For anyone who has ever had a backyard garden to care of, you know that keeping your lawn and garden looking great takes a lot of hard work. Between watering, fertilizing, and weed control, there’s always something to do.
No one likes having to weed their garden, but it’s a necessary evil. And, unfortunately, the weeds always seem to come back stronger than before.
If you’re looking for the best way to get rid of those pesky plants once and for all, you’ll want to check out our list of the 7 best weed killers in 2022, compiled based on their effectiveness, user ratings, and affordability.
With any of these products, you’ll be able to get rid of weeds quickly and easily, without having to break a sweat! So read on to learn more about each one, and find the perfect one for your needs and start planning your weed-free garden today!
What Is A Weed?
A plant that is considered harmful or undesirable in a specific environment is known as a weed. It is a plant in the wrong place. Most examples that you hear in everyday parlance are plants that are not welcome in human-controlled settings, such as farms, gardens, lawns, and parks.
The term “weed” has no actual botanical meaning, however, because a plant that is a weed in one location may not be considered as such when growing in an environment where it is desired and where one species of plant is a valuable crop plant, while another species in the same genus might be a serious weed.
The word weed is also used to describe any plant that grows or reproduces rapidly and invasively outside of where it’s naturally found and grown. They typically outgrow your local plant and grass life, spread very fast, and out-compete these local plants for water and other vital nutrients, slowing killing them off.
Common Lawn Weeds
There are many types of weeds that you might find creeping into or taking over your lawn.
Some grassy lawn weeds include Bluegrass, Crabgrass, Goosegrass, Dallisgrass, Nimblewill, and Quackgrass. Another type of weed are broadleaf weeds, and some common examples are Dandelions, Buttercups, Carpetweed, Knotweed, Common Lespedeza (a.k.a. Japanese Clover), Prostate Spurge, Purslane, and Broadleaf Plantain.
And then there other types of weeds that don’t fit into a specific subset, like Wild Violet, Wild Onion and Garlic, Garlic Mustard, Canada Thistle, Broad-Leaved Dock, Bindweed, Nutsedge, Chickweed, Yellow Wood Sorrel, Lambsquarters, Pigweed, Shepherd’s Purse, Creeping Charlie, Velvetleaf, White Clover, Mallow, Oxalis, Common Ragweed, and Yellow Dock.
If you would like to know more details about any of these weeds, or you think one of them is in your lawn, see our Identification Guide to Lawn Weeds!
It is essential to be able to control the weed growth in your yard. Soil condition improves when weeds are removed from your lawn and garden, which benefits your plants. Weed killers, properly used, can eradicate any weeds that are endangering your yard.
How Does Weed Killer Work?
Herbicide, or weed killer, can be classified as that which kills weeds by inhibiting root and shoot development, or by disrupting the plant’s leaf production. In most modern-day weed killers, synthetic imitations of natural plant hormones are used to disrupt growth in target plants. The majority of herbicides are water-based and sprayed either on the leaves of the weed or around the roots and stems.
Some herbicides are absorbed by the root or shoot of emerging seedlings and are utilized as pre-plant or pre-emergent treatments. Those applied to the leaves are generally post-emergent herbicides that may be distributed (systemic) throughout the plant or remain at a specific site (contact).
Types of Weed Killers
There are multiple different types of weed killer that you should know about, so you can get the one that most suits your lawn weeding needs. Firstly, there’s organic and inorganic herbicides.
Additionally, you can either get a selective or non-selective weed killer, and these can also then be further subdivided into pre-emergent and post-emergent, as well as contact vs. systemic herbicides.
Organic Vs. Inorganic
Organic herbicides are made from organic and natural substances, such as plant extracts. It’s generally less toxic than inorganic herbicides, and these are often preferred by individuals who want to limit their exposure to toxins.
On the other hand, inorganic herbicides feature minerals or chemicals that come from various sources like man-made products (synthetic), petroleum, or natural gas. They degrade much more rapidly than organic herbicides and they’re generally less costly than organic herbicides.
Whether you make your own weed killer or buy an organic herbicide, the most important thing to remember is that these substances are almost always non-selective. While many inorganic herbicides target specific invasive species, organic herbicides will kill all plants in the affected area.
