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The Best Weed Killers To Use When Unwanted Plants Get Out of Hand

Eliminate pesky plants with these effective treatments

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The Spruce / Sabrina Jiang

No one wants weeds taking over their yard, and if you have too many to pull by hand, it might be time to bring in a weed killer. These herbicides are extremely handy for lawn maintenance, as they can help control crabgrass, dandelions, ragweed, and other common weeds that may pop up around your home.

There are a few things to consider when buying a weed killer—namely, where you plan to use it and the type of weeds you’re targeting. Certain herbicides can kill any plant, which makes them ideal for walkways or gravel driveways. At the same time, you can use other weed killers to treat specific weeds in your lawn or flower beds without harming other greenery.

Here, find the best weed killers for your yard.

Best for Lawns: Ortho Weed B Gon Weed Killer for Lawns

Volume: 1 gallon | Plant Type: Dandelions, Clover, Broadleaf, Crabgrass, and Other Listed Weeds

Targets weeds without killing your yard

Comes in various sizes

Can kill your grass if used improperly

Who else recommends it? Best Reviews also picked Ortho Weed B Gon.

What do buyers say? 86% of 1,400+ Amazon reviewers rated this product 4 stars or above.

It’s tough to kill weeds that grow in your lawn since many herbicides can damage grass. One of your best options to target pesky weeds like dandelions and clover is Ortho Weed B Gon Weed Killer, which kills more than 250 types of weeds without harming your lawn (when used as directed). You can buy the herbicide in both 32-ounce and one-gallon containers. The one-gallon concentrated formula covers up to 64,000 square feet.

The Ortho Weed B Gon Weed Killer targets dandelions, clover, and other broadleaf weeds at the root, and you’ll see results in a matter of hours. You can use it on both northern and southern lawns, and the formula is rainproof in just one hour. Just be sure to use the product as directed to avoid harming your grass.

Best for Flower Beds: Roundup Ready-To-Use Weed & Grass Killer III

Volume: 1.33 gallons | Plant Type: Annual Bluegrass, Bermuda Grass, Bindweed, and Other Listed Weeds

No diluting needed

Rainproof after 10 minutes

Will not harm flowers and other vegetation

No smaller sizes available

Keep your flower beds looking pristine with the Roundup Ready-To-Use Weed & Grass Killer III, which comes in a convenient Pump ‘N Go container—no diluting needed. This herbicide kills tough weeds and grasses down to the root, and its extendable wand allows you to easily target pesky weeds without harming your flowers.

This formula comes in 1.33-gallon containers and can be used in and around vegetable gardens, flower beds, tree rings, and mulched beds, as well as on cracks in driveways, walkways, and patios. It’s rainproof just 10 minutes after application, and once you spray it over weeds, you’ll see visible results in around three hours. The convenient no-mix formula is ideal for when you want to grab it and go, and Roundup sells refills of the herbicide that you can pour into the original container.

Best Natural: Green Gobbler Organic 20% Vinegar Weed & Grass Killer

Volume: 1 gallon | Plant Type: Crabgrass, Dandelions, and Other Listed Weeds

Doesn't contain harsh chemicals

Can be used in various places

No dilution needed

No smaller sizes available

Many weed killers contain harsh chemicals, but if you’re looking for a natural option for lawn maintenance, the Green Gobbler Vinegar Weed and Grass Killer is glyphosate-free and made without any synthetic ingredients. It’s derived from corn, and it can take care of unwanted crabgrass, dandelions, clover weeds, white clover, mold, and more.

This natural weed killer comes in one-gallon jars, and you can use it on driveways, sidewalks, concrete, mulch, and flower beds. (Avoid spraying the solution on healthy grass, as it’s harmful to all plants.) You can use the weed killer straight out of the bottle; the natural acid starts drying out weeds on contact. You’ll see visible results in less than 24 hours, and the company offers a 100 percent satisfaction guarantee if you’re not happy with the product's performance.

