Are you a proud owner of a beautiful lawn or a garden? Do you dabble in producing your own vegetables?
If your answer is yes then you know that the one thing a beginner or an experienced gardener dreads is the weeds.
Why is that?
Any other problem you can encounter you can solve easily and naturally with a little bit of knowledge.
Weeds, or, if you want to be more precise, weed killers are the biggest problem here.
The thing that makes this completely true is the fact that they contain chemicals that are harmful to the weeds They also have quite is strong elements, which allow them to deal even the most persistent type of plants, including weeds.
What people fear the most is not finding a safe weed killer that won’t cause any problems to your family and you.
- The Best Weed Killer
- 1. Southern Ag CROSSBOW32, 32oz
- 2. Roundup Weed & Grass Killer Concentrate Plus
- 3. Scotts Liquid Turf Builder 32 fl. oz.
- 4. Roundup Concentrate Max Control 365
- 5. PBI/Gordon 652400 Speed Zone
- 6. Ortho Weed B Gon Concentrate
- 7. Roundup Concentrate, 32 oz.
- 8. Dow AgroSciences RTU548 Tordon
- 9. Gowan USA 51496 SedgeHammer
- Our Top Pick for the Best Weed Killer
- What to Look for in a Best Weed Killer?
- Best Weed Killer – When to Spray?
- Best Use of Weed Killer
The Best Weed Killer
We have conducted extensive research and made a list of 9 herbicides with the best success rate, having in mind the use and safety of the product.
Out of those 9, we have a top pick – the very best weed killer we could find.
Stick around to find out which one it is and why.
1. Southern Ag CROSSBOW32, 32oz
Best Choice for Vines and Brushes
The Crossbow32 series of the Southern Ag manufacturer is a selective, post-emergent variety of weed killers.
It is mostly recommended to use on vines and brushes.
According to the research, it has shown great success in eliminating Poison Ivy and Poison Oak.
The label also states that it is effective against Multiflora Rose, Blackberry Vine, and Kudzu.
You do not need to worry too much about rainfall as it is rain resistant and it remains on the foliage.
You can use it safely around trees and fences.
Crossbow32 is a concentrate and the substance needs to be diluted with water before application.
The percentage to be used on each specific plant is in the label booklet and can also be found online so read carefully before use.
It should not be used on crop areas, yet rangeland, pastures, and conservation reserve programs are where you can use it.
It is good to use in lawns since it does not affect grass, and around fences and walkways.
Active ingredients are 2,4-Dichlorophenoxyacetic acid and butoxy ethyl ester.
It should be applied during spring and summer.
- Rain resistant
- Vine and brush killer
- It is not safe to use around vegetables and flowerbeds
2. Roundup Weed & Grass Killer Concentrate Plus
The roundup weed and grass killer is among the first choices of any gardener because it is highly effective, fast, and it is produced by a trusted manufacturer.
As for the type, this product is a post-emergent herbicide. Apart from that, it is non-selective to boot, which means that it will kill almost anything that it touches.
It acts as both contact and systemic weed killer, and you can see the first results within 12 hours.
The more stubborn perennials will die within 1 to 2 weeks only.
The roundup weed and grass killer concentrate owe its strength and effectiveness to Roundup’s FastAct technology.
They are so confident in the effectiveness of the product that they offer a complete refund if customers are not satisfied and provide original proof of purchase.
It has proven effective against the majority of weeds including but not limited to Chickweed, brush, tree stumps, and Dandelions.
It is not effective against vines, algae, and moss, but it is possibly the best grass killer.
You can use it on any area from lawns and fences to walkways.
Since it kills almost everything it is used for the preparation of the ground before planting a specific culture.
Once it touches the ground it does not spread so it is safe to plan after applying it.
You should not use it around decorative flowers and vegetables, and you should wash them immediately if they come in contact with it.
The formula dries and becomes rain and water-resistant after 30 minutes so act quickly.
