Best 10 Weed Killers
As Of May 2022
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No more unwanted garden greenery with our Best Weed Killers
Do you love spending time in your garden? Your garden in today’s urban world is indeed your oasis—a place you enjoy having a great time with your family and friends and relaxing on weekends. Of course, your paradise should be looking clean and fresh at all times. And to do so, you have to tackle a small garden problem called weeds. Sounds familiar?
What do you do to get rid of weeds? Do you hire a professional gardener to do the nasty job for you? Heck no! You simply go to your local garden supply store and buy a weed killer! We guarantee weed killers will get the job done in no time with little money, and you’ll be as satisfied with your garden as ever. But first, there are a few things you need to know about weed killers, and fortunately, we got you covered.
What are weed killers?
First, we have to know what exactly is a weed. The dictionary says that weed is any wild plant that grows in an unwanted place, especially in a garden or a field, that prevents the cultivated plants from growing freely. So it’s obvious that we have to get rid of these pesky weeds, and that’s exactly what weed killers do. Weed killers, also known as herbicides, are chemical-based liquids designed to target and eliminate different types of weeds. Whatever the weeding job you have, there are various herbicides that’ll do exactly what you want. Remember that they’re chemical products, and you should be aware of the active ingredients -like glyphosate and acetic acid-of their formulas so that you can choose what’s the best for you.
Why do you need weed killers?
Whether you have a small garden, a vegetable patch or a massive backyard, you certainly have -or going to have- a problem with weed growing. Unless you deal with that as soon as possible, weeds won’t stop growing until they cover your entire property and destroy your beautiful plants and flowers.
Weed killers are our friends in this “war”, and they have one sole mission; to remove weeds, protect our gardens from this sneaky enemy and help not see things like dandelions, thistles, brambles or nettles, ever again. Of course, they are not our only weapon; To keep your garden clean, you should also invest in lawn scarifiers, grass trimmers or even patio cleaners.
What to look for when buying weed killers
Keep in mind that there are different types of weed killers out there, so before purchasing one, you should consider some key features. Here are 4 key features you should look for:
How fast do you want to get the job done? If you want immediate results, fast-acting formulas can brown leaves within 1 hour from the application. Others may take up to 4 weeks to show results.
If you want to plant as soon as possible on the treated areas, you should check if the product’s formula degrades naturally in the soil and how long it takes to do so. Some products may take as little as 24 hours.
2. Size/ Capacity
If you have a small lawn, a patio or a driveway, you probably have to deal with just a few pesky weeds. A small spray bottle in your case should be more than enough. In that case, look for 1-litre ready-made sprayers.
If you have to cover bigger areas and want full weed control of your lawn, you should look for products up to 5 litres. Some of the products can cover areas up to 1700 sqm! Most of them come with an adjustable stream and a one-touch trigger system (or battery-powered) so that you don’t have to put much effort into it.
3. Children and pets
Weed killers are chemical products, and you have to use them with caution. Especially if you have kids or pets in your home, even though most products are harmless to people and animals, you should first let the treated area dry to the bone. We recommend checking the product’s label for further information.
4. Active ingredients
It is essential to know what kind of chemical substances your product has before purchasing one. That’s because each active ingredient targets different types of weeds. Here’s a list of the most common ingredients you’ll see in a weed killer:
- Glyphosate is a strong weed killer that targets and kills deep-rooted perennial weeds.
- 2,4-D is an organic compound ideal for big lawns and large gardens.
- Acetic acid is good for killing moss and algae.
- Boric acid is one of the safest chemicals so that you have peace of mind even if your children go and play in the area of the applied chemical. Almost close to a natural weed killer.
- Dichlobenil is a weed killer that targets specific weeds so that you can use it for small garden beds.
- Fluroxypyr is ideal for woody brushes.
- Triclopyr is an organic compound that kills fungi or vines like poison ivy.
What types of chemical weed killers are there?
Chemical herbicides can be distinguished into five main types. Which one is the best for you? Well, this depends on what kind of weeds you want to remove and the area you find them.
1. Systemic weed killers
Systemic weed killers are engineered to attack the weed to its root system. They are taken in through the foliage and spread to the whole plant. They might take longer to act, up to 4 weeks, but the results will surprise you. Another plus is that they degrade in the soil and allow replanting soon after the treatment. They are perfect for perennial and hard to control weeds.