The Spruce / Katie Begley

“Once I used the weed treatment, I did not see the weeds return to my mulch beds even weeks after application. The same was true growing in the cracks on my driveway. I did pull the weeds after the Green Gobbler Vinegar Weed Killer killed the plants themselves. This was an important step to make sure that they didn’t come back.”—Katie Begley, Product Tester

Best for Gravel: RM43 43-Percent Glyphosate Weed Preventer Total Vegetation Control

Volume: 1 gallon | Plant Type: All Weeds, Grasses, Vines, Brush, and Trees

Can be used in various places

Prevents weeds from growing back

Not ideal for places with vegetation

Are you tired of weeds popping up all over your gravel driveway? You can eradicate them quickly with the RM43 Total Vegetation Control, a powerful weed killer that contains 43 percent glyphosate. This concentrated formula comes in a one-gallon container that makes up to 21 gallons of spray and treats more than 17,000 square feet. This product is ideal for locations where you do not want any vegetation, such as gravel paths, driveways, parking areas, fence rows, and around buildings.

RM43 Total Vegetation Control is a combination of two herbicides and surfactants. In addition to killing any growing vegetation, it will also prevent new weeds for up to a year. The formula is rainfast in two hours, and it’s safe for people and pets after it has dried.

Best for Large Areas: Compare-N-Save Grass and Weed Killer Glyphosate Concentrate

Volume: 1 gallon | Plant Type: All Grasses and Weeds

Can be used in various places

Great for large areas

Can kill other plants if used improperly

When you have a large area that needs to be treated for weeds, a ready-to-use solution might not cut it. A concentrated solution can be more effective, and one of the best options is Compare-N-Save Concentrate Grass and Weed Killer. A one-gallon bottle of this concentrate can make up to 85 gallons of spray solution—enough to cover up to 25,500 square feet!

You can use this herbicide on walkways and driveways and beside buildings and fences. It kills weeds, grasses, vines, and brush. The formula contains 41 percent glyphosate. It is rainproof two hours after application—though the company recommends applying the herbicide on a warm, sunny day with no rainfall in the forecast for 24 hours. You’ll see visible results in two to four days, as it kills the weeds down to the roots. Be careful to avoid any plants you plan to keep when you’re spraying, as this powerful formula will kill just about any vegetation.

Best Professional: Roundup Pro Concentrate

Volume: 2.5 gallons | Plant Type: Annual and Perennial Weeds

Great for large areas

Has to be used in certain sprayers

Must wear protective clothing

If you have a large area to treat or have tough weeds that haven’t responded to other herbicides, you might want to consider a professional-grade product like the Roundup Pro Concentrate. This weed killer is used in industrial vegetation management and agricultural farming, and it contains 50.2 percent glyphosate for fast and powerful results.

This professional herbicide comes in 2.5-gallon jugs, and its mix rate is one to 10.5 ounces per gallon of water, depending on the type of weed you’re treating. You should only use it in clean stainless steel or plastic sprayers, and you should wear protective clothing while applying the powerful solution.

The best product for eliminating weeds is Spectracide Weed and Grass Killer Concentrate (view at Amazon), which can be used in many areas, such as in flower beds, on sidewalks, and even around shrubs, and delivers visible results in just a few hours. For a product that’s a bit more preventative, the RM43 43-Percent Glyphosate Plus Weed Preventer (view at Tractor Supply Co.) gets down to the roots and stops weeds from sprouting for up to an entire year.

The Spruce / Katie Begley

What to Look for in a Weed Killer

Plant Type

Not all weed killers target the same plant species. If you need to kill weeds in your lawn, look for a selective formula that won't kill grass along with the weeds, and if you're using weed killer in your vegetable garden, make sure it's approved for use around edible plants. If you prefer to get rid of all vegetation, a non-selective formula is the best way to go.

Longevity

Do you want your weed killer to work once, or would you prefer a formula that keeps vegetation from growing back for up to a few months? Check the information carefully so you know which kind of formula you're getting, especially if you're using a non-selective formula and plan to introduce new plants into the area at a later time.

The Spruce / Katie Begley

Herbicides generally work to kill weeds by inhibiting root and shoot development or by affecting foliage. Usually, pre-emergent herbicides work on newly germinated weed seeds underground to stop the normal development of root systems or prevent the plant from sending up new shoots. Post-emergent herbicides, on the other hand, affect foliage (preventing photosynthesis) or are absorbed into the plant's root system, resulting in the termination of the weed.

