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Spraying weed killer as a preventative measure

Hi. I plan to plant grass seeds in the coming weeks. I am manually digging up and removing hundreds of small weeds but wanted to know whether I should then spray the soil with weed killer to prevent any further outbreak, before waiting a few days before planting the grass seeds? Thanks
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  • ObelixxObelixx Vendée, Western FrancePosts: 28,572
    edited April 2020
    Weedkiller works on weeds, not soil.  Any product that inhibits weed seed germination will also stop grass.

    Clear your visible weeds then hoe and rake the soil level.   Leave it a week or two for the temperatures to warm up for better grass seed germination then hoe and rake again just before you sow.  Weed seeds will already be germinating by then and will be easy to kill mechanically, rather than chemically.
    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
  • pansyfacepansyface PEAK DISTRICT DerbyshirePosts: 21,232
    Weedkillers work by having contact with a growing plant. They don’t, to the best of my knowledge, destroy plants that are as yet unborn. If they did, your grass seeds would be swept away in the nuclear cloud as well.😟
    Apophthegm -  a big word for a small thought.
  • ramccannramccann Posts: 2
    edited April 2020
    Thank you Obelixx and pansyface. I don't understand why you would use weed killer if they have to then be removed manually once they are dead. Why not just manually remove them?
  • ObelixxObelixx Vendée, Western FrancePosts: 28,572
    Weedkiller kills plants it touches.  It does not come with a fitted, automatic hoe/broom/rake.
    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
  • JennyJJennyJ DoncasterPosts: 7,705
    Why not indeed? Careful application of weedkiller has its uses, eg situations where the roots can't be dug out due to being in a wall or under paving, or bindweed etc growing through other plants.  Weedkiller doesn't make weeds vanish, it just kills them, although the dead weeds would presumably rot down if left long enough.
  • GemmaJFGemmaJF Posts: 2,286
    edited April 2020
    You could let the weed seeds germinate until you get a 'flush' of weeds. Then smother with a black plastic sheet. Then sow. It is quite effective as any weed seeds that germinated or roots that survived near the surface are killed. The plastic will warm the soil for grass sowing also.
  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 49,135
    It won't get rid of perennial weeds though @GemmaJF . They'll still be there, underground - just waiting.... ;)
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....


  • GemmaJFGemmaJF Posts: 2,286
    I do not see any reason why any perennial weeds could not be spot treated as the lawn develops. I have a real problem with my soil being London clay. It is literally impossible to weed normally. Either it is so claggy I can't separate the roots, or it is baked hard and impossible to dig. Smothering is the only effective method other than dowsing with weed killer (which I generally try to avoid), it has worked for me really well down the years. So much so, the neighbours now copy me  :)
  • ObelixxObelixx Vendée, Western FrancePosts: 28,572
    Spot weeding is a good solution in a growing lawn or even a flower bed but this OP's query is about weed killer on bare soil prior to sowing new grass seed - rather different.
    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
  • GemmaJFGemmaJF Posts: 2,286
    Obelixx said:
    Spot weeding is a good solution in a growing lawn or even a flower bed but this OP's query is about weed killer on bare soil prior to sowing new grass seed - rather different.
    Yes things are getting confused. I actually offered the smothering advice to deal with any weeds before sowing - as an alternative to putting weed killer down as a preventative measure. As I understand most weedkillers available to the public now deactivate on contact with soil. The perennial weed issue was not what I was addressing, because as I understood OP was only concerned about stopping weeds in the short-term before sowing.
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