Nobody likes to see plants desecrating his garden and when organic options aren’t working, weed killers remain the only option to keep your garden under control. Apart from diminishing the recreational, aesthetic, and decorative uses of the land such as golf courses and landscaping, weeds compete with the endemic, desired, and cultivated plants by devouring their nutrients for its own usage. Also, some plants might produce burrs or thorns, hence causing irritation to the skin of animals and humans. Finally, some plants are also categorized as poisonous.
Top rated pesticides for weed control
To prevent unwanted plants from growing and destroying your lawn, herbicides are typically the only working solution. Although different weed killers have different modes of operation – such as some might prevent the plants from growing after destroying them while others only limit their task to destruction, all of them can be used depending on your requirement. Taking the usefulness of grass killers into our consideration, we have decided to review the top 10 best options on the market.
Talking about this product and it falls into the category of those herbicides which only kill the plants that are actively growing. That is to say that if you want to kill pre-emergent plants– i.e. dormant weeds or seeds, this product won’t be useful to you. That said, the popularity enjoyed by this product confirms that you can use it for a wide range of unwanted plants irrespective of their types.
Turning our attention to its type and it is systemic in nature. These type of weed killers work to destroy the grass to its entirety. It enters through the foliage of the plant and makes its way all the way through its root. As they reach the roots before showing their effectiveness so they can take a little time before showing their effectiveness.
However, if you are wondering whether the root-reaching predilection of this chemical might harm your soil, rest assured that it would leave the surrounding soil totally unaffected.
Another notable feature of this product is that it uses glyphosate. Being the most commonly used in the industry, glyphosate is now characterized as an agrochemical. That is, apart from the weeds which you intend to kill with it, this herbicide will leave all the others undeterred. Moreover, it won’t prevent any future or new growth. Those living in ornamental areas can replant new plants in the treated area within a day after the spray.
Thus, if you have weeds amid a host of plants which you want to destroy, the selective action employed by this herbicide will only kill the grass while leaving the plants as they are.
The aforementioned feature increases the versatility of this plant killer. Talking about ordinary weed killers and you could only spray them on isolated areas where there are no plants in the vicinity. This one, however, could be sprayed along fences to remove any excretions and ensure that your property remains tamed.
One complaint which you might have noticed about herbicides is that they aren’t rain proof. A small rain shower could decimate their effectiveness. Thankfully, this herbicide is rainproof for as long as two hours of its application. Thus, if you have a forecast that it would rain in the evening, you could apply it during the noon and rest assured that your money won’t go waste.
Another complaint which users have when using such products is that they get less effective with age. This one is different provided you take care of it. It has a shelf life of almost three years provided you don’t expose it to direct sunlight and ensure that it remains sealed. If not, the product could get useless within much less time.
If you have a large acreage where weeds are continuously threatening you, this product deserves your attention. Containing 50.2% glyphosate, this weed preventer is as concentrated as they get and although the manufacturer says that it will stop grass from regenerating, my personal experience suggests that it will, at worse, delay the formation of weeds. Also, since it is so concentrated, you better watch out before spraying it in and around your flower beds because it is indiscriminate in action.
Just like the first product of this review, it falls under the category of systemic weed killers. After making its way through the foliage of the plant, it then goes to the root to destroy it in its entirety. Since its action is so complicated, it will be almost a week before results would start to get visible.
That isn’t to say that you shouldn’t let anybody approach the area for that time period. In fact, if there is a chance of raining outside, the manufacturer says that it is rainproof just for the first 30 minutes. Still, being over cautious, I would recommend spraying it at least one to two hours before the forecast time.
Industry manufacturers can not know it but pets contribute immensely to whether their products will be a hit or a miss. If pets start to get allergies from them, it is likely that their owner would never purchase it.
If you have a pet who just can’t keep himself under control, make sure that it doesn’t reach near the treated area for as long as the herbicide remains wet. Afterward, let him loose.
