The Compare-N-Save Concentrate is an excellent choice for most people. It kills weeds in less than 5 days and takes less than 3 hours to use. It does exactly what a herbicide should do. If you want to kill weeds in lawn paths and near dog fences, you need this best weed killer for lawns. It takes care of unwanted weeds infestation while leaving all other plants and grasses unharmed. It contains 41% glyphosate which means it is a fast-acting and effective substance. Unlike other brands that use as little as 1 to 2% of glyphosate, this herbicide uses a much stronger concentration. Which helps is stabilizing grass, killing existing weeds, and preventing the germination of future weeds.
The Preen Garden Weed Preventer is our upgraded choice. It’s expensive, but its highly effective at what it’s supposed to do. It stops weeds from growing for up to 90 days. Plus, it is certified safe and efficient to use around pets, children, vegetable gardens, etc. You can use this choice during the summer and spring seasons. Plus, it’s a weed preventer which means it stops the growth of weeds right from the start. This is a good pre-planting weed kill for lawns. So, if you have huge plans for building a comfortable and efficient lawns filled with the right flowers and fruits, you should buy this best weed killer for lawns to prevent weeds from taking over.
Want something cheap and valuable? Try the Ortho GroundClear Vegetation Killer. It is the combination of our top best pick and our best step-up pick for lawns. Which means it prevents weeds from growing and kills existing weeds in your lawn. What you might want even more helpful is the sprinkling can or tank sprayer this best weed killer for lawns comes with. It makes the substance easy to apply and targets plants you seriously do not want seen in your lawn. It can kill existing plants and resist future germination for over a year. That’s more than enough to keep you company until you buy another container for healthy lawns.
A Little Background
Most people have heard about herbicide as being the primary substance to prevent unwanted plants growth. That said, the best weed killer for lawns is just another name for herbicide. They’re constituted of chemicals substances or active ingredients that control, fight, and prevent the growth of particular types of weeds. Herbicide is responsible for removing traces of weeds while leaving the lawn unharmed and healthy. While there are two types of herbicides – selective and non-selective – only one type leaves the grass or lawn as it is while only targeting the weeds.
Selective herbicides are used to destroy and control the growth of selective weeds without harming the grass thickness. This includes dandelions, clover, ivy, and other creeping weeds.
A non-selective weed killer is used on a more commercial scale for industries or to clear waste grounds. They kill all types of weed and plant material. This means it’s a weed and grass killer. A weed and grass killer penetrates into the roots of all plants while depleting the soil of its fertility. Not all of you need a weed and grass killer for your lawn. A lawn looks fresh and healthy with grass and without weeds. However, in the case of a weed and grass killer, it is best used for driveways, lawns, patios, and around steel fences.
It’s important to understand the basics of chemical weed killers, or herbicides, because such substances can be dangerous and have potential side-effects for children, adults, and pets. Finding the right solution for your weed problem is not easy unless you do your best to minimize the risk of controlling unwanted plant growth and of keeping your family and yourself safe.
Chemical herbicides contain synthetic substances that mimic the processes of plant hormones which then has an impact on the growth of certain kinds of plants. This type is also known as organic weed killer which has its use in organic farming. Many people are opting for organic herbicides for organic farming to reduce the environmental and health impact of traditional farming. Many natural substances are processed using fewer chemical-driven processes in the management and maintenance of weeds.
The use of weed killers or herbicides can have the following outcomes:
- Herbicides can control the growth of weeds on a particular land or field.
- Herbicides can completely suppress the weed seed germination of plants or damage it to a point where any kind of growth in that particular area is impossible. In simple words, a weed killer can chemically deplete the fertility of the soil.
- Herbicides can destroy selective weeds while leaving the rest of the grass unharmed. These types of herbicides come with a spray nozzle that allow you to target a specific area to avoid over-spraying.
- Lastly, herbicides can reduce or destroy the leaves of certain weeds while keeping the root and the rest of the plant unharmed. This type of herbicide is good keeping a lawn clean and tidy all year round.
The intended application of herbicides can be carried out at the following times:
- Pre-planting: You can spray the herbicide on the soil before planting. The use of non-selective herbicides is ideal for pre-planting. Once this is done, the herbicide penetrates into the soil and prevents the growth of unwanted plants in the treated zone. Pre-planting is often done for agricultural purposes such as for growing soybeans, tomatoes, corn, and other fruits and vegetables. The main ingredients present in a non-selective herbicide for pre-planting are dazomet and metam-sodium.
