Best Weed Killer

Best Weed Killer

As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.

If you are planning to cultivate a beautiful lawn or already have a lawn which is precious to you, weeds can be difficult; you will most certainly face. There are some ways to get rid of them, for instance, you can pull the weeds out with hands, but it is only useful if you are dealing with a small number of weeds or else, you will be wasting your energy. 

If you don’t have enough time to read the whole article, jump to the following table where we have summarized the best weed killers with their key specs and latest prices. 

Weedol 1 litre Lawn Weed Killer Concentrate Liquid
Weedol 1 litre Lawn Weed Killer Concentrate Liquid
1 litre
Up to 667m2
Weedol 1 litre Lawn Weed Killer Concentrate Liquid
Weedol 1 litre Lawn Weed Killer Concentrate Liquid
1 litre
Up to 667m2

Last update on 2021-12-03 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

We decided to crack the puzzle bubbling for the last few months about best weed killers reviews, and we conducted an independent search and survey to compile the best in business weed killer products which are efficient in results and equally cost-effective. 

What makes a weed killer product the best in use for you? Hang on for a movement, as we will discuss this in the buying guide but nonetheless, we by reviewing some of the top weed killers in the market, will give you hints and tips throughout this article.

Weed killers are the most effective and effortless way to eliminate the stubborn weed from your lawn to give back its beautiful look. There are several weed killers available in the market but everything is not perfect for everyone.

So you have to make a choice considering your needs, type of weed you are dealing with, your convenience, safety and many more factors which play an important role in the process. 

One of the many struggles in the field of gardening is to get rid of the weed. When you provide nutrients/fertilizers to your garden, the weeds are first in the line to get advantages and get fast growth, that ends in weakening of grass/plants. It drives to other plant-related diseases, insects attack and dehydration stress etc.

You don’t have to search through every product detail one by one to choose as we will guide you through the process and by the end of the guide, you will be able to make a decision what and which product you need.

best weed killer

Best Weed Killer

Our top Pick

Elixir Gardens Barclay Gallup Home & Garden

Gallop is probably the best solution to your long-lasting tussle with the weeds which appear now and then to put all your efforts on your garden in vain. Over the years, many weed killers have been banned due to their hazardous chemicals but Gallop has survived and is available for the use of the general public.  

One of the strongest and swift weed killers available to buy in the UK is the Elixir Gardens Barclay Gallup among the best. It is the best way to kill deep-rooted perennial garden weeds, including grasses, docks, nettles, willowherb, dandelion and bindweed without causing harm to the soil. 

How it works

The concentration of this weed killer is too high, highlighting its strength, with 360L of glyphosate in 2L bottles. Glyphosate herbicide is one of the most widely used herbicides in the UK and due to its less harmful nature, it can be used by the general public as well as commercial use.

Risk estimates of glyphosate are far below than the other herbicides and it is declared by authentic research that it is not threatening to public health and the surroundings. 

The best thing about the formula used in the gallop is that it is cost-effective. The one bottle of Gallop can cover as much as 3332 sqm of the dandelions means one litre of this stuff can be used on over 1,600m2 of area. All these numbers, if I were to put in simple words, mean that one bottle of Gallop is enough for much of the year for most of the UK gardens. The strength of the chemicals makes this product a weed killer in one-time use.

When to use 

The mistake many people make when using the weedkiller is that they apply it on the soil when the weed is not actively growing. It makes them think the weed killer is not working.

But this weed killer, like most of the others, needs to apply on the actively growing weeds as they absorb the poison through the foliage. If the weeds are not growing like in winters, applying the weed killer will leave very little effect and the weeds will probably grow when they want. 

Wait for at least 7 days after applying the Gallup weed killer so the soil does not have any lasting residues which allow the area to be cultivated and re-planted. Same is the case if the weather is cool. 

Keep in mind that this product can not be used in temperatures lower than 8°c. It is very much likely to be less effective in temperatures under 16°c too. Minimum spraying temperature of 8°c should be met before applying.

So, when buying, keep the weather in the area in mind where you are going to use the product. Avoid using the weed killer in too windy conditions as it can damage or kill valuable plants and prevent it from drifting onto skin and eyes.  

How to use 

It is very easy to apply too. Just mix 24ml of the weed killer with the water for treating the areas of 40 sqm. It works more efficiently on living weeds with thick foliage as they have more absorption rate. So no need to fight with strong weeds with your hands. Just avoid spraying it on the valuable plants which are precious to you. 

The Gallup is available in different quantities including 2-litre bottles, a 5-litre container and a 10-litre container. But 2 litres of weed killer is all you can buy without the NPTC certificate. We recommend that you mix 300ml of concentrate for every 10 litres of water (24ml to every 1 litre of water).