This weed killer has specifically been designed for what they call as broad scale treatment. This treatment is used to kill weeds from a large area such as a whole garden or an acreage. Apart from its quantity which makes this herbicide suitable for this purpose, it is the concentration of glyphosate – just over 50% – which epitomizes its usefulness over covering large areas.
However, the fact that it has been designed for large areas doesn’t mean that it won’t overkill. To prevent it from damaging useful plants in your garden and/or acreage, it is recommended that you use a sprayer or watering can.
Looking at the timescale for which it would remain effective after one spray, a conservative guess would be six to eight weeks. If you are lucky, you might never have to spray it again. Finally, for those of you who are planning to kill the weeds in a vegetable garden, this herbicide isn’t very safe for the very fact that it is so concentrated. Besides, glyphosate is NOT recommended to spray on anything edible.
All in all, if you have a large acreage to cover, don’t want the weeds to sprout back in the foreseeable future, and want a chemical substance that is indiscriminate in action, this herbicide from Roundup has got your back.
Both of the above herbicides did their work with aplomb yet they left one important thing to be desired: you can’t use them in your vegetable plant because their poison would render the whole vegetation useless. Thus, if you have a lawn where vegetables are in abundance – and weeds are sprouting to destroy its aesthetics and affect the growth of vegetables, you cannot use them. Thankfully, you can use this product from Espoma for the said purposes. Thanks to its low concentration, discriminating treatment, and granulated nature, it is safe to use on your lawn.
It is a selective herbicide in a sense that it will only kill a particular type of weeds – mentioned on the back side of the can while leaving the plants undeterred. Also, if you are planning to buy it, make sure to spray it during the stage when the unwanted grass is developing. It marks emerging seedlings hence killing the root hairs which are formed by a young plant.
Thus, if you are going to apply it on plants which have fully developed, it’s effect at best would be reduced and at worst it won’t be effective at all. Sounds disheartening? Don’t worry as weeds normally sprout in two seasons: common spring and fall. You can spray this herbicide in those seasons and rest assured that the grass wouldn’t grow.
Another important feature of this herbicide is its versatility. So far, we have only reviewed those herbicides which kill weeds and do nothing else. This one, apart from doing that, makes sure that your lawn remains greener. How? Nitrogen.
Since it is made from corn gluten meal, it has copious amounts of nitrogen in its composition. Nitrogen is one of the three essential fertilizers – the other two being phosphorous and potassium – that every green plant needs for its sustenance. Hence, by supplying nitrogen, this product is making sure your lawn remains green.
Also, in stark contrast to the majority of herbicides, it is present in the granulated form. There is a huge debate between which of the liquid or granulated herbicides are more effective. Both of them have their own shortcoming and advantages.
One major advantage a granulated alternative provides which is important in this context is its discriminating action. If you do not carefully follow the directions in case of liquid fertilizers, you might end up killing plants which you didn’t intend to. There is no such danger in granulated herbicides.
Granulated herbicides like this one do have their advantage. Unlike its liquid counterparts, the action time of this product depends on the moisture and temperature. It needs lots of moisture and warm temperature to fully act, two conditions which aren’t needed for the liquid alternatives. However, since you will be using it on large scale, these two conditions shouldn’t pose a problem for you. All you have to do is to water the plants after the application using a garden hose reel.
A complaint which I have heard from numerous farm owners regarding their herbicides is that they simply not act too soon. The waiting time is long and most people don’t have the temperament for it. If you fall under this category, congrats as this product has solved this problem for you. Forget the long waiting times thanks to its fast act technology, it will start showing its effectiveness within 12 hours.
The first thing to note about this herbicide from Roundup is that it is indiscriminate in its action. No matter what you spray it on – be it a herb, a seedling, a root, or a vegetable, it will destroy it without showing any remorse.
Thus, before you go forward and spray it, carefully identify the herbs and/or plants which you want to spray it on. Also, since it contains Glyphosate in highly concentrated form, make sure that it is not windy out there when you are spraying it.
