Wild Violets

Should You Try Using Premium Herbicides?

Why use premium herbicides? Can you just use a 3-way product for all the broadleaf weeds and do multiple applications?  In this article we will look at premium herbicides by Nufarm.  NuFarm has rebate programs occasionally, so it is good to compare their products with other brands. We're going go through a little herbicide history, and talk about how and why herbicides have changed and improved.

What Are Premium Herbicides?

What are the differences between these premium herbicides and why would you use one of these premium herbicides over something like triplet or Speedzone? Premium herbicides can provide control of difficult to control weeds when maybe a herbicide that's not a premium herbicide, a three way herbicide would not. They can provide control when weed growth is limited. They can provide control when the season isn't ideal for proper uptake, and they can provide faster control. If fast visual death of a weed is important to you, then premium herbicides can be ideal.  Everyone that has worked in a lawn care company knows that customers want to see fast results.  We know new customers tend to call and complain if they still have weeds a few days after a treatment.  Setting expectations for customers is important, but a percentage of customers will still call and be disappointed with slow results.

Premium herbicides can reduce the need for repeat applications. When lawn care business owners were polled by company representatives and asked them to name their most difficult to control weed, Wild violets was always at the top of that list. Ground ivy was commonly in the top few weeds. Other high ranking weed problems are purple nutsedge, yellow nutsedge, crabgrass, prostrate spurge, white clover, and grassy weeds like quack grass.

Easy or Difficult To Control Weeds

Besides classifying weeds as broadleaf, grassy, and sedge, you can break weeds up into 2 main categories.  Easy to control and difficult to kill or control. Differentiate those two categories with those that were controlled by a three-way herbicide, something like Triplet or Speedzone and those that need a premium herbicide.

These three-way herbicides usually contain the same 3 active ingredients., 2-4 D, MCPP and dicamba. Those 3 herbicides combined have a broad spectrum of broadleaf weed control. They're safe on most grass species so they've also been around the longest. 

They aren’t considered premium anymore because they're the cheapest active ingredients to formulate with. Technicians are comfortable with them and have been spraying them for years. They know they do well controlling a broad spectrum of weeds but not wild violet, ground ivy unless you put another active ingredient with it.

New Ingredients To Control Difficult Weeds

Difficult to control broadleaf weeds are better controlled by herbicides that contain clopyralid, floroxypyr, triclopyr, or quinclorac, and a few other active ingredients. Notice that PYR in a lot of these clopyrrolid, floroxypyr, triclopyr, those are pyridines. They're a little bit different chemistry than phenoxies and benzoic. Dicamba's benzoic, and 2-4- d and Mecoprop, are phenoxies. This difference in chemistry can make all the difference in how well a product is going to control difficult to control broadleaf weeds. When you take a 3-way product and add triclopyr and or floroxypyr or both and add quinclorac, you get better control of hard to kill weeds. Escalade 2 has floroxypyr, cool power and horsepower has triclopyr. And so as we see the evolution of herbicides, it it's not surprising that they started adding these pyridines to the mixes.

Those pyridines can really help these herbicides translocate better through that plant and give you better control of difficult to control broadleaf weeds So you have to choose the proper active ingredient.

Improving application timing is important. If you want to get great control of difficult broadleaf weeds, making repeat applications can be important. Also, use surfactant. Sometimes this is key, especially when they're very mature and have a thick cuticle. Be sure to check your water pH.  You may need to adjust the pH of your water to get maximum effectiveness.

So difficult to control broadleaf weeds can include annuals as well. Weeds like spurge, oxalis, purslane, knotweed. These weeds can be really difficult to control because these plants can produce foliage very quickly and then just stop growing completely, and just sit there not putting much energy into vegetation then produce seeds and disseminate them. That's why it's always a good option to add a burn down product like PPO or protox inhibiting active ingredients, sulfentrazone, sulfentrazone, pyroflufen, and flumioxazone.

They contact the foliage and disrupt the cell membrane, which causes foliage to essentially be burned down. For annuals, all you need to do is burn down that foliage because they haven't put energy into vegetation.  

Herbicides like Manor and Certainty are warm season herbicides. In fact, Certainty has no cool season grasses on the label. Horsepower and Cool Power, those two products have the exact same active ingredients, but Cool Power is more of an ester based formulation. You would use it early spring before ornamentals are producing any new growth that might be sensitive. Horsepower is an amine formulation, that you'd be able to use year round when you don't have to worry about volatility.

Change Up has a lot of options in warm season grasses. Sure Power is a is a product that you would apply in the summer, especially when you want something that's good on difficult to control weeds. Quincept or Q Ball would be a product that has Quinclorac you would use for crabgrass. Solero is a nutsedge product in Kyllinga.


The take home lesson is that there are a lot of premium products available and it is important to learn which will work best for your weeds, in your turfgrass and at the time you will be applying it. Nufarm has taking 3-way products and added special ingredients to make them more affective.  Other companies that make weed control have also made several premium combination products.  You can mix your own products if you do your research and can consistently mix the products.

Join Our Lawn Care Business Managers
Mailing List

Sign Up to receive product updates and special offers from our team. We have a lot of great free tools to share with you.