No matter how well you keep your lawn or garden trimmed, weeds will always manage to work their way through any foliage. To make matters worse, weeds aren’t just an eyesore; they can seriously affect the health of your garden bed!
Thankfully, there are a handful of great weed killers that can make short work of weed infestations. They range from chemical-based to organic, pre-emergent and post-emergent, selective and nonselective, the list is endless. And since weeds can come in all sorts of shapes and sizes, different weed killers often have to be formulated in unique and specific ways.
With all that in mind, the search for your best weed killer on the market can quickly become overwhelming. To help you out I compiled this comprehensive guide of weed killer reviews, that can help steer you towards the right product.
Read on for the best weed killers on the market!
Compare-N-Save Concentrate Grass and Weed Killer
- The 10 Best Weed Killers On The Market
- Compare N Save Concentrate Grass and Weed Killer
- Roundup Extended Control
- RM43 Total Vegetation Control
- Tenacity Turf Herbicide
- Roundup Super Concentrate Weed And Grass Killer
- Green Gobbler Vinegar Weed And Grass Killer
- Roundup 5200210 Weed Killer
- Ortho 046304 Groundclear Vegetation Killer
- Quali-Pro Prodiamine 65 WDG
- Roebic Laboratories K-77
- The Different Kinds Of Herbicides
- What Is The Best Weed Killer For Me?
- Using Your Weed Killer Safely And Effectively
- When Was Weed Killer First Discovered?
- The Most Common Questions On Herbicides, Answered
- Your First Steps To A Clean And Green Lawn
What Are Weed Killers? And What Are They Used For?
No matter how comprehensively you plan out your garden, a few stray patches of weeds are bound to spring out on the surface. While you do have the option to just root them out, this isn’t a long term solution if you don’t use any supplements to stop their growth. Also, pulling out weeds is often largely ineffective at getting rid of the actual roots, which means that all the hard work of pulling them out could just pave the path for thicker and more aggressive regrowth later on.
This is what weed killers are for! Weed killers are potent chemical formulations that work to remove a weed’s entire root system, or at the very least, they immediately kill the exposed plant.
The 10 Best Weed Killers On The Market
Here are my top weed killers, determined through years of experimenting and experience. These herbicides all excel in one field or the other and while it may seem tempting to just get a general weed killer, keep in mind that weeds can adapt to an herbicide depending on what is being administered and how. With the help of a gardening expert or a fellow enthusiast, I believe it is best to diversify your approach for the first few treatments and see what works best for your area.
True to its name, this weed killer is going to help you save up on the costs of maintaining your lawn. The Compare N Save Concentrate is a glyphosate-based and post-emergent herbicide. This means that it is only meant to eliminate weeds that have already fully grown and it cannot prevent the growth of new weeds in the future.
The good news is that this herbicide does not leave any traces of chemicals in the soil and you can immediately get back to replanting in as soon as one day after the treatment. This weed killer comes with a label detailing the complete list of when to replant certain types of seeds.
To prepare the solution, mix three tablespoons of the Compare N Save concentrate in a gallon of water. This is all you need to cover three hundred square feet of land area. As indicated in the name, it is quite cost-effective in comparison to other alternatives on the market.
On this note, I like how this herbicide comes in a concentrate. This way, it allows the user to experiment with different doses depending on the intensity of the weeds, the type and size, and the other plants you have in your area.
I appreciate how the Compare N Save concentrate is a selective solution, which means that it is safe for use around your other plants. I sprayed this around my flower beds and trees, and found no adverse reaction from either. Just be careful if you’re spraying on a windy day! If the herbicide manages to blow off onto other plants, you could be endangering your healthy plants.
This herbicide is best used on warm days, when the weather is approximately above 60°F and you will not be expecting rain for the next day. However, in situations where there is an unexpected rainfall, the Compare N Save mixture only takes two hours to become completely rainproof. From hereon, you can expect results in just two to four days.
