According to satellite imaging, America has a little over 40 million acres of lawn. That much grass presents a few problems!
One of the biggest issues that can impact a lawn is weed. Weeds don’t just take away from the aesthetic of the property: they drain the nutrients from the turf, compete for resources, and in the worst cases, completely wreck all your grass.
Some weeds can be taken care of with a little patience and gardening. But for more stubborn varieties, you’ll need the best weed killer for lawns to take care of them. A good weed killer will get rid of unwanted plants, and it will even prevent them from growing back.
A weed infestation can be tough to deal with, so don’t settle for underpowered pesticide! Read on for our personal recommendations for the best lawn weed killers in the market, along with a comprehensive buyers guide.
Compare-N-Save Concentrate Grass and Weed Killer
- The 10 Best Weed Killers For Lawns
- Compare-N-Save Concentrate Grass and Weed Killer
- RM43 43-Percent Glyphosate Plus
- Tenacity Turf Herbicide
- Quali-Pro Prodiamine 65
- RoundUp Weed and Grass Killer Super Concentrate
- RootX – The Root Intrusion Solution
- Roebic Laboratories K-77
- Green Gobbler Vinegar Solution
- RoundUp 5200210 Weed Killer
- Ortho GroundClear
- How To Choose The Best Weed Killer For Your Lawn
- How To Apply Weed Killers In Three Easy Steps
- No More Weeds!
The 10 Best Weed Killers For Lawns
These weed killers are potent enough to kill unwanted vegetation while leaving your grass intact, but you still have to be careful with their application. Factors like the size of your lawn, the weed you’re dealing with, and the turf of your choice can all affect how well a weed killer works.
One of the strongest weed killers out there, Compare-N-Save has a lot of advantages that make it better than most herbicides available right now. It’s potent and can kill weeds faster than other products, with visible results as early as three days.
Thanks to a high concentration of glyphosate, it can deal with more resilient types of weed than other products. You can dilute the concentration by yourself if you have more sensitive turfs like St. Augustine, or if you need to cover a wider area. Undiluted, Compare-N-Save can cover up to 250 feet of lawn, or the length of most walkways and fences.
The best thing about this formula is how well it’s suited for getting rid of particular weeds like crabgrass. It’s effective at clearing out any vegetation after a week of application, which can be great for areas around the lawn that you don’t need any plants in.
However, as one of the stronger formulations out there, its undiluted state can kill any plants it touches. Since it’s absorbed via the foliage and not the roots, you should be careful with its application. Only use the built-in sprayer if you have confidence in your handling: for isolated growths or around delicate areas, diluting the solution and spraying it on individual growths is best.
The ideal condition to use Compare-N-Save is on a sunny day with no rainfall for 24 hours. Since warm weather triggers plant absorption, you should do spot spraying of large infested areas either in spring or summer. Glyphosate is absorbed by plants, so you only need a little bit of it for the effects to take hold.
Compare-N-Save is a post-emergent herbicide, so it’s crucial to spray it on full growths instead of little ones. Application on underdeveloped weeds is riskier since you risk only spraying the surface plants and not the ones below – and you might also spray other plants you want unharmed.
You need to take special care with the areas that need regrowth after you’ve applied Compare-N-Save. If you’re dealing with stubborn weeds, don’t re-seed until you’ve killed all the growths. Even then, always remember to be on the lookout for future growth.
For an affordable and effective option, Compare-N-Save is a great choice for any gardener looking to get rid of a blanket infestation of weeds.
For lawns that have structures inside them like a patio or gazebo, RM43 is your best option. Designed for spot-spraying and clearing out entire areas of low-hanging and crawling weeds, it’s the perfect tool for removing stubborn growths that keep coming back even after multiple sprays.
It’s concentrated so you get the best value out of each bottle you purchase. With 21-gallon varieties, you’ll be covered for multiple seasons of spraying. RM43 can treat up to 17,000 square feet (more if you dilute the solution) which makes it best for big lawns or buildings.