One “drawback” which most customers have reported regarding this product is that it doesn’t operate with aplomb in extreme hot and cold environments. This more looks like a lack of judgment on the part of customers to me because it was never intended to work under such conditions. If you want it to be fully effective, apply it on daytime when the temperatures are ranging from 60-85 Fahrenheit.
Its manufacturers have recommended that you use it in a tank sprayer. In my opinion, you don’t need a tank sprayer as long as you have done the job with a simple sprayer. The job is to make sure that the weed killer reaches the roots of the plant.
From there, it will go into the plant’s foliage and start its destructive action. Thus, be it a simple sprayer or any other complex one, make sure that the spray reaches the root of the plant.
Another thing which the manufacturer has recommended and of which I’m skeptical is regarding it being sprayed on patios. Unless extremely necessary, I would keep it off anywhere close to the house because of its concentration. It possesses the ability to harm children and pets when dry and as long as your patio doesn’t receive a copious amount of sunlight, I wouldn’t recommend using it.
Also, since the herbicide is already poisonous, it goes without saying that you don’t need to make it any more concentrated than what is recommended on the back of the bottle. It works by lowering the pH of the soil and if you increase its acidity, its action could prove to be damaging to the growth of other plants.
Lastly, once you have used it, it is best that you don’t water the area for at least two days. Let the area dry to get the best results.
Concluding my remarks, if you are looking for an herbicide that would kill everything coming in its way and is also inexpensive, this product deserves your attention.
As human beings, all of us have the predilection to ask for more when paying for something. Be it anything in our life, we always want that one bit extra while paying for a product. Roundup has fulfilled this desire of ours by giving this herbicide a little extra in the form of its dual action formula.
Most herbicides out there in the market are only concerned about killing the unwanted grass. What happens afterward, let alone preventing that grass from re-growing, is of no concern to them. As for those herbicides who do care, they are so costly that one cannot think of purchasing them.
However, thanks to the dual-action formula of this herbicide, it will not only kill the existing herbs but would also prevent their re-growth, doing all of it in a negligible price tag. Still, that doesn’t mean that the grass won’t grow forever after you spray this weed killer. Rather, it is applicable for a season after which you have to spray it again.
Another important advantage offered by this product is it being rainproof. You might have noticed other similar products lose their effectiveness after it rains. The rainwater dilutes their concentration and hence saves the grass from annihilation. However, provided that you spray it at least ten minutes before the rain, this product would continue its action.
This is due to its rapid action mechanism. Once you spray it on the roots, the liquid will simply seep into the soil and reach the foliage of the weed. Hence, no matter how much it rains, the effectiveness would not suffer one bit.
As you might have noticed from its description, this product is highly concentrated. Hence, you don’t want it to spray “near” the edibles or any other area where children could go. That is, you have to be really careful while applying it.
Finally, we finish off with another notable feature of this product: it’s low action time. Many herbicides out there in the market take three to six days before displaying their results. This one will take three hours before displaying visible results and it would be only one day when you will see weeds to start being killed.
Thus, if you are looking for a product with a low action time and which would prevent grass from re-growing for at least one more season, this one is a must-have for you.
While choosing the right herbicide for you, experts always recommend two things to keep in your consideration: the severity of the problem and whether or not you want to protect the plants which happen to be around the area you want to kill. If the severity of your grass problem is high but you still want to protect the plants around them, you will need this product because of one simple reason: its low volatility.
When it comes to herbicides, volatility is defined as their ability to convert to vapor form and move away from the application site. It normally occurs after you have sprayed the herbicide on the area and by converting to vapor form, it moves away from it. Needless to say that it is an unwanted phenomenon which you would want to avoid at any cost.
Thankfully, as the price tag of this product tells us, you don’t have to pay a high price to make sure the herbicide remains where you want it to. Thanks to its composition, this product will not convert into the gas form provided that you do not spray it at peak summer conditions. Thus, if you have grass amid plants and want to protect the plants, this product would allow you to do just that.
