A well-maintained lawn is such a peaceful thing to look at, especially to the person who works on it round the year. When weeds such as the broadleaf ones decide to make an appearance, it really gets on their nerves.
This particular weed is an eyesore. You can never know when and where they will appear. They even grow on the driveways.
These are hard to miss. They are very common, and seem to grow almost around the globe. For people who cultivate grass commercially, these can be a real pain.
This is where weed killers come into action. If not for them, we would have had to pluck each of these nuisances with our hands. And by the time we would think that all of them have been taken care of, new ones would start to grow.
But there’s a catch here as well. One needs to find the best broadleaf weed killers out there and then know how to implement them. Not many resources on the web will take you there. Well, except me… of course.
I’ve come up with this article to inform my readers about some of the products that I use to control broadleaf weed and an insight as to why and how I made my choices. Let’s get on with the article, shall we?
- What Are the Top Broadleaf Weed Killers?
- Green Gobbler Vinegar Weed & Grass Killer
- Tenacity Turf Herbicide
- Southern Ag Amine 24-D Weed Killer
- Compare-N-Save 2-4-D Amine Broadleaf Weed Killer
- Ortho Weed B Gon Weed Killer
- Scotts Turf Builder Triple Action – Weed Killer
- PBI/Gordon 652400 Speed Zone Lawn Weed Killer
- A Guide to Buying the Right Broadleaf Weed Killer
- Let’s Get Things to An End
What are Broadleaf Weeds?
It’s easy to find broadleaf weeds among the expanse of your lawn, as they easily stand out from regular grass. Pay attention and you’ll even see flowers. The flowers are pretty yet dangerous for our lawns as they suck most of the water from the ground.
The leaves have some unique characteristics if you pay close attention to them. Beginning with the color, then the arrangement of veins, and how the leaves are arranged.
Based on the morphology, you should be able to identify which kind of broadleaf weed it is. You can always search online and find a source from where you can compare the weeds’ structure. YouTube is rather helpful in this regard as well.
Let’s discuss the types of these weeds in brief. Broadleaf weeds can be of all kinds – annual, biennial and perennial.
Annuals are comparatively easier to manage. They grow once a year and don’t have a complex root system. They can’t spread very fast.
These are again divided into two groups based on which time of the year they grow. Summer annuals germinate in the spring, grow in the summer, and produce seeds and then die by the time it’s fall.
Meanwhile winter annuals germinate in late summer or early fall, stay somewhat dormant in the winter, and flower in spring. They die as summer begins.
Both of these types have a 12-month life cycle.
Biennial weeds live twice as long. In the first year, they mostly grow leaves, stems and roots, and then remain dormant in the winter. They flower and produce seeds in the next year, and eventually die.
Perennials on the other hand, are the worst. They stick around for much longer.
They have a strong root system, and so they are harder to get rid of. They not only use seeds to propagate, but also their roots. That is, they can spread from both above and under the ground.
The perfect time to use herbicides is when the broadleaf weeds begin to grow. If you know when that is, you can easily manage them.
What Are the Top Broadleaf Weed Killers?
Broadleaf weeds have been in my lawn and garden since forever. At first, I didn’t give them much thought. Before I knew it, they spread everywhere.
I have used many weed killers until now. Some worked really well, some didn’t do anything at all. Below is a list of the weed killers which I think are among the best ones. You’ll find a bunch of short reviews that document my experiences.
The Green Gobbler Vinegar Weed & Grass Killer is one of the very few effective and non-toxic weed killers out there. It is made from distilled corn grain and contains 20% acetic acid.
This is certified by Organic Materials Review Institute (OMRI) and contains no toxic chemicals. The reason this matters is that weed killers normally contains such harmful chemicals that can harm you, your kids and pets. They even harm the land you are using it on.
You can use this herbicide anywhere you need to, without worrying about unwanted accidents. However, 20% vinegar is definitely strong. So, you still need to be careful.
