A pretty lawn can easily be ruined if some unwanted weed starts to infest it. Investing in a weed killer is the right solution if you want to get rid of the pesky plants and retain the sophisticated look and feel of your yard.
There are tons of different weed species that can infest regular homes in North America, and no single weed killer works on all of them. For this reason, knowing what kind of weed killer to buy and where is important if you want to keep your lawn clean and pretty.
Best Weed Killer for Lawns
Weed killers can either be as useful as water or go on a killing frenzy and destroy your entire lawn. It’s very easy to get the wrong type of chemical, and it carries high risk of either promoting weed growth or completely eradicating your lawn.
We’ve handpicked the 5 best weed killers, each for different situations and weed problems. There’s also a buyer’s guide at the end to help you with the purchase decision.
Our Top Pick
Southern Ag 2,4-D Amine
Best for Broadleaf Weeds
The Southern Ag is affordable and uses 2,4-D Amine to target most broadleaf weeds. It has a wide coverage of 1,000 square feet with just I quart of the weed killer, and comes at a great price.
For most homes, the Southern Ag will suffice because it targets the most common type of weed that infests lawns and fences.
T-Zone Turf Herbicide
Powerful but Expensive
The T-Zone herbicide is expensive, but it contains 4 different chemicals designed to target a broad spectrum of weeds. This is an agricultural grade product that is designed to kill the rarest weed species out there.
If your home is infested by tougher weeds that don’t respond to regular herbicides, this is the perfect (albeit expensive) solution for you.
Southern Ag 2,4-D Amine – Best Overall
The Southern Ag 2,4-D Amine weed killer comes in a size of 1 Quart and utilizes a low, economical use rate of 1 to 4 pints per acre.
This is a broadleaf weed killer which will work for most individuals looking for one. 2,4-D considered the most effective chemical to use on various broadleaf weeds. A quart of this weed killer from Southern Ag can cover up to 1,000 square feet.
This is an affordable product that targets the most common type of weed found in homes. It’s ideal for lawns, pavements, and pathways where you don’t want any weed to grow. It’s a quick, simple, and reliable fix for majority of the individuals looking for a weed killer.
- Simple and effective
- Targets the most common type of weed
- Good coverage
- Doesn’t work on rare weed types
T-Zone Turf Herbicide – Widest Spectrum
If you own a large lawn or one infested by a wide variety of weed species that are difficult to kill with more conventional chemicals, the T-Zone Turf has you covered.
The price of the T-Zone is scary for a weed killer, but this is because it has four active ingredients instead of just one. These four ingredients come together to kill virtually any kind of weed that grows on your lawn.
The tougher species that the T-Zone covers include wild violets, ground ivy, clover, and yellow nutsedge. T-Zone’s weed killer also works better in colder climates and seasons. It costs more than almost all weed killers out there, but it’s targeted to destroy the most stubborn weed that may grow in your lawn. Keep in mind that though it has a larger spectrum, it doesn’t kill all weeds. Make sure you research which weed you need it for.
- Works in cold climates and seasons
- Targets a wide range of weeds
- Good coverage
- Very expensive
Roundup Concentrate Plus – Most Aggressive Weed Killer
The Roundup Concentrate Plus is an incredibly aggressive weed destroyer. As the name suggests, it his highly concentrated and thus comes in a small bottle of 16 ounces.
The primary chemical used in the Concentrate Plus is glyphosate, which is infamous for killing both weed and grass. For this reason, it might not be ideal if you want to eliminate weed but save the grass in your lawn. However, for pavements, walkways, fences, garages, and other areas, this weed killer is ideal.
The Roundup Concentrate destroys practically any plant it comes in contact with, so spray it on a calm day so wind doesn’t influence where it lands.
- Highly aggressive and fast acting
- Very concentrated which gives it good coverage
- Portable package
- Destroys grass and other desirable plants
Preen Garden Weed Preventer – Best for Prevention
Preen Garden’s Weed Preventer isn’t as aggressive as the previous three. It is a herbicide that fights weeds before they emerge. This makes it ideal for use immediately after tilling your land to inhibit growth of weed after it has been prepared.
It also means that any existing weed already present on the land will not be killed by this product. This is a preparation weed killer that targets the roots. It facilitates the growth of healthy plants and exclusively inhibits the growth of weed.
