Dicamba Weed Killers

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Dicamba Weed Killer UK: Should we use it?

Are you looking for a way to tackle stubborn weed growth in your garden? Dicamba weed killer may be the solution you need.

This powerful herbicide has been used for decades to effectively control many types of weeds, including dandelions and crabgrass. In this blog post, we'll discuss the benefits of using dicamba weed killer and how it can help you get rid of pesky weeds.

We'll also provide some tips on how to properly apply the herbicide to ensure maximum efficiency and safety. Read on to learn more about this effective weed killer and how it can help you have a clean, thriving garden.

Is Dicamba the same as Roundup?

No, dicamba and Roundup are not the same products.

RoundUp is a widely-used herbicide that is similar to Dicamba which is a different type of herbicide with its own active ingredient. Dicamba contains the active ingredient 3,6-dichloro-2-methoxybenzoic acid, while Roundup contains glyphosate.

Dicamba is used to control broadleaf weeds in agricultural crops and on home lawns, it has a different mode of action than glyphosate-based products like Roundup.

While both products can be effective at controlling weeds, dicamba should not be used as a substitute for Roundup because it has different properties and uses.

RoundUp will kill ALL kinds of weeds indiscriminately including grass whereas Dicamba targets mainly broadleaved weeds and doesn't target grass making it an effective lawn weed killer.

It is important to follow the instructions on the product label when using either product, and always wear protective clothing when handling dicamba or any other herbicide.

How does dicamba work?

Dicamba works by interfering with the production of an enzyme in weeds, which prevents them from growing and reproducing. Dicamba works by inhibiting the growth of certain enzymes (known as acetolactate synthase) that are essential for plant growth and reproduction.

By preventing these enzymes from functioning properly, dicamba can cause a wide range of symptoms, including wilting, discoloration, stunted growth, and death of the weed.

One thing to note: After applying Dicamba you may notice your weeds growing larger, you may query is it even working!? This is a normal side affect of applying Dicamba weed killers, your weeds will grow in an uncontrollable ways before succumbing to death. 

Dicamba can be applied as a pre-emergent or post-emergent residual herbicide, depending on the timing of application and the type of weed being treated. When applied correctly, dicamba can provide effective weed control while minimizing environmental impact.

What are the dangers of Dicamba?

While dicamba is generally considered safe to use, there have been some reports of damage to non-target plants, such as trees, from off-target drift of the herbicide. This can occur when dicamba is applied during windy conditions and the herbicide drifts onto other areas.

Farmers and homeowners should take care to follow label instructions carefully and only apply dicamba when weather conditions are favourable for minimizing drift.

As always we recommend you read the label and apply according to the manufacturers conditions. The dangers of Dicamba weedkillers:

  • It can be carried by the wind and drift onto other crops, causing them to die.
  • It can also contaminate water supplies, and pose a threat to human health.

What are the alternatives to Dicamba?

Alternatives to dicamba include glyphosate & 2,4-D.

Advantages of Glyphosate vs Dicamba
  • Effective on a broad range of weeds. Glyphosate will kill a much larger range of plant life when compared with Dicamba.
  • Glyphosate is more cost effective. It's the worlds most popular weed killer for a reason! It is often much cheaper and more effective than Dicamba.
  • No soil residues. Glyphosate tightly bonds to the soil and is degraded by the bacteria in soil meaning you can replant after a short time period (a few weeks).
Disadvantages of Glyphosate vs Dicamba
  • It's very controversial. Glyphosate is subject to several lawsuits and is the reason for the spread of Glyphosate resistant weeds.
  • It cannot be used in lawns. Dicamba is often used as a lawn weed killer in the UK, Glyphosate cannot be used in lawns as it will kill your grass.
  • It's not long lasting. Glyphosate will only kill the weeds it comes into contact with making it useless as a pre-emergent herbicide.
  • Toxic to aquatic life. You cannot use Glyphosate in aquatic environments nor near sources of of water
Advantages of 2,4-D over Dicamba.
  • Easier to handle and less volatile than Dicamba.
  • Less chance of drift when compared to Dicamba.
  • Has a wide range of application rates and can be used on many different crops.
  • Has been used for more than 50 years, so its safety and effectiveness is well known.
Disadvantages of 2,4-D over Dicamba.
  • Can cause injury to sensitive crops such as tomatoes and grapes. 
  • Can be toxic to certain aquatic organisms and can leach into groundwater.  
  • Can be phytotoxic when applied in high temperatures and when combined with certain other herbicides.

How long does it stay in the soil?

Dicamba is an active ingredient in many herbicide products and is a popular choice among farmers as it has a low toxicity to humans, animals, and birds.

Its effectiveness comes from its resistance to hydrolysis and oxidation

Hydrolysis is a chemical reaction in which a molecule is cleaved into two parts by the addition of a molecule of water. This reaction can degrade many herbicides, reducing their effectiveness.

Dicamba, however, is resistant to hydrolysis, meaning it will remain effective for longer

Oxidation is a chemical reaction that involves the transfer of electrons from one molecule to another. Many herbicides are vulnerable to oxidation, which degrades their effectiveness over timeDicamba is  also resistant to oxidation, so it won't degrade as quickly.

Due to its resistance to hydrolysis and oxidation, Dicamba can remain in soils for longer periods of time, up to 7-10 months. This extended period of effectiveness makes it a popular choice among farmers.

What kind of weeds won't it kill?

Dicamba use has increased in recent years due to it's effectiveness at killing Glyphosate resistant weeds but it's increased usage has led to other problems such as "drift" especially in the case of large scale use by farms.

In the UK Dicamba is often combined with other ingredients and used to control weeds in lawns. It is highly effective at controlling most types of common lawn weeds.

It is not commonly found in "hard surface" weed killers and it's use is mostly restricted to lawns or in agricultural settings such as farms. Forget about using Dicamba to control things like Brambles, Ivy, Bamboo, Thistles, Docks etc (it works best as a pre-emergent herbicide).

The best way to apply Dicamba?

Like all weed killers you should ALWAYS READ THE LABEL.

We always recommend you use a knapsack or small pressure sprayer for applying herbicides.

These can be bought fairly cheaply and you should always have a separate sprayer for weed killer vs cleaning / watering - most weed killers are active even in small doses.

DO NOT use watering cans for applying weed killer, especially Dicamba, drift can cause serious damage to neighbouring plants and it may seep into groundwater.

Closing thoughts

Dicamba has been around for decades but it's use only increased recently due to the controversy surrounding Glyphosate and it's usefulness at killing Glyphosate resistant weeds.

However Dicamba isn't controversy free, it's "drift" problems have continued to wreak havoc on non-targeted crops even on separate farms!

In the UK as a homeowner you are only likely to use Dicamba as a lawn weed killer.

Questions?

Got questions about Dicamba weed killers? Or Dicamba in general?

Feel free to post your questions in the comments below & we'll be happy to answer.

About the author 

Chelsey

Hey there, I am founder and editor in chief here at Good Grow. I guess I've always known I was going to be a gardener. I'm on a mission to share my UK based weed control & lawn care tips with you all. If you have any queries please post in the comments below.


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