This herbicide is also suited for areas with high traffic since the active ingredients bind to the plants and don’t linger around on the foliage or evaporate into the air. As long as the product has dried, animals and children can enter the application zone. It’s also water-resistant after two hours of application, so you can apply it at any season.
Transfer your desired amount into a hand sprayer or wand, then spot spray on the growth. If you’re spraying for roadside control or gravel paths, you may need to do several applications to make sure that the formula goes between the gaps. Since it’s not soluble without dilution, you may need to mix it with water or thin your solution for the best results.
With proper use, RM43 can clear any area of all vegetation for up to a year. This is useful if you’re dealing with a lawn ornament that collects a lot of unwanted growth like a fountain or other water features. A few applications of this weed killer over a week will keep vegetation at bay for an entire year, with visible results after a couple of days.
What makes this product so effective is that it’s three weed killers in one: two parts herbicide and one part surfactant. This makes it one of the best weed killers for lawns since it can end pre and post-germinating weed varieties, but be careful to not affect your turf. Even trace amounts of RM43 can make reseeding impossible for several seasons, so we recommend spot spraying.
Always wear the proper gear like masks and gloves when handling RM43. Since its active ingredient is so potent, it can present a health hazard if not applied without the proper precautions. Remember to keep children and pets away from the areas of application until the solution has dried.
If the weeds you’re dealing with are a bit more scattered around your lawn, try looking into Tenacity Turf. While it’s an effective weed killer, it’s also gentle enough to leave turf grass and other plants unharmed, even if you spot spray.
Tenacity Turf works as a pre and post-emergent weed killers depending on your application, which means it can get rid of both full growths and under-developed seed pods with the same application. Unlike most herbicides, Tenacity Turf has a lower ratio of its active ingredient, making it less likely to harm swathes of your lawn even if you apply it over a large area.
Used as a pre-emergent herbicide, Tenacity Turf burrows deep into the topsoil of your lawn, inhibiting the growth of seed pods and making them easier to remove once they grow. As for post-emergent application, it gets absorbed by the grown weeds and dissolves them from the root up, preventing their germination for at least a couple of months. You can spray it as needed, but the recommendation is to leave a space of three weeks between pre and post-emergent applications so the formula can get rid of the most amount of weeds.
What’s great about this formula is that it’s activated via water, which means it’s perfect for lawns that need constant watering to look presentable. While it’s too strong for more delicate kinds of turfs, it’s effective enough to work on re-sodded soil or re-seeded lawns with no additional effort. Tenacity Turf works well if you have a turf that can grow back by itself without manual re-seeding.
It also targets resilient weeds that grow back like bentgrass, which grows less than other weeds but can cover a large area. Since you can also dilute it before application, it’s possible to stretch out one entire bottle depending on how much weeds you need to remove, or how large is the spot you’ll be spraying.
However, one thing that may turn off gardeners to this product is its relatively high price. On average, Tenacity Turf can cost 10 to 20 dollars more than other herbicides, which can put it out of reach for some buyers. But if you can afford it, it has one of the best values for the price for weed killers!
Last, this product takes some time to work. Don’t expect to see visible results until after a week of use. It’s also crucial to not miss scheduled applications as any change in the concentration of Tenacity Turf might slow down the weed-killing process.
If you need the best lawn weed killer that can get rid of the most resilient weed types while keeping your grass safe, look no further than the Prodiamine 65. With a high concentration of prodiamine (one of the most effective herbicides ever invented), this pre-emergent weed killer can stop growths before they even begin.
Used in the spring and fall, Prodiamine 65 can last for an entire season before it needs reapplication. It targets stubborn weed varieties like crabgrass that grow with your turf, making it better than surface-sprayed weed killers, even if you use it for spot spraying.
Prodiamine 65 is strong enough to kill most weeds, but it’s gentle enough to leave the most common turf grasses alone. This formula is perfect for ornamental lawns and other plots that have different varieties of plants since it can target weeds while leaving your other vegetation alone.