The measurements can vary according to the size of the area so always read the instructions on the bottle because they keep changing them. Now you have mixed the weed killer with the water, apply using the knapsack sprayer as a medium-coarse spray while being careful about the plants you do not want to kill. However, if you want to be precise and avoid spraying the plant you do not want to, we recommend not to use a knapsack sprayer.   

This systematic weed killer is a foliar-applied herbicide that can be used in watery areas too unlike some other weed killers on the market. However, you should avoid contact with waterways such as canals and rivers as it is poisonous and wrong quantities can damage the environment. 

Safety precautions 
  • Do not spray in windy conditions as drift can damage the valuable plants and your eyes too. 
  • Avoid breathing spray. 
  • Wash hands and exposed skin immediately after the use. 
  • Keep away from children.
  • Try to empty before disposing of after use. 
  • Do not make contact with the garden until it is dried after spraying. 
  • Keep your pets and children away from the garden after use. 
  • Read the instruction on the gallon carefully before use. 
What we like
  • One of the strongest weed killers available on the market.
  • Small quantities can cover a large number of areas.
  • No pulling of weeds with hands required. 
  • Only suitable for warm weather conditions. 
  • It is toxic and dangerous for breathing and skin. 

The Runner-up in weed killer

Roundup Optima+ Total Weedkiller

The Roundup Optima+ is another top-quality weed killer you can buy. This weed killer is formulated to kill all kinds of weeds including dandelions, thistles and docks wilt when contacted by systemic absorption action.

The annual and perennial weeds will dry up within two days while ensuring rapid and easy disposition. 

This herbicide is ideal to use on hedges, driveways, patios and between borders of flower beds. The main feature of this product is that it is environmentally friendly as it degrades by soil microbes after at least two weeks of use, which allows you to start re-planting of your flowerbed.

The formula used to make this weed killer makes sure the plants are killed by the roots and dry up within a quick period. It is ideal to use before planting anything to get rid of all the weeds after a week or two. 

How it works 

Roundup Optima+ is a soluble concentrate containing 170 g/l glyphosate acid. This herbicide is used by everyone from farmers to foresters to gardeners to biologists trying to control invasive exotic plants.

It is a broad-spectrum material that can kill a wide range of plants including annual and perennial grasses, broadleaf weeds, shrubs and trees. 

Some of the garden lovers love this product and formula, specifically, while others may be concerned about is it safe to use? It wholly depends on your priorities and on how carefully you use this product. After all, they are making this product to use. 

Glyphosate, when applied to actively growing weeds, it translocates throughout the plant where it inhibits the enzymes. As a result of the treatment of the biochemical process, the plants begin to dry and die eventually. 

The main reason for gardeners to use Roundup is because of its low toxicity (low means it is still toxic) and is not steadfast in the soil.

It is absorbed onto soil particles and has a very low risk of leaching. (Leaching is the movement of material down through the soil profile.) soil microbes break them down quickly with 10 to 60 per cent being converted to carbon dioxide. 

When to use 

Roundup Optima+ deals with the annual weeds and most perennial weeds in the garden as well as with the areas not intended to bear vegetation such as hard surfaces, patios, tarmac, pathways and gravel areas. 

It is best when used before planting any vegetables or plants in your garden. It will clean up weedy ground and provide you with the area where you can plant anything you want without the fear of weed growing up again (Not anytime soon). Apart from using it in your garden, you can clean up your driveway or patios with this product. 

The Roundup can be used to kill weeds when they are actively growing. Most of the annual weeds and perennial grasses grow from November to February. So the Roundup already bought will ensure that you are ready for a “battle against weeds”. Make sure that you do not use the product on any plant unless you want to kill it. 

How to use 

Although it is not a requirement if you are a seasoned gardener or spend most of your time in the garden, we recommend wearing proper gear including waterproof gloves and gardening footwear before using the product. 

20 ml of Roundup for 30 m2 of the area would do the job. Be sure to measure your garden before mixing the product with the water as the wrong quantities may not be as effective.

Fill the knapsack sprayer with the clean water to about 50% of the needed solution as per your garden area. Then add the measured amount of Roundup using the measuring cap which comes as a lid of the bottle. Close the sprayer and set the pressure. Direct the nozzle carefully towards the targeted weed and spray. We recommend not using the sprayer in your garden it has a 

vegetable and flower plants as the spray scatter the poison and will kill the valuable plants too.  

Never apply any kind of toxic liquid with the water cans as it will be contaminated and will be dangerous for your precious plants afterwards. Galvanized and unlined steel sprayers are also not suitable. 

