By Sam Bauer
Recently, we’ve received several questions regarding a new product offering from The Scott’s Company called “Roundup for Lawns.” There are several versions of this product, including both Northern and Southern grass options. The Northern grass product, for use on Minnesota lawns, states that the product “kills weeds, not the lawn.” Most of us are familiar with the original version of Roundup, which contains the active ingredient glyphosate, and we know that glyphosate is a non-selective vegetation killer- meaning that it kills most plants that it is sprayed on. So, how does Roundup for Lawns not kill the entire lawn?
The answer is simple; this product isn’t Roundup. In this case, Scott’s is taking the liberty of using a widely known name of one of the most effective herbicides, and putting something else in the bottle. So, what exactly is Roundup for Lawns? The Northern version of Roundup for lawns contains the very well-known synthetic auxin herbicides MCPA and dicamba, as well as quinclorac and sulfentrazone. You will find some of these same active ingredients in other products because they are so common. For example, Ortho Weed B Gon Plus Crabgrass Control contains both quinclorac and dicamba, as well as 2,4-D; in this product, dicamba and 2,4-D are the broadleaf weed control products, and quinclorac provides the post-emergent control of crabgrass. Bayer Advance Weed Killer for Lawns contains only the synthetic auxin herbicides and will not control crabgrass. Additionally, Bonide Weed Beater Plus contains both quinclorac and dicamba, as well as 2,4-D. Sulfentrazone is added to Roundup for Lawns because of its added benefit of controlling sedges, such as yellow nutsedge, in addition to broadleaf weeds. And if you’re looking for a product that is very similar to the formulation of Roundup for Lawns, you can find that in the PBI Gordon product called Surge, although this does not contain quinclorac.
Some points to note. 1) if you plan to use Roundup for Lawns on your lawn, be sure you do not mistake this for a bottle of Roundup containing glyphosate, which will kill your lawn; 2) Roundup is an emotional topic for many, but just because this bottle says Roundup, it is not Roundup as we think of it; in fact, the herbicide active ingredients in Roundup for Lawns are regarded as more toxic than glyphosate (see: Toxicity of Pesticides); 3) if you’re looking for a good broad-spectrum post-emergent weed control product, Roundup for Lawns will work fine for you; 4) be sure to follow all label instructions when using this product, including proper personal protective equipment, application strategies, and re-entry intervals.