We wholeheartedly agree that some weeds are absolutely breathtaking, but the fact that they are so invasive means that eliminating them is necessary if store-bought plants are to thrive.
Whether you have a vegetable garden that you would like to bear bountiful fruit or a rose bush that you wouldn’t like to be overcrowded by weeds, a specialty product is needed to help you rid your garden of these pesky plants.
In our guide below, we will highlight some of the top weed killers and help you understand what to look for as you shop. It is important to keep your plants safe while targeting weeds, so our gardening experts will throw in their two cents worth to help you decide which is the best weed killer for your garden.
Top 10 Weed Killers Comparison Table
|1. Round Up Pro Concentrate 50.2% Glyphosate 2.5 Gallon Jug Systemic Herbicide||Large Patches of Weeds||$$$$||4.7|
|2. Eco Clean Pure 20% Vinegar - Home&Garden 1 Gallon||Vegetable Gardens||$$$||4.4|
|3. Spectracide Weed & Grass Killer2 (Ready-to-Use) (HG-96017) (1 gal)||Lawn, Patios, Walkways||$||4.4|
|4. Compare-N-Save Concentrate Grass and Weed Killer, 41-Percent Glyphosate||Lawns||$$$||4.3|
|5. Southern Ag 2,4-D Amine Weed Killer Selective Broadleaf Weed Control, 32oz - 1 Quart ||Large Grassy Areas, Walkways||$$$||4.3|
|6. RM43 43-Percent Glyphosate Plus Weed Preventer for Total Vegetation Control, 32-Ounce||Large Grassy Areas, Walkways||$$$||4.2|
|7. Preen Garden Weed Preventer Plus Plant Food - 16 lb. pail Covers 2560 sq. ft. ||Flower Beds||$$$||4.2|
|8. Ortho Nutsedge Ready-To-Spray Killer, 32-Ounce ||Lawns||$$||4.0|
|9. Scotts Turf Builder Weed and Feed Fertilizer 5M ||Lawns||$$||3.8|
|10. EcoSMART 33113 Organic Weed and Grass Killer, 24-Ounce ||Lawns, Flower Beds, Vegetable Gardens||$$||3.6|
Where Are the Weeds?
Your weed killer selection depends on where you’ll be using it because you don’t want to risk damaging healthy plants.
- In the Flower Beds. When attacking weeds in the flower beds, you want products that can be applied precisely (e.g. bottles that shoot a narrow spray) and avoid misting as you risk it floating onto the good plants.
There is such a wide variety of weeds that can overtake flower beds, and the types of weeds vary from region to region.
If you have identified a specific weed, then look for products that target it specifically rather than trusting all-purpose weed killers. Some of them might damage the weed but not enough to keep it at bay for long. For general weed problems, make sure you apply the product to the weeds only and do so on a calm day (no wind or breeze).
- In the Yard. You usually combat clover, dandelions, chickweed and other types of invasive grasses like Annual Bluegrass or Crabgrass. Look for products that target one or several of these if you want to eliminate them.
Keep in mind that the same products used for lawns are also great for use on walkways, in patios and some flower beds if you apply it safely.
- In the Vegetable Garden. Anytime that food is involved, you need to be careful about what you are applying to the weeds.
We suggest you start with natural weed killers such as dumping boiling water onto specific weeds or using a mixture of vinegar and dish soap that you can spray directly onto the weeds.
Weed prevention is the best way to help keep your vegetable garden happy, so if you’re reading this in time, invest in some weed barrier fabric like that from Dewitt and apply it early on in the planting season.
If the patch of earth that you want to use your vegetable garden for is currently covered in weeds, you could go the chemical route and use a product that contains glyphosate. This herbicide is non-selective, meaning that it isn’t a weed-specific herbicide but rather one that targets all grasses and broad-leafed plants. You should do this well in advance (before planting vegetables). Otherwise, you risk killing seeds, seedlings, and plants by planting too soon. Just follow the instructions on the bottle and research how to use it before you go spraying and tilling.