- Pre-emergence: You can spray this pre-emergent weed control herbicide on the soil before the grass seed starts showing on the surface. Unlike pre-planting, the herbicides used in pre-emergent weed control do not prevent the germination of the weed. However, they kill the weed as soon as they show up as a seedling on the surface of the soil. The main ingredients used for pre-emergence herbicide are dithopyr and pendimethalin.
- Post-emergence: Once the weeds have emerged or risen completely from the surface of the soil, it is possible to kill the weed from tip to root with a number of selective and non-selective herbicides. However, in this step, spray the herbicide during a dry, preferably the summer season, is necessary. If you use a herbicide while it’s raining, the chemicals will get washed off making the process ineffective.
Herbicides are water-based substances that can be spread across a field using a number of grounding lawn equipment. For example, a self-propelled sprayer can be used to cover an area that’s up to 160 feet. For larger fields, towed or handheld sprayers can also be used to spread the herbicide. For agricultural use on commercial properties, herbicides are generally applied using a tractor, helicopters, or with the help of an established irrigation system. These types of equipment are generally used along with a pre-emergent weed killer.
Types of Weed Killers
Just as there are different types of grass, there are different types of weeds such as annual, biennial, and perennial weed that can be targeted and killed using weed killers. There are 5 main types of weed killers available on the market.
- Contact weed killers
- Systemic weed killers
- Residual weed killers
- Selective weed killers
- Non-selective weed killers
Each of these herbicides have their own advantages and disadvantages. For example, a post-emergent weed killer is applied to plants that grow above the soil surface. Most of them also have their own potential side-effects, unless you use them carefully and after reading proper instructions for a weed free lawn.
Contact weed killers
This type of herbicide kills all plants that it comes in contact with. The chemicals are absorbed by the foliage or the leaves from where they enter the plant’s stomata. It’s important to know that a contact herbicide is only effective when the plant’s stomata is open. And this happens during the photosynthesis process. Which means the best time to use a contact herbicide is during the day when the plant is growing. You need to apply the contact herbicide directly on the weeds you want to target. So, the foliage takes all day to absorb the chemicals from the herbicide and work its way to the plant’s core and kill it.
These are herbicides that do not interfere with the weed’s roots or the soil it’s growing in. Most contact herbicides contain glyphosate, which is an active ingredient that becomes practically ineffective as soon as it touches the soil. This is because the soil locks the glyphosate particles so it doesn’t come into contact with other roots. Based on our research, contact herbicides take about 2-3 weeks to show results and are best used for annual weed lawn maintenance and weed control.
Systemic weed killers
Systemic weed killers are the most common type of herbicides. Once they enter through the stomata of the plant, they travel to all areas of the plant. This means they reach down to the weed’s roots to kill it completely. A contact herbicide kills what’s emerging from the soil and not the roots, but the way through which it enters the plant, and that’s the foliage is the same for both systemic and contact herbicides. It’s important to note that to kill a weed completely, the herbicide must enter the weed’s leaf to kill the plant from root to tip. If you want to kill the seeds of certain unwanted plants, a systemic herbicide is what you want. It takes complete control of the seeds while replenishing the grass by leaving it unharmed.
Residual weed killers
Residual herbicides are also known as soil acting herbicides. They are much stronger and effective than contact or systemic herbicides because they poison the soil and deplete its fertility. Once you’ve applied this grass killer to a particular lawn area, that area is rendered useless and ineffective for growing all kinds of flowers, weeds, and plants. Commercial residual herbicides are used to clear paths and resist any kind of germination from taking place. However, in place of vegetation, residual weed killers do not interfere with algae or lichens. So, if you’ve used residual herbicides in your lawn, you’ll see green mould taking over on the soil.
We would advise against the use of residual weed killers for your lawns. Instead you might be more comfortable and satisfied using this grass killer on your driveway, patio, or clear paths.
