Which is the best weed killer for lawns?

After we worked hard to have a neat and beautiful lawn, we can all agree that we would not like to have weeds, but, well, once in a while…we do. So, let’s say, which is the best weed killer for lawns, if there is such a thing?! Is there such a product?

The fact is that, as with anything else in life, there is no absolute answer here, since there are also various methods to kill weeds and various specialized products, so, of course, there are various “best weed killers”, depending on the method you choose.

Trimec, a very efficient weed killerP. B. I./Gordon 791600 Trimec Lawn Weed Killer$$4
Spectracide weed killerSpectracide 95834 Weed Stop for Lawns, 32-Ounce Concentrate$3.9
Bayer weed killer concentrateBayer 704640B Brush Killer Plus Concentrate - 32 oz$$3.8

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Let’s see the best methods to kill weeds growing on your lawn

The manual method: YOU are the best weed killer on your lawn!

The best way to kill weeds is by handBelieve it or not, common sense works great here, as in any other domain: just take care of you lawn, mow it properly and never let any weed get old enough to spread. Kill it when you see it and you won’t have any long term problem. The only thing to notice here is that it requires continuous hard work, you have to keep an eye on your lawn all the time.

The fact is that if mowed and fertilized properly, any type of grass will outgrow the weeds. If mowed too low or too high, weeds may spread.

Boiling water is an instant killer for the weeds on your lawn

Pouring boiling water is a great organic method to kill unwanted weedsAn easy to apply method: just go get a bucket of hot water from your kitchen, pour some on your weeds and you’re done. It’s that easy! Of course, it only works when weeds are not (yet) a generalized problem. In that case you need to pick another method. Boiling water has a minimal impact on the environment, or better than this, is a method with no negative impact, period and this may just qualify boiling water, from this point of view as the best weed killer for lawns.

Beside boiling water, you could use vinegar that you can spray on weeds. It’s a guaranteed killer, just that it will take about a week to work. Additionally, you can mix the vinegar with some dish liquid in order to make it stickier. The dish liquid will also penetrate the outer coating of the leaves helping the vinegar be more efficient.

Chemical weed killers, the heavy weight solution for lawns

Herbicides are a great solution for weed control, even if it is not organicIf none of these above methods work, then you may need to use the heavy artillery: chemical weed killers (herbicides), which will probably solve the problem on spot. However, even with chemical weed killers, you should identify the types of weeds since not all herbicides kill all weeds. The fact is that even the term “weed” is a generic one, defining a plant that doesn’t grow where it should be, or more exact, growing where it shouldn’t. For example, we could consider weeds the grass growing in our flower beds or, well, some wild flowers growing on our lawn. In such cases you may just go with the manual method of killing the weeds one by one.

So, getting back to our point, for large lawns you decided to use herbicides. Are they all the same? Do they all get the desired results? Well, not quite!

There are two main categories of herbicides: systemic and contact herbicides.

  • Systemic herbicides kill the weeds by entering through their roots, through their feeding system
  • Contact herbicides kill weeds from the outside, by stopping them to feed through photosynthesis

Also, chemical weed killers may be selective or non-selective, depending on their capabilities to kill particular weeds or not. Selective herbicides can be sprayed on your lawn and they will only target and kill those weeds they are supposed to, leaving the grass more or less intact while non selective herbicides kill all plants they touch. You must be very careful with this type of weed killers since they will also kill your lawn if improper used.

Even selective weed killers must be carefully used since it depends on the growth stage of your grass, younger grass, younger plants may not be able to withstands the effects of herbicide, selective or not.

Depending on the moment when you use them, lawn weed killers are pre-emergent or post-emergent, meaning you use them early, in the spring, before the weeds appear, preventing this to happen, or after they appeared, in order to kill them. Both pre-emergent and post-emergent weed killer must be properly applied and, very important, when the time is right. Apply them too early or too late and they won’t work.

As you see above, depending on your needs and preferences, the best weed killer for lawns may be in any of the above categories or, in fact, in all at once, like, for example, a systemic, selective, post-emergent herbicide.

Also, on the market there are combined products, both for feeding the lawn and killing the weeds, combining lawn fertilizers and weed killers, since they both are released around the same period.

I can think of many things to say at this point, I could speak about how to properly apply weed killers, or when or how, about safety rules when applying it, what to wear (like rubber boots and long sleeved shirts) and a lot other things but at this moment I will only say that the most efficient weed killer for my lawn is the one that removes weeds with minimal damage to your lawn and the environment since any chemicals applied on plants sooner or later will go into the grown and impacts the environment. This is why I personally recommend first removing weeds the old, manual way, when possible, then, when this is not possible, applying a soft weed killer by spraying it on each plant and only going to systemic herbicides when nothing else works. I don’t know about you but this is they way I have always done things in my life, looking for the minimal negative impact on the environment. For me this is the best weed killer for lawns, the one that impacts my lawn, my grass and flowers the least.

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