Herbicide Formulations


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.

Keywords: herbicide formulation, herbicide types, herbicide safety

About this Author

Cleveland Van Cecil is a freelancer writer specializing in technology. He has been a freelance writer for three years and has published extensively on eHow.com, writing articles on subjects as diverse as boat motors and hydroponic gardening. Van Cecil has a Bachelor of Arts in liberal arts from Baldwin-Wallace College.