Overall, the Compare N Save Concentrate is definitely going to help you save money. When you buy this product (assuming you follow the recommended dose) this purchase can stay with you for at least two years.
The Roundup Extended Control herbicide is one of very few formulas that can act as both pre-emergent and post-emergent weed killers. It is an extremely powerful herbicide, so make sure to fully cover up and tell your neighbors to stay indoors while you are administering the formula on your lawn.
One disadvantage I found with the Roundup Extended Control was in its build. I find that the spray does not work very well and when I went online, I discovered that this was a common complaint. Please note that this is still a very powerful and effective herbicide that is worth investing in, so instead of ditching this product altogether just try getting this formula in a different size!
The Roundup Extended Control weed killer is expected to kill weeds in only six hours. This is the shortest time frame offered by any weed killer on the market and is the reason why some are concerned about what the chemical potency can do for their personal health. As mentioned earlier, just make sure to coordinate with any people you are living with and to prepare yourself before administering the product.
This herbicide becomes rainproof thirty minutes after being administered to the area. It is best administered on sunny days, when the temperature is well above sixty degrees Fahrenheit.
Overall, I would recommend the Roundup Extended Control to gardening enthusiasts with serious weed problems. However, due to its potency, this may not be the ideal weed killer for people with sensitive health conditions. Make sure to check with your family and neighbors beforehand before committing to buying this product.
With 43% glyphosate and a little bit of Imazapyr, the RM43 is a powerful herbicide that can prevent weeds from sprouting in treated areas for more than a year. Due to its potency, you have to ensure that it is not applied over the roots of your desired plants.
The strength of its formulation may also pose a risk to people with sensitive health, so make sure that you are properly dressed up and any other house companions are out of the way before you begin spraying.
I appreciate how this herbicide can be used in two different ways: it can be mixed as a treatment for bare ground, which will prevent anything from growing on the treated area for over a year, and it can also be used as spot control.
The RM43 becomes completely rainproof two hours after application and any restrictions to the treated areas are removed once the spray has dried. In my experience, it only took around three to five days to really see the results.
This is a concentrated weed killer and assuming you follow the ratio specified in the label, it makes up to over twenty-one gallons of spray solution for spot treatments. However, this number will differ for people who use it for bare ground treatment as well as for others who just prefer a higher dosage.
Overall, I would recommend the RM43 to people who just want a simple, affordable, and straightforward solution to their weeds. This product is sold at a slightly more cost-efficient price than other herbicides on the market and it still has more than enough power to do the job.
This is a well-loved weed killer. The Tenacity Turf Herbicide can function as both a pre-emergent and post-emergent weed killer for a wide variety of weeds. It can last for around five to eight years after its date of manufacture when it is stored away from extreme temperatures and direct sunlight.
This herbicide comes with a syringe of its own. In my experience, however, I could not use it well because it stuck frequently. I ended up using a level teaspoon for preparing the mixture.
The Tenacity Turf Herbicide works at an unusually slow rate. Be prepared to spend a few weeks and multiple application wondering whether you did the right thing for your plants. It will even go as far as to temporarily bleach your entire lawn. True to its name, this weed killer is tenacious; it takes its time starving out the weeds. It will not show results immediately, compared to other herbicides that can kill of weeds in just a little under 24 hours. However, I find that maintaining a regimen of this product is worth the extra effort. In over two weeks, the weeds stop growing. By the third week, they are dead.
One advantage with the Tenacity Turf Herbicide is that you can start sowing seeds at the same time you spray. There is no need to wait for the herbicide to fade away as it is designed to target only the weeds.
Take note that there are different ways to prepare the weed killer, depending on how you want to use it. It can be administered as a pre-emergent weed killer, which treats the area in a way that prevents weed from growing; or it can be sprayed on as a post-emergent weed killer, which will kill any weeds that have already sprouted in the area. The pre-emergent weed killer mixture is not as potent as the post-emergent mix, which is why you need to make sure you know what you want to do before you begin mixing the formula.