- Trusted brand
- Refund if not satisfied
- Eliminates almost all weeds
- On the expensive side
- Avoid using around vegetables and other edibles
3. Scotts Liquid Turf Builder 32 fl. oz.
Plus 2 Weed Control Fertilizer – Weed and Feed
Scotts Liquid Turf Builder with Plus 2 is a weed and feed herbicide with fertilizer.
As a fertilizer, it gives the soil needed nitrogen and potassium that help the grass you want to grow, grow faster, and prettier.
It can be used on Fescue, Bermuda, Ryegrass, and many others, but you should not use it on St. Augustine.
When it comes to weeds, it kills clovers and dandelions along with pigweed, ragweed, spurge, and others.
It is not a concentrate so there is no need of mixing it with water.
You could say that it is ready to use – you just need to attach a hose to the bottle and spray the area you want to fertilize/kill weeds on.
It will fertilize within 24 hours, and the unwanted weeds will start to wilt and curl within 2 to 3 days.
For more stubborn weed types you may need to reapply the liquid in about 3 weeks to a month.
You can use it to fertilize and kill weeds between two rainfalls, and it is adequate to use during spring, summer, and fall.
- Added nitrogen and potassium for fertilizing
- Effective against many kinds of lawn weeds
- Safe for pets and children
- The packaging is often faulty
4. Roundup Concentrate Max Control 365
Top Choice Vegetation Killer
Another Roundup product on this list, Max Control shares all the qualities of other Roundup products.
What makes this product different from others is the fact that the weeds will not grow on the treated places for up to a year because Max Control 365 creates a barrier on the ground upon application.
It is a pre-emergent weed killer, natural, safe for kids and pets.
This product is great for gravel, patios, walkways, and driveways, as well as for different types of fences and foundations.
It contains active elements, such as 18% Glyphosate, 1.6% Imazapic, and 0.73% Diquat.
This is a non-selective herbicide, which means it kills every plant it touches.
It is perfect for those stubborn perennial plants since it kills them at the roots.
Follow the dosage instructions for maximum effect, the first visible results will occur within 12 hours of application and the weeds and grasses will die within a week or two.
If you are not satisfied with the results, Roundup offers a full refund if you provide proof of purchase.
- Rainproof after 30 minutes
- Safe for pets and children
- Possible refund
- Can’t be used in flowerbeds and around edibles
5. PBI/Gordon 652400 Speed Zone
20-Ounce Lawn Weed Killer
Gordon SpeedZone lawn weed killer is a broad range weed killer effective against the likes of clovers, dandelions, wild violet and, creeping Charlie.
It is a fast-acting weed killer concentrate that shows results within hours of application.
You can use it on and around lawns but avoid flowerbeds and vegetable gardens.
Also, if you have a lawn with St. Augustine grass, do not use this product as it will cause damage to the delicate St. Augustine.
One of the best things about Gordon SpeedZone is that one bottle is enough to cover over 14 000 sq. ft. while other weed killers in the same price range go up to 8000 sq. ft.
This makes it very affordable.
Gordon SpeedZone has been made according to innovative technologies that allow the herbicide to be adequately absorbed in the cold weather as well as warm weather, so you can use it all year round.
Due to the strong formula that goes well with cold weather, it can be too volatile during very warm months so use sparingly in order not to damage other plants.
It uses four active ingredients – 2,4 – D 2 Ethylhexyl ester, mecoprop-p acid, dicamba acid, and carfenrazone-ethyl.
- Great coverage
- Great value for money
- Can be used in cold weather
- Not suitable for all grass lawns
- Not good to be used close to vegetables and flowers
6. Ortho Weed B Gon Concentrate
Chickweed, Clover & Oxalis Killer
Ortho Weed B Gon is one of the selective, post-emergent varieties of weed killers.
It is safe to use on lawns but you shouldn’t use it in gardens and next to vegetables.
Weed B Gon is selective and works best on Clover, Chickweed, Poison Ivy, Creeping Charlie, wild violets, and Oxalis, other plants surrounding the weeds should remain undamaged if the product is used according to the instructions.
Triclopyr, triethylamine salt is the active ingredient.
Compared to other similar herbicides, it is safer for pets and children.
It becomes water-resistant 6 hours upon application.
