Selective Herbicides and Fertilizer

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So I was looking for some soil to start a garden at my parents house and noticed they had some lawn turf fertilizer that was also an herbicide for “weeds” too. My question is, how do these things work but not kill the grass or any other desirable plants? After all, there is no real distinction from a “weed” and a desirable plant beside the personal preference.

Obviously there are some more known weeds and such that are considered undesirable by most. But I just don’t understand how it can selectively kill and also sometimes be paired with a fertilizer even to promote the growth of desirable plants while killing undesirable ones.

(TL;DR) How do some products kill certain plants and also fertilize other ones?

In: Biology

Anonymous 0 Comments

Some weed killers actually will kill any plant, but the presumption is that it’s only being sprayed in a concentrated way on the plants you want to kill. Trace amounts won’t kill other plants nearby.

However, there are weed killers that target broadleaf plants, which includes weeds but also flowers. Broadleafs have a different metabolism than grasses do, so a herbicide can induce a metabolic process that will kill the broadleaf but not the grass. So you’re right that there is little difference between a weed and a flower, but there is very much a difference between a weed and grass.