Safety precautions 
  • Read the label before use. 
  • Do not empty the bottle in the drain, sinks or other water points.
  • Do not reuse the empty bottle. 
  • Keep children and pets out of the treated area unless it dries. 
  • Avoid the spray contact or spray drift with vegetable plants and desired vegetation. 
What we like
  • Rapid action solution with results in two to three days. 
  • The treated area dries up within a week so you can replant on it. 
  • It kills most of the weeds with a single application. 
  • Not safe when the treated area is not dried especially for children and pets. 
  • In some cases, it takes 3-4 weeks to show effects. 

Best in Budget-wise

Weedol Lawn Weed Killer

Weedol Lawn weed killer is a great product as it can be ideal for new lawns (from 2 months old) without compromising the cultivation. It has proven highly effective in dealing with many weeds found in the lawns including black medick, lesser trefoil dandelion, daisies and clovers.

Easy to apply Weedol weed killer can be applied with a watering can with a hose but for better safety, we recommend using a sprayer as it is less wasteful. 

It is a powerful liquid concentrate weed killer that helps you tremendously control and defend your lawn from stubborn weeds. Its high-strength formula attacks common broad-leaved lawn weeds, as well as weeds like clover, dandelion, daisies, plantain, yarrow and mouse-ear.

It allows your lawn to get rid of all these weeds and be able to grow all the beautiful plants you want. 

How it works

Weedol is a selective weed killer that attacks the roots of the weeds. It only affects the weed and not the surroundings of the lawn and does not affect soil negatively. It stops the weed to compete for nutrients and sunlight and kill them eventually. 

Weedol lawn weed killer is unique in its formula and also has an edge over its competitors because it is Glyphosate-free which means it is less toxic than other weed killers. It uses three different selective weed killers:

  1. Fluroxypyr
  2. Clopyralid
  3. MCPA

These ingredients are known as hormone type herbicides. The three of them combine and work through a systematic course of action once made contact with foliar to absorb in the weeds’ roots.

It works by stimulating the weeds’ growth and causing the plants to grow much faster than they usually do. As a result, you may notice the weeds growing rapidly but do not panic. This is meant to happen as a part of a process and plants’ cells will collapse and the weed will be dead soon. 

However, do not get your expectations high as this process takes time and weeds will not be gone within 24 hours. It can take up to a week or so to show what it is capable of. The reason for the slow process is that Weedol weed killer does not contain Glyphosate in its formula.

After the spray, the targeted plants will begin to dry and transform in a brownish colour and gradually die within a timeframe of 4 to 6 weeks. It stops the weeds to absorb nutrients and sunlight which means the grass will thrive and spread. 

When to use 

You can only kill weeds when they are actively growing. Do not fool yourself into thinking that, applying the weed killer before the weed starts to grow, will keep weeds from growing. It will NOT. The weeds usually begin to grow sometime in April and in late September or early October. 

We recommend not rushing and applying lawn weed killer to your whole lawn in the early Spring as there will be a lot of weed to grow later on. In early Spring, just spot the weed and apply the Weedol.

For effective and efficient results and kill weed on a broad range, start in May. And if the weeds grow later after applying and killing the weeds, you will still have plenty of time to repeat the treatment before winter makes the process impossible. Make sure to read the instructions given on the label to know if repeat treatments are allowed or not. 

One of the best and most effective times for thorough lawn weed control is in late August or September whilst there is still some warmth around to make the process possible. This time of the year is ideal for applying weed killer if you just need to apply once a year. The reason for this is as follows:

  • Most types of weeds are still around at this time of year. 
  • Killing weed in Autumn is comparatively easier than in winter. 
How to use

Knowing how to use and what amount to use is what makes the weed killer effective. For this reason, read the instructions given by the product’s manufacturer on the datasheet which comes with the purchase.

To apply Weedol, get a watering can with a hose or a knapsack sprayer. Take 15ml of the Weedol weed killer solution and mix it with 5 litres of water in the watering can.

To strengthen the effect of the mixture, reduce the quantity of the water. Spray the liquid on up to 10 square meters (with the mentioned quantities).

If you are planning to apply it for the new land, wait at least 2 months after laying turf before using the Weedol. Try to avoid using clippings from the first lawn mow as compost after application. Keep your local weather checked to determine if the rain is predicted within 24 hours of treatment or not.

Rain affects the process of killing weed adversely and promotes run-off and drainage contamination. Avoid application in case of frost or windy conditions as it can cause the spray to drift. 

Safety precautions 
  • Be careful when spraying and avoid the spray on desired lawn areas or plants.
  • Wash all the tools which are contaminated.
  • Keep the container away from pets and children at room temperature.
  • Wear protective gears to make sure the safety. 
What we like
  • Easy to use and even the watering can be used to apply.
  • Less toxic because of no Glyphosate in the formula.
  • Only kill weeds and not grass. (If used properly)
  • Might take more time to kill weeds.
  • It struggles against some deep-rooted weeds. 

