Your lawn is one of the best reflections of who you are as a homeowner, a well-maintained lawn can allow you to increase the property value of your home, to reflect your personal style, and to welcome your visitors into your home.
A lawn can be inviting and a great place to entertain your guests. Unfortunately, weeds can wreak havoc on the beauty and serenity of your landscaping. Weeding can be time-consuming, and downright impractical when you have several acres to maintain. Weeds grow quickly and can rapidly spread out of control. Luckily, a good herbicide, or weed killer, can help you get on top of this issue before it becomes a major problem.
Why Do I Need a Weed Killer?
Before you can understand why you need a weed killer, you first need to understand what a weed actually is. Technically, any plant can be a weed, as a weed is simply a plant that is not deliberately cultivated and is growing where something else should be taking its place. In essence, a weed is a plant that’s growing where you don’t want it to grow.
Weeds can take over your lawn, pathways, patios, and flower beds. Weeds can be frustrating and challenging to remove, especially when you have a limited time and budget. Weed killers are chemically-based liquids that are specifically formulated to target different species of weeds without killing the grass you’ve worked so hard to cultivate.
Using weed killers should not be an arduous task. These products should be used in the spring and autumn when grass growth is fresh, allowing the soil to absorb the product more quickly. You should apply weed killers on a calm, windless day, ideally using a watering can to provide you with the utmost control over where the product lands.
Top 3 Best Weed Killer At A Glance:
What Should I Look for In a Weed Killer?
The most important quality of a weed killer is the speed and efficacy with which it works. Pay attention to the product packaging and ingredients on your weed killer, as some, such as glyphosate-based products, allow you to plant new grass seed only twenty-four hours after applying the product.
Pre-emergence herbicides are applied in the fall and are designed to kill perennial weeds – the ones that come back every year. These herbicides prevent perennial weeds from storing energy and emerging in the spring. These are not successful on weeds that have already emerged, or on seedlings. Keep in mind that a pre-emergent herbicide will also kill grass seeds, so you need to wait at least two months before seeding your lawn.
Post-emergence herbicides, on the other hand, kill weeds that have already germinated. These are most successful when weeds are in the early stages of production. Some are harmful to grass seeds, while others can be used safely during your grass-growing season.
Selective lawn weed killers are the most common types of weed killers, as these only target certain species, like broadleaf weeds. They can be used on a large scale and do not usually damage the grass. However, they do take longer to work, up to six weeks, and are not as effective in colder temperatures.
Confused yet? Don’t be!
With all of these types of weed killers comes a product that will work perfectly for your specific gardening and landscaping needs. Read on to explore the best weed killers that will solve your lawn-growing woes.
This reliable product can be used on most weeds, and is a versatile option for any application, including lawns, patios, and pavement cracks. This product acts quickly, working to prevent weed growth as well as to kill those that have already developed. Results are fast, with change noticeable in just a few hours.
● Comes with its own sprinkler cap
● Covers up to 400 square feet
● Almost immediate results
● One of the most expensive options
● Cannot be purchased in all states
● Does not work as well in hot weather
Weeds can be tough to control in cold weather, but this formulation is excellent if you live in a northern climate. It can be used during any season and kills nearly 100 different types of weeds. It is environmentally friendly and can be used around kids and pets. This pre-mixed formula kills weeds in a week or two, requiring follow-up applications every few weeks as well.
● Eco-friendly option
● Kills 100 species of weeds
● Can be used in cold weather
● Multiple applications required
● Not suitable for all grass species
● May not work as well in warmer temperatures
Roundup is the go-to name for weed prevention and this product is no exception. This weed controller combines glyphosate with imazapic, another powerful herbicide, to stop weeds in their tracks and prevent their growth for several months. This container is smaller than its competitors, but it requires fewer applications
● Fast-acting formula shows results in hours
● Rainproof for ten minutes
● Built-in sprayer makes it easy to use
● Not concentrated, so cannot be used on large lawns or dense vegetation
● Pricy for the volume
● Only provides 400 square feet of coverage
This organic, biodegradable product is one of the safest to use around other plants, children, and animals. It breaks down and does not harm the soil. You can see results in just a few hours, when applied correctly, and kill weeds surrounding a garden without having to worry about harming your vegetables.
● Environmentally safe
● Works quickly
● Product is not absorbed into vegetables or soil
● Kills grass in addition to weeds
● High cost per ounce
● Not as effective in warm weather
This weed-killer is a great option that is actually safe to use around desired vegetation, like flowers and shrubs. This stops weeds from germinating before reaching the soil, so it must be used early, but it can be used every three months. Nevertheless, this is a good option if you want to apply herbicide in an area where you intend to plant shortly after, or where perennials or other desired plants are already growing.
● Does not harm cultivated plants
● Won’t leach into groundwater or build up in the soil
● Comes with a handy shaker scoop and easy-to-distribute granules
● Must be applied more often than other options
● Cannot be used on flower seeds
● Must wait to apply until your desired plants have reached 3 inches tall
This herbicide works powerfully to systematically kill weeds and even trees. It is best used mixed with a light oil and dish soap to help the product stick to leaves. It kills a wide variety of weeds in a large area.
