Spring is here and if you have a lawn or garden to take care of then you are probably going to need some type of chemicals to get rid of weeds or remove grass and weeds from areas you don’t want them to grow.
When picking chemicals at the store there are two main ways we often go about it. First is we look for brand names that we know. We might not have even used their product before but if we have heard of it we are more likely to purchase their products. The second most important thing is often price. If we can purchase a product that says its just like a brand name for less we might give it a try.
Both of those things are important when you are shopping however the most important thing when purchasing weed killer or pesticides or any garden chemicals is the chemicals in the bottle.
Now unfortunately the chemicals used in garden products are often long and hard to pronounce and most of us have no idea what each chemical does but you really don’t need a PHD in Chemistry to know what you are buying.
The main thing you want to do is look at a variety of different products from different manufacturers and notice the chemicals used. Then you want to look at the percentage of chemical in the bottle.
The Chemicals that are used are often very common and you will find that within a product type … like weed killer .. the chemicals will normally be the same no matter what company is making it.
Weed Killer is normally available in Concentrate which you need to add water to and ready to spray gallon containers. Some Gallon containers even have a spray nozzle so you don’t need to purchase a separate spray pump.
If you pick up a gallon of ready to go.. and a quart of concentrate from the same manufacturer you will see that they both have the same chemicals but the ready to go may have 5% active ingredients while the concentrate may have 20% of the same chemicals.
The concentrate in this case would make 4 gallons of the same ready to go mixture that comes in the gallon container.
Ok so now we understand .. same chemicals .. different percentage.
Now you want to pickup a quart of a name brand and of a lower cost brand and look to see if the chemicals are the same.
If they are the same then look at the percentage of chemicals in the container. If the name brand has 20 percent and the discount item has 12 percent then you know why the discount product costs less. Its because they are giving you less.
If the discount container has the same percentage of active chemicals then you know you are getting the same type product and paying less.
For example I just had to hit the big box home store in my area and I was looking for weed and grass killer.. The first thing I did was find a quart of concentrate that I normally buy and compare it to the big name product.
The one I buy was $16 a quart and the name brand was $21 per quart. The chemicals were the same but the brand I buy had 18 percent and the name brand had 22 percent. Since the percentages were still pretty close I thought I should buy the discount product but if I was going to mix up a batch I would have weaker chemicals or not get as many gallons out of the cheaper brand.
Then I found a bottle of the same product from a different manufacturer. It was called something like SUPERKILLER and it was in a red bottle. I looked at the chemicals and the percentage and they used the same chemicals but they had 45percent chemicals in it. And the bottle said can make up to 25 gallons of spray. I expected the price to be higher than both the products I already looked at but I was surprised to see it was on sale for $17.
So, that brand I never used was twice as strong as the name brand and cost less than the name brand.
Thats pretty much a no brainer there because I am only paying a dollar more than the least expensive brand and it should work twice as well or give me more product to spray without the need to buy more bottles.
So thats a good way to shop for chemicals. Whether you are buying liquid chemicals for killing weeds or bags of fertilizer with a crabgrass preventer you want to look at a few containers from different manufacturers and compare the active ingredients.
If the chemical names are the same then compare the percentage of chemicals in the container and the size and cost.
Figure out which product is giving you the most chemicals for your money.
Maybe you will find a deal like I did or maybe you will save 25% by purchasing a lesser known brand over a brand name.
Or maybe you will buy the brand name if you find they give you more chemicals for your dollar.