Vitax SBK Brushwood Killer

If your garden is invaded by thistles, brambles or nettles and if the ordinary weed killer is not working, then SBK brushwood killer is the way to go for you. A very powerful weed killer is ideal to get rid of unwanted tree stumps and hardwood saplings. It is safe to use inside your lawn and formulated to not affect your healthy grass.

It is easy to use, provides a long-lasting effect and will free your garden from deep-rooted weeds in no time. SBK weed killer is created with a unique formula which contains Triclopyr, which is ideal to kill woody plants. 

How it works

Vitax SBK is apt for killing weeds including bamboo, brambles, thistles, woody weeds, tree stumps are few to name. While most of the weed killers include Glyphosate in their formula to make it strong, SBK chose to use a special formulation containing Triclopyr.

When triclopyr came to the market, it was hailed as a magic serum. It can kill broadleaf weeds and hard-to-kill woody weeds without harming your lush green grass, flower plants. Triclopyr is also helpful for controlling rust disease in fresh crops. 

Vitax SBK is a hormone-type herbicide that distorts plants’ growth when applied onto weeds. Moreover, this weed killer is selective which targets wooden weeds. It penetrates through the roots of the weeds through the leaves of the weed to kill it for good. It has a residual effect and will be on the lawn soil for around a couple of weeks. 

When to use 

The ideal time to treat your lawn’s tough weed with SBK Brushwood Killer is between spring and autumn when the weed is active and starts growing. And for woody weeds, the time between summer and autumn is appropriate when the soil is moist. And if you want to take on tree stumps, the time between autumn and winter would be best.

You will want to plan for replanting after killing the weeds and for that, make sure you spray the SBK at least 6 weeks before re-planting or sowing to write off any risks. Avoid using the product if the rain is expected and also try not to use it in drought and frost weather conditions. 

Be cautious during the wind as it increases the risk of spray to drift and harm your healthy grass. Use protective goggles to protect your eyes. Do not use SBK on newly-turfed or seeded lawn.

How to use

To get the desired and efficient results with any weed killer including this one, following the instructions given by the manufacturer is crucial. It is not always easy to be accurate with all the measurements but it should be close enough to make a strong mixture. Vitax SBK is mixed with water and can be applied using a sprayer or even a water can as it does not contain Glyphosate.

1 litre of Vitax SBK is enough to treat 166m2 of area. Get water can or a sprayer as per your convenience and mix 30 ml of weed killer with 1.5 litres of water to treat the area of 10 square meters.

Opt a normal sunny day when the foliage is dry. Apply carefully only to the foliage of the weeds or the plants you wish to get rid of. Use a coarse spray if you are using a sprayer as it does not drift away and affect the undesired area of the lawn. 

Safety precautions 
  • Do not use it to kill aquatic weeds as the chemicals may harm marine life. 
  • Wear protective gear while spraying such as goggles, gloves, face mask and long boots.
  • Do not let the weed killer run-off into the drainage. 
  • Do not allow children and pets to enter the lawn until it is dried. 
What we like
  • Ideal for tree stumps and other stubborn weeds.
  • Does not harm the surroundings.
  • Affordable price. 
  • Takes up to 4 weeks to kill the weeds. 

Roundup Tough Weedkiller

Weeds are destructive and tend to interfere if you are planning plantations in your lawn or, already did. It makes the appearance of your lawn unattractive and reduces the value of crops. Roundup tough weed killer is the product you need to eliminate these weeds and get a weed-free lawn. It destroys the weed permanently as it works from the roots.

The Roundup is the best weed killer out in the market because of its versatility to kill a wide range of weeds from soft weed plants to the hard ones like Ivy, Asparagus Fern, Wandering trad, blackberry are few of them. The weeds are killed easily and without losing the looks of your lawn. Because of its unique formula of combining two effective ingredients, you get the desired results instantly. 

How it works

Roundup Tough weed killer is highly effective, systematic action and developed originally by Roundup for the agricultural industry as well as common use. 

Roundup is sprayed onto the leaves of the weeds. It is absorbed through the leaves and penetrates through the soil and reaches the roots of the weeds. After reaching the roots, it attacks and stops the weed from absorbing nutrients and sunlight. Since it reaches down to the roots, it will eradicate the weed permanently including deep-rooted perennials such as pampas grass, bamboo and lantana. 

Thanks to its advanced weed killing technology, Roundup is considered to be one of the safest weedkillers available (if used with proper protective gear). The main reason for the Roundup being safe is, it deactivates upon contact with soil and is degraded by microorganisms.