The Green Gobbler is a non-selective herbicide. This means it kills weeds and grasses indiscriminately. It can kill healthy grass and plants. So, you should only use it on targeted areas. If you need to clear out the entire area, this will do the job easily.
Wherever you use it, it will show results in less than a day! This is what we call a “Contact” weed killer. it begins working the moment it touches the targets.
If you need to use this weed killer near some of your desired plants, you should use some sort of barrier so that the concentrate doesn’t touch them.
This thing works on concretes, driveways, sidewalks, parking lots, and near foundations, and fences. It kills crabgrass, dandelion, moss, clover, and other types of weeds that I didn’t even hear about before.
The Green Gobbler Weed & Grass Killer is an easy to use herbicide. It comes as a “Ready-to-Use” solution which you can use directly from the container.
A trigger sprayer is included with the package which you can attach to the container. If you find it too heavy to work with, you can simply pour the concentrate in a pump sprayer and use where necessary.
This weed and grass killer works well on a sunny day when the temperature is 65F or higher. You can mix a surfactant like dishwashing soap to allow the solution stay longer on the weeds.
Don’t use this on your lawn if you think it’s going to rain later in the day. It is not rain-proof, and so it will easily get washed away.
Once you are done spraying, remove the sprayer and drain it off the vinegar. Seal the container tightly and store it in a place where it will remain but will not get frozen. This will help to keep the weed killer in good condition.
The Tenacity Turf Herbicide is good for use in lawns of both private and commercial establishments. It’s very effective weed killer and can handle almost 50 types of weeds and grass species.
Tenacity Turf can manage crabgrass, barnyard grass, carpetweed, chickweed, goose grass, dandelion, thistle, yellow nut sedge, and many more.
This weed killer uses 40% Mesotrione in the making. It’s a “Naturally Occurring” compound. It is produced by the plant called bottlebrush. Plants can absorb this compound through the roots. It then spreads to other parts through the internal tissues.
The Mesotrione has the tenacity, so to speak, to stop photosynthesis. And that’s how it effectively kills all those unwanted weeds in your lawn.
This weed killer comes in an 8-ozone bottle of concentrated solution. You can prepare a mixture by adding half teaspoon of this herbicide in one gallon of water. The whole bottle can account for 30 gallons of mixture (give or take).
The instruction manual is attached on the bottle. You can consult it in order to properly understand how to apply this weed killer.
The Tenacity Turf Herbicide offers both pre and post emergent weed control. Plants absorb the solution through their roots, shoots, and leaves. Then the solution spreads throughout their body with the help of the internal tissues.
The first thing that’ll die off is the root of a plant. Trust me, there’s a method to the action we see here. Thus, we can call it a “Systematic Weed Killer.”
Tenacity Turf takes time to reach the veins of the leaves and the body of the weed in question. The time can be “Very Long” for certain people to wait around. You’ll see results from 2 to 3 weeks.
On the bright side, this is a herbicide. You won’t see side negative effects on the soil and different plants other than the weed.
There’s another silver lining for us users. Tenacity Herbicide is a selective weed killer. It kills only targeted species and will not harm other plants as I mentioned a bit earlier. You can easily apply it around your desired plants and trees.
One thing I have learned from my experience is that watering is also part of killing the weeds. So, if it hasn’t rained after 10 days since you last applied the herbicide, you should water your lawn once.
This helps to reenergize the solution and maintain its effectiveness.
The manufacturers recommend using a surfactant with this product. There are many available online. It’s best to choose one which is rain-proof as it will make sure the herbicide doesn’t get washed away.
You can control and prevent weeds very easily with this Tenacity Turf Herbicide. The results are very satisfying. It removes the unwanted weeds and makes room for the healthy grass to grow.
Apply the solution as directed, and you will soon see why this can be the best broadleaf weed killer.
Some people think that a good quality herbicide would probably cost a lot. Indeed, there are some very costly products. These products are not always that good at their job.