If you are using the Tenacity Turf Herbicide as a pre-emergent weed killer, mix ½ teaspoon with a gallon of water. This should be enough to cover over one thousand sq. ft.
As a post-emergent weed killer, mix ½ teaspoon of Tenacity with 1 ½ teaspoons of non-ionic surfactant in a gallon of water. This mixture will cover one thousand sq. ft. and after a day or two of having applied the product, water in your lawn with ¼” of water.
In my experience, this is a great herbicide for dealing with weeds. My only issue with it is that it does not seem as effective during the warm season; in my experience, its best effects were only when I administered treatment during the cool season. Overall, it is definitely a product that you should have in your toolkit; the Tenacity Turf Herbicide is extremely helpful for overcoming a wide variety of weeds without endangering the rest of your lawn.
Do you have a big lawn and find that thorough maintenance can be a hassle? Has your weed problem grown so quickly and become so out of hand that you are close to giving up? That’s what products like the Roundup Super Concentrate is made for. This is a product that has established itself as the best for treating large, overgrown patches of land.
The Roundup Super Concentrate is exclusively a post-emergent weed killer. This means that it is only for treating weeds that have already sprouted on the ground and it is not effective for long-term weed prevention. It is a great way of laying out the foundation for better weed treatment in overgrown lawns.
Since the job of reclaiming a lawn is difficult, I appreciated how cost-effective it is to prepare the formula. All you need to do is add two and a half ounces of the concentrate to a gallon of water and get to spraying. It is enough to cover 25,500 square feet.
In addition, the Roundup Super Concentrate turns rainproof in just thirty minutes. I also appreciate how this herbicide only needs half an hour to penetrate into the leaves and roots of each weed. This means that even under the heaviest rainfall, the chemicals will not wash away from the weeds and onto your plants.
In terms of results, you can see the Roundup Super Concentrate’s work on any unwanted plants in as soon as two to four days. The weeds will start turning yellow and start wilting towards the end of this time frame.
Overall, I would definitely recommend this herbicide to anybody with big lawns, especially because it can withstand heavy rainfall and can be used in multiple areas. It is the best herbicide for tackling big jobs.
Here is the first organic herbicide to be featured on this list. This pet-safe weed killer is popular because despite its limitations as an organic formula, it performs almost as quickly as other industry herbicides. It is also an extremely versatile herbicide which can be used just about anywhere; regardless of whether you need help in a residential, commercial, industrial, or agricultural lot, it is safe enough to be administered.
One of the biggest concerns surrounding herbicides is that some of the chemicals can cause cancer. With the Green Gobbler, you do not have to worry about any of that; it does not contain any glyphosate and the strength of its treatment is derived from ethanol that has been painstakingly distilled from corn grain.
Before I checked the label, I found myself asking the question: how is this better from regular vinegar or table salt? But when I read about it, I saw that it has over four times the potency of usual vinegar. This is more than enough to drain weeds of their life energy in less than twenty-four hours—not a bad record for an organic weed killer!
This product comes with an attachable trigger sprayer, so all you need to do is replace the cap with the spray cap and get to work. The Green Gobbler can eliminate a wide variety of broadleaf weeds and for best results, should be used with a surfactant such as dishwashing soap or orange oil.
If you are not satisfied with your purchase, you do not need to worry about having to stash it away somewhere forever; the Green Gobbler offers a thirty-day money back guarantee in case you are not getting any results from it. I would recommend getting straight to using it after you buy so that you still have enough time to return it if it is not compatible for you.
Even though this is an organic weed killer, keep in mind that the Green Gobbler Vinegar herbicide is still potent and non-selective. Make sure you avoid spraying it onto any healthy, desired plants and grass or else it will definitely damage the foliage as well.
I would definitely recommend this herbicide to anybody who is conscious about the kind of chemicals that go into their herbicides. This is all-natural solution and is effective at getting the job done. It is also safe for pets and children.