Selective Vs. Non-Selective
Selectivity means the ability of a pesticide to control pests without causing damage to other crops, plants, or equipment. Selectivity is often the main difference between organic/natural herbicides and synthetic chemicals.
Non-selective herbicides will harm any and all plants they come into touch with. Therefore, you should be careful to either cover or avoid spraying plants and grass that you don’t want to damage.
Selective weed killers, in contrast, target a specific species of plant and only kill that type. This is most often utilized for broadleaf weed control.
Pre-Emergent Vs. Post-Emergent
Typically, a pre-emergent herbicide targets newly germinated weed seeds below the soil surface to prevent the formation of root systems or the plant from producing new shoots.
Post-emergent herbicides, on the other hand, act upon leaves (preventing photosynthesis) or are absorbed by the plant’s root system and result in it wilting and eventually dying.
Contact Vs. Systemic
As the name implies, contact herbicides kill only plants with which they come into direct contact. They’re extremely prevalent, and you should notice results and wilting within a few hours. They swiftly devour the plant portion above the soil, but they generally only harm the top of the plant, and not the roots below. In general, contact weed killers are excellent for treating annual weeds that form seeds and spread.
Systemic weed killers penetrate the leaves and travel through the plant to the root system, where they stop the weed from growing and prevent it from producing food. It could take from 1 to 3 weeks for you to notice a difference. Systemic weed killers are ideal for perennial weeds that spread via seeds and roots, as the herbicide will also destroy whatever grows beneath the earth.
What to Look for in a Weed Killer
There are many different types of weed killers available today, from organic to synthetic and from contact to systemic. Below are a number of factors you should consider when choosing the weed killer that is best for you and your lawn and garden situation.
Many weed killers are made for a specific plant species. If you want to eliminate weeds from your lawn, search for a selective solution that won’t harm grass as well, and if you’re using weed killer in your vegetable garden, double-check that it’s okay to use on edibles. If you want to get rid of all vegetation, a non-selective herbicide could be best.
Do you want your herbicide to just work once, or would you prefer a formula that keeps vegetation from regenerating for up to several months?
Temporary weed killers degrade in soil after a few days to weeks, forcing you to reapply the substance frequently to keep weeds at bay but allowing you to quickly plant other plants in the area without halting their development.
Longer-lasting weed killers remain in the soil for several months or even a year after application, preventing new weeds from developing. They’re a wonderful choice for lawns or gardens that require long-term weed control but may also stop the germination of new plants you grow in the area for longer periods of time, so be cautious if you wish to plant new flowers in the vicinity in the next few weeks.
As seen above, check before you buy whether you want a selective or non-selective herbicide. If the weeds you’re trying to eliminate are very closely surrounded by flowers and plants you want to keep growing, then a selective herbicide is best for you.
If you are purchasing a weed killer before any weeds have shown up in your garden for the year, then go with a pre-emergent product. However, if you’re in the middle of a massive weed infestation, then a post-emergent weed killer is the best option.
The solubility of an herbicide in water is perhaps one of the most important factors. Water-soluble herbicides have low adsorption rates and are thus more mobile from the environment and much more readily available for microbial metabolism and other degradation processes.
There are several different chemicals used to make weed killers. It’s critical to consider the substances utilized in the manufacture of the weed killer when selecting the best product for your needs. The following are a few of the most prevalent components found in weed killers:
- Boric acid, a.k.a. Borax
- Corn Gluten Meal
Safety is always important when working with chemical-based products. You should wear protective clothing, eyeglasses, and gloves when working in your garden. Also, make sure your children and pets are not around during or after your spraying.
Many of these weed killers have long-term peripheral effects on the area they are used to. Pet owners should exercise particular caution while applying these to areas where their pets are likely to walk or rest since they may ingest the substance straightaway or by licking their paws and fur that have come into touch with the weed killer.
Because of their organic ingredients, and their rapid breakdown and absorption by the soil, organic weed killers are a somewhat safer option for those with children and pets. However, keep in mind that the usage instructions and any warnings on the packaging of any goods you use might change based on each formula’s active components.
