It’s important to choose a good weed killer, we have reviewed the best lawn weed killers for a variety of situations and preferences.
Weed killers have come along way over the past 30 years, they are now very sophisticated and are designed to only kill specific weed families, more importantly, they are a lot safer for home use.
The best Weed killers target enzymes that are responsible for the formation of fat, halting the development of cells. The enzymes promoting the growth of cells in broad-leafed plants are different from those in grassy plants. As such, the best lawn weed killers can target and disrupt one type of enzyme and not harm the other.
However, if you choose to use a lawn weed killer, ensure you select one suited for your situation, and always follow label instructions. With lawn weed killers, more does not always mean better. You need to use the exact amount written on the label. Understand how long the lawn weed killer you choose takes to work, and whether or not it can kill grass as well. Following these and other control tips will help you kill weeds while still maintaining healthy grass. I have selected a list of effective lawn weed killers to suit a variety of situations.
Table of Contents
Best Lawn Weed Killer
- Compare-N-Save Concentrate Grass
- Syngenta Tenacity Turf Herbicide
Pet Safe Lawn Weed Killer
- Green Gobbler Ultimate Vinegar Home & Garden
- Preen Vegetable Garden Weed Preventer
Natural Lawn Weed Killers
- Natural Amor Weed Killer
- Espoma Organic Weed Preventer
Home Made Lawn Weed Killer
- Vinegar Homemade Weed Killer
- Boiling Water
What Is a Weed?
Before delving into discussing the best weed killers for your lawn, it is essential first to understand what weeds are and why you do not want them on your lawn.
A weed is a wild plant (which no one cultivates deliberately) that grows where it is unwanted.
So, any plant you find on your lawn, which you know you didn’t cultivate, and you don’t want there, is a weed, regardless of how nice it looks. Having a beautiful lawn is something that everybody desires, so be careful not to allow those weeds to turn your lawn into an ugly, uneven field that you won’t want to look at twice.
Weeds on your lawn cause problems because of competing with the grass for water, nutrients, and light. When grass lacks enough nutrients, light, and water, it cannot grow healthy. Weeds also create a favorable environment for the breeding of other pests that can destroy the grass.
How Lawn Weed killers Work
You can control weeds biologically, mechanically, culturally, and chemically. A weed killer (herbicide) is a substance containing chemicals used to control weeds chemically. The use of lawn weed killers to control weeds has been a vital tool for many years. While weed killers are famous, few individuals understand how these substances work to control weeds. Best applied with a lawn spreader to ensure the recommended amount is used.
Different types of weed killers work differently;
These weed killers contain several chemicals (MCPA, 2, 4-D, fluroxypyr, mecoprop-P, dicamba, and clopyralid). These chemicals imitate plant hormones to cause stunted development when used on weeds. Hormone-type herbicides are selective weed killers, meaning that they target weeds with broad leaves and leave plants with narrow leaves (grass) undamaged at the standard dilution rate, a characteristic that makes it perfect for lawns.
Hormone-Type Herbicides are foliar-acting, and when applied to foliage, they move down to weeds’ roots. Hormone-type lawn weed killers also remain in the soil for some weeks after you use them, meaning they are residual herbicides.
Systemic Lawn Weed Killers
These weed killers are non-residual and non-selective as they contain glyphosate. Glyphosate destroys those deep-rooted perennial weeds by preventing them from creating proteins necessary for development. When you use these weed killers on the foliage, they move deep into the weeds’ root system.
Contact Lawn Weed Killers
These weed killers destroy weeds by contact action that inhibits redevelopment. Contact herbicides do not remain in the soil after you apply them, and they are non-selective. They kill weeds by burning off weed foliage. They are ready-to-use and suitable for controlling perennial weed sprouts and annual weeds.
Residual Lawn Weed Killers
Using residual herbicides and glyphosate (systemic herbicides) can either destroy weeds through the soil or foliage application. Residual weed killers remain in the ground for up to months, depending on the active ingredients’ properties.
Some residual weed killers are suitable for use around plants, while some are only suited for uncultivated areas or concrete surfaces. Always read the label on a residual weed killer before application.
Soil-Applied Lawn Weed Killers
These are the weed killers applied directly to the soil before a weed germinates (pre-emergence). The roots of emerging weeds absorb these herbicides. When using a soil-applied lawn weed killer, it is vital to position it in the correct soil layer. If placed too close to the surface, you risk reducing its availability by exposing it to rain, wind, and other factors.
Note that the interaction between the soil and weed killers depends on the following;
- weed killer characteristics
- type of soil, pH and organic substance and
- available soil moisture
Other important details you should note about soil-applied weed killers are that they;
- can have varying activity and residual levels
- might need incorporation to decrease photodegradation and volatilization
- are broken down by soil microorganisms
- are broken down faster under moist and warm conditions
Foliar-Applied Lawn Weed killers
Some weed killers don’t have soil activity since weed roots can’t take them up when applied to the soil, but they have foliar activity. You apply lawn weed killers with foliar activity to the leafy part of weeds. For effectiveness, such weed killers need to travel from the leafy part of the weed to the target place, located inside the cytoplasm.
All organelles essential for the life of weeds live in the cytoplasm. When you spray a weed killer on the leaves, you place a high concentration of chemicals on the leafy parts. Chemicals usually move from places of high concentration to areas of low concentration. Therefore, immediately you spray such weed killers on weeds, chemical absorption starts.
Best Lawn Weed Killers
With so many weed killers in the market, deciding which one is the best is often a daunting task.