Some herbicides are non-selective, which means they’ll kill all plants they come into contact with. Round-Up, a glyphosate-based herbicide, is a widely available type of non-selective weed killer. On the other hand, most gardeners prefer to use a selective weed killer, which only affects the growth of target species. It’s most commonly used for broadleaf weed control.

If you have pets that frequently come into contact with your lawn or like to cut through the garden, it’s essential to be cautious about using chemical weed killers. Many of these products have long-lasting residual effects on the area they are applied to. Pet owners should use caution when applying such products to places where their pets are likely to walk or lounge since they could ingest the chemical directly or by licking their paws and fur that have come into contact with the weed killer.

Organic weed killer may be a better option for pet owners since its compounds tend to break down more rapidly and be absorbed by the ground. However, it’s still important to read the directions for use and consider the warning label on any products you use since the potential effects can vary based on the active ingredients of each formula.

Organic herbicides can be successful as weed killers. Formulas range from homemade solutions of distilled vinegar to ready-made formulas with clove oil, citric acid, and other natural, active ingredients. Whether you use a homemade weed killer or purchase an organic herbicide, the vital thing to note is that these products are non-selective. While some inorganic herbicides will only affect specific invasive species, organic herbicides will kill all plants within the application area.

Why Trust The Spruce?

This article was researched and written by Camryn Rabideau, who grew up on a 70-acre farm and now owns a small farmstead herself. As such, she has firsthand experience fighting weeds such as bittersweet vines and crabgrass.

Best Weed Killers. Best Reviews. https://bestreviews.com/lawn-garden/fertilizers/best-weed-killers

Bullock, Fitzroy D. Lawn Weed Management. Tennessee State University, Cooperative Extension Program.

Shaffer, Gared. Organic Herbicides. South Dakota State University Extension.

Smith-Fiola, Deborah, and Gill, Stanton. Vinegar: An Alternative to Glyphosate? University of Maryland Extension.

Lanini, W. Thomas. Organic Herbicides—Do They Work? University of California, Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources, UC Nursery and Floriculture Alliance.

Best Lawn Weed Killer: How to Kill the Weeds But Not the Grass

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Lawn weeds aren’t only an eyesore, but they also steal vital nutrients from the soil. Nutrients that should be there to benefit the grass.

Pulling stubborn weeds like Dandelions can be difficult as the roots can break, leaving them to grow back later on.

For many lawn owners, it’s just easier to apply a weedkiller, especially if the lawn is riddled with weeds. But you need to be very careful when choosing a weed killer for your lawn.

You want to kill weeds, not grass. Use the wrong one or the wrong dose and you could end up with a dry, brown, dead lawn!

In this buying guide, I’ll tell you;

  • What weed killers are safe for grass
  • How to make sure you buy the right type of weed killer
  • How to use different weed killers together for best results, and
  • When and why weed killers don’t work.

A quick comparison

Scotts Weedol

Easy to Mix and Apply

Kills Most Broadleaf Weeds

Resolva For Lawns

Especially Effective Against Clover

Very Good Product

Evergreen Complete 4-in-1

All in One Feed, Weed & Moss Killer

Good For Weed Control

The Best Lawn Weed Killer with Reviews

Now you know which I think are the best weed killers, let’s have a closer look at them.

Using my experience I’ve compared price and effectiveness to bring you three of the best mainstream selective weed killers for home use.

1. Weedol Weedkiller for Lawns

  • Kills weeds not lawns
  • Kills dandelions, daisies and clover
  • No Glyphosate
  • Apply through a sprayer or watering can
  • Covers up to 165m2
Overview

Formally known as Verdone, Weedol Lawn Weedkiller is a fantastic product for home use.

Because Weedol doesn’t contain Glyphosate, it is safe to use on lawns. Instead, it’s active ingredients are;

  • Fluroxypyr
  • Clopyralid, and
  • MCPA

It works by stimulating the weeds’ growth hormone and causing the plants’ cells to grow much faster than they can sustain. As a result, you may notice the weeds growing fairly quickly. This is meant to happen and the plant’s cells will collapse and the weed will soon die.