Selective weed killers
A selective weed killer kills a particular (or selective plant). These can be unwanted weeds such as clover, violets, ground ivy, dandelions, creeping crabgrass, plantain, hawkweed, etc. If you’ve heard about lawn weed and feed, then you know that such herbicides target broadleaf weeds such as the ones mentioned above while leaving thin-leafed plants such as grass unharmed. It can be used for perennial weeds that grow horizontally as well as vertically. The best selective weed killer helps you control weed germination for a weed and feed lawn as well. They can be used as pre-emergent weed killers too.
Non-selective weed killers
Non-selective common herbicides come close to residual herbicides since they kill everything and anything that it comes into contact with. This grass killer damages all kinds of plants, flowers, and weeds. Hence, when applying a non-selective weed killer, you might want to use a spray nozzle to target only the weeds you want killed. Moreover, using this herbicide during the summer season is important and in a less windy season. After you use this herbicide, make sure you cover the sprayed areas of your lawn and handle the herbicide container and the spray nozzle cautiously. Certain types of non-selective herbicides are grass killer and can be incredibly dangerous and have an unpleasant smell if used without wearing safety gloves and protective clothing. This can make a good post-emergent weed killer.
Our Best Pick
From a performance stand-point, the Compare-N-Save Concentrate is an excellent choice. It has everything herbicide should have for getting rid of unwanted weeds. It has an instantaneous compatibility with water; all you have to do is mix 3 tablespoons of this concentrate for every 1 gallon of water. It uses a root-killing process which targets the roots of weeds and unwanted grass and not just the stem itself. And for best results, you can use it in broad daylight. A day-time temperature will give this concentrate a boost without leaving any residue behind. The size of the packaging is big enough to last for months. And since it’s a concentrated weed killer, it’s incredibly strong and effective. So, even a small amount would work!
Our Best Step-Up Pick
The Preen Garden Weed Preventer is an efficient and cost-effective choice for most people. Provided that it’s expensive, you can use this in any season including spring, summer, or in fall. There’s a good process to this best weed killer for lawns and it’s up for grabs; no matter how proficient or clueless you are about gardening. It also works for annual or perennial weeds. The easy to use applicator and instructors at the back of the package let you know exactly what to do and what not to do. Each bag covers up to 5000 square ft and it disallows any weed from germinating right from the start. Lastly, it has the ingredients to let you resist weed growth for up to 90 days. You need this best pick to control weed as effectively and efficiently as possible.
Our Best Budget Pick
The Ortho GroundClear Vegetation Killer Concentrate is the cheapest weed killer for lawns that we could find that’s actually good. This best weed preventer contains incredibly powerful active ingredients such as glyphosate and can last for up to 1 whole year in unmatched performance for narrow and broadleaf weeds. You can use this best weed killer for lawns in patios, fences, driveways, and walkways too. That is, if you have some left over. And you’ll notice commendable results in mere hours, and not just days. This pick adds a lot of character to your gardening skills, especially for warm-season grass. You can use this ideal lawn care product with the sprinkling can or tank sprayer (comes with the package) and you’re good to go.
Our Best Pick for Fertilizing Grass and Killing Weeds
Want a weed killer and a fertilizer for lawns? Why buy two separate products when you can have both properties in one? The Scotts Turf Builder Weed Fertilizer is a good dual functioning choice for most people right now for lawns. It adopts a unique Weedgrip technology that penetrates deep into the soil to trap and kill all kinds of visible and hidden weeds all around your lawn. It’s a powerful and effective weed feed which offers clover, ground ivy, and dandelion control too. Now, you have a fresh and fertilized lawn without fussing about plucking unwanted buds and seeds that sprout here and there. This pick improves the quality of your grass while killing unwanted growth and other future weeds.
Our Best Pick for Killing Weed Roots
The Roundup Concentrate Plus 16-Ounce is a weed root killer. It has a much heavy-duty formula strength than most brands – meaning this lawn care product kills weeds faster and prevents future weeds from germinating in its place. This lawn weedkiller for lawns is waterproof and effective for long-term maintenance. If you have plenty of flowerbeds in your lawn and are in need of something appropriate that would work for your lawn and the flowerbed, this is what you need to buy. The Roundup also works as a pre-emergent herbicide. It also remains effective around fences and driveways. So, if you’re preparing a significant grow of all kinds of flower and vegetables in your lawn, this concentrate will keep the unwanted weed growths away for a weed-free lawn. It’s one of the best postemergence herbicides on the market for lawns.