Each 31.3 pounds bag will cover an area of 5,000 square feet. This is a granular formula instead of a spray and guarantees weed inhibition for three months after it has been application.
- Safe for desirable plants
- Great coverage
- Guarantees weed prevention for 3 months
- Unaffected by weather
- Not applicable to existing weed
Scotts Turf Builder – Most Eco Friendly
Many individuals desperately search for weed killers that are friendly for the rest of the plant ecosystem in their lawns. Unlike the harsh chemical-based weed killers that destroy everything they touch, Scotts Turf Builder is a natural weed inhibitor that works fast without polluting the environment.
Essentially, the Turf Builder is a weed and feed formula. This means that it is a killer/fertilizer combo. The weed killing ingredient chokes out weeds like dandelions and clovers while the fertilizer promotes growth of desirable plants like grass.
The Scotts Turf Builder is also safe for children and pets because of the choice of ingredients used in this weed killer. It is fast acting and the results can be seen after a single use.
- Kills weed and promotes growth of desirable plants
- Safe for children and pets
- Fast acting
- Only targets a limited number of weeds
Without knowing the weed type, you won’t be able to purchase the correct weed killer. Knowing which weed type you are targeting is the most important factor when buying. This is because not all weed killers will effectively target all species. For this reason, you need to identify which weed type has infested your home before you buy the solution.
Broadleaf weeds are the most common type and grow in patchy parts of your lawn. They look distinct from normal grass, usually including species like dandelions, chickweed, ground ivy, and poison ivy. Broadleaf weeds require herbicides that contain a wide range of specific chemicals due to their inconsistent and varied life cycles.
Crabgrass looks similar to regular grass but is ganglier and larger. It dies during cold weather but produces thousands of seeds that lay dormant and can reemerge in warmer conditions. Crabgrass is difficult to control because it looks like regular grass. Often, it is treated through pre-emergence control during colder climate.
Application of the weed killer is extremely important and can make or break your lawn. You need to follow proper preparation and application guidelines for the type of weed killer that you will utilize.
The most common way of applying weed killer is through spray. You add the chemical in a spray bottle, dilute it with water, then spray on the affected regions. This increases the longevity of your weed killer and reduces its harmful effects on the environment.
Other weed killers are required to be applied with a spreader because of their solid, granular form. They are spread similar to how you would spread fertilizers. You will need to buy a spreader for the most effective coverage.
You should also look out for the effects of weather. Avoid using weed killers in dry weather as the chemicals can severely harm your lawn if it is too dry. You should also avoid using them in rainy conditions. Make sure the weed killer is also used when there isn’t much of a draft, especially if you are using concentrates.
Weed killers contain many toxic chemicals that can be harmful. If you have children and pets, it is highly recommended that you go for safer pre-emergence natural weed killers instead of chemicals. You can also use safer methods such as salt spread around the roots, vinegar, or dousing the weed with boiling water if you feel that weed killers are too dangerous for your family members.
What does selectivity of a weed killer influence?
The selectivity of the weed influences which plant it will target. The most powerful and concentrated weed killers are often non-selective and will destroy all plants they come in contact with. Selective weed killers target a specific type or group of weeds and are not deleterious for other species of plants.
If there are some desirable plants that you need to keep safe, you will need to find a selective weed killer that targets the weed growing in your lawn.
How can I keep grass safe while applying non-selective herbicides?
Keeping grass safe while applying concentrates of non-selective herbicides can be tough. These chemicals destroy everything they touch. One way is to wear a glove, dip your protected hand in the prepared solution, and coat the undesired weeds manually.
Should I only consider weed killers that are water resistant?
If you live in an area with lots of rainfall at unpredictable frequencies, then you should probably consider a week killer that is water resistant. Water can flush out the weed easily and prevent it from taking effect. The brands we have listed however are all water resistant after half an hour of application, so you won’t need to worry about it.
What is the difference between a concentrate and a working solution?
A concentrate is the pure, unadulterated weed killer chemical that is highly concentrated. You need to manually create a solution from it by diluting it with water. You will need to carefully follow the application instructions as concentrates are often very powerful and will destroy any plant they touch.
Working solutions are already pre-made and come in smaller quantities. They are ideal if you only have a small patch of weeds that needs to be eradicated or own a smaller lawn. They require no preparation and can be used as is.