You might already know it, but a great-looking lawn is not just the result of home-owner vanity. It actually has functional and economic value. In terms of function, the lawn helps lower the ambient temperature of the property. This results in lower electricity usage in hot summers. Additionally, a healthy lawn contributes to the stability of the property, protecting it against eroding. In terms of property value, lawns increase curb appeal, helping toward faster sales. Finally, in terms of emotional well-being, a healthy, green lawn is known to help reduce stress.
That said, weeds exist.
The sole purpose of weeds is the same as any other thing: to proliferate. This goal is something weeds are very good at achieving. Within any season, a healthy lawn can be overrun by weeds. If the weeds are not removed, they can result in a patchy lawn that looks horrible. However, if they are allowed to take over, they will out-compete the lawn for nourishment, resulting in increased expenses and efforts to repair. However, when it is time to get rid of weeds, buying the best weed killer can be one of the most complicated requirements known to lawn-loving humankind.
Categories of weed killer
When it comes to types, there are two general types of weed killer. The first is contact, which kills weeds on contact. The second is systemic, which penetrates the weeds, typically through the root system, and kills the weeds from within.
Chemical versus all-natural
Within these two broad categories of weed killers, there are two additional categories: chemical and all-natural. Both are intended to contain substances harmful to weeds and less harmful to people, animals, and lawn.
In terms of weed killers, many chemical-based, however, are made of so many different chemicals, you must know your main ingredient to make an informed choice. The main ingredients are the chemicals known to kill weeds.
All natural weed killers create an environment hostile to weeds. For instance, increasing the salt or ammonia levels in the lawn can kill weeds and leave the lawn standing.
For smaller areas, weed killers can be manually sprayed via a spray bottle. However, for larger areas, it is best to find a weed killer that comes in a hose-connector-equipped bottle. These types of bottles allow you to hook up a hose channel water through the bottle where it mixes with weed killer. This mixture then sprays out of the bottle. Powered by the force of your water hose, these bottles can fan weed killer out over a large area.
IMPORTANT: commercial tips for the average home user
You might wonder why landscapers are able to apply weed killer via one of those commercial-grade metal canisters to achieve lush, green lawns. The secret is not what is in the canister. Instead, the secret is the mix.
Weed killer is regulated. Commercial landscapers do not use stronger poison. That is illegal. Commercial landscapers use a cocktail, consisting of two or more readily available weed killers. Combined, this cocktail of mixed, active ingredients obliterates all the weeds in one pass.
The key, of course, is to purchase two types of weed killer, each with a different active ingredient. Unless you have a container that you can mix them in, you will have to apply the weed killer in two passes. This extra effort notwithstanding, the result is a lawn you can enjoy for the rest of the season.
Best Weed Killer Reviews
The Extended Control Weed and Grass Killer from Roundup is comprised of a dual-action formula that eliminates existing weeds and prevents new weed growth for up to four months. It is a on-contact weed killer in that it is a specially design formula that soaks in and kills weeds right to the root.
The included comfort wand provides a one-touch, continuous spray for easy application. In fact, the pump-and-go design provides 10 minutes of continuous spraying, eliminating the hand fatigue experienced with other brands. It also includes a trigger spray that allows application to one weed shoot at a time.
Finally, the sure-shot wand is specially design with a protective shield that allows users to treat weeds in areas such as flower beds–without harming the surrounding plants. Additionally, the wand is extra long, making weed treatment that much easier. For instance, with this wand, you can insert the tip between bushes and spray at the root of weeds buried near the ground.
Perhaps one of the best options is that it is rain-proof within just a few minutes. This is important because sometimes you can spray. If a storm rolls through the area that evening, however, many weed killers wash into the ground.
- comfort wand eliminates hand fatigue
- visible results in three hours
- continuous spray
- rainproof in 10 minutes
- trigger spray
- may not be safe around pets
This all-natural weed-and-grass killer from Natural Armor is free of glyphosate, chemicals, and other toxins. That said, it is deadly to weeds. For instance, as one of the best eco-friendly, weed-and-grass killers, this non-toxic formula kills more than 250 types of weeds and grasses.
There is no need to mix or dilute this formula. All you have to do is simply start spraying. Even better–reapplications are a thing of the past with this weed and grass killer as it works the first time. Additionally, it is perfect to use absolutely anywhere. This includes, but is not limited to, such places as pool areas, flower beds, and wells.
Finally, it will not contaminate ground water or harm fish, mammals, or birds.
- non-toxic, eco-friendly, and biodegradable
- kills over 250 weeds and grasses
- money-back guarantee
- reapplications not necessary
- might take multiple applications for dandelions
This 100 percent, all-natural weed killer from Green Gobbler is made from vinegar. That said, it is a bit different from the type you might find in your pantry. For instance, it is four times stronger than table vinegar, and it is mixed with ethanol distilled directly from corn grown in the United States.
To kill weeds, all you have to do is simply apply it to any unwanted weeds. Within just a few hours, you will begin to see results, and within 24 hours, all treated weeds will be completely shriveled. Because of its effective, quick action, it is perfect for use on a variety of weeds, such as dandelions, clover, and thistle.
Because this product is made from vinegar and does not contain harmful chemicals, you can rest assured that you can safely use Green Gobbler anywhere unwanted weeds and grasses grow. More important, you can be sure your loved ones and pets will not be harmed.