When to use 

It is important to choose the right time and right conditions to apply weed killer in your garden to get perfect results. Like all the weed killers, this is to be applied when the weed is actively growing and the leaves are green, typically in the spring and summer. 

Weather conditions are as important as the other details in the process of applying weed killer. Check the weather forecast and choose a still and dry day to start the treatment with your Roundup weed killer. Too hot or too cold conditions, both are not suitable for applying Roundup Tough weed killer.

Do not apply in windy conditions because it may cause drift and harm the plants that are not targeted. Also, check the rain forecast as well. If it rains within 30 minutes of applying weed killer, repeat treatment is recommended for best results. 

How to use 

Roundup Tough systemic weed killer degrades in soil by microorganisms. It kills tough and stubborn weeds to the roots including brambles, nettles, couch thistles, docks and many more. The rapid action formula provides results in just 1 – 2 days. 

The Roundup weed killer comes ready to use the product and does not need to mix with water. Use the cap of the bottle and pour the liquid carefully on the leaves of the weed. Ensure that you apply Roundup weed killer to the leaves of the weed and not pour excessive amounts.

Before the use, make sure you have proper protective gear including mask, gloves, goggles and shoes. If you don’t have all these, do not start the process until you have them. 

Safety precautions 
  • Always read and follow the instructions given on the label of the product. 
  • Be careful when applying the weed killer to avoid excessiveness. 
  • Use protective gear as it contains toxic substances. 
  • Apply the product on the leaves of the weeds, not on soil.
What we like
  • It comes ready to use and does not need to be mixed with water. 
  • Very effective and fast weed killer. 
  • It kills all the stubborn weeds without harming the healthy grass. 
  • This product is a little more expensive than the others. 

Deadfast Concentrate Weedkiller

Deadfast Concentrate Weedkiller is a herbicide that works either neat or by diluting the sachets with water. It depends upon the type of weed you are seeking to be killed as it can eradicate many types of weed. 

The unique feature of this product is that unlike all the other weed killers, Deadfast weed killer comes in individual sachets. One of the sachets can be used to treat up to 60 square meters of area. This product comes with 18 pieces of sachets in a bucket but there are 6 and 12 pieces of buckets are also available if you have a small area to treat. 

Deadfast Weedkiller will destroy most of the living plant tissues on pathways, driveways and wastelands. It can be applied straight from the sachets to kill strong woody weeds and trees or can be diluted to treat large areas of weeds and plants. 

How it works 

Similar to Roundup Tough Weedkiller, Deadfast weed killer is a systemic herbicide that includes the active ingredient, ammonium salt of glyphosate. It carries itself from the leaves of the weeds to the plant’s sap after the initial contact. Once it is absorbed and translocated through the foliage, it will attack to target the plant’s roots to gradually kill the weed. 

After the application, it may look like the weed killer is not working but soon it reaches the roots of the plants, it begins to target the shoots and leaves will start becoming yellow. The effect can be seen in 7 to 14 days of application. 

Deadfast weedkiller is a total herbicide and such care should be made sure that it does not come in contact with the plants which are not targeted. After the user makes sure that the garden sprayer and other vessels are thoroughly washed as the residuals of the weed killer can harm the plants later. The protective gear should also be cleaned and make sure there are no traces of the concentrate left. 

When to use

Deadfast weed killer is the herbicide which kills weeds such as brambles, tumbleweed, crabgrass, ivy, thistles, woody weeds, dandelions and many more. It is non-selective which means it will kill any plant that will come in contact with it. So you have to be very careful when spraying.

You can consider Hozelock wonder weeder if you want to convert Deadfast into a selective herbicide which does not harm any wanted plants.

The most ideal time to use this herbicide is between spring and autumn. This is the time when the weed is active and starts growing. It is easy and quick to eliminate at this time of the year. After the treatment, do not rush as you will begin to see the results within a month or so.

At first, minor changes will be visible as the change in the colour of the leaves of the weed, but it means the weed killer is active in the plants’ root system. 

If you are hassling with tough woody weeds, you might first need to expose the stem of the plants. For this, you will need a rotavator or a cutter to cut the stems of unwanted plants. After this, apply Deadfast within a day or two and you will see better results. 

How to use 

This surely is a good product to kill the weeds of your lawn but do not expect instant results especially on the woody weeds. It can take up to one month before actually killing the weeds. But it gets there in the end.

To use this weed killer, open the sachet and pour the 100ml of concentrate weed killer into a knapsack sprayer. Then include 900ml of water into the sprayer and shake thoroughly.

Use the least pressure on your sprayer and spray lightly over the leaves of unwanted plants. Avoid run-off of the weed killer into the drainage system or any water point. 

