Pure herbicide chemicals on their own do little because they are not easily spread throughout the home garden. Combining herbicide particles with a medium such as water creates a formulation that makes the herbicide easier to spread. Herbicide chemical molecules are often sold in a variety of formulations for the discerning consumer.
Solutions and Soluble Powders
Solutions are formulations of herbicides that are soluble in water. A solution formulation includes the active ingredients mixed with additives, which sometimes separate. Soluble powders are similar to solutions because they mix with water. The herbicide is agitated in the water. It will not settle and separate like solutions.
Emulsifiable Concentrate and Wettable Powders
Emulsifiable concentrates are liquids that include all the active ingredients, a solvent and an emulsifier that allows the herbicide to mix properly with water. Wettable powders are dry ingredients ground to a fine dust, which is mixed with a carrier such as clay. The powder is mixed with water before application.
Liquid and Dry Flowable and Granules
Liquid flowables consist of finely ground herbicide active ingredients that are suspended in a liquid base. The flowable is then mixed with water for application. Dry flowables are ground active ingredients suspended in a large particle grain powder. They also are mixed with water before application. Granules and pellets are herbicides contained inside plastic pellets or are formed into granules. These formulations are applied using a broadcasting spreader.
Choosing a Formulation
Choose your formulation according to the weed requiring extermination. Consider what other chemicals you wish to use in the garden or landscape and how the herbicide will affect their use. Also think of the application equipment you already have on hand and whether it is suitable for your purpose. Sprayers, no matter how well cleaned, are not suitable for use with different herbicides.
Mix herbicides according to the packaging instructions. This prevents chemical imbalances as well as potential safety hazards. Keep children and pets away from the mixing area to prevent accidents. Always apply according to the safety instructions, wearing long clothes and protective gear to prevent poisoning.