- certified for organic use
- free of cancer-causing chemicals
- 30-day money-back guarantee
- safe around animals and humans
- glyphosate free
- no VOCs
- This is a non-selective, contact-killer formula. Be sure to only apply to unwanted weeds and grasses.
Great for use on larger areas, this weed killer from Southern Ag provides a use rate of one to four pints per acre. It can be applied to most broad-leaf weeds found anywhere along pastures, ranges, and banks.
This weed-prevention formula acts as a pre-emergent herbicide–designed to target weeds before they germinate. Additionally, it is also designed for application later in the growing season, just before weeds have gone to seed.
- pre- and post-emergent herbicide
- kills most broad-leaf weeds
- two to three tablespoons cover 1,000 sf
- requires it to be poured into a sprayer
Must be applied with a coarse, low-pressure spray. A fan-type nozzle is recommended to attain the specified coverage. Additionally, a fan-spray nozzle is necessary for controlled application around plants that you do not want to kill.
As the name denotes, this weed killer is for use only in areas in which absolutely no vegetation is wanted. The combination of two herbicides in RM43 effectively obliterates unwanted vegetation for up to one year.
RM43 is also an excellent choice for spot control of vines and weeds that grow along fences, in vacant lots, and roadsides. It will cover up to 43,243 sf.
- prevents regrowth up to one year
- kills at the root
- prevents regrowth up to 12 months
- rain-proof in two hours
- safe for animals and people when dry
- makes up to 53 gallons for spot treatments
- cannot be applied in root zone of desirable shrubs, plants, and trees
For individuals looking for a completely different approach to killing weeds, the Weed Torch from Houseables delivers. This ingenious method is powered by MAPP or propane gas. The self-igniting, quick-start trigger is adjustable, allowing for a large or small flame.
All that is required is a small MAPP or propane cylinder. All you need to do next is affix it to the end of the Weed Torch, squeeze the trigger, and start burning those unwanted weeds. The control valve allows you to regulate the pressure of the flame, ensuring you are always in control.
Additionally, the Weed Torch includes a slip-resistant, foam-padded handle. It is expertly designed for maximum comfort and balance to help you safely complete the most detailed of weed burning tasks.
For ease of use, the 34-inch flame provides users with enough range, making tiresome crouching and bending unnecessary. Additionally, the Weed Torch can be used for a variety of other outdoor jobs, such as grill ignition, blacktop repair, and insect control.
Of course, it is recommended that you let the system cool off before storing it. When you store it, it is also recommended the space is well-ventilated.
- no harmful chemicals
- immediate results
- 20,000 BTU
- ergonomic handle
- not for large weed counts
- propane or MAPP gas cylinder not included
Doctor Kirchner’s weed killer is a safe alternative to herbicides. As such it is safe to the environment, people, and animals. In fact, this weed killer is made from commercial-grade vinegar and ocean water. In terms of weed killing, it comes ready to use with absolutely no need for mixing.
This is a non-selective weed killer that kills invasive weeds to their roots. The only method is to spray weeds until they are completely soaked. Within hours, you will see them start to whither. However, some grassier weeds can take 12 to 24 hours before turning brown.
- contains ocean water
- fast acting
- does not stain
- safety gear not required
- available in spray bottle or up to 5 gallons
- Some weeds may need additional application.
Foundation beds are a great way to enhance curb appeal. However, weeds are notorious for invading and overtaking these types of beds, leaving the once beautiful flowers an unseemly mess. Excessive weeds are also a fantastic breeding ground for insects.
Because Preen is design to attack the seeds, it effectively stops weeds before they grow. Additionally, the included shaker applicator makes application simple and easy. In terms of seasonal use, it can be used in three seasons: spring, summer, or fall. Finally, it also kills over a dozen insects on contact. For instance, it stops foraging ants before they invade your home.
Preen is not for use near water, on lawns, or in vegetable gardens.
- also kills ticks, ants, and fleas
- one-step application
- covers 1,000 sf
- protects up to four months
- removal of existing weeds before application is recommended
The All-in-One Lawn, Weed, and Crabgrass Killer from Bayer kills annoying weeds right at their roots. When used as directed, it will effectively eliminate more than 200 types of broad-leaf weeds, including dandelion, clover, and chickweed.
Additionally, All-in-One will stop crabgrass from invading your lawn while leaving your beautiful grass unharmed. Following application, it is recommended that users wait to mow their lawn for a minimum of one to two days.
- kills over 200 broad-leaf weeds
- safe for a variety of grasses
- rain-proof in one hour
- treats up to 5,000 sf
- application near cistern or well may contaminate drinking water
GroundClear from Ortho expertly attacks weeds at the roots. It also prevents weed re-growth for up to a year. For proper use, simply fill your sprayer or watering can, and spray on actively growing weeds. This fast-acting weed killer will show results within six hours.
Additionally, it is perfect to use in a variety of areas, such as fence lines, driveways, and sidewalks. Finally, GroundClear treats five times more area then the previous formula.
- improved formula covers more area
- can apply with tank sprayer or watering can
- rainproof in one hour
- sprayer not included
Note: if you use the Dial-N-Spray from Ortho, you need to ensure you set it to eight.