However, the Southern Ag Amine 2,4-D Weed Killer is a cost-effective way to properly take care of the broadleaf pests in your lawn.
This is a selective weed killer as well just like the previous one. You can use this all over the lawn without damaging other plants. It’ll only kill the targeted broadleaf weeds and some woody plants.
It’s absolutely safe to use on grass and around other desired plants. People can use it in parks, golf courses, pastures, roadsides, and industrial sites. It can even be used on small grains and corn.
The Southern Ag is good for both pre and post emergent weed control. I used to think that if I can do pre-emergent control, why would I need the other?
Well, all broadleaf weeds can’t be controlled in the same way. A weed killer that offers both is actually a blessing.
This weed killer comes in a concentrated solution. It contains 3.8 lbs. of 2,4-D acid in every gallon. It is in a low volatile amine form. 2,4-D is a widely used component in herbicides.
It’s safe as long as you or anybody else doesn’t come in direct contact with it. Bear in mind, there are some rules as to how you can use this product on plants.
You have to dilute it first by mixing 3 tablespoons of the product in 3-5 gallons of water. This mixture will cover a total of 1000 square feet area.
It’s important that you prepare it as directed. It will start to show results in 2 weeks. If the weeds are very dense in any area, you should spot and treat those places.
The manufacturers recommend that you use a coarse and low-pressure spray paired with a fan type nozzle. I had these already in my shed, and so I didn’t try anything else.
They don’t mention if this weed killer is rain-proof or not. But as a safety measure, you should always apply the herbicide at least 24 hours before it starts raining.
Some say that rain actually helps weed killers to work. I can’t say the same from what I’ve experienced.
In case it rains sooner than you expected, the solution will still work on the weeds if it got 10-12 hours to soak in.
Keep in mind that this weed killer doesn’t require an additional surfactant as it already has one mixed in it. Adding something extra may reduce its effectiveness.
The Compare-N-Save 2-4-D Amine Broadleaf is one of the few weed killers which offers widespread application.
This is a 2-4-D based herbicide that efficiently kills the broadleaf weeds. 2,4-D is a common ingredient in weed killers and has been in use for a long time. But it is still toxic and so you should use this product maintaining all the safety measures.
The Compare-N-Save is made for post-emergent weed control. The best time to use this is when the weeds are in their growing stage. The ideal temperature for application is 65-85 Fahrenheit.
This is great for using in crop fields like those of corn and soybeans, pastures, rangelands etc. You can use it in on golf courses, ornamental turfs and parks, airfields, roadsides, cemeteries, railroads, drainage ditch banks, and more. I find it more of an industrial weed killer than meant for private lawns.
It can kill a wide variety of broadleaf weeds like thistle, dandelion, blue lettuce, bur ragweed, smartweed, wild garlic, curly dock, bindweed, and so on. It is effective on annual and perennial weeds and on woody plants as well.
There’s a procedure here as to how you should apply this herbicide. People will have to prepare the mixture depending on where you are going to use it. In general, you will need around 0.5 gallons of mixture for every acre of land.
For post emergence control of annual and perennial weeds, you have to mix 3.1 tbsp of concentrate in 1 gallon of water per 1000 square feet. You need to apply twice per year which is around 4.25 pint of the main concentrate per acre.
And for woody plants, you need to apply once every year. In this case, you have to mix 6.0 tbsp of concentrate in every gallon of water to cover 1000 square feet. So, it requires almost 8.25 pints of product per acre.
If you want to use the herbicide on ornamental lawns, you will need to mix 1.4 to 3.0 tbsp in 1 to 4 gallons of water for covering 1000 square feet.
Altogether, it will take 2 to 4.2 pints of concentrate for every acre. Change the mixture ratio from minimum to maximum depending on the amount of weeds. Don’t apply more than twice per year.