A second treatment may be required for the woody weeds or if it rains. So make sure before applying that there is no rain forecasted. 

Safety precautions 

When handling this product, you need to be very careful and adhere to the safety precautions mentioned on the product label. Here are some of the precautions you should take care of: 

  • Avoid contact with skin, eyes and mouth. If contact happens, wash the affected area thoroughly with water and seek medical care.
  • Do not empty the residue of the weed killer in drainage as it will harm the environment. 
  • Store the product in a safe and well-ventilated area at room temperature. 
  • Wear appropriate protective gear such as goggles, mask and footwear. 
What we like
  • Affordable than other weed killers. 
  • Eliminates many kinds of weeds.
  • Systematic action to kill the weeds permanently. 
  • Sachets are convenient to use. 


  • It is less powerful than some other weed killers.
  • It takes a long time to kill the weeds, in some cases, up to one month. 

 Buying Guide to Best Weed Killer

A buying guide normally gives you an insight into some of the key features and basics of any product that you may ignore while purchasing. This simply doesn’t mean that the best product on the basis of features we discuss, may fit your needs and requirements. 

In the case of weed killers, The best weed killer can be judged from different angles, e.g its composition, the effect on the ecosystem, Annual, Biennial etc.  So what are the things that you need to take into consideration in order to hunt the best weed killer? Let’s crack this question and start from the basic.  

What are weeds and its types? 

Before we move on to the weed killers, you have to know what weeds are, to get a better idea of your problem. By definition, weed is a plant in the wrong place. The reason being the plants’ undesirable features and unattractive look it adds to your beautiful garden. Another reason to get rid of these plants is that they are competitive by nature and fight with other plants for water, light, nutrients and space.

Most of them are quick growers and will take over your lawn within no time. While most of the weeds sustain in favourable conditions, native types may be seen growing anywhere it finds space. 

Types of weeds

There are usually three types of common weed plants in regards to their growth characteristics, which can grow in your lawn. 

  • Annual types: annual weeds germinate and spread by seed, having an average life of one year. It survives both summer and winter without you taking care of them. For example, chickweed germinates in late summer or early fall and hibernates itself in winter and actively grows in spring.
  • Biennial types: these weeds have a life span of two years. Germinating and forming in their first year and producing flowers and seeds their second year. This type includes bull thistle and garlic mustard.
  • Perennial types: these types of weeds show up every year and usually produce long taproots. This type of weeds includes dandelions, plantain and purple loosestrife. This type is the most difficult to control.

Different types of weed killers 

Most of the weed killers work by stopping specific enzymes a weed needs to produce amino acids, as a result, it starts drying. The speed of this process may be subjected to the type of weed you are dealing with.

Some of the weed killers are formulated to target a specific type of weeds or a family of plants and are called selective weed killers. On the other hand, some weed killers are developed to kill everything it comes in contact with and is called non-selective weed killers or systemic weed killers. 

So do not get deceived by the term “weed killer” written on the product as they work differently and for different purposes from each other. The wrong kind of weed killer might kill all of your grass which you did not plan to kill. Here are some types of weed killers which are available in the market for different purposes:

Pre-emergent Herbicides

These types of weed killers will stop the weed from growing in the first place. But there is one drawback of this type of weed killer that if you have lush green grass and lots of healthy plants with no sign of weeds, you can not predict where the weed will grow so you can apply pre-emergent weed killer right on spot. 

Apply the weed killer in fall to kill perennial weeds. Perennial weeds store energy in their roots before they hibernate themselves in the winter. Spraying at that time will help prevent the weeds from storing energy and re-growth in spring.

It should be noted that these weed killers can harm and kill grass seeds, so make sure that you do not apply this weed killer to the lawn before seeding (2-4 months) and also wait at least one month after seeding. 

Post-emergent Herbicides 

This type of weed killer targets the weeds that are already actively growing. This is probably the option you are looking for or should look for. Killing the weed when it begins to grow is better than applying the weed killer somewhere you are not sure about if the weed is going to grow or not.

Selective Lawn Weed killers

These weed killers will only target specific species of plants. You won’t have to worry about your grass being harmed or undesired plants getting killed accidentally. The classic example of this is weed killers made for lawns (which you want).

It mostly targets the likes of moss, dandelions and clover without harming the grass or other plants. Selective weed killers work by stimulating growth in the weed to such extent that it can not be sustained. Hence, the weed grows itself to death. 

Selective weed killers usually target broadleaf weeds and are suitable for large lawns. They do not cause harm to the grass. However, it does mean that every selective weed killer is harmless to the grass as there are some weed killers which are targeted at sedges and rushes and can damage the grass too. So make sure to check before buying the product. The process may take some time to show results.