Another advantage which the low volatility of this product allows is its effectiveness on pavements. Most of the time herbs grow within that small spots left unattended between pavements. Apart from destroying the beauty of the pavement, they risk of growing further and affecting the pavement altogether. You cannot spray high volatility weed killers on pavements because, with the large surface area on offer, they will simply convert into gas form. However, thanks to its low volatility, this product would remain in and around the grass and wouldn’t pose a health risk to you and your loved ones.
Another advantage of this product is that you won’t need to apply it often for preventing weed growth for the long term. In fact, as other users have told us, one spray according to the manufacturer’s recommendation and your garden would be grass-free for the whole season.
Talking about this safety, while this product is low volatile I would still recommend children not approaching the application site until the liquid has gone into the root. This is because this product contains ester and it might cause allergic problems if approached unattended. Thus, best apply this product on an area where children cannot approach at least for one day.
You should apply this product when the lawn is ready and the weather is favorable. Elaborating the former point, a “ready lawn” means that the weeds have attained good growth before you apply this herbicide. As for favorable weather, it should neither be too hot nor too cold. That said, the weather should be dry because you don’t want to take chances with this product with the rain falling heavily because it isn’t rainproof.
Thus, if you want a weed killer which has a low volatility, is selective in its action, but is not rain proof, this one merits your attention.
Are you worried that crabgrass will destroy the aesthetics of your lawn? Looking for a chemical which would kill the chances of these weeds emerging in your garden? Have a lawn equal to or more than 5000-sq feet? If your answer to all of these questions is in the affirmative, you need this herbicide from Scotts.
Talking about the most stubborn grass and no matter which classification you go through, both crabgrass and grassy weed would fell right into it. Once they have grown, it is next to impossible for us to stop them from sprouting in all areas of our garden. Thus, the best weapon you have against these annual weeds is a pre-emergence herbicide.
If you apply this product in the spring – the time of the year before the crabgrass seeds sprout, the seeds on growth will take in copious amounts of these herbicides and die.
It might sound too easy for you but finding the perfect time to spray this herbicide could be troublesome. For example, if you spray it too early, the natural processes and microorganisms in the soil will break it down and the product will lose its effectiveness before the time it’s needed.
Apply it late and the seeds have passed that germination stage when this product works best. There is nothing in this product which would kill these two weeds after they have emerged. Hence, timing is crucial. Thus, you’re out of luck at least till next Spring provided you don’t miss the train that time around.
So, what to do? Here’s a simple tip: you need to apply this herbicide at a time when you give your garden the first dose of fertilizer in spring. Also, if possible, apply it just before the rain for the rainwater to take the herbicide alongside into the foliage of the grass.
Two things which you need not confuse regarding this product is its timespan and protection period. While most people think of the two as same, timespan is the period during which this product would stop the unwanted plants from germinating. Protection period, on the other hand, is the period during which it would stop their re-growth.
Hence, while the timespan of this product is almost fifty days, its production period lasts a whole season. Thus, if you apply it DURING the spring season BEFORE the seeds have sprouted, your garden is protected for the whole season.
The story doesn’t stop there. Apart from providing protection against these two types of plant, this product also prevents winter grass seeds from germinating. All you have got to do is to apply this product before the winter has truly set in to prevent the likes of henbit and chickenweed from growing. As you might have guessed, this product retains its effectiveness in winter by being snow, rain, and freezing weather proof.
Lastly, if it is fall season out there and you are worried about moss, just apply this preventer and your garden would be safe.
All in all, if you want a weed killer which works three seasons with equal effectiveness, but are also able to take a little extra care to determine the correct application time, this product merits your attention.
There are four types of herbicides available in the market: contact, systemic, residual, and selective. All these classifications are based on the mode of their application. As for the classification regarding the time of their application, further two types: pre and post emergence, are available.
