Most 2,4-D concentrates require mixing 1–5 ounces of 2,4-D per gallon of water. Review manufacturer labeling and mixing instructions. 2,4-D concentrate is sold at different levels of potency by different manufacturers, so the ratio that is appropriate for one 2,4-D product may not be correct for another.
It’s important to combine 2,4-D with a surfactant. Surfactants are compounds that cause herbicides to stick to plants and increase effectiveness. For use on your lawn, make sure you combine 2,4-D with a commercial surfactant or use dish soap to act as a makeshift surfactant.
Is 2,4-D Harmful if Mixed Incorrectly?
2,4-D is a powerful post-emergent herbicide. Although it is designed to attack broadleaf plants (weeds, garden plants, trees, shrubs) and leave grass unharmed, if it is applied too heavily it can harm your grass. Signs of overapplication of 2,4-D include:
- Brown or dead grass.
- Pale yellow “bleached” or “scorched” looking grass.
- Dry grass that seems to lack water.
Avoid damage to your lawn by properly mixing liquid concentrate 2,4-D in the appropriate number of gallons of water. Applying too strong of a mix in an area won’t kill more weeds. It will overload your yard and harm it.
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2,4-D Dilution Rates and Tips
Whenever you are mixing 2,4-D, follow these simple rules:
- Always dilute 2,4-D according to manufacturer specifications.
- 2,4-D from different manufacturers may have different dilution rates. Review them before use.
- Apply diluted 2,4-D according to manufacturer specifications for square footage per diluted gallon.
By closely following manufacturer guides, you can properly mix 2,4-D to rid your yard of weeds without causing damage to your lawn.
Application Rates for 2,4-D
Even if 2,4-D has been mixed properly, it can still cause unintended harm if applied incorrectly. Manufacturer information will specify both how to dilute 2,4-D and how many square feet the diluted mix should cover.
For example, Hi-Yield 2,4-D should be diluted at a rate of 5 ounces per gallon. The resulting mix should then be applied at a rate of 1 gallon per 1,000 square feet. It is essential to follow this guideline. If you spray 2,4-D at a rate of 1 gallon per 500 feet, you will have applied double the recommended amount of 2,4-D for that area. This can and will harm your grass.
On the flip side, if you apply diluted 2,4-D over too wide an area it may not be present in high enough levels to kill weeds. You’ll see poor weed control results. Controlled application rates are key to success when using 2,4-D.
How to Mix 2,4-D for a Hand Sprayer or Backpack
If you are mixing 2,4-D by Hi-Yield in your handheld or backpack sprayer, add 5 ounces of 2,4-D per gallon of water. This will be strong enough to kill broadleaf weeds but not so strong that it can cause damage to your lawn. When mixing 2,4-D, follow these simple steps:
- Wear protective gloves, clothing, and goggles when handling and mixing herbicides.
- Pour the desired amount of 2,4-D into the sprayer first. This will cause the ingredients to mix properly when you add water.
- Add the correct amount of water to dilute the 2,4-D.
Review your product label and/or check online manufacturer resources when you purchase 2,4-D. Different vendors sell different potencies of 2,4-D.
Mix Ratio for 2,4-D with a Water Hose Sprayer
When using a hose-end sprayer to apply 2,4-D it is essential to be familiar with the proper operation of your hose-end sprayer model. Fixed-rate sprayers and metering sprayers operate on different principles, but both allow you to control the amount of 2,4-D that is mixed with water flowing out through the hose. If you are using a new or unfamiliar hose-end sprayer, review its operation specs first.
Set your hose-end sprayer to mix the manufacturer-recommended amount of 2,4-D concentrate with the water flowing through the hose. If you are using Hi-Yield 2,4-D, then it should be mixed at a rate of 5 ounces of 2,4-D per gallon of water.
2,4-D Mix Ratio for Spray Bottle Use
Simply mix 1.25 ounces (2.5 tablespoons) of Hi-Yield 2,4-D, in your 32-ounce spray bottle. The contents of this spray bottle are enough to cover 250 square feet of the ground. You can tackle a lot of weeds simply and easily.
Does 2,4–D Need a Surfactant?
Surfactants are compounds mixed with herbicides that cause the herbicide to stick to plant leaves. When used with 2,4-D, surfactants increase the chance that weeds are killed and reduces the possibility of the herbicide washing away before it can be effective.
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It’s a very good idea to mix a surfactant with your 2,4-D to boost its effectiveness at a low cost. Commercial surfactants are readily available and have specifications for mixing rates.
As an alternative to a commercial surfactant, simply use dish soap. 1 tablespoon of dish soap per gallon of water will be enough to cause the 2,4-D to stick and kill weeds effectively.
Whenever you’re mixing your weed spray, add the 2,4-D and surfactant in the sprayer, hose-end reservoir, or spray bottle before adding water, to ensure a proper combination of ingredients.
Does 2,4-D Perform Better When Combined with Other Herbicides?
2,4-D is a common selective broadleaf herbicide that is often mixed with other ingredients to increase effectiveness. Mixes often contain 2,4-D and Dicamba (another herbicide), to attack a broader range of weeds.
If you are dealing with stubborn weeds, consider using a 2,4-D/Dicamba mix to attack more weeds, and get better results. Both are selective post-emergent herbicides that kill broadleaf weeds but won’t harm your lawn grass. The two herbicides work in different ways, so think of the mix as extra firepower that can wipe out the most tenacious weeds and ivy.
As always, follow manufacturer mixing specifications when using any product containing 2,4-D.
How Much 2,4-D Do You Mix per Gallon?
2,4-D mixing ratios depend on the potency of the 2,4-D concentrate being used. Because 2,4-D is sold at a variety of different strengths, it is essential to read all manufacturer labeling before diluting and using 2,4-D. Furthermore, it is very important to apply diluted 2,4-D to the manufacturer-specified square footage. Applying too much 2,4-D in a single area can cause harm to the turfgrass you’re trying to protect.
Follow dilution specifications whether you are mixing 2,4-D in a backpack sprayer, a hose-end sprayer, or a handheld bottle. Consider adding a tablespoon of dish soap per gallon of water to help 2,4-D cling to weeds and kill them more effectively.