Choosing a Weed Killer

Selective weed killers or selective herbicides are chemicals that are used for the control of weeds in lawns and turf. These weed killers only kill broad-leaved weeds, they do not harm the grass, hence the name ‘Selective’.

A chemical that is used in these herbicides is often referred to as an active ingredient. The majority of selective herbicides contain at least two active ingredients. The reason for this is to give the weed killer product a broader spectrum of weed control (controls a wide range of turf weeds) and increase the effectiveness of control.

The most common active ingredients used into today’s herbicides include:

2,4-D
Mecoprop-P
Clopyralid
Dicamba
Fluroxypyr
MCPA
Florasulam

Although there are others these are the most common ingredients used. Certain ingredients are more effective at controlling different weeds. For instance mecoprop-p is great for clover & trefoil, 2,4-D is ideal for plantains & creeping buttercup. Fluroxypyr has been shown to have some effect against speedwell, one of the most difficult turf weeds to control effectively.

Before reaching for the weed killer, it is important to identify the weeds that need controlling correctly. After all applying the incorrect product can be a waste of both time and money. We have taken much of the guess work out of weed identification with our hand weed id chart.

Headland Relay Turf

Active Ingredients: 200g/L Mecoprop-P, 200g/L MCPA and 25g/L Dicamba.

Weeds controlled as claimed by the manufacturer
Black Medick
Bulbous Buttercup
Cats Ear
Charlock
Cinquefoil
Cleavers
Common Chickweed
Creeping Buttercup
Daisy
Dandelion
Docks
Knotgrass
Mayweeds
Mouse Ear
Parsley Piert
Pearlwort
Plantains
Ragwort
Self Heal
Silverweed
Sorrel
Thistles
Trefoils
White Clover
Yarrow

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Headland Cabadex

Active Ingredients: 2.5g/l florasulam and 100g/l fluroxypyr.

Weeds controlled as claimed by the manufacturer
Slender Speedwell
Common daisy
Common dandelion
Common mouse-ear
Creeping buttercup
White Clover
Ribwort plantain* moderate control
Bird’s-foot trefoil* moderate control
Yarrow* moderate control

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Everris Praxys

144 g/litre fluroxypyr-meptyl,
80 g/litre clopyralid, 2.5 g/litre florasulam.

Weeds controlled as claimed by manufacturer
1l/ha
Bird’s-foot trefoil
Black medick
Bristly oxtongue
Common cat’s ear
Creeping cinquefoil
Sorrel
White clover
1.5l/ha
Common daisy
Common dandelion
Common mouse-ear
Greater plantain
2l/ha
Creeping buttercup
Ribwort plantain
Self heal
Spear thistle

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Rigby Taylor Crossbar

Contains 105g/l fluroxypyr, 285g/l 2,4-D, 52.5g/l dicamba

Weeds controlled
Common Chickweed
Mouse-ear Chickweed
Plantains
White Clover
Selfheal
Sorrel
Daisy
Dandelion
Mouse-ear Hawkweed
Creeping Buttercup
Slender Speedwell
Yarrow
Cats Ear
Lesser Trefoil

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Rigby Taylor Super Selective
Contains 40g/l fluroxypyr + 20g/l clopyralid + 200g/l MCPA.

Rigby Taylor Greenor

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React Ultra
Active Ingredients: 200g/L (16.61% w/w) MCPA, 200g/L (16.61% w/w) mecoprop-P and 25g/L (2.08% w/w) dicamba as the potassium salt.

Weeds controlled
Bulbous Buttercup
Creeping Buttercup
Charlock
Common Chickweed
Cleavers
Daisy
Dandelion
Dock
Fat-hen
Forget-me-not
Knotgrass
Mayweed
Plantains
Shepherd’s Purse
Creeping Thistle
Spear Thistle
Clover
Plantains

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Bayer Longbow

Active ingredients 70 g/l 2,4-D, 70 g/l MCPA, 42 g/l mecoprop-P and 20 g/l Dicamba

Weeds controlled
Daisy
Selfheal
Hairy bitter-cress
Common mouse-ear
Creeping thistle
Wild carrot
Cat’s ear
Plantains
Knot-grass
Creeping cinquefoil
Bulbous buttercup
Creeping buttercup
Sheep’s sorrel
Common sorrel
Groundsel
Ragwort
Common chickweed
Common dandelion
Clovers

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Barclay Holster

Active ingredients: 105g/l fluroxypyr, 285g/l 2,4-D, 52.5g/l diacamba

Weeds controlled
Cats-ear
Creeping buttercup
Mouse-ear chickweed
Common sorrel
Daisy
Dandelion
Mouse-ear Hawkweed
Plantains
Selfheal
Slender Speedwell
White Clover
Yarrow
Common chickweed
Lesser Trefoil

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Vitax Esteem

Active ingredients: 35g/l clopyralid, 175 g/l MCPA and 150 g/l 2,4-D

Weeds controlled
Daisy
Dandelion
White Clover
Greater Plantain
Ribwort Plantain
Creeping Buttercup

———————–

Everris Jewel

Active Ingredients: 1.500 % w/w carfentrazone-ethyl, 60.000 % w/w mecoprop-P

Weeds controlled
Moss
Bristley oxtongue
Bucks horn plantain
Greater plantain
Cinquefoil
White Clover
Creeping Buttercup
Daisy
Birdsfoot Trefoil

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Resolva lawn weed killer

0.7g/l 2,4-D, 0.42 g/l Mecoprop-P, 0.7g/l MCPA, 0.2g/l Dicamba

Weeds controlled

dandelion
daisies
white clover
yarrow
buttercups
self-heal
deadnettle
speedwell
broad leaved docks.