Mostly up to 4 to 6 weeks. It will be slower in cold weather and rapid to act in warm conditions. It can be said that it takes too much time than the other weed killers but one application will be enough for the whole year. 

Non-selective Weed Killers

As it is clear by the name, this type of weed killer will kill any kind of plant which comes in contact with it, including your precious grass or plants. You have to be extremely careful while spraying this kind of herbicide when spraying. We recommend this type only when your lawn is just filled with weeds and no grass or healthy plants.

Be sure to never spray this type of weed killer in windy conditions, never walk over the area that has been sprayed already. We recommend covering the plants near the weed so they are not harmed as the spray can make contact with them. 


The systemic weed killers work differently. It will force the plant to absorb the weed killer through their leaves and tend to kill the plant as a whole. The majority of the herbicides fall under this category of weed killers. The reason for this type’s wide use is that when it comes in contact with the plant, it works its way through the plants’ roots and enters the transport system to target and kill all parts.

An example of a systemic weed killer in action would see it entering a plant through its foliage and running its way through down the plant where it kills the plant eventually. The weed should be left untouched and undisturbed for at least a week. Initial effects will be evident within 7 to 10 days or more in some cases and complete weed control will be seen in at least 3 to 4 weeks.

Contact Weed Killers 

Contact weed killers are the type of weed that kills weed as soon as they contact it. The herbicide is consumed by the stomata of the plants’ leaves which are tiny pores. But, to be more effective and quick, stomata need to be open and that only happens when the plant is actively growing and throughout the day while the process of photosynthesis is taking place.

This gives the herbicide a whole day to work its way into stomata and kill the plant. So, the contact weed killers should be used when the weeds are growing. 

Contact weed killers are also popular among lawn owners and gardeners because they have no negative impact on the garden’s soil surrounding the target plants. A common type of contact weed killer is glyphosate, used widely in many weedkillers by many manufacturers.

When the weed killer containing glyphosate is applied, it makes the plant unable to grow its roots by disabling its nutrient supply, resulting in it dying eventually. With this type of weed killer, it takes approximately two to four weeks to take full effect and control the weed. 

Ingredients to look for 

If you are a gardener, herbicides might make you nervous. After all, our job is to grow plants not kill them. Having said that, no one likes weeds making a mess in patios, pathways and lawn beds. And then comes the herbicides for the rescue. Herbicides come in many forms and we will tell you all about them in this article. 

Traditional herbicides 

Although there are many common synthetic herbicides used or mixed with other active ingredients, the most commonly used herbicide that dominates the market is glyphosate.

What is glyphosate? 

Glyphosate is a widely used ingredient in weed killers. It is applied to the leaves of the plants to kill them. This ingredient has been used since 1974 in agriculture and forestry. Now it is common among lawns and gardens for killing the unwanted plants. 

How does it work? 

It is a non-selective type of herbicide, which means it will kill as many plants as it comes in contact with. It restricts the growth of plants by disabling consuming the nutrients which are necessary for growth. Glyphosate containing products must be used very carefully by following the instructions and guidelines provided by the manufacturer.

Since it tends to kill any plant it contacts, you should be careful while spraying and avoid spray drift. 

Many gardeners try to avoid this herbicide and look for alternatives because of its toxic nature. For some natural weed control solutions like mulching and hand-pulling, go to natural solutions for weed control. But it is totally up to you as long as the product works for you, you can use it with proper safety precautions. 

Non-traditional Herbicides

There is an increasing number of garden lovers who use non-traditional herbicides due to the toxic nature of traditional ones. They are labelled as organic or natural herbicides.

They use ingredients like plant oils, cinnamon or mint oils. Soaps and acids like acetic acid are also used in some products. These are contact herbicides which dry up the foliage of weeds but unfortunately, they can only kill the outer part of the weed. The roots of the weed remain alive and come back quickly. 

So this can be a short-term solution if you do not want any toxic substance in your lawn but for long-term, it is not very effective. 

Things to consider while buying 

Now you know everything about the types and ingredients of weed killers, it’s time to talk about the things you want to consider while buying the weed killer. 

Size of lawn 

You would surely want to determine how much area you need to cover or treat with the weed killer so you can determine the quantity of the weed killer you may require. 

This is where the concentrated weed killer products are real winners. You can simply mix the right amount of water with weed killer to cover thousands of square feet. But every weed killer is different so make sure you read the usage directions given on the label carefully to obtain a perfect mixture. 

There is always a probability of human error in these kinds of measurements as many users can not find the perfect solution. Sometimes the instructions provided with the product are not clear or false too. In such a case, be ready to adapt and develop a mixture with the right amount of water to product ratio that will work for you. 