This is one of those herbicides which can be used for controlling underwater weeds and those around water bodies. When you are applying on shoreline weeds, apply the mixture from 2 feet above the water.
Remember to not use this weed killer on freshly seeded turf. Don’t use it on creeping grasses like bent and St. Augustine; this product is harmful for them. And don’t go past the number of applications specified for each of type of area.
The Ortho Weed B Gon Weed Killer is a convenient and effortless solution to all your broadleaf problems. Most of the weed killers will start things off with this line. Let me make it a bit different.
“On the label you will find a list containing more than 250 types of weed which you can kill with this product.”
In fact, the variety of the weeds is not much of problem. The premise seems interesting, right?
However, there’s a catch. The real problem is they grow in different seasons and so it’s quite a pain to take care of them.
Unfortunately, some weed killers don’t work all year round. But the Ortho Weed B Gon definitely will.
You can easily control dandelion, clover, chickweed, dollar weed, thistle, and many more. Apply this herbicide in the right time and under suitable weather conditions, and you will see results in just hours!
This weed killer becomes rain proof within an hour of application. It kills the weeds down to their roots.
Ortho Weed B Gon can easily be hailed as the best broadleaf weed killer. It makes the whole business of weed control a whole lot easier. Not to mention heaps of weeds can be taken care of by
For instance, it comes in a ready-to-use solution which you can use right out the container. There is a sprayer attached to the very bottle of this product. You simply need to attach a garden hose and begin spraying.
You can also use other equipment for applying the solution. There are two sprayers made by Ortho. One is the Ortho Dial N Spray; it has a dial with which you can adjust the amount of solution you want to apply in a certain area.
And the other one is the Comfort Wand. It is ergonomically built to make sure you don’t have to bend, pump or tolerate hand fatigue. With this sprayer you can easily apply in the targeted area.
It also has an adjustable nozzle that comes in handy when you are applying indoors.
The Ortho Weed B Gon is a selective herbicide like so many of the products in this article. It will not harm anything that it is not meant to kill. You can apply it throughout the lawn and around other plants without needing to worry.
With the 32 oz. Pack, you can cover almost 16,000 sq. ft. area. A larger pack of 1 gallon is also available which covers up to 64,000 sq. ft. of your lawn.
This is a post-emergent weed killer. Apply it when the weeds are quite grown so that the solution properly spreads across the body and down to the roots.
Use it as directed and you will not be disappointed. It is actually important to read the instructions properly before using this or any other weed killer.
The Scotts Turf Builder Triple Action is not your everyday weed killer. As the name suggests this thing does three things at the same time – it kills the weeds, prevents them from growing, and feeds the healthy grass.
This weed killer is great for controlling all kinds of Northern grasses. Like, the Perennial Ryegrass and Kentucky bluegrass which grow dense and have soft blades.
Both the Tall and Fine Fescue whose blades are thin and sharp, and have coarse and hardy bodies. It will kill all the broadleaf weeds listed on the product, whether you can see them or not.
Crabgrass is a common problem in most lawns and gardens. They tend to grow and spread fast. Normally it’s pretty hard to effectively get rid of these nuisances.
Luckily, the Scotts Turf Builder can prevent crabgrass for up to 4 months while it helps the other healthy grass to thrive.
The manufacturers actually claim very strongly about the feeding quality of this weed killer. From my experience, I did notice that the grass in my lawn seemed greener than before and firmer.
This happened in the first week of application. It was sooner than I had expected.
This weed killer prevents a number of other grasses as well, like foxtail, barnyard grass, corn speedwell, prostrate spurge, knotweed, purslane, chickweed, henbits, and others. In fact, this product works great on Bermuda grass, Bahia grass, centipede grass and zoyia grass.
Temperature and the time of the year play a big role in a weed killer’s effectiveness. As usual, the ideal temperature for applying this product is from 65 to 85 Fahrenheit.
A lower temperature may be favorable too, as it is said to prolong the effects of a weed killer.