It is ready to use once you connect the bottle to a garden hose.
One bottle is enough for about 3000 sq. ft. of ground.
It is a post-emergent herbicide so use it in the active growing phase of the weeds.
Be careful to use on temperatures not higher than 90 degrees as it becomes volatile and damages other plants on higher temperatures.
- Safe for children and pets
- Easy to use
- Guaranteed that it does not damage other plants
- Can’t be used on all lawns including St. Augustine grass
- Not to be used with flowers and vegetables
7. Roundup Concentrate, 32 oz.
Poison Ivy + Tough Brush Killer
This product that comes from Roundup is a heavy-duty one.
It is highly effective in killing hard to kill weeds such as Poison Ivy, Poison oak, vines, tough brush, and crabgrass.
It has a special formula with two ingredients (2% Triclopyr 18% Glyphosate) that, in combination, easily damage the surface of the waxy foliage of these species.
This allows the substance to travel all the way down to the roots of the weed and kill it.
The product becomes rainproof very quickly -only 30 minutes after application.
You can see the first signs of the weed dying after only a day, while you would need to wait up to 4 weeks for it to completely die.
If the weed is still alive after a month, repeat the process according to the instructions.
You can use this product undiluted to treat tree stumps, while you need to dilute it for other weeds that it is effective against.
- Heavy-duty herbicide
- Can be used to kill tree stumps
- Not safe for children and pets
8. Dow AgroSciences RTU548 Tordon
RTU Herbicide QT Size
Tordon herbicide is one of the most popular tree stump herbicides there is on the market.
It is effective against about 20 tree species, and since it does not work for everything, check if the tree you want to eliminate is on the list.
Some of the trees you can use it on are Cherrytree, oak, alder, birch, elm, sourwood, and more.
Be careful not to use around any ornamentals and decorative plants, as well as edibles.
It has several active ingredients – 4-amino-3,5,6-trichloropicolinic acid, triisopropanolamine salt, 2, 4-Dichlorophenoxyacetic acid, trisopropanolamine salt, Ethylene glycol, Isopropanol, Triisopropanolamine, and Proprietary surfactant that help kill the unwanted trees in your courtyards or around fences.
It has a no-freeze formulation that enables you to use it all throughout the year.
The liquid is dyed blue so you know which trees and tree stumps you have already treated.
You can pour the liquid directly into the ground, or use a spray bottle.
You can also dig small holes around the tree and pour the liquid into them.
The tree does not need to be cut down for this herbicide to work.
- Ready to be used
- Use throughout the whole year
- Only about 20 tree species respond to it
9. Gowan USA 51496 SedgeHammer
Completely Safe to Use Around Children
If what you need is a highly selective, systemic herbicide then SedgeHammer is the right choice for you.
With halosulfuronethyl as its active ingredient, it is specifically designed to kill nutsedge or nutgrass.
Once you spray it directly on the foliage it will work its way down to the roots of the weed and killing it in its entirety.
It is most effective with yellow and purple nutsedge, and it suppresses kyllinga as well.
The packaging is very convenient – the 0.5 oz baggies should be mixed with 10 gallons of water, there is no need for other measurements.
Since it is highly selective it is safe to use next to flowers and vegetables as well as lawns with St. Augustine, Kentucky bluegrass and, other turfgrasses.
It can be used in cold and warm weather avoiding the highest temperatures.
Once it dries out, it is safe for pets and people to be in the treated areas.
- Safe for kids and pets
- Safe to use in vegetable and flower gardens
- Convenient packaging
- It is on the expensive side
Our Top Pick for the Best Weed Killer
Among the 9 great weed killers, we are supposed to tell you what is the best weed killer.
Although it is the only pre-emergent herbicide on our list, we think that it is Roundup Concentrate Max Control 365 your best option.
It kills a large variety of weeds and grasses.
It kills them all the way down to their roots and does not allow them to appear for the longest time.
The treated area is safe for pets and children to use, and the rainfall will not wash the product away.
In addition, you can also use it to prepare the ground for other plants.