Type of area 

With so many products on the market may overwhelm you at first but take a deep breath and check the use of the product and then think about why you want it? Many weed killers can have different uses for different areas. So, along with determining the size of the area, you need to pay attention to the type of area too. 

Do you want a weed killer for your lawn? Or a flower bed? Or around trees and shrubs, patios, pathways or fences? These are the areas where weeds might grow and there are different weed killers for every type of area. It is not like one-size-fits-all, so check the product if it is usable for the area you want it to be used on or not.


Weed killers are available in various forms and to be used on different times or different stages of the weed. 

Before plantation: some weed killers are used before planting the desirable vegetation and preventing the weeds to grow before they start to grow. These herbicides are called pre-plant herbicides. 

Pre-emergent herbicides: these herbicides are used before the weeds germinate and can kill them as they grow. 

Post-emergent herbicides: this type of herbicides are ideal to deal with the weeds that are already grown. It is used for spot treating the plants and killing them permanently by the roots. 

Being precise about the type of weed killer will make the thing much easier and provide you with the result you are looking for.

Stickability and selectivity

If I ask how long you want the weed to be gone, you would most probably answer “forever!”. And rightly so, but there is a problem with the weed killers which kills the weed permanently. The weed killer which keeps the weed away for a long period will keep you from cultivating desirable plants for a long time too. 

On the other hand, using quick action weed killers that do not last too long in the soil will result in weeds growing back after some time. 

So give this aspect a thought before buying a weed killer. If you are planning to cultivate plants after killing the weed, go for quick action weed killers. 

Time consumption 

As they say “time is money”, so you should spend it wisely. You would not want to spend months waiting for weeds to die after applying a weed killer. It depends on the type of weed killer you used. Some weed killers or we can say most of them start showing results within hours of application.  

And some of the weed killers might take days or weeks to show positive results. There is no need to repeat the procedure in this case (if it is not instructed on the label). If you do not want to wait for so long, make sure before buying how long it takes to kill weeds. 


Like all the weed killers come with different uses, they are differently applied too. The variety of forms and formulas and the application directions can make you scratch your head. So do not leave the application method of the weed killer without consideration. 

Herbicides come in a form of sachets, or they can be soluble with water to make a mixture. Some of the weed killers can be applied using water cans while some are strictly advised to be used with a knapsack sprayer. Some weed killers are also applied by hand with the bottle cap.

Make sure you understand how your selected weed killer is applied and is it convenient for you or not. If the tank sprayer is required for some product, you should know because they do not come cheaply and cost way more than the weed killers. 


Everyone wants the best when they go shopping. But choosing the best product available within your budget is what you should look for. The price depends on the quantity of the product and quality too. So you may have to compromise a little on one of them if you are short of money at the moment. 

You should also consider the additional cost. Most of the weed killers only come with the liquid and not the sprayer. So if you don’t have a sprayer already, add its cost into the weed killer too. 

With some products, you might think you are saving a ton of money but that can result in a complete disaster when it will turn out as an ineffective product. So make sure to read reviews before buying any product or if you are in a DIY store, consult with someone before buying. 


Brands do matter in every kind of shopping and every product has a renown brand or brands. In the case of weed killers, many products without a famous brand may work just fine. But some of them may not. So it is better to invest where your trust lies or someone referred to you. 

Roundup is perhaps the most popular brand-name among the weed killers in the market. Roundup is toxic liquid with harsh chemicals used so if you are not looking for these features, it might not be the right choice for you. 

And do not assume that all products of this brand will work for you. If the product’s features and formula meet your needs, then you are good to go. Otherwise do not just go for the brand instead of other important things to look for. 


When it comes to toxic herbicides, safety becomes very crucial. If you are using a liquid weed killer, then put the main bottle into another container in case the bottle catches any leak.

Before using the weed killer, always read and follow the instructions provided on the label of the product. If you make an error in the quantity, it may not work effectively and more than that, the weeds may end up developing a resistance against the active ingredients. If you are not sure about measurements and want to avoid it completely, then just go for ready-to-use weed killers instead. 

Most weed killer manufacturers strictly advise to use appropriate protective gear while using the product including a pair of gloves, safety goggles and suit are recommended. After spraying, clean the gear thoroughly and to be on the safer side, take a shower to wash off any residue of weed killer. 

You need to keep your children and pets away from the area you applied weed killer depending on what kind of product is used. Nobody including yourself should be allowed in the area until it’s fully dried. 

Noah Burns

I am Noah Burns- The Guy behind I will Make You Smart. I love to experiment and test new products with an aim to create informative contents for readers like you. It is my aim to make this site a leading source of information and reviews to help consumers make more informed buying decisions.

Recent Posts