However, the high concentration of its active ingredient makes the proper application of it a crucial factor. It’s less suited for places that see a lot of traffic, as the amount of prodiamine used can cause irritation and sickness in humans and small animals. It’s best used for areas that are closed off such as landscape gardens and other large tracts of soil.
Prodiamine also needs regular application between seasons for the best results. The good news is that each bottle has a lot of value and coverage for its cost: a couple of tablespoons can cover several hundred feet of lawn. The time between reapplication will vary from 3 to 8 months, depending on the weed that you’re dealing with and the weather of your lawn.
As a pre-emergent herbicide, it’s best used on weed varieties that use seed pods to spread rather than full growths. Since the solubility of Prodiamine 65 is lower compared to other products, it can seep into the topsoil of most lawns, targeting the still-inert weeds and killing them before they grow with warmer seasons.
One thing to note is that applying this product has to be done as instructed since the high concentration of its active ingredient can change depending on the application process. Do not use irrigation systems or other sprinkler methods to spread it around your lawn. We also advise that you don’t dilute the formula too much, or it will lose its effectiveness.
For wide areas that experience fast and rampant weed growth, using RoundUp’s Super Concentrate will do the trick. This potent herbicide is one of the best weed control for lawns larger than your average garden. It’s concentrated, so it kills weeds fast while making sure that they don’t grow for a long time.
The best way to apply RoundUp Super Concentrate is via spot spraying on grown weeds, as it’s an effective surfactant herbicide for large growths. If used as a pre-germination solution, only spray on garden plots you have yet to prepare, as it will target seedlings and other buried pods in the ground.
This is one of the strongest products that RoundUp has ever made, with visible results after a day. The strong solution makes it absorbed by most weed varieties like nutsedge and crabgrass, with the soluble liquid that can get into the tiniest spaces between brick walkways and patios. While its effect is to clear the selected area of all vegetation, it can also work for getting rid of weeds that have invaded mulched beds.
It’s also rainproof after 30 minutes, which means you can apply it in wet conditions or places like vegetable gardens. As water activates the absorption mechanism of plants, mixing in RoundUp Super Concentrate will make sure that all the weeds wilt and die – from their foliage down to their roots!
As a concentrate, you can adjust your dosage for application on more delicate plants like shrubs and herbs. Add 2.5 fl. oz. of RoundUp SuperConcentrate to 1 gallon of water and apply with either a hand spray or a wand. Don’t use an irrigation or sprinkler system for it, as it will kill all other vegetation on contact, which can cause bald spots on your turf.
For cost-effective solutions to fast-growing weeds in your lawn, RoundUp Super Concentrate is the clear choice. You can get a lot of coverage out of one gallon, and diluting the concentrate can stretch it out even further! With a clear value-for-price, this herbicide is a must-have for large lawns that need regular weed control.
Pipes are vulnerable to root systems, ones that run just underneath your lawn. Since turf often has an expansive root network, any piping underneath a lawn’s topsoil will get flooded with roots. RootX can help flush these growths from your piping system, stopping further growth without harming the turf above!
One thing that sets this product apart is how it’s applied. Unlike other root removers, RootX is mixed as a fine powder into running water that flows into the piping system. Once inside, the product expands into foam, filling most crevices and removing major obstructions along the pipes!
It’s best suited for many small roots that can burrow into a piping system. The foam can cut these roots off at their entryways into the pipes and seal the growths, inhibiting their movement for up to a year. RootX leaves residual traces of itself above the water line, which can also kill new roots creeping into your pipe network.
Since it’s a product activated by water, it’s also ideal for flushing out pipes of lawn ornaments like fountains or pools. Just be careful not to soak the surrounding area with the resulting foam since it doesn’t discriminate between growths. If it lands on turf, it can dissolve through the top layer and strip away the pH of the soil below.