2. Contact weed killers
These are extremely strong herbicides that kill any part of the plant they touch. But, they don’t kill the roots of the plant. In most cases, they weaken the weed as much as they can before killing it. Like systemic, they take a while to act, but the results speak for themselves. 24 hours after the initial application, you can plant new greenery or sow some seeds.
3. Non-selective weed killers
These are ideal for areas with unwanted vegetation since they destroy everything they come into contact with. They are fast, but they affect both the greenery and the soil. Remember that they are powerful, so you don’t want to use them in lawns or gardens since they might eliminate all your greenery and flowers.
4. Selective weed killers
As the name suggests, these weed killers target only specific types of plants. For instance, they might kill garden weeds like dandelions and bindweeds, or mulch or even brushwood. Selective weed killers can be post-emergent (kill weeds to the roots) and pre-emergent (prevent new weeds from growing). They act fast, and you can use them in your garden since they will not affect the rest of your plants. One application could last for a whole season.
5. Residual weed killers
Residual weed killers target the soil directly and kill weeds from the bottom up. They’re super effective and last for months. They act in a way that prevents the weed from growing in the first place, so they belong in the pre-emergent category. On the downside, they affect the quality of the soil, and it will be hard for plant growth for a couple of months in the future.
What is the best time of the year to apply weed killer?
Like the majority of the plants, weeds mostly start to appear around early spring. They’re growing pretty fast and require lots of nutrients. That’s the best time to tackle them since they’ll absorb the herbicides’ formula quick enough. Try to treat the desired area early in the morning so that they have a whole day to absorb the chemicals.
You should keep in mind that there are also perennial weeds that grow even in winter. Also, some weeds are a lot tougher than others (like broadleaf weeds or others that grow on tree stumps) and require more applications throughout the year.
Also, it is vital to keep applying weed killer in the autumn to keep it clean over winter.
Pro tip: Always check the forecast because rain can wash off the chemicals, and wind could blow them onto nearby plants.
What safety measures should you take?
Since we’re talking about chemical substances, you should always be aware of some chemical precautions. Here are some safety measures that you should take before and after applying the weed killers:
- Let’s state the obvious first; Check the label and follow the instructions on applying the chemicals.
- Avoid as much as you can breathing in sprays.
- When handling the product, wear rubber gloves. Wash your hands thoroughly after the spraying session.
- Keep your eyes protected and avoid contact with any exposed skin.
- Always check the weather forecast before applying the product. Weed killers need a dry environment for proper results.
- When spraying, keep in mind to spray until the weed is wet, without excessive run-off.
- Always clean your equipment after use.
- Chemical products should be kept away from children and pets and stored in dry places in their original containers.
- It is advisable not to leave your children and pets unattended while applying pesticides. Allow them to return to their activities a few hours after the sprayed area has dried.
- Please choose the right weed killer since the majority of them have been designed to target specific weeds.
- Last but not least, you should always have a watering can in case of accidental damage to other plants so that you can wash off the product immediately.
Safety comes first, people!
How much should you spend on weed killers?
As we mentioned above, there are many different products with various characteristics and a range of prices. It all depends on your needs. When it comes to weed killers, products start from as little as 3£ and go up to 45£.
Usually, 1-litre spray bottles are at the low end of the price spectrum. That doesn’t mean they are not strong weed killers; on the contrary, they do an excellent job with fast results. In the list of our top picks, there are lots of inexpensive products that have been tested thoroughly, and their quality is second to none. With price ranges from 3£ to 10£, you can find the weed killer that suits you best.
These are on the high-end of the price scale, costing from 30£ to 45£. The main difference from the affordable ones is their size as they come in 2,5-5 litres bottles. If you have a big lawn or plan to use weed killer extensively, you should go for a bigger bottle.
Some battery-operated sprayers do effortlessly and fatigue-free your weed killing job. It is natural for this kind of product to come at a higher price.
Weed killers are essential for everyone with a garden, a lawn or even a patio or a driveway. Weeds are constantly growing, and they won’t stop until you do something about it. Herbicides will tackle the problem effectively, and you’ll be able to enjoy a clean and weed-free garden. Finding the best weed killer might take a lot of time, researching, and effort on your end. With our complete buying guide, you are now ready to find the ideal weed killer. What's even better, we already gathered our top 10 picks to choose from so that you can start dreaming of a weedless paradise. Are you ready to make it happen?