The ideal season for its application is spring. However, the results may still vary, because no two places have the same kind of weather conditions.
Since, it’s meant to be used in spring only, it will not work in other seasons. Don’t worry, Scotts have products for other seasons too.
Scotts Turf Builder doesn’t require any mixing. One can use it directly out of the container. But first, you need to find the size of your lawn, which you can do manually or you can take the help of the Scotts My Lawn app.
The app also shows you how much of the solution you will need for your lawn. After that, simply pour it into a spreader and adjust the setting following the requirements given on the label. Then you are good to go.
The PBI/Gordon 652400 Speed Zone rapidly kills most of the common broadleaf weeds in just a few hours. This is a selective weed killer and so it will not harm your desired grass and plants.
The Speed Zone effectively kills clover, ivy, creeping Charlie, Russian thistle, dandelions and others. In fact, it can help control over 100 species of broadleaf weeds.
The best time to apply this is when the weeds are emerging, as that is when they are the most susceptible.
If you encounter any weed that will not just die, simply apply the solution directly to the roots. Doing so will definitely kill them.
The major ingredient in the PBI/Gordon Speed Zone is a 2,4-D. It is a widely used weed killing agent as it is very efficient at this job. However, it is still a harmful chemical for us and other animals.
It should be used following necessary safety measures. In fact, safety should be a matter of concern no matter which weed killer you are using.
The Speed Zone weed killer comes in a 20 fl. Oz. pack. This can easily cover large lawn areas ranging from 14,000 to
ong shelf-life and will be in active state even after keeping it unused for a year. Store it in a place where it will not get frozen.
For broadcast application, they recommend using either an Ortho Dial N Spray Hose-End Sprayer or a Gilmour Dial-A-Mix Lawn and Garden Sprayer.
At first, you need to find out the area of your lawn. You will need 1.4 fl. Oz. of concentrate per 1000 square feet of lawn. So, based on the area pour the necessary amount of herbicide in the sprayer.
After that, take the sprayer and attach the garden hose. And then set the dial on three teaspoons per gallon of water. If you use the two recommended sprayers, you will not need to add water to concentrate.
As you press the trigger and the water from the hose flows out, the herbicide will automatically mix with it. Isn’t that great? All you need to do next is evenly spray it all over the lawn and wait for it to show results.
If you need to “Spot Treat” any area, you need to prepare the solution first. All you have to do is mix 1 fl. Oz. of PBI/Gordon Speed Zone to 1 gallon of water. This mixture will be enough to cover a 1000 square feet lawn quite easily.
A Guide to Buying the Right Broadleaf Weed Killer
It’s natural to have conflicting views as to what brand of product you want for clearing weed from your backyard and lawn. There will be odd people who might not like the products I suggested. Hence, this is a guide to help you choose your own by giving you some hints as to what to look for in an ideal herbicide.
What Type of Grass and Weeds are Growing in Your Lawn?
Which broadleaf weed killer you are going to buy depends partly on the broadleaf weeds and partly on the grass and plants you’re attempting to actually grow.
There are some herbicides which kill all kinds of weeds, and there are some which only kill specific weed varieties. And there are those which can’t be applied on certain types of grass.
Keeping these in mind, you should first identify which broadleaf weeds you want to get rid of. And then you should try to find an herbicide that will control those particular weeds but will not harm the healthy grass and plants.
You don’t want the grass you have grown with such care to die along with the weeds, do you?
Go Green or Go Chemical
There are actually very few weed killers which are non-toxic and effective. Most of the products are made with chemicals that are harmful for humans and animals. In a broader sense, they are not that good for the environment as well.
However, we still got to buy an efficient weed killer, and most of them have toxic ingredients in them. So, what you can do is, keep yourself and others safe when using these products.
It is important that you use appropriate safety equipment while using the weed killers. And afterward make sure nobody else comes into contact with the solution that has been applied on the grass.
