How Long Should You Wait To Pull Weeds After Spraying

Written by Ian Thompson

Ian holds a Masters in Turf Management from Sydney University, has over 20 years experience working as a golf course Superintendent, turf manager, product formulation and development. We call him our resident Lawn genius.

 When it comes to determining what you can and can’t do around the application of products like herbicides it can be very confusing. Our number one rule is, read the label, it has everything you need to know for before and after application. That being said, we will cover some absolutely crucial information in this blog.

Before applying herbicides to your lawn, there are several important steps you should follow to ensure the safety of your family, pets, and the environment. These include:

  • Correctly identify the target weeds: Properly identify the weeds in your lawn before selecting an herbicide. This will help ensure that you choose an appropriate product for the weeds you want to control.
  • Read the label: Carefully read the label on the herbicide container before use. The label will provide important information on the type of weeds the product is intended to control, the correct application rate, and any precautions you should take.
  • Wear protective clothing: Wear long-sleeved shirts, pants, gloves, and eye protection when applying herbicides. This will help protect your skin and eyes from contact with the chemicals.
  • Ensure the lawn isn’t suffering from stresses: Lawns can suffer from all sorts of stresses, these include drought, low and high temperature as well as pest and disease. Applying a herbicide when the lawn is under stress will likely cause off target damage.
  • Avoid applying on windy days: Avoid applying herbicides on windy days to prevent the chemicals from drifting onto non-target plants or into waterways.
  • Keep pets and children away: Keep pets and children away from the area being treated until the herbicide has dried completely.
  • Follow application instructions: Follow the application instructions on the label carefully, including the correct application rate and coverage area. Over-applying herbicides can harm your lawn and the environment.

After applying herbicides to your lawn there are several important steps you should take to ensure the safety of your family, pets, and the environment:

  • Allow time for the herbicide to dry: Wait until the herbicide has completely dried before allowing pets or children to play on the lawn. This will help prevent accidental exposure to the chemicals. Every product should have a re-entry period. If you have pets that consume grass (such as poultry, livestock) it I best to contact us directly for expert advice.
  • Clean up: Ensure the sprayer is thoroughly cleaned out. Then clean yourself, it’s best to shower and wash all clothing separately immediately after application.
  • Store herbicides safely: Store herbicides in a secure location, out of reach of children and pets. Keep the product in its original container with the label intact.
  • Record treatment: Make a note of how much chemical and water you used and record it on a calendar, this will help with any future applications and is required by law with some chemicals (check the label for more details on information required to be recorded).
  • Consider future treatments: Consider how you may have been able to prevent the weeds every coming up in the first place using a pre-emergent or just by thickening up your lawn with a premium fertiliser.

By following these steps, you can help ensure that the results of the herbicide application are optimised while ensuring that your family and the environment are protected.

Common mistakes before and after herbicide application

Not reading and understanding the label

We honestly cannot stress enough how important this information is. It’s been written by those people who know it best, the trial scientists. Read and follow the label for best results.

Not reaching out for advice

It’s totally ok that you don’t have a green thumb, our resident lawn genius loves talking lawn whether it’s the most basic question or what soil temperature you’re likely to see Winter grass germinate at.


Always read the label. Some products like Barricade work by creating a weed barrier in the soil and so need to be watered in, others, like Bow & Arrow are required to be absorbed through the leaves (don’t worry it’s a downward moving systemic) for best results, so we don’t want rain or irrigation within 4 hours. 


Again, we can’t stress it enough, herbicides have very different instructions for re-entry on mowing. Some have large periods, like Bow and Arrow herbicide, 3-4 days both before and after while others are very short. 


How long to wait after herbicide spray before mowing?

Read the label as this varies for each herbicide.

How long to wait after herbicide spray before allowing my pets or children back into the area?

A general rule is when the spray has dried but it’s best to read the label.

 How soon can I pull weeds after an herbicide application?

A herbicide application should kill the weeds, so they should not need pulling. Fertilise your lawn as the weeds start to die, this will allow the lawn to grow over and cover the dead weeds. If you do choose to pull the weeds don’t put them in a green bin, the seeds from those weeds will become someone else’s problem as green waste is often recycled into compost material.

 Best time to spray weeds before or after rain?

Rain brings in an unknown variable to your application and should be avoided. A small amount of rain before is fine for herbicide applications, however, a soil that is water logged puts stress on the lawn (lack of soil oxygen) and so applications should not be made if this is the case. Herbicides should not be applied shortly before rain and should never be used as the watering in source for the product as this can cause run-off into streams and dams.

Do I need to fertilise to have the weeds actively growing?

Yes, weeds need to be actively growing but you don’t need to fertilise the lawn to achieve that. You may notice that weeds grow perfectly fine without any extra encouragement.

Herbicides can be an effective tool for controlling weeds in your lawn, but it is important to follow a few simple rules to get the best results and use them responsibly. If you are uncertain about how to read the label or use herbicides safely or effectively, don’t hesitate to reach out to our resident lawn genius.

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