Benefits of Ready-to-Use Herbicides

While some herbicides require you to mix them before use, ready-to-use (RTU) herbicides offer specific benefits. RTU herbicides are formulated specifically for easy application to kill a variety of weeds, including broadleaf weeds, brush, vines and grassy weeds. No special training or equipment is required.


RTU herbicides require no mixing. Liquid RTU herbicides come ready to apply in pump sprayers, spray bottles and spot aerosols. RTU granular herbicides are applied directly to soil through shaker canisters or spreaders. They need no added water or ingredients before application. By comparison, non-RTU herbicides are concentrated chemicals requiring dilution with water at specific mix ratios. The diluted herbicide is applied through equipment such as tank sprayers, backpack sprayers or hose-end applicators.


RTU herbicides are designed for specific and focused application. Concentrated or non-RTU herbicides are diluted and applied with sprayers ranging from backpack to tractor application. Too much dilution makes the herbicide less effective. Too little dilution makes the herbicide too strong and it may destroy more vegetation than desired. The broad application of non-RTU herbicide is more vulnerable to wind drift. Unexpected breezes or gusts carry herbicide beyond the target area. Flowers, shrubs and other landscape plants may be damaged or killed by drifting herbicide. RTU herbicides are pre-mixed to the right strength. Their pre-packaged applicators allow limited application to small areas with little danger of drift.


RTU herbicides save money and time. A landscaped lawn or garden may need several different herbicides, such as selective broadleaf weed control, nonselective driveway vegetation control or pre-emergent weed control. You can purchase each ready-to-use herbicide, as needed, without storing containers of concentrated or surplus chemicals. Because RTU chemicals require no special mixing or spraying, you do not need to buy additional herbicide mix and spray equipment. RTU herbicides save time as they are instantly ready to spray or apply to weeds or undesirable grasses. No measuring, diluting, mixing or adding sticking agents is necessary. When concentrated herbicides are mixed and applied with a garden sprayer, the sprayer must be thoroughly cleaned before it is used for other garden applications.


RTU herbicides are self-contained and require minimal handling. Herbicides contain chemicals. Though these chemicals are generally safe when used as directed, the ingredients may irritate skin on contact. Some herbicides cause breathing problems if inhaled. Mixing and handling concentrated formulas is potentially more hazardous than RTU products because you are working directly with the chemicals. Read the caution labels before using any herbicide.

Keywords: selective herbicide, RTU herbicide, herbicide application

About this Author

Phyllis Benson is a professional writer and creative artist. Her 25-year background includes work as an editor, syndicated reporter and feature writer for publications including "Journal Plus," "McClatchy Newspapers" and "Sacramento Union." Benson earned her Bachelor of Science degree at California Polytechnic University.