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How Long Should You Wait To Pull Weeds After Spraying?

How Long Should You Wait To Pull Weeds After Spraying?

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If weeds have infested your lawn or garden, one of the ways you can get rid of them is by spraying with a weed killer spray (herbicide). Suppose you get rid of the weeds using a weed killer spray; you still have to pull them out manually after spraying. So, how long should you wait to pull weeds after spraying? 

You should wait at least 48 hours to pull weeds after spraying. The time weed killer sprays take to work depends on the type of weed spray, the kind of weed, and the application conditions. Most weed spray labels indicate the wait time, ranging from two days to weeks.

In this article, I’ll discuss how long you should wait to pull weeds after spraying. I’ll also discuss why you need to pull weeds after spraying, how to tell that the weeds are dying after spraying, how to pull weeds after they’ve died and what to do with the weeds after pulling them out. Let’s start.

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Why You Should Wait for the Stipulated Time To Pull Weeds After Spraying

As stated above, most weed killer manufacturers stipulate the length of time you should wait to pull weeds after spraying. You see, weed killer sprays kill weeds by preventing weeds from developing new shoots and roots. 

They also interfere with the growth of the weeds by blocking protein production and photosynthesis (source).

After spraying the weeds, the weed killer takes about one or two days to drip down and soak into the stems, leaves, and root tips. 

Once the spray reaches the root tips, it travels to the roots, and they start to dry. When the roots of the weeds dry up, the weeds dry out and eventually die. 

If you don’t wait for the stipulated time to pull weeds after spraying, the weeds may not die completely. As a result, their seeds may fall on the ground as you pull out the weeds and could start growing and spreading within a short period. 

Why You Should Pull Weeds After Spraying

As mentioned earlier, after spraying weeds with a weed killer, you still have to pull them out manually after they die and dry up.

Some of the reasons why you need to pull weeds after spraying include:

  • When the weeds die after spraying, they start rotting, and if you don’t pull them out, they could attract pests to your lawn or garden; the pests could attack and destroy your good plants.
  • To prevent the weeds from dropping dormant seeds that could later grow into weeds. 
  • To uproot their roots to prevent the weeds from growing again in full force, especially if it rains. 
  • Dead, brown weeds in your lawn or garden are an eyesore, and it’s, therefore, better to pull them out.

Signs That Weeds Are Dying After Spraying

Within several hours of spraying the weeds, you might notice the first signs that the weeds are dying. The drying process continues until the weeds die entirely, depending on the type of weeds and the type of weed killer spray. 

The signs that the weeds are dying after spraying include:

  • The leaves of the weeds start to change color; they begin to turn yellow.
  • The weeds’ leaves then begin to wilt, shrink, and distort.
  • The weeds eventually die, turn brown, and dry up. 

How To Pull Weeds After Spraying

Once the weed killer spray does its job, the weeds die and dry up, and you can then pull them out. After dying, weeds are generally easy to pull out. Those with shallow roots are easier to remove than deep-rooted ones. 

Here are two methods you can use to pull weeds after spraying. 

  • Use a hoe or a rake: These tools come in handy, especially when you want to pull out a lot of dead weeds from your garden (or lawn) or when dealing with deep-rooted weeds. It’s best to ensure that you tear out the weeds by their roots so they don’t grow again.
  • Use your hands: If you are removing dead weeds from a small area or shallow-rooted weeds, you can use your hands. Ideally, you should wear garden gloves to protect your hands. It’s best to pull out one weed at a time, ensuring that you pull out the roots to prevent re-growth and further spread of the weeds.  

The Caveat: Weed Sprays Might Not Work Effectively if Spraying Conditions Are Unsuitable

If the conditions under which you spray the weeds are unsuitable, the spray may not yield the desired results. For instance, if you spray weeds during the rainy season, the rain will wash away the weed killer spray. 

Similarly, the wind could blow away the weed killer spray if you spray weeds during windy weather.

In such cases, some of the weeds may not die within the time stipulated by the manufacturer. You may have to pull the dead weeds and re-apply the spray to kill the remaining ones. 

What To Do With The Weeds After Pulling Them Out 

Dead weeds can harbor insects and diseases, and if you are not careful, they can spread to your healthy plants. To ensure this doesn’t happen, avoid composting the weeds, as doing so might not kill any dormant seeds or diseases. 

Here are things you can do with the weeds after pulling them out:

  • Put the dead weeds in a bag immediately after pulling them out and take them out with the trash so they are nowhere near your lawn or garden.
  • If burning is allowed in your area, collect the weeds and burn them in a bare spot of your garden.
  • Gather all the weeds and bury them; they will eventually decompose. 


Weeds in your garden or lawn are harmful because they compete for nutrients with your plants, which can negatively impact their health and growth. Using traditional methods to remove weeds can be arduous, especially in a large area.

Luckily, you can spray the weeds with an ideal weed killer spray to make your work easier.

Spraying weeds with a weed killer spray is an excellent option if you uproot the weeds after spraying. If you remove the weeds within the time stipulated by the weed killer manufacturer, your garden or lawn could be weed-free for months. 

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Willie Moore
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