Weed and Feed
When it comes to ridding your lawn of weeds, you might be better off purchasing a weed and feed that is specially formulated with to materials. One is there to help kill weeds such as dandelions and clover while the other will feed your lawn.
These work great for lawns that have a bad case of weeds and products like Preen Weed Preventer Plus Plant Food are even safe in flower beds. If you’re just targeting a few weeds now and then, you can get by with a specialty spray to attack them specifically.
Top 5 Best Weed Killer Reviews
Roundup Pro’s highly concentrated glyphosate mixture is the type of product that you would use to eliminate large patches of weeds. As we mentioned earlier, the glyphosate targets all grasses and broadleaf plants, so you shouldn’t use this on your lawn, or anywhere that you have healthy plants around that you would like to keep.
It’s great in areas that have been overtaken by weeds, such as ditches and fields, and if you mix it up and use it in the sprayer, it works great at killing weed between stones, bricks and other crevices.
We realize that it is a bit pricey and not the most natural solution out there, but if you have solid weed patches that you would like to kill, then this is the best weed killer you can get your hands on.
Due to the nature of the chemical, this product cannot be purchased by those residing in Hawaii, Alaska or California.
This isn’t your regular little vinegar that you use in recipes, homemade volcanos or your DIY cleaner spray. It is a strong, 20% solution of distilled white vinegar that you can use to attack weeds safely in your vegetable garden. You can actually use it for cooking and around the home, but we buy this for gardening since it is more expensive than regular vinegar.
One of the main reasons that gardeners use it is that it is environmentally friendly and natural, which means that applying it around the vegetables is in no way toxic or hazardous.
Before using vinegar on the weeds, you need to understand that it can lower the pH of the soil in the areas where you apply it. If you have alkaline soil, then adding a bit of vinegar is useful, but it’s not helpful if you have acidic soil.
You should do some soil testing before using this and please, please make sure you wear safety gear when using this. It is an acid, and it can burn you at this high concentration.
Look for some great DIY weed killer recipes online and give it a go!
If you’re in need of a general weed killer to get rid of dandelions, plantain, chickweed, annual bluegrass, and clover, Spectracide is an excellent product.
The mixture works to kill the weeds at the root, and it is rainfast in only 15 minutes; this means that it won’t rinse away if it starts to rain 20 minutes after you spray it, for example.
It is safe for use around trees, shrubs and flower beds, but you can also use it on walkways, curbs and in patios.
The gallon jug comes with a handy spray nozzle that you can attach and store under the handle, but we thought that the sprayer was a bit flimsy.
We suggest using it in your preferred weed killer spray bottle if you already have one.
Compare-N-Save is another glyphosate concentrated mixture that is a little more diluted than the top product on our list.
An entire bottle of this can cover up to 25,000 square feet, and each bottle makes up to 85 gallons of solution. It is much more affordable than the Roundup Pro Concentrate and is most effective when used on weeds that have popped up along walkways, fence lines, and patios. It will work to kill foliage and the root systems of weeds.
You can use this in the garden (flower beds), but you need to pay close attention to when and where you apply it so that you don’t risk spraying healthy plants.
It’s one of the most popular products on our list and one that we highly recommend!
Our final suggestion is a broadleaf weed killer. Rather than killing everything that it is applied to like a non-selective weed killer, this one is selective and only kills certain plants – broadleaf weeds, in this case.
Many use this on large, grassy areas such as cemeteries, golf courses, at parks, and in ditches to give you an idea. The active ingredient is dimethylamine salt, which is an organic compound that won’t harm certain types of grasses, cereals or turf.
Before you use this, it is important that you understand why species of grass or other plants will also be coated with it. If you don’t know and spray it on the wrong types, you’ll end up killing everything.
When used properly, it is a very effective weed killer.