Looking for a weed killer that is ready to use and comes with all the tools necessary to get straight to work? Look no further than the Roundup 5200210. This herbicide does not need any further preparation prior to administering treatment and even comes with an extendable spray wand of its own.
The Roundup 5200210 becomes water resistant as soon as ten minutes after application and starts showing visible results in as fast as three hours. It is simple, straight to the point, and does a great job of killing off unwanted plants. However, due to the potency of its mixture, you have to take extra care in administering this formula. Make sure that you do not get any on your desired plants as well as other living things.
On that note, while it is potent enough to start showing its results in as soon as three hours, the full extent of its destruction lasts a few days. It wilts away and kills any plant that it touches. While it is best used on a hot and dry day, I also managed to get rid of a few weeds when I applied it before an unexpected rainfall.
One small issue I have with this herbicide is the comfort wand it comes with. While the idea is promising, the product does not delivery very well; it alternates between spraying, splattering, and foaming up while I am using it. I switched it out for the pump version, but I would love to see the comfort wand idea developed more in the products to come.
This is the ideal weed killer to use for pathways and other areas where you want to keep the ground as smooth and unobstructed as possible. True to its name, the Ortho 046304 Groundclear really does clear out the entire area and prevents any form of regrowth for at least one year.
Once you start applying the formula, you only need six hours to start seeing the first results. When you order this weed killer, you can choose from three different methods of application. Remember to prepare the appropriate equipment beforehand.
The first method is the Wand and Refill. This option does not require any mixing and you can get straight to work. It is best for treating precise problem spots around your area.
The second is by using it as a concentrate. You will need to buy a spray, sprinkler can, or tank sprayer—all of which are available in a variety of sizes. Mix it in with water as specified in the label to make the most coverage out of each treatment.
Lastly, you can also just use it with a sprinkler cap. This is the best option for penetrating into cracks and crevices. All you need to do is attach a sprinkler cap onto the neck of the bottle and sprinkle the product over the area you want to treat.
I have used several products from this brand before and I have to say that they have clearly given their best in developing the formula. The new mixture works far better than the last and it is faster as well. It is always encouraging to know that a brand is dedicated enough to consistently work on improving its product, especially when it becomes evident in its performance.
Overall, the Ortho 046304 is a reliable herbicide, especially when you are looking for one that can help maintain a clean aesthetic over pathways, gravel, and patios. It is extremely useful, especially because you have the option to administer treatment in three different ways.
By far, this is one of the best pre-emergent weed killers I have ever used on my lawn. The Quali-Pro, as seen in the name, is composed of 65% Prodiamine and it does a great job of keeping most weeds, especially crabgrass, away from your lawn. It can be applied during both the spring and the fall season.
The Prodiamine comes in granular form, so you will have to mix it in with some water. ¼ tablespoon of Quali-Pro in a gallon of water is enough to treat 250 square feet of land.
I appreciate how this herbicide has excellent shelf life, which I attribute to its granular form. It can keep for over five years and this means that it is a great investment to make for all your foliage.
Due to the potency of the chemical, I recommend donning full protective equipment when spraying this onto your weeds. This includes neoprene gloves, safety glasses, and even a face mask. Keep in mind that you do not need to mix it in with a surfactant to enhance its penetrative properties.
Overall, it is a great herbicide and while it may initially seem expensive, the cost per treatment is actually much lower if you factor in how long this formula can last. It is a good choice for any gardening enthusiasts that want to stay away from glyphosate-based weed killers as well, because it is just as effective without any of the health scares that the glyphosate chemical comes with.
In addition to that there is just so much inside each container that you can even share it with your fellow gardening enthusiasts. I would definitely recommend it if you just want a simple but reliable herbicide for your lawn.
Weeds can insist on growing in the most inconvenient places—like inside your sewage systems and septic tanks. If left untreated, the roots can block these drains and make things unpleasant for everybody living in the area.