Turning our attention to this particular herbicide, it is a selective weed killer which is designed to be applied after the grass has emerged. Thus, if you don’t consider yourself a gardening nerd who knows everything about when weeds would grow, just relax and wait for them to sprout out before destroying each and every one of them using this herbicide.
First of all, as a mere glance over the package would tell you, this product is NOT designed to provide protection to huge lawns and parks. Rather, it comes only in two sizes: 40-oz and 32-oz, which means that it is most suited to act on the your private lawn.
As for its selective action, this feature of the product gives away two very important clues. First is that it is not very concentrated. That means that it is best if you DO NOT apply it early in the morning because the overnight dew might dilute it and reduce its effectiveness.
Secondly, since its concentration is lower, it would not prevent the grass from re-emerging. That doesn’t mean that the weeds will say hi to you the very next day after you’ve annihilated them with this product. Rather, this product would keep them out for one season after which you’d have to apply it again.
Moreover, in stark contrast to the more concentrated products out there, this product wouldn’t work miracles overnight. Rather, as its users have told us, it would take this product at least three weeks and two sprays for it to showcase this effectiveness. Hence, if you are not patient, this one isn’t right for you.
Also, if crabgrass is the main culprit in your garden and you want to get rid of it by the application of this product, remember that one spray won’t be enough to root it out. Rather, it would take multiple sprays to destroy the stubborn weed from your garden. Lastly, this product is very light in a sense that it gets sprayed very quickly. For example, while the manufacturer says that one bottle would be enough to cover 5000-sq feet, my person experience tells that it would take you 1 ½ or 2 bottles to cover this much ground with this product. Hence, while its cost is lean at the start, it could go up very quickly provided the area which you want to cover is large.
Finally, this herbicide deserves your attention if your lawn area is small, you want to cover plants while destroying the crabgrass, and are patient to wait for results.
Some people want herbicides which, despite killing all the weeds in their lawn, would do no harm to their grass. This demand may have sounded ridiculous a few years back but since we have crossed the first decade of the 21st century, there are drugs out there which, apart from killing the grass, will make sure that the green grass remains intact.
Now, if you have been looking for such a herbicide for quite some time, relax as your search has ended. For example, in the shape of Gordon Speed Zone Lawn Weedkiller, here is a product which would do just that.
The first feature of this product which merits our attention is, of course, its selective action. If you have shrubs or grass inside the vacant spots of your pavement or within lawn – which are desecrating its aesthetics, you could apply this product without any tension.
That is not to say that you can use this product to kill plants which lie around edibles. Despite all their talk of selective action, you do not want to take a chance with your health. Hence, if there are edibles around the area you want to spray this on, this option is not recommended.
Moving on, you might have noticed that this herbicide is one of the most expensive ones out there. There might be many reasons for this, particularly its selective action and concentration, still, the major reason for this price tag is the area that one bottle of this herbicide will cover.
Take a look at its alternatives and most of them cover around 3000-sq feet, despite advertising otherwise. Of the highest tech ones, the bottle drops empty after 5000-sq feet. This one, however, has the ability to cover the area from 14000 – 18000-sq feet.
This much difference in the area covered is due to the way how you’ll use it. Follow the manufacturer recommendations and you might use this bottle as dictated by its upper limit. Act on your instincts and you might not even cover the whole 14000-sq feet. The catch, therefore, lies in how well you follow the instruction.
Lastly, if you are intending to use this product on wild violets, beware as it is very minimally effective in that case. Hence, if the weeds in your lawn do not fall under the aforementioned category, this product merits your attention.
Of all the herbicides we have listed in this review, this one is undoubtedly the costliest. Still, before you give up on reading its features because of its astronomical price tag, hang on as this product deserves the price that you might pay for it.
The first thing to justify its price tag is the indiscrimination of this weed killer. Take out any herbicide and it will have a list of herbs which you could kill. Apply it to others and you might end up fertilizing the herbs. This one, however, has no such shortcomings.