Here is a small bonus for you: Compare and save weed killers may be the best ones out there that you can get for a small price.
It is relatively new on the market compared to other manufacturers such as Roundabout, but it has proven to be successful in eliminating a large variety of weeds and grasses, both annual and perennial.
It is very strong, its formula contains 41% Glyphosate, so be very careful when you apply it.
What to Look for in a Best Weed Killer?
When choosing the best weed killers, you have to follow several important steps.
It may feel like science, but give it a go.
Taking care of all these will help you achieve the best results out of the weed killer formula you finally choose.
Step 1: Location
To choose the best weed killer spray you will first need to analyze your needs.
What does that mean?
First of all, figure out what you need the herbicide for.
Do you have issues with your lawn and need to use the best lawn weed killer in order to solve them?
Or, perhaps, you need to deal with some smaller plants around your walkway or fence? In this case, you should think about getting a non-selective weed and grass killer.
Or, do you have to maintain your vegetable garden free from unwanted guests that take valuable nutrients from the soil?
In those cases, you might need different types of herbicides or a certain combination.
Step 2: Identify the Weeds
Another very important thing to look into is the type of weed you are dealing with.
There are different types of the weeds. Some are annual like foxtail or crabgrass, while others are perennials such as dandelions or nutsedge.
Get familiar with the weed type that bothers you – this will make the process of finding the best weed killer easier and in the long run more effective.
Step 3: Get to Know Your Herbicides
No manufacturer has come up with the one single product that is capable of killing every single weed there is, and keep alive all of the wanted plants as well.
Considering how they function, there are three ways you can categorize the weed killer sprays.
1. Pre-Emergent vs. Post-Emergent Weed Killers
There are different uses of pre-emergent and post-emergent herbicides regarding the germination process of your herbs.
You should use a pre-emergent weed killer right before your plants sprout.
They can be quite beneficial when you notice that there are annual weeds like crabgrass appearing in the same places every year.
To make sure these weeds never appear in the first place, you need to use a pre-emergent weed killer.
The other type in this category is the post-emergent weed killer.
You should use this type only once you notice that there are unwanted plant guests in your garden or lawn.
It’s dangerous because it can kill the plants that have appeared above the surface.
The next two categories mainly relate to post-emergent herbicides.
2. Contact Weed vs. Systemic Weed Killers
This category takes into consideration how the herbicide actually works.
Both categories have their advantages and disadvantages and the choice will depend on the weed species you’re dealing with.
The contact weed killers, as their name suggests, kills when it gets in direct contact with the weed.
Its main advantage is that it is a quite fast when it comes to killing the weed.
When you spray this product on the foliage, it usually makes the weed to wilt and eventually die. The results can be seen in a matter of hours, a day at the most.
This is the best weed killer when it comes to removing weed from your lawns that are struggling with annual weeds that spread through seeds.
In this process, the seeds are killed before they get a chance to grow a new plant.
Systemic weed killers work a bit differently.
They are slower and take up to three weeks depending on the weed type to work.
When you decide to use the systemic herbicide on the foliage the active substance will eventually get to the roots, through the stem, and kill the entire plant.
This process takes time, so be patient.
You could say that this type of herbicide products is best for destroying weeds in gardens troubled by perennials that can multiply via seeds, as well as roots.
When it comes to using the systemic weed killer, you will ensure that a stubborn perennial like bindweed or thistle will not appear again next year.
After some time, about a month, if your weed problem is not gone, you should consider to repeat the process.
3. Selective vs. Non-Selective Weed Killers
This is maybe the easiest category to explain.
Selective weed killer kills only weeds or even different types of weeds.
When you decide to use products from this category, you have to know which type of weeds you want to kill, otherwise, it will be a waste of your money.
Selective weeds are a good option if you want to kill only the weeds around your flowers or vegetables.
They should not harm other plants even if you spray it on them, but it is still better to use a spot method and spray only the weeds avoiding other plants.
Non-selective herbicides are ruthless killers of everything that is in their way including flowers, grass, vegetables, and even trees.
A non-selective herbicide is the best weed and grass killer to use on and around pathways or patios or around fences.
