water.
Combining 2,4-D With Other Herbicides
2,4-D is commonly used on its own, but it certainly can be mixed with other herbicides.
One of the most commonly used herbicides when adding potency to 2,4-D is Dicama.
A mixture of 2,4-D and Dicama will be effective against an even larger variety of weeds.
This mixture can even effectively control ivy, which is notoriously difficult to get rid of.
How Much 2,4-D per Gallon
As previously mentioned, the amount of 2,4-D that you should mix into a gallon of water varies from manufacturer to manufacturer.
However, as a general rule, roughly five ounces should be mixed into a gallon of water.
Make sure to check the manufacturer’s specifications before mixing your solution, as they may be different.