However, don’t expect them to die within 24 hours as other weedkillers claim. It can take a week or so to see results. However, this is due to the fact that it doesn’t contain Glyphosate.

Don’t be tempted to mix a stronger concentrate thinking that’ll kill the weeds quicker, it won’t. Instead, you’ll risk killing the grass too. If you mix it as per the instructions on the box you’ll have no issues.

In my opinion, Scott’s Weedol is one of the best weed killers for lawns.

I always have a bottle of concentrate and spot spray in the shed.

That’s said, they’re not the only bottles I keep…

2. Resolva Lawn Weed Killer

  • Contains Mecoprop-P and Dicamba
  • Will treat a 40 m2 area
  • Adjustable spray or jet trigger head allows for wide large area or targeted application
Overview

Resolva Lawn Weedkiller is another excellent product and is ideal for use alongside Weedol.

The active ingredients in Resolva are different from those in Weedol. It contains;

  • Mecoprop-P and
  • Dicamba

Ordinarily, you should only spray the lawn with a concentrated weed killer once a year. But because the active ingredients in Resolva are different from Weedol, it means you can use each of them once per year which gives you two treatments.

It also means you can use this weedkiller to get on top of any weeds that Weedol might not have killed the first time around.

If I could only buy one weedkiller, I’d choose Weedol.

That said, because Resolva can be used alongside Weedol, it gives me double the chances of ridding my lawn of weeds. As such, I always have a bottle of concentrate and spot spray next to my Weedol.

3. Evergreen Complete 4 in 1 Granular Weed Killer for Grass

  • Kills weeds and moss while creating a thicker, greener and healthier lawn
  • Will cover 200m2
  • Use from April to September
  • Excellent value for money
Overview

While it’s more of an all in one lawn feed, weed and moss killer, Evergreens’ 4-in-1 is a solid product for keeping on top of the weeds in your lawn.

It’s a granular product you can spread over your lawn either by hand or with a spreader.

The active weed-killing ingredients are:

  • MCPA and
  • Mecoprop-P

These are combined with Nitrogen and Potassium which aids the growth of grass. However, they will also cause the weeds to grow fairly quickly. This is nothing to worry about as they will twist up and die. Again though, it’s not a 24 process, it’ll take a few days.

It’s important to note, however, that if you have a weed problem Evergreen 4-in-1 isn’t going to fix it. You’ll need to get on top of them first by using a dedicated weed killer like the other in this article.

Evergreen is more designed for keeping an already relatively weed-free lawn, free of new invaders. So use it as a method of weed control, not the cure to a problem.

You also need to be aware that as this product also controls moss, it contains iron which can stain pathways so be careful when applying.

When it comes to applying it, be very careful not to overdo it. The combination of high nitrogen, iron sulphate and weed killing chemicals can scorch your lawn if you’re too heavy-handed with the application. It much better to apply a little less than too much.

Apart from that, Evergreen 4-in-1 is very highly rated. It does a good job of controlling weeds, moss and thickening the grass.

Weed Killer For Grass vs. Regular Weed Killers

In the introduction to this article, I said that you need to be very careful when choosing a weed killer for your lawn.

Choose the wrong type and you’ll not only kill the weeds, but you’ll also kill the grass.

So what kind of weedkiller should you use?

Use a Selective Weedkiller

A weed killer for grass is also known as a ‘selective weed killer’. Selective weed killers lack a key ingredient that most other weed killers don’t.

That ingredient is Glyphosate.

Glyphosate is the active ingredient which makes a weedkiller non-selective, meaning it will kill any (or most) green plants that it touches. Some in as little as 24 hours.

Selective weedkillers contain different active ingredients. They are capable of killing a wide range of broadleaf weeds, including; Plantains , Pearlwort , Daisies , Yarrow , Chickweed , Sorrel , Thistles and others, without harming turfgrass.

If used properly!

Even selective weedkillers can damage grass if used improperly so always read the instructions!