Reviews For The Top 7 Weed Killers
#1. Compare-N-Save Concentrate Weed & Grass Killer
- Rainproof in 2 hours
- Visible results in as little as 2 to 4 days
- Contains 41-percent glyphosate
Our top pick for a weed killer to use in your lawn and garden is the Compare-N-Save Concentrate Weed & Grass Killer. The solution is comprised of 41% glyphosate, which is a post-emergent herbicide. Therefore, it will not prevent any new or future growth on your plants or veggies; in fact, treated areas may be replanted as soon as one day. Because glyphosate is absorbed into a plant’s leaves and then carried down to the root to kill the weed, only spray plants or flowers you do definitely wish to eliminate.
This herbicide is highly concentrated, and it will kill any green plants you apply it to, including lawn grass. 1.5 ounces of concentrate is all it takes, when mixed with a gallon of water, or 2.5 ounces to 1 gallon if you need more effective weed control. This means you can use one container of the Compare-N-Save to apply up to 85 gallons of herbicide and cover approximately 25,000 square feet of garden. With visible results in as little as two days and rainproofing within two hours, you can treat your whole yard or garden with this weed killer in no time.
#2. Green Gobbler 20% Vinegar Weed & Grass Killer
- CERTIFIED FOR ORGANIC USE — Completely eliminates and desiccates weeds and grasses without using toxic chemicals. Made straight from corn grown in the USA. OMRI listed weed killer and certified for...
- KILLS WEEDS FAST — Eliminate any type of weed in just a matter of hours. Expect full desiccation in less than 24 hours. Green Gobbler contains 20% acetic acid. Use on crabgrass, dandelions, clover...
- POWERFUL FORMULA — NO cancer-causing chemicals. Glyphosate-free. 20% formula is four times stronger than traditional table vinegar. Made strictly from ethanol distilled from corn grain.
The Green Gobbler 20% Vinegar Weed & Grass Killer is a completely natural and organic weed killer that does not use any hazardous chemicals. It’s an OMRI certified organic weed killer that employs only Acetic Acid as its active component. Also called Ethanoic Acid, this is a vinegar-like substance that was produced from corn by distillation and is comprised of four times as much ethanol as ordinary vinegar. As a result, it’s safe to use around places where weeds aren’t wanted, such as walkways, driveways, mulch beds, or flower beds.
This Green Gobbler product can also be utilized on a variety of weeds, including dandelions, clovers, crabgrass, moss, musk thistle, and other such plants. It works swiftly and painlessly, requiring you to only spray it on the afflicted region and allow it to dry within 24 hours. It can do all of this without being dangerous to your children, pets, your lawn and garden, or yourself. If you’re not satisfied with their services or products, Green Gobbler provide a 30-day money back guarantee.
#3. Roundup Ready-To-Use Weed & Grass Killer III
The Roundup Ready-To-Use Weed & Grass Killer III comes with its own ready-made sprayer attachment, and is incredibly easy to use and to immediately start attacking any weeds around your yard. It works supremely fast to kill the toughest weeds and grasses all the way down to the root. It is rainproof within 10 minutes, and you can start to see visible results in as little as 3 hours.
This herbicide has a convenient, ready-to-use formula that requires no mixing. Simply pick it up and go! It may be used in all manner of backyard areas, like around vegetable plots, flower beds, tree rings, mulched beds, and cracks in roadways, walkways, and patios.
Roundup stands behind their Weed & Grass Killer so much they provide a consumer guarantee stating that if you are dissatisfied with this product for any reason, simply return the item and provide them with proof of purchase, and they will replace or refund the purchase price.
#4. Spectracide Weed & Grass Killer Concentrate
- KILLS WEEDS AND GRASSES: use on driveways and walkways, and around fences, trees, flower beds, shrubs and other areas in your yard
- KILLS THE ROOT: visible results as fast as 3 hours – replant new flowers, trees and shrubs the same weekend
- RAINFAST: rainfall or watering 15 minutes after application will not wash away effectiveness
The Spectracide Weed and Grass Killer Concentrate is effective at eliminating weeds and undesirable garden grasses, with a variety of applications. The weed killer first may be utilized when renovating a garden to get rid of any grass, weeds, and plants before starting from the ground up with a new plant. It’s quick-acting – you can start replanting just one day after applying, and you’ll see visible benefits within three hours. It is also waterproof in less than 15 minutes after application.