Our Best Pick for Fast-Acting Performance
We haven’t found any weed killer as quick-to-action as the PBI/Gordon 652400 Speed Zone. It contains powerful active ingredients that kills weed faster and effectively in lawn grasses. Each pack prevents germination from 14000 to 18000 square feet. And since it’s a concentrated mix, using small quantities is necessary. The best part about this lawn care product is that it can be used in colder climates. For example, Tall Fescue is a grass species that thrives during the winter seasons. So if you have tons of creeping dandelion, violets, and clovers that are slowly taking over your lawn, you need this to help you get it back. It takes not longer than 12 hours to take effect and is probably the only choice that’s better than local weed-free lawns solutions.
Our Best Pick for Organic Use
The Espoma Organic Weed Preventer comes with organic substances made from corn gluten that prevents and destroys weeds. It also contains nitrogen which enhances grass growth and thickens the sprout. However, this corn gluten meal product does not have the same effect on weed grasses. The best way to use this organic weed killer is to apply it once in 6 months for a year. It can be used during the spring and fall season. And it yields the best results by killing the germination in the roots of plants and the grass seeds such as dandelions before they can transform into weed seedling. Another best quality about this organic lawn care herbicide is that it’s safe around children and pets. It is one of the best organic weed killers on the market.
Our Best Pick for All Weed Types
The Spectracide 95834 Weed Stop is a more selective choice for most people. It kills grassy weed without harming the purity and thickness of lawns. And it’s kills most types of weeds in an effective manner, leaving no residues behind. This is the best type of weed killer for lawns for broader weeds. What this means is that some grassy weed roots are so dense and thick that a standard weed killer won’t be able to penetrate and destroy it. But these broadleaf herbicides can. Each container can kill up to 16000 square feet of weeds such as dandelions. And if you’re looking to revamp your lawn, you need to apply this Spectracide weed killer within 24 hours after seeding. It’s a strong concentrate so you it’s better to keep children and pets at a safe distance away from the lawn.
Our Best Pick for Home Use
The Roundup 5725070 Extended Control is an advanced competitor with dual-action formula and rainproofing for all grass types. It shows results in just hours and has an extended control package which kills and prevent annual weeds growth. It targets roots of both unwanted grass and weeds. All you have to do is combine the concentrate with a refill bottle. The pumping mechanism keeps the weeds away for good so you can extensively target at what you want to kill. This has the best applicator use on the market. Making it a convenient and efficient weed killer for lawns. You can use perfect weed control product along the lawns fences, flower beds, patio, driveway, and near the sideway. If you have construction a walkway through your weed-free lawn, you can also reduce the total amount of weeds growing in the cracks.
Our Best Pick for Broadleaf Weeds
The Southern Ag 4-D Amine Weed Killer is a particular broadleaf weed killer and not a grass killer. It contains active ingredients that target broadleaf weeds in lawns such as crabgrass and dandelions. This lawn weed control product also works with pastures, perennial ryegrass and other turf grass. It’s also good for getting rid of unwanted stems near fences and roadways. We think this would make a good competitor for anyone looking daily garden and lawns maintenance. Plus, its activated formula speaks for itself since it takes mere hours to show full effect. It helps to kill dandelions, hawkweed, plantain, clover, crabgrass, and violets with this concentrate. Plus, this crabgrass killer works best when you use it several times in a month, if want broadleaf weed control. If you want extreme crabgrass weed control, opt for the ortho weed-b-gon product. It is specially formulated to kill crabgrass weeds that are damaging your lawn.
If you think your lawn is healthy, one inspection will get rise to all kinds of unwanted weeds you need to get rid of immediately. No matter how well-maintained your lawn looks or your grass type, it’s no surprise that it is still a breeding ground for weeds. That’s why you need the right weed and crabgrass killer for keeping your lawns away from unwanted plants. You can apply all kinds of selective and non-selective herbicides. Finding the best herbicide is a challenge for most people, especially for those who have prior knowledge about gardening.
Frequently Asked Questions
- What are the safety rules for using a weed killer?