This is where the Roebic K-77 comes in. It is a weed killer designed specifically for use on a house’s plumbing and drainage system. Compared to the cost of having the roots professionally dug out and removed, this herbicide is definitely a worthwhile investment.
The Roebic K-77 is a non-corrosive substance and has proven to be safe for all types of plumbing. However, note that it is not approved for use in septic systems within Florida.
This herbicide works by destroying the roots within the pipes and chemically killing off any potential for regrowth. The root is unable to regrow because the chemicals prompt the dead root to “seal off” its point of entry. As a result, further spreading of roots across your pipeline is prevented.
While we would not recommend completely disengaging from professional cleaning services (it is still important to have an expert check your pipes at least once a year for maintenance), the Roebic K-77 will definitely be of great help when it comes to keeping your sewage lines clean and flowing.
Most of the products discussed on this list refer to herbicides for the lawn or for other exposed areas, so the Roebic K-77 is unique in its field of specialization. I would highly recommend getting it because having a great sewage system is so underrated; it is important to keep this part of your home flowing freely and properly. Compared to the costs of having a professional clean things out once all the blocked pipes take a turn for the worst, investing in the Roebic K-77 is the more cost-efficient choice.
The Different Kinds Of Herbicides
Before you go and buy a weed killer, you should know that there are tons of different kinds of herbicides that you can choose from. The best herbicide for the lawn next door may not be the same for yours. To help you get an idea of how many types there are to choose from, here is a quick overview of each category.
Contact Weed Killer
Contact herbicides kill any and all the plants that it comes into contact with. They enter the leaf through the stomata, which are only open while the plant is actively growing and soaking in photosynthesis during the day. With that said, there are three conditions that a gardener needs to fulfill before they can use a contact herbicide effectively. First, it has to be applied during the growing season; second, it must be administered early in the day; and third, it has to be applied onto green and living plants.
This kind of herbicide does not leave any lingering effects on the garden soil. It is a good option for controlling annual weeds and takes about two weeks to fully run its course.
Systemic Weed Killer
Systemic weed killer simply refers to how thorough an herbicide is once it manages to enter a plant. It means that after they access the plant, the chemicals slowly work their way through the transport system all throughout the plant. This is an indication that it has managed to kill all the areas of the plant and not just the leaves.
Residual Weed Killer
Residual herbicides completely prevent the growth of any plant (except for certain strains of algae and lichen) for an extended period of time. It stays in the soil for months and is best suited for pathways and other hard-standing areas such as patios, drives, and tarmacadam. This is not the herbicide you should use on garden patches or anywhere you plan on growing plants or vegetables in the coming year.
Non-Selective Weed Killer
Non-selective herbicides kill or severely cripple any plant that they come into touch with. As a result, take great care when using these herbicides; do not spray on windy days or days where there is expected rainfall as the chemicals could scatter throughout your entire area. This could pose a health risk, not just to your plants, but to you and any other people close by as well.
On your part, you should also be careful when handling these herbicides as it can harm humans too. Do not walk over any areas that you have sprayed and keep your pets as well as your children away from it as well. The labels will indicate the amount of time you need to wait before you can re-enter a treated area safely.
Selective Weed Killer
These weed killers only kill a specific kind of plant. One example is a lawn weed and feed product, which is only dangerous for broad-leaved plants like dandelions, daisies, and buttercups. As they have vastly different transport systems from narrow-leaved plants, only they are affected by a lawn weed and feed product.
However, note that selective weed killers do not necessarily avoid causing harm to other kinds of plants; it is only more harmful to certain subsets compared to others. With that said, you should still exercise caution when administering selective weed killers on any kind of weed, especially if it is in close proximity with a desired plant.
What Is The Best Weed Killer For Me?
Ready to buy your first herbicide but still not sure which one to get? That’s understandable; there are so many to choose from and they all have different formulations, depending on certain criteria. To help you narrow down on a product much faster, here are a few considerations that I would recommend you make before buying a weed killer.