How to Know You’re Buying Lawn Weedkiller Instead of a Non-Selective Type

So now you know you need a selective weedkiller to kill weeds without damaging your lawn. But how do you know a particular weed killer is safe to use on your lawn?

Well, the answer is dead simple. It’ll say so on the packaging.

This might sound blatantly obvious but websites like Amazon are awash with negative product reviews complaining that the weedkiller they used killed their grass when in actual fact, they bought the wrong product.

So if you need a weedkiller for your lawn, make sure it says it’s made for lawns on the packaging.

Or, just choose one of the products on this page.

Which is the Best Lawn Weed Killer, Liquid or Granular?

Selective weed killers come in both liquid and granular versions, so which is best?

Liquid Weedkillers

Liquid weed killers are the most common and they also offer more flexibility in terms of how you can apply them.

You can buy them in two ways;

Weedkiller Concentrate

These are made to be diluted in water and applied via a watering can or knapsack sprayer.

They’re best for treating the whole lawn, either in the spring or autumn. They’re ideal if your lawn has quite a few weeds inhabiting it.

Most weedkiller concentrates can only be applied once a year. However, different brands have different active ingredients which means you can spray your lawn twice a year, each time with a different brand.

Spot Spray Weed Killers

Spot spray weedkillers don’t need mixing.

They come ready to use in a spray bottle and are perfect for blasting individual weeds. Ideal if you only have one or two in your lawn.

Also, because you don’t typically apply these to your whole lawn, you can use them whenever you need to.

Granular Weed Killers

There are very few granular weed killers on the market.

They typically come as part of a ready to use lawn feed and weed type of product but rarely as a stand-alone weedkiller.

If you don’t have many weeds in your lawn and you prefer feed and weed products instead of applying a separate fertiliser and weedkiller, then, by all means, use one.

However, if your lawn is currently inhabited by lots of weeds, a feed and weed probably won’t help.

Use a concentrate instead.

How to Use Weedol and Resolva Together For Best Results

Ordinarily, you should only apply a concentrated weed killer to your lawn once a year, either in the spring or in the autumn.

However, because Weedol and Resolva have different active ingredients, it’s perfectly safe to give your lawn one application of each once a year. This means you can treat your lawn twice a year .

Using Weedol and Resolva Concentrates

In the spring, when the weeds are actively growing I’ll treat a lawn with Weedol lawn weed killer concentrate.

Then, once autumn rolls around I’ll treat the lawn again but this time I’ll use Resolva concentrate.

This doubles the chances of killing all the weeds in my lawn.

Using Weedol and Resolva Spot Spray

Concentrated weed killer takes care of my bi-annual treatments.

But what about weeds that might pop up during the growing season?

This is where the ready-made, ready to use spot spray weed killers come in very useful for weed control. I always keep a 1 litre bottle of Weedol and Resolva in the shed next to the concentrated solutions.

If and when a weed pops up, I’ll give it a blast with Weedol which normally does the trick and kills the weed. However, some weeds like Speedwell are pretty resilient and may hang around, in which case I’ll give it another blast a few days later with the Resolva .

Why and When Weed Killers Don’t Work

If you’ve spent any time looking on Amazon, B&Q or other shopping sites you might see negative reviews complaining that a particular weed killer didn’t work.

You’ll see the reviewer blaming the quality or strength of the product and comparing them to professional weedkillers like Holster or Bastion.

In actual fact, the active ingredients in professional weed killers are exactly the same as the ones you’ll find in weed killers for home use.

Yes, an amateur weedkiller concentrate might not be as strong as a professional product and that is for reasons of safety. That said, all it means is that you need more concentrate to dilute into water than you would a professional product.

For example, an amateur weed killer concentrate might take 1 part concentrate to 3 parts water to make the desired strength.

A professional weed killer concentrate might only take 1/2 part concentrate to 3 part water but the strength of the two mixtures is exactly the same.

So the mixing instructions provided by the manufacturer will give you a perfectly good weedkiller every time. But only if you mix it as per the instructions.