Also, you can use it if you are not satisfied with how your lawn or garden looks like and want to start all over again.
Which type is the best weed killer?
You can pick one in a category, a combination of two from the same categories, or two, even three from different categories based on your weed killing needs.
Step 4: Expectations and Patience
Now, this is the important part.
After you have carefully examined the location, found out which plants you want to kill, and decided on what type of weed killer you want to use, you need to let it do its work.
Some weed killers show their effect in a few hours after application, others take a couple of days, even a week.
In regards to that, adjust your expectations – not every herbicide kills everything immediately, despite what the commercials will tell you.
Sometimes, you will need to reapply the herbicide in order to get rid of unwanted garden guests.
This is perfectly ok. It does not mean that the spray does not work.
You may be dealing with a stubborn and persistent weed type.
In this case, patience is the key.
Repeat the process instead of wasting your money on another herbicide that might or might not work.
If you have done your research a repeated application might just do the trick.
Best Weed Killer – When to Spray?
Deciding when to spray is not that complicated.
We already mentioned that you can choose whether to spray before or after the weed germination process.
Now we want to address something else regarding the spraying time.
Spraying with Post-Germination Weed Killers
There are a few general guidelines about this.
First of all, check the weather forecast for the next day or two.
If it is supposed to rain, postpone your weed killing action until the weather is dry.
For the weed killer to work out needs to stay on the foliage for a while, at least 24 hours.
Rain would wash it off and your troubles would have no effect.
Note: turn off the sprinklers as well.
Another thing regarding the weather is the temperature.
If the temperature goes above 85 degrees the heat will surely speed up the process, but it could cause the grass around the weed to dry up as well.
So, the best option is warm and dry weather with temperatures around 80 degrees.
Make sure that you do not mow or pluck the weeds a few days before you spray since the herbicide needs to be in contact with the foliage.
Also, if your lawn is young, i.e. the grass is younger than 3 months avoid using any weed killers.
Maure grass will be stronger and will not be damaged by the herbicides.
The optimum time is 4 to 5 months after you have planted the grass.
Spraying with Pre-Germinations Weed Killers
For pre germination weed killers the best time to use them is spring and fall.
In the spring the weeds are getting ready to sprout and this is the optimal time to eliminate them.
In the fall, however, they are getting into the dormant phase and are collecting nutrients for the winter.
If you spray them then, you will lower their ability to feed and they will be weaker in the spring.
Best Use of Weed Killer
For more information on which herbicide check our list and find which one is safe to use around children and pets.
But the safest one on the list is definitely Scotts Liquid Turf Builder with Plus 2 Weed Control Fertilizer.
Aside from the importance of picking the safest weed killer for your needs regarding the chemical content and application (i.e. lawn or garden) another highly important thing is safe usage.
We can’t stress this enough.
When you are dealing with chemicals:
It’s Best Not to Mix Weed Killer on Your Own
If you are not a chemist you do not know how different chemicals react when they are mixed. so you should avoid making homemade weed killers.
In the case of an herbicide, you can create a mixture of two where, when used separately, the two formulas work perfectly.
When used combined, they can become toxic to everything, or the opposite, they can annul the effect of one another.
Both effects are not desirable.
Do Not Go Against the Recommendations
Each herbicide has a recommended dosage.
Do not use more or less of the weed killer concentrate when you are preparing your herbicide.
Using less will soak your soil with chemicals but will not kill what it is designed to kill.
Using more will, again, not kill the weed any faster, but you will have more herbicide in the soil, and probably spend more money on another package.
If you see that after a while the herbicide did not do what it was supposed to just repeat the process with the prescribed dosage.
Read the label carefully and follow the instruction – that is how you will keep yourself, your pets, and your desired plants happy and healthy.
Do Not Use With a Fertilizer
It may seem convenient, but you should not use the same spray bottle, nozzle, or tank for both fertilizer and herbicide.
The substance can remain in the system even if you wash it.
If you choose to do so, use the herbicide after the fertilizer and not the other way around.
This does not apply to Weed and Feed herbicide varieties.