While it’s great at flushing light roots, RootX is less effective heavier roots such as tree networks and some species of shrubbery. You should apply RootX carefully – the powders can mix into a very thick foam fast, so the key is to apply the solution in increments instead of one swoop. Also take care to not inhale any of the fine dust before application, as this solution is toxic.
With the proper application, RootX can help mitigate expensive digging and replacing of pipes that run under your lawn. Not only does this leave your turf unharmed, but you also don’t have to worry about re-sodding and reseeding the turned areas after the work is done. Just follow the directions and check for buildup of dead material, and you’ll never worry about a clogged pipe again.
Root systems in pipes are tricky to deal with if they run under your lawn. While getting in there and removing them from the pipes might work, you also risk damaging a well-kept lawn with the unearthing process. That’s where Roebic’s K-77 Root Killer comes in.
The formula works by being poured into the pipes, where it dissolves the roots and prevents their regrowth for months afterward. As a soluble product, K-77 can get into all the nooks and crevices in piping systems, flushing out even the densest of root growth.
A more affordable alternative to the expensive auger, repair, and unclogging services, K-77 has a long history of unblocking throttled piping systems. Its method of removal is perfect for pipes that run beneath lawns, as you don’t have to disturb the pipe or the ground for it to work.
One of the great things about this solution is that you can control it, up to an extent. K-77 cuts off root growth at the core and stunts further growth, but it doesn’t travel up from the roots into the plant itself. This makes it work better for weeds that burrow deep into the ground and into the pipes, but it can also leave bigger plants such as trees unharmed.
However, K-77 is regulated in some states, so check your local zoning and ordinance guidelines before applying. K-77 can be harmful if ingested, so make sure that the pipes you’re trying to flush out don’t connect with other utility pipes such as water lines. While it’s non-corrosive so you can apply it on metal and plastic tubing – but always make sure that what you’re pouring them through is a closed system.
Never use K-77 as a sprinkler or irrigation cleaner. The formula doesn’t discriminate and will kill all vegetation that it lands on outside of piping, so make sure that your system doesn’t have any leaks or holes in them. Once it leaks into the ground, K-77 can disturb the pH levels of the soil, interfering with turf growth.
One of the biggest drawbacks of using weed killers is that their active ingredients are dangerous if ingested, which can be a problem if you have pets or small children that play on your lawn. Green Gobbler avoids this danger by being made from all-natural ingredients, so it can keep both your turf and your loved ones safe at the same time!
It’s approved by the Organic Materials Review Institute (OMRI) for use around pets and children, which makes it a great option for small families that have grassy areas to maintain. Environmentally friendly and cost-effective for its benefits, lawn gardeners prefer Green Gobbler for its non-toxic properties.
It derives its active ingredient from vinegar concentrate, which can kill most kinds of weeds on contact. It’s used around fences, lawn ornaments, or other areas in the house where you don’t want any surface vegetation. With some careful application, you can also apply via spot spraying on isolated growths on your lawn.
Apply it to the unwanted plant growth with the built-in sprayer and see visible results within five days. You can dilute the solution so you can cover a wider area with a single bottle, or adjust the active ingredient so it doesn’t kill off ornamental plants and other delicate shrubberies.
One thing to keep in mind about using Green Gobbler is that snow or sleet can wash away its active ingredient, so it’s best to apply this solution on sunny days or during the warm season. Since it’s a surface herbicide, it won’t get rid of germinating weeds that use seed pods to spread like crabgrass. The high vinegar concentrate can also disrupt soil balance, so be careful not to soak the ground in the solution when you apply it.
This herbicide doesn’t discriminate – any plant that it touches will get affected by the solution, so be careful when you spray! And while the vinegar-based formula won’t cause any lethal side-effects, people and pets with sensitive skin can get rashes and skin irritations upon contact. It’s advised that you leave an area alone for about an hour after application to avoid any of these issues.
Aside from a few staining issues when you use it too much, Green Gobbler is an excellent herbicide for home and lawn use if you’re worried about the usual toxic ingredients in weed killers.