- Using a chemical weed killer is not child’s play. It requires persistence and attention to detail. That said, for an effective and safe use of herbicides, here’s what you need to know. (1)
- Do not use herbicides when you do not have the need for it. If you’re doing your annual lawns maintenance, unless you want to get rid of excessive and creeping weeds in your lawn, do no unnecessarily spray a herbicide on your lawn. That said, there are natural and less harmful ways of killing certain kinds of weed seeds with the help of digging or mowing or mulching. Not all lawns maintenance requires the use of weed killers.
- Look for the right active ingredient or chemicals for killing weeds. Some weed seedlings can be destroyed using preemergence herbicides only. And the only way you can buy the right product is by reading the label at the back of the product of your choice. If it suits your requirements in terms of chemical effectiveness and durability, then that’s your ticket.
- Never buy for more than a single season. Buying in bulk is certainly cost-effective, but it’s not the ideal choice for lawns maintenance.
- If you’re using a harsh chemical weed killer, make sure you have your safety gloves on when spraying and handling weeds.
- Not all herbicides are manufactured the same. Hence, it’s important to familiarize yourself with the correct method of applying the herbicide on the weeds.
- Know when and how to spray the herbicide. Consistently spraying herbicides on your lawns can damage the grass which you do not want. This is an important step for controlling and preventing the growth of weeds on lawns.
- Even if you think it’s right, mixing 2 chemicals together is wrong and can have dangerous effects. Unless it’s prescribed to you by a professional or by the brand you’re choosing, mixing 2 herbicides together is considered illegal.
- If you’re sensitive to chemicals, make sure you wear eye protection goggles when spraying herbicides. If they come into contact with your eyes, wash your eyes immediately to avoid burning or itching.
- Do not wear the same clothes you wore while spraying the herbicide inside your home. Inhaling the chemical can interfere with your respiratory system, especially if you have allergies. Wear clean clothes after washing.
- For the safety of your family, keep children and pets away for a few hours during and after the herbicide application process.
- It’s important to moisten the bud, stem, and underside of the weed completely with the herbicide. That’s how you know the herbicide will do its job.
- Do not use the herbicide on extremely windy, wet, or humid days. Make sure it’s bright and sunny when you use it. This step works effectively when you want to get rid of weeds on Bermuda grass. Bermuda grass is a warm season grass so it requires hotter climates. For colder climates, annual Bluegrass is the ideal choice.
- Keep the apparatus that you used for spraying away from all other gardening tools. Do not use the same tools you used that came into contact with the chemical weed killer for other gardening purposes.
- Make sure the herbicide is stored in an airtight container and away from direct sunlight. You can keep them in their original containers in a dry and dark place.
- What’s the difference between herbicides and pesticides?
- Herbicides, pesticides, and fungicides are all substances manufactured to kill infects, plants, fungi, and fungi diseases. Knowing the difference between them is key to understanding what goes behind taking care of your garden.
Herbicides, as discussed previously, is a chemical substance manufactured to kill plant growths. It is feed to plants and soil to kill unwanted weeds, flowers, other plants. There are many types of herbicides such as non-selective herbicide, pre-emergent herbicide, post-emergence herbicide, organic herbicides, etc.
Pesticides are chemical substances are used to control the growth of weeds. Like herbicides, they also help with narrow and broadleaf weed control. While herbicides are used to kill them, pesticides are used to protect them while prevent them from growing actively. To put into simple terms, pesticides are weed growth regulators. They offer incredible protection against insects, fungi, and other plants. A pesticide is a chemical agent used to incapacitate a fungi or a pest or an insect from damaging a plant. So, they are capable of stopping the spread of fungi or pest diseases to other plants. (2)
A fungicide is a chemical or biological substance which is manufactured to kill fungi species, parasites, and their kind. It inhibits not the growth of weeds, but the growth of fungi on the weeds. Fungi is dangerous to vegetable as it destroys the quality, efficiency, and profit of plants. Hence, such chemical control can prevent the plants from rotting or yielding lower quality results in terms of agricultural produce. This helps grass retain better water and keep the soil healthy for longer. You will some of the common fungicides in the form of eradicants or protectants. It stops the spread of diseases specifically symptomatic of the spread of fungi which leaves behind toxic residue.
