If there is one area that the gardening trade could improve their 'customer friendliness' then it has to be the proper explanation and provision of weedkillers.
The Gardenseeker mailbox is frequently 'visited' by someone who has just killed off most of their garden or lawn, with either the wrong choice of weedkiller or the wrong application.
Garden centres can - and should - make weed killing an easier subject to understand. (As with most areas of their trade if it comes to that!) they would then start to build a confident customer base, who in turn would be happier spending money on things that work, or things that grow!
Visit any garden centre and you will find a bewildering array of weedkillers. Totally unnecessary, for in many cases the same chemical is used in as many as 10 -12 weedkillers on display!
For garden weeds, there are basically 3 different types of weedkiller. Those that kill everything but don't harm the soil, those that kill everything and do harm the soil, and those that kill only the plant parts that they are sprayed on. (Sometimes enough to kill the whole plant.)
Many deep rooted weeds - such as dandelions, docks, thistles, nettles, Japanese Knotweed and the like, need a particular weedkiller that is normally slow acting - as it works its way down through the plant. The most common chemical used in this type of weedkiller is Glyphosate. This chemical spray should be sprayed only on the plant that you want to kill. If it drifts onto other neighbouring plants, then it will either do serious damage or perhaps kill that plant as well. Glyphosate is sprayed on the plant foliage - not on the ground - and can take up to three weeks for it to work its way down through the plant to the roots. It is best applied when the plant is weed is growing strongly - it is no use spraying after you have cut the plant down!
A fast acting weedkiller is normally used, and this type often contains Diquat. The most common Trade name is WEEDOL. This type of weedkiller is normally used for killing small weeds in amongst shrubs and roses etc. It has no effect on shrubs or roses if accidentally sprayed onto the older - brown - stems of most shrubs. It will also kill off grass - so DO NOT USE it as a lawn weedkiller.
The great thing about this weedkiller, is that it is neutralised once it touches the soil, and does not affect plants once this happens. It only works on the green foliage of plants - including all green stems.
However, it does not work its way down into roots like the Glyphosate based weedkillers. It is very quick acting - sometimes showing its lethal action within a day, and normally killing off most plants within a couple of days. You can sow seeds immediately after applying Weedol! It only kills the foliage that it has been sprayed on!