● Covers an extensive area
● Kills brush and other woody plants
● Safe to use around animals
● Kills indiscriminately
● Must be mixed with carriers to be effective
● Petroleum based formula makes it more difficult to apply
This weed killer is highly potent, offering 25,000 square feet of weed destruction in just one gallon of the chemicals. This weed killer only takes a few hours to work, requiring just three tablespoons per gallon of water. This product is best used around beds and in cracks, instead of on the entire lawn, as it kills indiscriminately.
● Highly concentrated formula to save you money
● Results last for months
● Kills weeds in just a few hours
● Does not work to prevent new weeds
● Kills everything, not just undesirable weeds
● More expensive than other options
This weed killer’s range is impressive, with the ability to kill over 200 different species of weeds. It is targeted, and won’t damage the plants or flowers around the weeds you are trying to kill. This product gives you a great deal of bang for your buck, providing coverage for up to 16,000 square feet of lawn.
● Won’t leach into or damage the soil
● Selective herbicide that won’t kill anything but the weeds
● Lots of coverage for a limited amount of product
● Takes a few weeks to see results
● Has been known to kill several types of cultivated grasses
● Not tough enough for some herbicide-resistant weeds
This dual-action weed killer can eliminate any unwanted vegetation in just a few hours. It can also prevent new growth for up to six months, using glyphosate to reach the plants’ roots. It is best applied using a pump sprayer, reaching up to 1,500 square feet per bottle. This product cuts down on the amount of product needed, as it can be used for multiple aspects like driveways, mulched areas, and along fences.
● Only needs to be applied once every six months
● Covers a large surface area with one bottle
● Prevents new grasses and weeds from emerging
● Kills everything in its path, including grass
● Not effective if weeds aren’t fully doused
● Not as effective in warmer temperatures
This weed killer is best for aggressive weeds, like poison ivy and dandelions. It is highly concentrated, treating 1,000 square feet in a couple of tablespoons of solution. This cost-effective choice gives you flexibility over how you apply it, allowing you to choose between a small amount for delicate weeds or a larger amount for stubborn perennial weeds.
● Can be used on grass without killing it
● Covers 1,000 square feet of land
● Flexible formulation that can be adjusted depending on your needs
● Cannot be used on windy days
● Has a strong chemical odor
● Occasionally damages cultivated grasses
This weed killer can kill even dandelion and clover, and is unique in that it kills weeds that you can’t even see yet. In addition, this product improves the quality of your lawn with powerful thickening agents, giving you more value for less formula.
● No mixing or diluting required
● Keeps your lawn healthy
● Can eliminate small infestations in one application
● Multiple applications required for more stubborn weeds
● Should not be used on dry grass
● Lots of product required for full coverage
This product can kill stubborn weeds like clover and chickweed without affecting grass. You may need to use several applications for a few days, but this inexpensive product is a good value for your money.
● Treats up to 3,200 square feet
● Waterproof for six hours
● Kills weeds to the roots
● Precision required during application to avoid damaging other plants
● Cannot be applied in hot weather
● Can be difficult to apply
This lesser-known brand provides one of the most affordable and durable products for killing weeds. With glyphosate as the main ingredient, this product has a low mixing ratio that allows it to kill the toughest weeds. It kills any vegetation it comes into contact with, and is waterproof for up to two hours. This low-cost product does not break the bank, coming in at less than $10 for 32 ounces.
● Affordable option
● Broad-spectrum applications make it great for use around patios and paved areas
● Gets to the roots of stubborn weeds
● Takes several weeks to work
● Sprayer clogs easily
● May require multiple applications
This weed killer is a great choice if you are trying to kill woody plants or stubborn perennials. Often used commercially, this product only requires two ounces of solution per gallon of water, making it a good overall value. It also contains a fungicide, making it a good choice for removing mold and mushroom growth as well.
● Works well on tough, woody plants
● Good choice for pasture and rangelands
● Only need to wet the leaves of the plants
● Takes about two weeks to work
● One of the more expensive options
● For true effectiveness, must be used with diesel, which can be limiting
This product can kill over 200 species of weeds – without killing the plants you’ve worked so hard to cultivate. It is especially useful on crabgrass and is waterproof for up to an hour ideal if you live in a rainy area. This is also one of the most eco-friendly options, containing biodegradable ingredients that won’t harm your soil or water systems.
● Eco-friendly option
● Covers up to 5,000 square feet of lawn
● Cost-effective option
● Complex instructions for applications
● Kills some varieties of cultivated grass
● Requires multiple treatments
If you’re in search of an excellent weed killer, look no further. Depending on the species and span of the weeds you need to kill, we have it all. Our top recommendation? Ortho Ground Clear. This product has few cons and can be purchased in most areas. It works well on a variety of species and is a great option for your budget.
If you have weeds on your hands and need to get rid of them fast, a weed killer is your best option. Don’t spend hours pulling these pesky invaders by hand. By applying a herbicide like this, you will free up your time to enjoy the lawn care tasks that actually matter – like enjoying your hard-earned lawn!