Another aspect of killing unwanted germs, parasites, and insects before they take over healthy plants and trees is insecticides. What most of you don’t know is that an insecticide is a common pesticide which is used to kill mites, insects, slugs, snails, and other common types of insects. They are designed to specifically kill insects, just as how fungicides kill fungi. (3)
Just as how herbicides kill plants, pesticides control the growth of plants, and fungicides fill fungi diseases, fertilizers have the opposite effect on plants. While herbicides, pesticides, and fungicides deprive plants of something, a weed and feed fertilizer offers healthy nutrients to them.
They fertilize the soil for producing healthier and more “profitable” vegetable including flowers, grains, fruits, and vegetables. You can opt for organic and inorganic fertilizers to boost the growth of plants and ensure their safety from environmental factors. The most common types of inorganic fertilizers are nitrogen fertilizers, potassium fertilizers, and phosphorus fertilizers. (4)
On an ending note, there are various non-toxic options for herbicides. This is because certain types of chemical substances used in herbicides, pesticides, and other “cides” can leave behind toxic residue. But this is possible only when you use a chemical substance long enough. According to the FDA and Environmental Protection Agency standards, the use of herbicides on edible plants is a growing concern for many people. Hence, natural ways of killing weeds on lawns is being thought of and implemented to reduce the environmental and health impact of such toxic substances.
- How do herbicides destroy weeds?
- A narrow and broadleaf herbicide kills weeds in different ways. Some are weed killers and some function as a weed and grass killer. This can be before or after germination or it can be based on the weather and herbicide resistance. Let’s find out.
The first thing you need to look at is what herbicides target when aiming to kill weeds in lawns. This can either be the top half of the weed, the lower half of the weed, or all the weed’s cell structures. Most herbicides come with substances that mimic plant hormones to kill all cell structures of a plant. This means it destroys all enzymes and cell processes of the plant in the stem, bud, and foliage right down to its roots.
On the other hand, herbicides are also designed to target the photosynthesis of certain types of grassy weeds. They restrict the plant’s ability through the stomata to take in sunlight energy as their food energy. Similarly, herbicides can also disrupt the plant’s metabolism process by restricting or depleting the plant’s ability to synthesize amino acid which they metabolize and convert into energy needed for daily nourishment and growth. These are the primary methods of destruction for warm-season grasses.
The next process is the time of application which includes pre-planting, pre-emergence, and post-emergence. We have discussed all key advantages and disadvantages of each at the beginning of this article, but here’s a quick run-through for each.
The pre-planting stage is when the herbicide is put inside the soil to completely prevent the growth of weeds.
Pre-emergence herbicide is used is when the pre-emergent weed control chemical is put on the soil’s surface as soon as the weed starts to seed toward the soil’s opening. It can be used for narrow and broadleaf weeds.
The post-emergence stage is when the plant is actively growing and has developed a stem, bud, and leaves which are producing from the grass. The herbicide is put directly on the plant’s body so it is absorbed through the stomata and destroys the plant’s cell structure.It can be used for both narrow and broadleaf weeds.
- What is herbicide resistance?
Herbicide resistance is when the weeds become accustomed and hence resistant to certain chemical weed killers. This usually happens due to natural selection or the fact that you’ve over-used chemical weed killers on the lawn grass. The only way to tackle this is to use herbicides with different modes of action. By combining different methods such as mulching, mowing, or pulling weeds away from the soil or the grass before or after using an appropriate herbicide can kill weeds more effectively. (5)
- Why is weed control important?
- Weed control has its roots since ancient times. It’s the only way to control the growth of unwanted weeds and injurious grassy weeds. And the use of a pre-emergent and post-emergent herbicide is the only way to promote weed control in household and commercial properties. It stops the germination of plant species that can deplete the fertility or quality of other plants. The most common and traditional means of weed control are mulching, wilting, burning, or using chemical substances such as herbicide for complete control and prevention of weeds.
One of the most common weed killers on the market is glyphosate which is used for multiple environmental studies. This best post emergent herbicide has been widely used for environmental purposes, which includes to kill, prevent, and resist the growth of unwanted weeds on grass, farms, large fields, and on lawns. (6)
Wrapping it Up
The Compare-N-Save Concentrate is a versatile product which kills weeds efficiently without harming the grass. Whether you have weeds growing near the fence, pathway, driveway, or near the grass, this best weed killer takes care of every broadleaf weeds. It takes effect in 5 hours and is safe for puppy, kids, and other pets.