The Kind Of Weeds You Have
Know your weed! You have to closely examine the invaders that have been creeping across your lawn because the chemicals you have to use to eliminate them, as well as the method of application, will differ from one species to another. Thankfully, there are tons of free resources that you can turn to on the internet for help. The Weed Science Society Of America has an extensive collection of photos to help you identify whatever pest is growing in your garden.
However, if you are not confident in your own ability to identify these weeds or would still like a second opinion, you can always approach an expert at your local gardening center.
Its Resistance To Water
If you have ever gone window-shopping for an herbicide already, you’re bound to have noticed that the water-resistant or rainproof weed killers are more expensive. Is it worth shelling out more money for? In my experience, getting a water-resistant weed killer is absolutely worth the extra cost. If it rains at any time during your application, then you will have to start over again from scratch.
In addition, it is possible that your other plants and vegetables may become affected by the herbicide as a consequence of rainfall—especially if it is the non-selective type. The rain may scatter the chemicals beyond the treated area if it has not locked onto the weeds already.
What You Aim To Achieve
Would you like to just get rid of the weeds that are already there or prevent weeds from growing in the first place? This will determine whether you are getting a pre-emergent or post-emergent herbicide. These need to be applied at different times of the year and sometimes targets different kinds of weeds, so check the label carefully before buying the product.
The Amount Of Herbicide You Will Need
If you are only working on a small area, then you will probably be okay with shopping for a ready-to-use product. These weed killers do not need to be diluted and mixed with water or other surfactants. However, if you are treating multiple weeds across a wide area, then getting a concentrate may be the better solution for you. Either way, you should only buy the amount of herbicide that you really need for the area you plan on treating. This will help you save money and space.
Your Personal Safety
You will be handling a lot of volatile chemicals that can cause severe health complications if you aren’t wearing the right protective equipment. In this case, some products come with their own built-in measures. This could include safety nozzles, backpacks, gloves, and more. Make sure to check with the seller or the store beforehand.
What Kind Of Chemicals You Will Need
As with any formulation, it is important to ensure that the treatment will not affect your safety and the safety of those around you. If you have any children, pets, or family members with sensitive health, then you may want to explore more organic options.
Whether You Want Organic Or Industrial Weed Killers
It is no secret that industrial weed killers are faster and better at getting the job done. However, due to concerns about the effects of the chemicals on their health, more and more people are beginning to switch to more organic alternatives.
Salt-based or vinegar-based formulations will take a little more time and effort. However, they are just as effective when it comes to getting rid of the weeds.
What You Are Planning On Planting
You need to think of the kinds of seeds that you want to sow before you buy the herbicide. Some weed killers are so vicious, they remove the possibility of growing anything on the treated area for more than a year. Others are potent but fast-acting, and evaporate immediately after doing the job so you can start planting seeds in as soon as three days.
Using Your Weed Killer Safely And Effectively
Herbicides are overwhelmingly effective at keeping your weeds under control. However, their potency also makes them a threat for others. To make sure that you, your fellow house members, and your pets are safe, follow this guide for using an herbicide properly from start to finish.
Step 1: Check The Label Before Applying
Any herbicide worth its salt will clearly lay out its chemical components, directions for use, and other relevant information in its label. Read it carefully and ensure that it is the correct formulation to apply to your weeds.
One other important point of information that you need to consider is how to store your herbicide safely, especially after you have finished the bottle. Remember that you are dealing with dangerous chemicals and you will need to dispose of it with care.
Step 2: Wear Protective Clothing, As Specified
It is time to dress up for the treatment! Wear a sturdy pair of boots, a pair of goggles, a pair of gardening gloves, and other protective equipment as mentioned in the herbicide’s label. Take care that you do not wash your protective equipment alongside the rest of your laundry.
Step 3: Ensure You Have The Right Equipment
Now that you are armed with the right clothing, you need to make sure that the herbicide is ready to go as well. Check the safety nozzles and make sure they are working correctly and take care to replace any leaking connections.
