Spot weed control

When I was a kid we had a product called a Killer Kane, a green tube with a cap at one end and a push pump at the other. You filled it with weed killer and went around the yard pushing the pump down on the crowns of weeds. Great product, you could do the yard in a few minutes, but since it probably used Paraquat or Agent Orange you can’t find it anymore.

What passes for spot weed control these days are sprayers containing Roundup. Though Roundup is undoubtedly safer than whatever I used to use it needs to be put on the leaves to be effective and, since sprays are inexact delivery systems and Roundup kills grass better than it kills weeds, this leads to large bare patches in my yard. Not a key to marital bliss.

The alternative is a mechanical extraction system. I bought one of those stabbers but the soil around here is so heavy and the weeds’ roots so deep I bent it almost immediately. I’ve looked at Garden Weasel’s Weed Popper but it appears flimsy, the tine head is too wide and will dig bigassed divots in my yard, and the tines are too short to get those deep roots.

My wife suggested boiling water. I suggested SHE run around the yard with a bucket of boiling water. So, I’m back with chemical warfare. Gasoline works well on the leaves, but leads neighborhood smokers into temptation. Anyway, it isn’t that much better for the groundwater than dioxin.

It’s too hot and sunny to put down weed and feed and, anyway, this time of year the crabgrass and broadleaf weeds are the only things keeping my lawn green. Still, the village is on me because the plaintains send up flower spikes while I’m at work and I suddenly have “grass or weeds taller than eight inches.” I just want to kill the plantains in front and the baby burdocks out back and I want to do it surgically and, preferably, in a way that is easy and fun so my teenagers will do it. Any suggestions?

RoundUp, and I use alot of it, is not a weed killer! It’s an everything killer! If it’s green it dies.

You want a WEED KILLER. it won’t hurt grass when used at recommended dosages. You can pretty much spray the whole yard and only the weeds will die.

Of course if you know exactly what weeds you have you can select a chemical that works well for that kind.

Here’s a start: Ortho

Gasoline kills everything, too. I’m not averse to sometimes killing everything. Weed-B-Gone is a nice product, but it goes all over, killing my precious Creeping Charlie and Quackgrass. However, with a more surgical application system… I’ll see if they have that sprayer at the hardware store.

The Killer Kane, a wonderful 60’s product, was 2,4-D ( 2,4-Dichlorophenoxyacetic acid ). It hits dicots over monocots, so it’s great for offing dandelions in your turf.
I think you can still buy it, but I didn’t come across any in my last trip to the herbicide aisle.

Yeah, I knew it used 2, 4-d but, since it’s so safe I could knock down a shot of it without dying, I went with funnier poisons.

I haven’t found a Killer Kane online but I’ve been keeping an eye out for the sort of spring-loaded release they used so I can make my own. This one will be longer so there isn’t as much unpleasant bending. Maybe long enough to use it as a walking stick so I could leave a trail of Dots-O-Death in the woods. If Hansel and Gretal used it instead of breadcrumbs they’d’ve never got lost.