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Weedol lawn weed killer (replace verdone extra)

Active ingredients: Clopyralid, Fluroxypyr, MCPA

Weeds controlled
white clover
black medick
lesser trefoil
daisy
dandelion
plantain
mouse-ear chickweed

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Vitax lawn clear

Active ingredients: 6.3g/l Clopyralid, 27g/l 2,4-D, 31.5g/l MCPA

Weeds controlled
Daisy
Dandelion
White Clover
Creeping Buttercup
Greater Plantain
Ribwort plantain

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Doff lawn spot weeder

Active ingredients: 0.348g/l 2,4-D & 0.191g/l dichlorprop-P & 0.195g/l mecoprop-P

White Clover

Botanical name – Trifolium repens

Family – Fabaceae

Aliases – Dutch clover

White clover general information

White clover is a herbaceous, perennial weed and arguably the most common and recognisable of the
clover weeds in turf. This common weed can grow in a range of conditions and is often found in grassy
areas and managed turf, and can adapt to close mowing.

It spreads rapidly by creeping overground runners known as ‘stolon’s. It is also capable of spreading by
seed if conditions are favorable.

It is often found in moist soils with a deficiency in nutrients. In fact white clover is often a good
indicator that the turf is low in nitrogen.

It can also tolerate dry conditions as it anchors itself into the ground with a deep tap root. It is common
to see white clover looking nice and green during dry summers, while the grass has suffered and turned
brown.

Like other plants in this family it has the ability to ‘fix nitrogen’, meaning it draws nitrogen from the
atmosphere and ia able to store it, in the root nodes.

In the past, before selective herbicides were used, white clover was often incorporated into grass seed
mixtures. This is because it is able to thrive in poorer soils, where grass doesn’t do so well. Even today
many people still encourage white clover in garden lawns.

White clover identification

The hairless leaves alternate with one another and are composed of 3 (4 if you are lucky) trifoliate
leaflets, each leaflet is round to tear shaped. A whitish colored crescent can sometimes be seen near the
bottom of each leaflet. The leaflets typically measure between 6mm and 12mm across.

White clover produces clusters of flowers between May and October, with the round white, sometimes
tinged with pink flower heads measuring between 15 – 20mm across. The flowers attract a variety of
insects, especially bees.

The root system is generally fibrous and shallow, but this weed can produce a deep tap root in
favorable conditions.

Prevention and control of white clover

Hand weed individual plants, before the weed has chance to become widespread. Hand weeding is best
undertaken when the soil is moist, as removal of the weed is generally easier than if the soil is too dry.

Ensure the turf receives adequate nutrition, especially nitrogen, by applying a balanced feed program
during the growing season. White clover often thrives in weak areas of turf that are deficient in nitrogen.

Mow the turf on a regular basis to prevent seed head formation, which will help prevent the weed from
spreading further.

Rake the weed into an upright position prior to mowing the lawn or turf. This will help remove leaves,
stems and flower heads, eventually weakening the weed. Always remove the clipping by useing a grass
box to prevent the spread of the weed.

White clover is susceptible to selective herbicides and in most cases, it can be controlled with a single
application. For best results choose a weed killer that contains mecoprop-p as this has proven very
effective against all clover type weeds.

If the infestation is not too severe, consider spot treating the weed to avoid unecessary use of chemicals.

Recommended chemicals for white clover control

2,4-D + Mecoprop-p
Fluroxypyr + Clopyralid
Fluroxypyr + Mecoprop-p
Dicamba + Mecoprop-p

Recommended products for white clover control

Professional products (The user requires the appropriate certificate/s to apply these products)

  • Headland Relay Turf (Mecoprop-p, Dicamba, MCPA)
  • React Ultra (Mecoprop-p, Dicamba, MCPA)
  • Everris Praxys (Clopyralid, Fluroxypyr, Fluosulam)
  • Bayer Longbow (Mecoprop-p, Dicamba, MCPA)
  • Barclay Holster XL (2,4-D, Fluroxypyr, Dicamba)
  • Mascot Greenor (Clopyralid, Fluroxypyr, MCPA)
  • Vitax Esteem (2,4-D, Clopyralid, MCPA)

Products available for non-professional use (These products are available from garden centres and DIY
stores.)

  • Verdone extra (Clopyralid, Fluroxypyr, MCPA)
  • Resolva lawn weed killer (2,4-D, Mecoprop-p, MCPA, Dicamba)
  • Doff lawn spot weeder (2,4-D, Mecoprop-p, Dichlorprop-p)
  • Vitax Lawn Clear (2,4-D, Clopyralid, MCPA)
  • Weedol lawn weed killer (Clopyralid, Fluroxypyr, MCPA)