As listed on its bottle, this one is effective for two hundred and fifty – yes 250 – weeds. That is, no matter how much a lawn nerd you are, you might not name all those types of grass which can be killed by using this herbicide. So, if you are tired of using different products for different types of weed you see in your garden – and want to buy one product which would solve your problem once and for all, this one certainly is the one.
Secondly, while the aforementioned feature description might hint that this product is very concentrated, this isn’t the case. If you have herbs around your lawn and want to kill the former but not at the cost of the latter, this herbicide will discriminate between both and kill only herbs while leaving your lawn grass intact.
Still, to be sure that it does no harm to your lawn grass, make sure you spray this herbicide when the air is calm. If the air is blowing at full speed, your lawn grass might pay the price. Also, if you want to be sure, you can mix a dye in this herbicide to ensure that the weed killer is reaching where you want it to reach.
Thirdly, the price tag is justified by the area this herbicide covers. If you have a 32 ounces fluid containing herbicide and water, it would treat around 16,000-sq feet of Southern Lawns. Same amount of fluid will treat around 8,000-sq feet of area in the Northern Lawns. As for the gallons, multiply each reading with four to get your desired results.
Despite all the aforementioned features of this herbicide, there is one thing, in addition to the price, which you have to take into consideration: time. This might be the only area where this product falls below the others in this review. The majority of other products in this review start displaying their results after one week. This one, however, will require two weeks to fully demonstrate its effectiveness. Hence, you have to be patient if you are buying this product.
Everything you need to know about herbicides
There is no choice left when organic weed preventers recommended by other people fail to prevent grass from invading your garden. You instantly go around shopping and grab some weed spray bottle that you hope will help you fight the unwanted grass. However, without reading the label you might do more harm than good. It is crucial you know how to use the herbicide, especially with your family and pets around.
Every bit of information put together is intended for the use of weed killers on lawns and not only, as some products reviewed here will be useful to spray on other parts of your garden as well. Sometimes herbicides might not get the job done, and one should consider tilling the soil using a garden tiller.
How to select the correct type of herbicide
As with every industry, the chemical industry introduces every year new products to help you remove unwanted grass from your gardens. As new environmental regulations come in place, some of the products get removed, or sometimes they might simply not be profitable enough to keep producing them.
Most new products are double-duty herbicides, meaning that they are able to kill multiple types of grass. While the basic ones are safe to use on your lawn and they can get rid of broadleaf grass, they won’t be effective against crabgrass. However, for a higher price you can now get a product that is able to get rid of both. What is not advised is combining these chemicals together, as they can be really harmful for you. It is also not indicated to increase the dosage, unless indicated by the product label.
Types of chemical grass killers
- Broadleaf Weed Types – as the name suggests, this is designed to get rid of broadleaf grass without hurting the rest of the plants. You should check the label to ensure your other types of plants will be safe.
- Grassy Weed Types – this chemical is too strong to be used on lawns. It is aimed at killing the grass that grows in your flower beds.
- Sedge or Nut-Grass Types – this herbicide is safe for lawn use and according to reviews, it is really efficient against crabgrass, and less likely to work against nutgrass.
- Generic types – here you can find all the generic weed killers that will kill everything. It is best used when you plan on replanting your lawn.
Useful tips for using herbicides on lawn
To be honest, if you think about it, there are not many plants able to go through the abuse grass is going. Walking on it, pruning, removing soil and even spraying chemicals. But if you really need to get rid of the weed, here are some useful tips.
If the weather outside is really hot, it is recommended to avoid spraying chemicals on grass as it will amplify the stress and possibly damage the area more than needed. Furthermore, irrigating your lawn after spraying herbicides is not a smart idea. You want to leave at least 24 hours before watering your lawn. Lastly, allow at least 3 days after mowing your lawn before you decide to spray weed killers. It is important that the chemicals are absorbed through the leafs of the grass. It is well known that short weed will absorb less chemicals.