To make your life easy, here are our top 2 lawn weed killers that guarantee to get the job done;
Compare-N-Save Concentrate Grass
This weed killer contains 41% glyphosate, making it one of those weed killers that can kill both grass and weeds. Be careful not to kill your grass when using this chemical. It is highly effective in killing perennial and annual weeds.
Compare-N-Save Concentrate Grass comes in the package of a gallon, which has a pleasant design. On the gallon, you will find prescription particulars. You can dilute the chemical using gallons of water since it is highly concentrated. A gallon of this chemical is enough to cover 25,000 square feet.
Through obstructing specific plant enzymes, the chemical manages to perform its duty effectively.
Usually 2 to 4 days
Why We Recommend It
- Effectively kills weeds
- Fairly cheap
- Huge coverage per liter
- Can be used on patios, lawn, or walkways
Syngenta Tenacity Turf Herbicide
Tenacity contains 40% Mesotrione and works to kill weeds before and even after they emerge. It targets dandelion, clover, carpetweed, chickweed, goosegrass, among many others. When you apply Tenacity as a pre-emergent, the weeds absorb it during their emergence from the soil.
Why We Recommend It
- Kills weeds during both the pre-emergence and post-emergence stage
Pet Safe Weed Killer
Much as you need to kill those stubborn weeds on your lawn, you also want to protect your pets. If you have a pet, select pet safe weed killers. Below are two pet safe weed killers that you can try;
Green Gobbler Ultimate Vinegar Home & Garden
This weed killer is vinegar-based, meaning that it is a safe alternative to use if you have pets. However, the vinegar is not the one you know from your pantry. The vinegar in Green Gobbler’s Ultimate Vinegar Home & Garden is made from corn and is more concentrated. The vinegar in this weed killer is at 20% concentration, making it more acidic.
Why We Recommend It
- Reports claim that it kills weeds within 24 hours
- Comes with a spray nozzle that works efficiently
- Comes ready to use (no need to dilute it before use).
Preen Vegetable Garden Weed Preventer
Preen is a natural garden and lawn product, made from corn gluten meal, meaning that it is pet-safe. As the name suggests, Preen Vegetable Garden Weed Preventer will stop those stubborn weeds from emerging but doesn’t kill weeds that have already emerged.
You can use this weed preventer several times in one year, as its design allows you to do so. You may choose to use it several times to prevent weeds from sprouting up throughout the year.
Since this product does not destroy already grown weeds, it also cannot destroy your lawn. The corn gluten meal will work as fertilizer.
Why We Recommend It
- Corn gluten meal (the single ingredient used) is safe for your pet
- Improves the health of people’s lawn and garden plants
If you want to avoid harmful pollutants and chemicals, you can always use natural weed killers. These weed killers not only kill the weeds but also keeps your garden healthy.
Here are two natural weed killers you can use;
Natural Armor Weed Killer
The natural Armor Weed Killer is eco-friendly and contains several ingredients that are entirely natural such as citric acid, salt, vinegar, clove oil, and glycerin. The combination of these natural ingredients makes a lethal cocktail for stubborn weeds.
Not only is this product useful for killing weeds, but it will kill them within 24 hours of use. It comes in a spray container that is easy to use, and the weed killer requires no diluting.
Please note that this weed killer can destroy grass too, so remember to take caution when using Natural Armor Weed Killer.
Why We Recommend It
- All-natural weed killer
- Works fast
- Comes in a container that’s easy to use
Espoma Organic Weed Preventer
Espoma Organic Weed Preventer contains corn gluten meal; therefore, a preventer rather than a cure. It will not work on already germinated weeds, but will effectively destroy those that have not yet emerged.
Use the product twice a year (in the spring and the fall).
Apart from preventing the growth of weeds, Espoma will provide your lawn with nitrogen. The nitrogen will make your grass lusher and greener. Your pets and kids can also play in the yard even if it is immediately after application.
Why We Recommend It
- Provides nutrients to the lawn
Home Made Weed Killer
Sometimes you need a fast solution, and other times you do not have the money to purchase a weed killer. It is during such times that a homemade weed killer comes in handy.
Consider using these two homemade weed killers on your lawn; you might be impressed.
Vinegar Homemade Weed Killer
For this weed killer, you require one gallon of white vinegar, a tablespoon of dish soap, and one cup of salt. Please note that you should only use salt when you do not plan to replant in an area.
When spraying a small area, use a spray bottle and shoot a stream through the nozzle. When spraying a large area, make sure you do not go crazy on the spraying by using an appropriate tool.
The use of boiling water is cheap, effective, simple, and free of any chemicals. Ensure you always get close to the weed and pour the water slowly to avoid splashing. Using boiling water does not kill weed roots; therefore, the weeds can always re-grow. The option of using boiling water is not a permanent one, but only one you should use when you do not have another option.
How to Safely Use Weed Killers
Even though your objective is to kill all those weeds in your yard, you need to apply caution to ensure your garden remains green and your occupants are protected. Here are a few tips you should employ;
- Properly read the labels
- Wear protective equipment
- If mixing is required, only mix as advised
- If necessary, device way on how to keep pets, children and other individuals away from the treated zones
- Finally, properly lock up your products after use
Weeds are nagging and frustrating. Even worse, they compromise your lawn’s health by competing for nutrients, water, and sunlight. Weed killers are the ideal solution for your weed dilemma.
If you were worried about affecting your pets with chemicals, now you know that there are pet safe weed killers you can use. If you lack the money to buy a chemical weed killer at this time, you can always make weed killers at home. Your lawn is about to look like a million bucks.