By Bryon Walters, Illinois Natural Area Improvements
Spring is a great time to go after all those exotic and invasive basal rosettes that like to pop up early.
This mix will be very effective towards a wide array of broadleaf annuals, bi-annuals and perennial species. Some of the suspects I encounter in north central Illinois include these:
Garlic mustard 4 hours later
Poison hemlock 4 days later
Cut leaved teasel
So what is the 1-2 Punch? It is one of the safest and most selective herbicide mixes that you can use.
Write this recipe down and save it with your other favorites! It’s very easy to remember.
1% 2,4-D + 2% Triclopyr, (Garlon, Element and other proprietary names), Surfactant and Dye.
I prefer to fill up 15 gallon drums of this mix in my shop and then head out for the day. I rarely, if ever, carry concentrated jugs of herbicides in my truck. I don’t want to be responsible for cleaning up a chemical spill mess involving concentrated chemicals. Fortunately, it has never happened to me.
Don’t forget the Surfactant! It is the most important ingredient in the mix. Surfactants are stickers that help spread out the herbicide and adhere to the waxy leaf surfaces. I can usually tell if a surfactant wasn’t used by an applicator when I see the vegetation that was sprayed. Usually, there are a few symptomatic leaves but the bulk of the plant looks unaffected. So how much Surfactant do you add?
Remember 1-2 Punch, thus ½ % Surfactant.
Here is how much product I use in 15 gallons. 20 ounces 2,4-D, 40 ounces of Triclopyr and 8 ounces of Surfactant. I put a squeeze of blue dye in the drum lastly.
Lastly, it’s important to know the difference between Amine and Ester formulations. You can cause real problems if you are unsure of the differences.
Amine is the WATER based formulation of the concentrated chemical. Amine is the most commonly obtained and used formulation. Garlon 3A, in which the A designates Amine. It has 3 pounds of a.i., active ingredient, in a gallon. This mix will have a distinct smell and lasts for a day, but it is not bothersome. If you are spraying large volumes of this mix I would advise wearing a face mask. This mix is a general broadleaf control and usually does not effect grasses or sedges, although sometimes small sensitive grasses will turn yellow when sprayed. Use Amine in late Spring and continue with it all Summer. Do not use Ester mixes at these times of the year. I will explain shortly.
Ester is the OIL based formulation of the concentrated chemical. Think Garlon 4E, in which E designates Ester. It has 4 pounds of a.i., active ingredient, in a gallon. This 1-2 mix will form a milky solution. This mix has a much stronger smell, which sometimes lasts for two days when a larger volume is sprayed. You may need to put up a sign to notify the public of chemicals in use. This again is a general broadleaf mix but can cause more yellowing of small sensitive new growth grasses or sedges. Use sparingly as you would do with a glyphosate mix. It is often called LV, Low Volatility, but in truth it is very volatile. Volatility is the ability of the chemical to vaporize and drift away from your target plants. Ester should never be used when the temperatures exceed 70 degrees F. It will adversely effect and even kill desirable plants nearby. It has been known to kill an entire Bald faced Hornets nest. That occurred when a 100 gallon tank load was sprayed in an area when the temps were in the mid 70’s.
I use Ester formulations in early Spring and then again in the Fall. The oil base is very effective on plants during these cooler environmental conditions. If you think you will forget that you have Ester formulations in your sprayers and containers, and you don’t use markers to write this down, then please do not even purchase or mix Ester formulations. Besides, Ester 2,4-D is not readily available.
Use Caution and Care when you are using any chemical products. Adjust your nozzle to a narrow spot stream as shown in one of the photos. Although you can spray and kill Multi-flora Rose and Japanese Barberry with this mix, avoid spraying shrubs because this milder solution will not be effective enough for them. The 1-2 Punch is a general broadleaf mix. Remember, in your I.P.M., the use of chemicals are the last resort to controlling vegetation. Be safe out there.
EASY HOMEMADE 1-2 PUNCH
3 gallon Backpack mix = 4 ounces 2,4-D + 8 ounces. TRICLOPYR + 2 ounces Surfactant
15 gallon Drum mix = 20 ounces 2,4-D + 40 ounces TRICLOPYR + 8 ounces Surfactant
25 gallon Tank mix = 32 ounces 2,4-D + 64 ounces TRICLOPYR + 14 ounces Surfactant
NEWS: Due to Covid 19 crisis we are postponing the GRN workshop of this August to next August, 2021 in Barrington, Illinois.