Make sure there is no residual effect
Most of us are not aware of this, but most toxic weed killers affect the soil along with the weeds growing on them. And as you keep using them, the soil just gets more damaged and at one point will become barren for sure.
Fortunately, there are some products which don’t leave any residual effect even though they contain toxic ingredients.
They only affect the targeted weeds and then dissolve away. These herbicides have no long-term effects. And that’s why they are the best broadleaf weed killer for lawns.
Nature only gives, and asks nothing in return. But we shouldn’t be too careless and bring Mother Nature to a position where she will not be able to give us anything at all.
Measure your Lawn
Weed killers come in packs that cover a precise amount of land area. Most private lawns are smaller, and so even a small pack of weed killer can easily cover that area.
However, many of us have large or multiple lawns. And so we need to buy a pack that will help us cover all that area. That is why it is important to know how big your lawn is.
Selective or Non-selective Weed Killer?
Selective weed killers only affect the targeted species leaving the rest of the healthy grass alive. You can apply these all over the lawn, and it will only work where there is any weed growing. They are also safe for use around flowering plants.
On the other hand, non-selective ones kill all the grass they touch. They even harm the other plants too. This type of weed killer is good for killing off huge areas of grass in one go. They are mostly used for industrial purposes.
I’d personally prefer selective weed killers. If you “Absolutely” have to choose the non-selective ones, check your lawn and apply the herbicides directly on to the weeds.
Pre-Emergent or Post Emergent Weed Killer?
Pre-emergent weed killers are those which you have to apply when the weeds are only germinating and are still under the soil. Post emergent weed killers are those which you have to apply after the weeds have grown a bit.
So, which one to get? It depends which type of weeds you have got in your lawn. Some species can only be killed with the pre-emergent type and others with the post emergent one.
There are some products which offer both types of weed control methods. And they are helpful when you have got multiple types of weeds invading your lawn.
Contact or Systematic Weed Killer?
Contact weed killers are fast acting and begin killing the weeds from the moment the solution touches them. These are great when you need rapid results. However, they don’t kill the roots, which later grow back to new weeds.
But a systematic weed killer takes its time to cover the whole body of weed. And while it does so, it also kills them. Killing the roots ensure that they will not return any time soon.
I think, the first type is best for taking care of small areas of weeds which grow on driveways and other such places. And the second type is suitable for the lawns.
Convenient Application Method
One can use these weed killers just by mixing them with water and pouring it over the weed. Well, most of the times. Things become complicated when you deal with specific types of herbicides that require additional prep work.
Some brands call the first type of weed killers as “Ready-to-Use” mixture and can even be used directly from the container it comes in. Of course, you will need some kind of sprayer for it.
Other brands provide a concentrated product (the complicated type), which you will need to mix with a certain amount of water before application. It’s not actually very hard to prepare the mixture.
The effectiveness of the weed killer doesn’t vary no matter how its application method is. So, it’s basically a matter of personal preference.
Take a Look at the Price
Maintaining a lawn is a costly practice. It’s no wonder that the broadleaf weed killers will be costly too.
There are some brands which do produce affordable weed killers. But the rest of them have a high price.
The thing is, weed killers are an essential investment for keeping the lawns weed-free. They also save a lot of your time which you would need to waste if you had to pluck all those weeds manually.
So, sometimes, we just have to look past the price and get the best thing for our lawns.
Let’s Get Things to An End
I have already said it a number of times, and I’m saying it again: Be careful when using weed killers. They are made of toxic chemicals, which are definitely great for getting rid of weeds, but they are not good for us.
Take proper steps before using any kind of herbicide, even if it’s fully organic.
Nevertheless, there is a certain kind of peace in looking at your well-manicured and weed-free lawn. Call it “Being close to nature.” For that you need the best broadleaf weed killers out there like that of Compare-N-Save Weed Killer.
This is my personal choice out of this list. What’s your poison err… weed killer? Let me know in the comments below.