Instead of going through an entire set-up process, you can also go for herbicides that are already equipped for application. These include sprays or aerosols that come with the product.
Step 4: Prepare The Mixture, As Needed
If you bought a concentrated mixture, then you can’t just go ahead and apply it to the weeds. Read the label and find the appropriate mixing information for your herbicide, with reference to the intensity of your weed infestation and the land area you want to cover.
Remember that you should only mix the required amount, because you cannot store mixed herbicides. The mixture slowly dilutes and becomes ineffective over time.
Step 5: Check The Weather And Time Of Day
One important consideration when it comes to applying herbicides is the wind. A lot of the dangers associated with administering herbicides happens when the particles drift onto other plants, or when it is unknowingly breathed in by animals or humans. Never treat your plants on a windy day and immediately stop applying herbicides if you notice the wind picking up.
If it’s a clear day, the best time to administer herbicides is during the morning and evening.
Step 6: Start Treating In A Continuous Line
Now it’s time to start spraying your herbicide. Apply it in a way that allows you to avoid stepping or walking over areas that you have already treated. Make sure that you only leave small overlaps and that you use all of the herbicide you have mixed. Take your time with this step to ensure that you go over all the necessary parts of your treatment area properly!
Step 7: Take A Shower After The Application
Now that you are done with the treatment, clean the equipment you were using and step into the shower. Make sure to properly set aside your protective equipment and thoroughly scrub your face, hands, and body.
Step 8: Keep Your Herbicides Somewhere Safe
Your herbicides should only be stored in their original containers and kept in a locked cabinet, far away from extreme temperatures as well as children and pets. Once you need to dispose of your herbicides, don’t just throw it in the trash as the container could still have leftover traces of dangerous chemicals. Call a waste collection program, rinse the container, and wrap it in newspapers before disposing of it.
When Was Weed Killer First Discovered?
While research on herbicides had already started in the early 20th century, it was only during the Second World War that scientists were able to uncover a major breakthrough. This was the discovery of 2,4-Dichlorophenoxyacetic acid (thankfully shortened to 2,4-D) in the year 1940 by William Templeman and his associates at the Imperial Chemical Industries.
Coincidentally, this very same discovery was made by a team led by biochemist Juda Hirsch-Quastel at the Rothamsted Experimental Station. His discoveries, alongside the 2,4-D compound, were further developed for commercial use after the war.
When 2,4-D was commercially released in 1946, it became the world’s first successful weed killer. It triggered an agricultural revolution, as it allowed for much more enhanced weed control in a variety of cereal grass crops. 2,4-D continues to be one of the most commonly used weed killers in the world today.
The Most Common Questions On Herbicides, Answered
You are going to be dealing with a living, breathing thing—even if it is just your plants. Naturally, you will want to make sure that you get the process of ensuring their health and longevity right from the very first try. To help clarify any other doubts you may have regarding this, here are some of the most popular questions asked regarding weed killers.
How Long Do Herbicides Take To Kill Weeds?
Under the right conditions, the usual weed killers should only take around forty-eight hours to work its way down to the roots of the plant. These conditions are affected by two main factors:
The Climate It’s Sprayed In
If you use the weed killer on days when it is moist and/or cold, then the chemicals will not be able to target and penetrate the weeds very well. Beyond that, it can also damage any vegetation nearby. Ideally, you should administer the first spraying to your plants on a warm summer day.
This is because in the heat, the roots and leaves will absorb the chemicals much faster, with the remaining concentrate evaporating away once the target has had enough. As a result, it will not harm any nearby plants.
If done right, the weeds will start turning yellow and die within the next forty-eight hours.
The Strength Of The Chemicals
Before you buy the weed killer you have been eyeing, check and make sure that you are fine with its grass killer potency. This will affect how quickly the chemicals penetrate the leaves and make their way down to the roots. While very strong herbicides are sure to kill off the plant much faster, it may not be healthy for your soil or surrounding plants.