For your garden-variety weeds and unwanted grasses, there’s no better choice than RoundUp. Trusted by many gardeners over its long history, this product is the quick and easy way to remove unwanted growths while leaving your other plants unharmed.
Unlike other brands, RoundUp is available at most grocers and supermarkets, in a variety of sizes and different dispersal options that can suit a variety of lawns and gardens. It’s a weed killer that’s tailored to your average problems with weed that don’t require something as strong or as specialized as an industrial solution.
The active ingredient of RoundUp is glyphosate, but it comes in a much lower concentration than other brands. This makes it great for a surface herbicide that can target full-grown weeds and keep your turf untouched. Even if you spray it on the bare ground, the low concentration won’t affect the soil quality or any buds that might be growing.
But since it’s not that concentrated, you can’t dilute RoundUp to stretch out the solution or reduce the formula. Any tampering with the bottle can lessen the effectiveness of the product, so it’s much better to use your bottle of RoundUp as is. For people who want a more localized way of application, there are bottles of RoundUp available that can you can pour into other spray bottles or wands.
Many plants right now are GMO-resistant to glyphosate, which is great news if your lawn includes a vegetable or herb garden. However, more delicate growths like flowers can be damaged by this formula – so take special care to not spray it over ornamental areas. It’s water-resistant 10 minutes after application, so it can work well in wet conditions.
The best way to apply RoundUp is via spot-spraying on full-grown weeds, as it will absorb the liquid action via the foliage and travel down to the root. Only use sprinkler application if you have hardier turf that can withstand herbicides and never let it onto your skin. While the side effects of using RoundUp are minimal, it’s still classified as a toxic substance.
RoundUp also does an excellent job of clearing out unwanted vegetation from places like walkways and fences. With consistent application, these areas can remain plant-free for up to a year before you need to apply it again. It also doesn’t stain with repeated uses, so you can spray it whenever you think it’s needed.
The best weed killer for lawns that have concrete or slab areas, Ortho GroundClear gets rid of all vegetation for up to a year. It’s the most effective plant-killer on the market today, as it’s considered a clearing product by many gardeners. Ideal for patios, driveways, and fences, this herbicide works fast to get rid of weeds that other products can’t deal with.
You can dilute the formula for easier mixing and less intense effects, but the soluble solution means that it gets deep into hairline cracks and other gaps between lawn fixtures. With a variety of attachments that you can select depending on which bottle you buy, Ortho GroundClear is one of the most versatile weed killers you can apply to your lawn.
This product works fast and lasts quite a long time, with visible results only hours after application. Unlike most weed killers, it only takes a couple of applications of Ortho GroundClear to get rid of all vegetation in the sprayed area for a year. Since it’s soluble, it also gets into the small gaps and cracks to target weeds to their roots.
However, the formula doesn’t discriminate between weeds and plants, which means it will clear the applied area of ALL vegetation, not just weeds. You should apply this product with care, or you risk damaging the rest of your lawn. With the strong concentration of its active ingredient, it also inhibits growth on whatever ground it comes into contact with – so only spray this as a surface herbicide, or your lawn will have bald patches for months.
Only use Ortho GroundClear for spot spraying, as a wide-area application can destroy all vegetation and prevent re-seeding for a year. If sprayed on bare soil, you’ll have to re-sod your plot so your turf can grow. Trying to use this product as a pre-emergent herbicide will only work if you want the area to stay bare. Otherwise, you must wait it out until the ingredient disperses before planting anything.
It’s more expensive than other brands, but the benefits it gives are good for its cost. Take all proper precautions when applying Ortho GroundClear, as it is very toxic when coming in contact with animals and children. If you live in an area with plenty of wildlife, check with your local guidelines if you can use this weed killer before buying.
