It doesn’t matter whether they appear on your lawn, in a flower bed…
…or along the perimeter of a fence, weeds are the perennial enemy of gardeners.
Your yard looks unsightly, your walkway is unkempt…
…and they compete with neighboring plants for sunlight, water, and nutrients…
…weakening your cherished plants and making them vulnerable to pests and diseases.
Even weed species can spread and disrupt natural habitats.
The worst thing about weeds is that they keep coming back no matter what you do.
You have a few options for getting rid of these invasive species once and for all:
…deadheading weeds with garden shears or a weed wacker (cutting off the tops)…
…removing them from the soil by hand, or using weed killers.
When it comes to these methods, deadheading is useful only for annual plants…
…that don’t have extensive root systems and that die when the tops are separated from the roots.
By contrast, pulling weeds by hand is impractical if you have a large number of weeds…
…because it requires a great deal of effort (not least because doing so effectively…
…requires digging up the roots to keep them from growing back).
Because these manual methods have limitations, commercial weed killers offer a more fail-safe…
…and flexible option for eradicating weeds-as long as you choose the right one for the job.
Let’s hear Adam’s story before moving on to the next section…
My front lawn has grown weeds this year, so I finally found someone who spoke about pre-emergent material.
My lawn has Bermuda grass, so I bought the product based on the recommendation from How To With Doc.
Hopefully, this material will help with weed problems in the future.
The instructions are easy to follow and I am looking forward to no more weeds filling areas
that were not a problem in the past. This is something I will recommend to my friends.
It’s time to get started…
Tips for Choosing the Right Weed Killer
Where you apply your choice of weed killer will determine when and how it should be applied…
…which types of plants it will affect, and what kind of weeds it will kill.
The result is that even well-reviewed weed killers that are not designed to solve your specific weed problem…
…may result in product failures and, consequently, lingering weeds.
Consider these properties when selecting the right commercial weed killer for the job…
…in order to maximize performance and minimize failure risk.
The term emergence refers to the stage of weed growth when you should apply weed killer.
- A pre-emergent weed killer, also known as a “weed preventer,” kills germinating seeds before they are able to emerge from the soil as weeds visible to humans. Generally, you apply them to lawns and gardens before you see signs of weeds. They form a chemical barrier in the top layer of soil that stops underground seedling growth, effectively killing them.
- Post-emergent weed killers are used to control existing weeds that have already emerged from the soil. Apply the chemicals to the leaves and/or stems of weeds in garden beds or driveways or sidewalk cracks; the chemicals will kill the weeds either by destroying the foliage or stems or by traveling to the roots and killing the entire root system.
The selectivity of a weed killer is its ability to destroy weeds while leaving surrounding plants intact.
- A selective weed killer will kill weeds but not turfgrass or other beneficial plants, so it is a good option for getting rid of dandelions or thistles on the lawn or in a flower bed.
- Using non-selective weed killers will eradicate weeds along with all other plants in an area. Use them along the fence or pool, or in cracks in the driveway or sidewalk, where beneficial plants will not be at risk.
Whenever a product is absorbed into weeds via the leaves, stems, or roots of the plant…
…it is said to be translocated within the plant.
- A contact weed killer doesn’t move within a weed once it enters it; instead, it destroys the plant part where it is applied, usually within hours or days of its application. Commonly used on annual weeds like crabgrass, nettle, and chickweed, which are easier to kill than perennial plants and typically die after the foliage or stems are destroyed.
- A systemic weed killer penetrates a plant while it is growing, killing the entire plant from the root up. As a rule, you can expect to wait several days to several weeks for results, although unlike contact weed killers, systemic products won’t state exactly how long it takes to kill weeds. Perennial weeds, such as ragweed, poison ivy, and dandelion, may be difficult to eradicate because of their deep roots.
Persistence describes how long a weed killer remains in the soil and controls weeds before you have to reapply it.
- Temporary weed killers degrade in soil within a few days or weeks, which forces you to reapply the product often to keep weeds at bay, but allows you to quickly replant other plants in the area without hampering their growth. As a result, they are a better option for gardens where you plan on planting flowers or vegetables in the near future, as well as places where weeds seldom grow, such as gaps between paver stones.
- Herbicides with longer-lasting effects stay in the soil for months or even a year after application, preventing further weed growth. If you want to control weeds permanently, they are a good option, but they can also inhibit the growth of new plants you grow in the area for a long time, so don’t use them in areas where you plan to plant new plants in the near future.
