Roundup Tips

Roundup is a glyphosate-based herbicide designed by Monsanto and widely used by backyard gardeners and farmers. The product is systemic, affecting all plants except for those bred to resist it, and effectively controls unwanted vegetation. Know how to protect yourself from the herbicide and how to use it to its maximum advantage to make the most of this garden tool and keep your landscape looking groomed and lush.

Wear Protection

Always wear protective gear to keep the chemical away from your skin. Gear include chemical-resistant, waterproof gloves made of material like polyvinyl chloride or polyethylene; a face mask; goggles; close-toed shoes; long-sleeved shirts; and pants. A sudden change of wind direction or an accidental spill may occur when using Roundup. Protective gear minimizes the safety risks in such situations.

Spray Early

Apply Roundup when the weeds have visible vegetation growth--the herbicide needs available plant surfaces to work--but before the weeds have produced seeds. This varies depending on the plant species, but typically revolves around the spring months of February, March and April. Applying at the right time kills the weeds before they spread seeds, quickly eliminating the problem and reducing the need for retreatment.

Use the Right Rate

The strength of Roundup varies according to how you mix it, and different strengths are used for different weed types and weed sizes. Follow the mixing instructions on your Roundup product's label as appropriate for the type of weed and weed size you're trying to control.

Watch the Clouds

For best results, apply Roundup during a warm and dry weather period. Heavy rain showers shortly after spraying Roundup will wash the herbicide off of the plants, markedly reducing the efficacy of the product.

Avoid Overspraying

Spray the weeds with just enough Roundup that the foliage is evenly moist and glistening. Do not spray to the point of runoff, as this simply wastes the herbicide.

Know First Aid

If you get Roundup on yourself, take immediate action. If it's in your eyes, remove glasses or contact lenses and rinse your eyes for 15 to 20 minutes with water. If the herbicide gets on your body, take off any clothes that were sprayed and rinse your skin with water for 20 minutes. Call a poison control center for treatment information. For Roundup-specific emergency advice, place a collect call by dialing "0" and asking the operator to dial the Roundup hotline at 314-694-4000.

Keywords: Roundup herbicide, Roundup application tips, Roundup usage tips

About this Author

Josh Duvauchelle is an editor and journalist with more than 10 years' experience. His work has appeared in various magazines, including "Honolulu Magazine," which has more paid subscribers than any other magazine in Hawaii. He graduated with honors from Trinity Western University, holding a Bachelor of Arts in professional communications, and earned a certificate in applied leadership and public affairs from the Laurentian Leadership Centre.