How To Choose The Best Weed Killer For Your Lawn
Herbicides can vary according to their active ingredients and method of application, so you need to understand the weed situation you’re trying to deal with. Here are some things to keep in mind:
If you’re dealing with one persistent weed, then having a specialized weed killer to target it can be best. Some lawns can have multiple kinds of weeds depending on the turf and other features, which suit all-purpose weed removers better. Knowing the weed you have and matching the correct herbicide will get you better results.
Weed Growth Pattern
Does your weed spread out over a large area? Or does it only grow in clumps? Growth patterns are crucial for understanding weed removal since it tells you where it’s most likely to grow again. No herbicide can permanently remove growths from your lawn, so knowing about the usual growth patterns of future weeds that can help with removal. If nothing else, it’ll tell you where to spray for the maximum effect.
Some weed killers work best with wide areas of application, while it suits others for spot spraying. Being precise with your application area is critical since most herbicides don’t discriminate between weeds and other growths. If you’re removing vegetation from an area (such as pipes or walkways) you can afford to be a little looser with the spray, but you should still be careful to not hit any of your other plants.
Pre vs Post Emergence
Not all weeds attain their growth at the same time. Some weeds can be removed only once they’re grown and distinguishable from your turf – in which case, post-emergent herbicide will work better. Other weeds have seed pods that can germinate season after season, so a pre-emergent solution can take care of them before they even sprout.
You can activate weed killers in a variety of ways: some work well with water while others need to be absorbed before taking hold. Weather will play a crucial role in how well your herbicide works since it can either hasten or lessen the effects of your formula. Always check for the forecast in your area before applying any weed killers and opt for seasonal sprays instead of sporadic ones for consistent results.
Your Turf Type
Weed killers often overlap with vegetation removal – if you aren’t careful, you might end up stripping your grass. But if you’re using a specific weed killer, then you should check if the active ingredient doesn’t disrupt your specific kind of turf. Some grasses like fescue are sensitive to other compounds introduced to their foliage or soil, checking if your herbicide is compatible with your grass can prevent bald patches.
Animal And Human Traffic
Finally, check if your weed killer won’t harm your local wildlife or your family pet. Lawns can see a lot of foot traffic in suburban areas, and most weed killers are toxic if ingested. If your family plays in your lawn, get a weed killer that dissipates after application, or made from organic active ingredients.
How To Apply Weed Killers In Three Easy Steps
The exact steps that you’ll take will rely on the kind of weed killer you have, but there are three essentials that you should always keep in mind before application. Following these guidelines will give you a better result than just pouring everything out of the bottle in one swoop!
Measure Your Weed Concentrate
Higher concentrations mean faster action, but that also means more risk during application. Some plants are also extra sensitive to concentrated active ingredients, in which case you’ll have to dilute your solution with water. If you’re applying herbicide over a large area, also take the concentrate into account to avoid overuse.
Choose Your Application Method
Some weed killers come with their own sprayers and wands, but gardeners may prefer their own method of application. Whether it’s through hand spray or irrigation sprinkling, choosing the right method to disperse your herbicide can play a huge role in how effective it is. Just remember that some weed killers discriminate between weed and real plants, and others do not.
Apply To Area
Finally, you should apply the weed killer in a consistent fashion. Manufacturers will often specify how to apply their herbicide to your lawn – follow these instructions unless you’re confident in your application skills. Keep in mind that some herbicides work best as surfactant sprays and others are suited for ground control, and you should be able to keep accidents to a minimum.
No More Weeds!
Lawns are a huge investment for many properties and can affect everything from living conditions to property value. Weeds are an ever-present threat that every conscious homeowner should be on guard for. But with the right product, you can mitigate all the damage and worries that they cause.
For the most part, weeds are not a one-fix pest. Depending on the variety, you’ll find some weed infestations to be more resilient than others. Fortunately, the best weed killer for lawns can take care of them with little fuss, giving you a pristine, growth-free lawn that anyone would be proud of!
Just remember to follow the instructions on the packaging and apply the solution well. With proper use and consistent application, your lawn will be weed-free for a very long time.