You may apply the Spectracide Weed and Grass Killer to ornamentals, trees, and plants as well as any existing landscaping. To prevent unwanted plants from getting sprayed, simply cover them with cardboard and spray around them. It’s not suggested for spot treatment on your lawn, however, as it can do harm to any green grass it may come into contact with.
#5. Doctor Kirchner Natural Weed & Grass Killer
- A natural weed killer Made from ocean salt water, commercial strength food grade vinegar and soap.
- Our non selective ready to spray Natural Weed & Grass Killer is not normally used on the lawn.
- No Mixing, No Glyphosate and No Hormone Disrupting Chemicals
The Doctor Kircher Natural Weed and Grass Killer is another concentrated, all-natural weed killer that is both safe for your garden and the environment. Ocean water, food grade commercial vinegar, and a sprinkle of soap are its only components. It’s safe for you and your family, is environmentally friendly, and doesn’t contain any glyphosate or hormone-disrupting chemicals.
The application is really straightforward with this Weed and Grass Killer: simply spray it thoroughly on the weeds you wish to destroy until they are fully wet. It also works quickly, withering most weeds in less than a few hours, and even the most persistent ones turn brown within 12-24 hours. It’s a non-selective spray, so make sure you don’t accidentally spray flowers or plants that you don’t want to treat. This weed killer will also last for many years since it contains no chemicals that decompose, so you’ll save time and money in the long run.
#6. Preen Extended Control Weed Preventer
- 1 Application blocks weeds up to 6 months
- When used as directed Preen Extended Control Weed Preventer can be used around more than 600 perennials, groundcovers, shrubs and trees as listed on the product label
- Can be sold as a refill for flip-top applicator bottle
If you have a weed-free garden and want to keep it that way, the Preen Extended Control Weed Preventer is ideal. It’s not a weed or grass killer; instead, it inhibits the growth of new weeds. Any existing weeds in your garden will need to be hand-pulled out, taking care to remove all roots as well. However, by applying one single solution once a year to your gardens, you may prevent and eliminate 125 distinct types of broadleaf and grassy weeds for up to 6 months. Therefore, applying this weed preventer twice a year will give you year-round protection for your lawn and garden.
It’s also extremely easy to use, since all you have to do is spread a three-inch layer of mulch over the ground, then cover it with Preen Extended Control and water the dirt. It’s also ideal for preventing weeds from growing around and inside flower beds with over 600 established plants, including many common garden plants. It is most effective if used in the spring, prior to weeds sprouting, although it may also be used at any other time of year and still provide beneficial results. In addition, each bag can cover up to 3,500 square feet of garden soil.
#7. Southern Ag Amine 2,4-D Weed Killer
- Selective Broadleaf Weed Control
- For use in pastures & rangeland, lawns, golf courses, cemeteries, parks,& similar ornamental turf.
The Southern Ag Amine 2,4-D Weed Killer is a selective herbicide that provides high quality broadleaf weed and woody plant control. It can be applied anywhere, and is beneficial on pastures, rangeland, lawns, golf courses, cemeteries, parks, and similar ornamental turf. It can also be used both as a pre-emergent and post-emergent herbicide.
This concentrated weed killer can be diluted so that you only use 2 or 3 tablespoons per 3 to 5 gallons of water, and when applied as a coarse, low-pressure spray that amount will cover 1,000 square feet of weed-infested lawn, which averages out to an economical amount of 1 to 4 pints per acre.
The Souther Ag Amine uses 2,4-D as its active ingredient, which is one of the most effective broadleaf weed killers. Read the label for directions before use.
Weed killers are an important part of a homeowner’s arsenal to maintain a healthy lawn. There are many weed killers on the market, so it can be difficult to determine which one is best for your needs.
Are you looking for an organic or inorganic herbicide? Do you need one that is selective, because there are a lot of flowers or crops right next to these damaging weeds? Are you trying to plant vegetation immediately after killing the weeds, or do you want a more long-term solution? These are all questions to work out.
In this blog post, we hope we have provided you with information about what to look for when purchasing a weed killer, as well as reviewed the top 7 weed killers on the market. We hope that this information will help you make an informed decision when purchasing a weed killer for your home.
The #1 choice that we are partial to is the Compare-N-Save Concentrate weed killer. If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to comment below. We hope you found this post helpful and informative, and that you can now start to enjoy a weed-free garden!