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Steve Bakken

2-4-D overkill

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So I went out and applied 24D on the lawn like I usually do this time of year. Our yard is pretty thick and healthy and not alot of weeds so I usually just spot spray. Well there were some spots with violets and clover and I gave em a good shot and now about 2 weeks later the grass is really looking rough. It's not dead, but the spots are pretty browned up and haven't grown at all since. Anyone know if there is anything that can be done to neutralize or "undo" the effects, or am I just stuck looking at brown spots till they recover.

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My guess is that since the grass is already sick there may not be much you can do. 2,4-D is a hormone weed killer and I believe it causes the plant to grow in overdrive so it basically grows itself to death. I don't think you can reverse what's already been done. It might be possible that it won't actually kill the grass completely though and it may be resilient enough to come back. Someone correct me if I'm wrong.

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Another thought on herbicide. In most cases less is more. The broadleaf herbicide 2,4-D only needs to be applied at a rate of about 3/4 pint per acre with 10 gallons per acre. That's about 1.5oz. of 2,4-D per gallon of water. It is so powerful that when I apply it to my fields I have to be ever concious of the wind strength and direction as it will kill trees and neighboring broadleaf crops just be the blowing mist. In fact I take what's left in my sprayer and use it in my hand sprayer to kill box elder that spring up where I don't want them. Some of these elders are as tall as 8 feet and it takes them out pretty well and all I have to do is see that the mist is landing on the leaves and they are dead. Don't have to see the leaves get wet.

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In my experience, dirt and patching in some new grass seed is about the only way you're going to get grass.

You could try to over water the area, dilute the chemical down, but that's not going to help the grass that's already burned up.

It's toast.

You can drive around this time of year and see the different properties that people had a hot hot mix and killed 1/2 of the lawn.

I've done it in the past, it's not that hard to do, especially when temps get into the 80's +.

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Water it and keep it wet. the way it sounds you burned the grass with the spray, and didn't kill it. Depending on how heavy the mix is, it should bounce back rather quick. You have to give it the best growing conditions to recover. Its like when we get the flu; the best condtions improve you recovery rate. So water it and don't hit it with any more 24D this year. Good luck!

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