Here’s the main part…
Our Top Picks for Weed Killers
|The Andersons Barricade Professional-Grade Granular Pre-Emergent Weed Control - Covers up to 5,800 sq ft (18 lb)||Prime||Buy Now|
|Green Gobbler 20% Vinegar Weed & Grass Killer | Natural and Organic | 1 Gallon Spray | Glyphosate Free Herbicide||Prime||Buy Now|
|Southern Ag Amine 2,4-D WEED KILLER, 32oz - Quart||Prime||Buy Now|
|Spectracide 96451 HG-96451 Weed & Grass Killer Concentrate2 (HG-56201), 64 oz||Prime||Buy Now|
|Ortho Nutsedge Killer for Lawns Ready-To-Spray, 32 fl. oz.||Prime||Buy Now|
Let’s go through them one by one…
Get rid of baby weeds with this selective pre-emergent weed killer, ideal for turfgrass and garden beds.
It helps prevent over 30 types of weeds from growing…
..and does not harm most trees, shrubs, vines, or flowers nearby.
Apply this granular weed killer to the soil or mulch and then water (or wait for rain)…
…to establish a protective soil barrier to block weed growth for four months to a year.
One 18-pound bag covers between 2,500 to 10,000 square feet.
- Control may be better with more particles per square inch
- Prevents more than 30 types of grasses and weeds
- Does not harm most trees, shrubs, and flowers
- One bag can cover 2,500 to 10,000 square feet
- Does not eliminate existing weeds
- Need to mow first for better results
The one-gallon bottle of this non-selective post-emergent herbicide covers 1,200 square feet…
…and controls crabgrass, dandelion, and other pesky weeds with its potent, pet-safe vinegar formula.
Since it’s a non-specific weed killer, it’s best used near fence lines, pools…
…and patios, or in driveways and sidewalk cracks.
To apply, fill a pump sprayer with the liquid herbicide or attach the trigger sprayer supplied, then spray;
…the fast-acting product can kill weeds within 24 hours and degrades in the soil within days.
- Pet-safe formula
- Starts killing weeds within 24 hours
- Degrades within days
- Does not prevent weeds
- Can kill any plants in the application area
“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 performance.”Camryn Rabideau – Writer
Selective post-emergent herbicides target weeds like dandelion and chickweed…
…but do not affect non-weed plants.
Spread two to three tablespoons of the liquid concentrate in three to five gallons of water…
…with a hand-pump sprayer or hose-end sprayer. It can be used on lawns, pastures, rangelands, and along fences.
It provides weed control for six months to one year, and a one-quart bottle covers 21,000 to 32,000 square feet.
- Kills broadleaf weeds like dandelion
- Does not kill other plants
- Provides weed control for 6 months or longer
- Will not kill other types of weeds
- Must mix with water before use
Spectracide Weed & Grass Killer Concentrate
The fast-acting herbicide diquat dibromide is the main ingredient in this non-selective contact weed killer.
Use a tank sprayer to apply 10 tablespoons of the liquid concentrate…
…to the foliage of weeds like dandelion, clover, and ivy.
The product usually works within 24 hours, and you can reapply it after seven days.
A 16-ounce concentrate covers up to 1,500 square feet.
- Kills only what it contacts
- May start killing weeds within 3 hours
- Can be reapplied after 7 days
- Rain or watering will not reduce effectiveness
- Must mix with water
- Not for weed prevention
Consider this sulfentrazone-based selective post-emergent herbicide for the most stubborn lawn weeds.
In addition to weeds such as purple nutsedge and kyllinga, it can destroy 50 other weeds that are difficult to kill.
The hose-end sprayer makes application of this liquid formula easy:
…Simply connect the sprayer to your hose, turn on the water…
…and spray the systemic herbicide directly on weeds.
Herbicide can be reapplied after one month, and the 32-ounce bottle covers up to 5,000 square feet.
- Kills 50 types of weeds
- Can be applied again after 30 days
- Rainproof after 2 hours
- No mixing required
- Need to use hose to apply it
- Not for use over flowers, most ornamentals, vegetables
A variety of products are included in this recommendation for the best weed killer…
…for users of residential landscapes who intend to kill weeds.
Based on the ease of use and popularity of liquid weed killers on the market…
…our research focused primarily on them.
In contrast, we found that one granular weed killer ranked highest in the pre-emergent category.
As well as assessing how long each weed killer stays in the ground, how selective it is…
…whether it is systemic or contact-activated, and whether it stays in the ground for a long period of time…
…we also evaluated each by how long it stays in the ground.
In addition to the weed killers listed on this list that are broad killers that can work quickly…
…and last for a long time, there are other types that are intended to kill particular species of weeds…
…or to kill particular plants that are in targeted areas without affecting the surrounding landscape.
Although much depends on the weed-killing goals of each user…
…The Andersons Barricade Granular Weed Preventer is one of the best pre-emergent weed killers for most yards.
Try the Green Gobbler Vinegar Weed & Grass Killer if weeds have already emerged…
…as it is one of the best post-emergent weed killers.