The Biggest Reasons For Lack of Success With Weed Killers

People fail with concentrated weed killers for one of two reasons;

  1. They mix them too strong so they kill the grass
  2. They mix them too weak so they don’t kill anything

There are several reasons why you might not dilute a concentrated weed killer properly.

Firstly, many people make a stronger mix than necessary because they believe it will kill stubborn weeds quicker. It won’t, it’ll just kill the grass too.

Secondly, (and this is the reason many people mix it too weak) many users don’t get an accurate measurement of their lawn. They completely underestimate how big their lawn is and only use enough concentrate for 30 square meters when in fact their lawn is 50 square meters.

To ensure success, always measure your lawn so you know how much concentrate you need to mix in how much water. And always dilute the concentrate as per the manufacturer’s instructions.

That way, you can’t really go wrong.

For more information on how to accurately dilute weed killer concentrate, watch this video by The Lawnsmith.

In Conclusion

At the end of the day, the best weed killer is the one that gets results.

If I could only choose one, it’d be Weedol concentrate but I keep the concentrated and 1 litre spot spray versions of both Weedol and Resolva in my shed and I use them regularly.

I rarely use Evergreen 4-in-1 because as a qualified groundsman I’ve always fed my lawn, killed weeds and killed and removed moss as separate treatments. It’s just the way I prefer to do things.

But if you want to save time then as an all in one feed, weed and moss killer, it’s very good.

Just make sure you follow the instructions given by the manufacturer’s so you kill the lawn weeds without damaging the grass.

About Tim Stephens

I’m a professional gardener with degrees in Horticulture & Landscape Gardening. I want to help you create the garden of your dreams. I want your garden to look like it’s maintained by a professional. As if I was there doing it all for you!

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Tips On Applying Liquid Lawn Fertilizer

Summary: When you apply liquid lawn fertilizer it helps in building stronger grass and a better lawn. However, as easy as using liquid fertilizer is and the quick results it can produce, it is important to use liquid fertilizer at the proper times of the year.

Lawn grasses must grow vigorously to crowd out weeds and maintain a solid turf. They make their best growth from applied fertilizer if the soil on which they are growing contains a good supply of nutrients such as magnesium limestone or liquid lime.

Tips On Applying Liquid Fertilizer To The Lawn

Apart from proper lawn care, make sure your grass receives enough nutrients (depending on grass type) for it to grow healthy and attractive using the best water soluble lawn fertilizer.

Use Fertilizer Sprayers

Spray fertilizers lend themselves to application by garden hose end sprayers or spreaders, using regular products for spraying or by using organic or synthetic fertilizer attachments that are placed between the faucet and the hose when sprinkling or irrigating.

These attachments suck in small quantities of the nutrients from a container and no mixing is necessary. They apply the plant food or water-soluble fertilizer, gradually giving the grass an opportunity to absorb some of the nutrients through the leaves.

Use A Sprinkler System

If such equipment is not available, a sprinkling can may be used. For this purpose, it is necessary to dilute the home liquid fertilizer for grass with water so one pound covers 1000 square feet. In other words, an area 25 X 40 feet needs one pound or one pint of 5-10-5 or its equivalent in some other mixture.

If you buy a liquid which has a 5-10-5, 6-12-6, or 7-14-7 NPK ratio (nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium), one pint is equal to one pound of dry organic matter. If you use a higher analysis, which may be several times as strong as 5-10-5 N-P-K ratio, you must use it in proportionate amounts.

Lawn Needs: Know When To Apply Fertilizers

Liquid fertilizers should be applied after the first flush of grass has been mowed from the soil. During July and August, no organic fertilizer should be applied to the soil and plants. Then about September 1 and October 1, fertilizer should be given to build up grass which will withstand winter conditions.

By following this method of fertilizer application, you avoid the rapid succulent growth which often develops when you apply fertilizer in early spring. Growth is more uniform and grass plants have strong healthy crowns that can withstand crowding from weeds and maintain a good cover to prevent crabgrass seed from germinating.

Water And Fertilizer

Water the lawn thoroughly a day or two before applying the fertilizer product. When the grass becomes dry, apply the slow-release fertilizer. You can also wait for rainfall before application. These will wash the chemical fertilizer from the grass blades off to the soil.