Make sure that your surrounding plants and soil are capable of dealing with the potency of the herbicide before you administer it.
When Should I Start Using Weed Killers?
The best time to start is when the weeds are actively growing, because most herbicides work only when they come into contact with the weeds. This means that you should probably start spraying and treating around April or May, and then maintain the regimen all the way until September.
Will Weed Killers Stop Other Weeds From Growing In The Future?
Yes, but it will take a lot of work to prime and maintain your soil for it. The effectivity of your treatment will depend on the kind of weeds you are dealing with as well as your commitment to the treatments. Some species of weed have exceptionally strong root systems, waxy exteriors, or hairy coverings. There are even varieties of superweed that seem to just soak up herbicides without any harm done.
When Should I Apply Pre-emergent Weed Killer?
This depends on the classification of the weed. If you are targeting summer annuals, which germinate in the spring, then the best time to apply pre-emergent weed killer is in the early spring season (or towards the very end of the winter season if you live in the Southern and Coastal US area).
If you would like to get rid of winter annuals, which germinate during the fall season, then a rule of thumb is to have it sprayed by or before the 15th of September—anytime during late summer or early fall.
Can I Plant Grass Seed After Administering Weed Killer?
This depends on the type of weed killer that you are using, because each weed killer has different active chemicals in their products. Make sure you read the label carefully and understand the extent of what each chemical spray can do to your plants before applying it.
Weed Killers With Glyphosate
Glyphosate is a systemic and nonselective weed killer. It travels from the leaves to the roots of a plant and does not leave any residue on the soil. As a result, you can begin sowing new seeds in as soon as a week. If you are using ornamental flower seeds, then these can be sown even sooner— one day after spraying. Grass and vegetable seeds can be worked on three days after.
Pre-Emergence Weed Killers
This type of weed killers create a chemical barrier in the soil that prevents weeds from sprouting. Look for pre-emergence weed killers that only affect grassy weeds, so that you can sow vegetable and flower seeds after applying herbicide.
However, grass seeds will not sprout until a pre-emergence weed killer has decayed completely. This may take up to four months.
When Can I Use A Weed Killer To Treat My Lawn?
Timing is crucial in this aspect because you only have one or two times a year where you can administer weed killer on to your lawn. The best times to administer weed control treatments for your entire lawn would either be during the month of May or anytime between the month of August to September. These are the times when most of the weed types are still around,
Can I Use Salt As A Weed Killer?
Yes. This is because salt dehydrates the plant. However, it is best used only in small-scale gardening and should be applied very carefully so as not to damage any nearby vegetation.
Start off with a small ratio of salt to water and then increase the amount of salt daily until it has effectively killed the target plant. After every application, thoroughly water any nearby plants to mitigate the damage of your salt solution to its surroundings and encourage the salt to continue traveling down the root of the target plant.
Note that you should only apply salt onto the plant itself and not on the soil. It can easily lead to uncontrollable, long-lasting effects.
Your First Steps To A Clean And Green Lawn
There’s nothing more unappealing than a garden full of weeds! Thankfully, with the help of this guide you can look forward to seeing a big change in your yard.
Learning how to use weed killers can be super confusing at first, but once you get the hang of it, the benefits are tremendous! It will help you maintain a beautiful garden and will do wonders for the health of your other plants—especially because they no longer have to contend for sunlight, water, and space!
But before you click buy, there’s one important thing to keep in mind: safety.
Above all, remember to put your health and well-being as your top priority. As with all dangerous substances, you’ll need to handle herbicides with extreme care and use them in a proper manner. Also, learn to be patient with yourself; it is highly unlikely that you will understand the craft immediately, so research a ton, and give yourself some preparation time to nail down the technique.
I hope this guide has given you all the information you need to improve your garden! Weeds are a tough problem to deal with, but once you have the right tools at your disposal you’ll be able to banish them once and for all.