Although there are a number of weed killers available in the market, it is crucial to choose the best weed killer for large areas, or else a patch of lawn or an entire garden can be engulfed by weeds in a matter of few days.
Those who are into landscaping realize how important it is to de-weed the soil regularly so that soil is not depleted of nutrients and minerals. To ensure that the plants and trees get all the moisture and nutrition that they deserve for healthy growth, there should be no other elements draining the soil.
It is important to select the right weed killer so that with time, the soil is rid of weeds and unwanted grass for good. Roundup is considered as one of the best weed and grass killer for large areas today because it not only effectively eliminates the growth of weeds and unwanted grass, but also prevents their reappearance anytime soon.
How To Choose The Perfect Weed Killer For Your Garden?
While selecting the perfect weed killer for your garden, it is important to ask yourself a few questions:
- Do you need a weed killer at all?
- What is the nature of weed growing in your garden or driveway?
- What kind of trees or plants grow in your garden?
- Do children or pets visit the area frequently?
- How much time do you have for prepping the soil?
The answers to these questions are crucial to help you make the right choice. For example, if you have a very small patch of lawn or a tiny backyard, you might not even need a weed killer and you could perhaps simply pull out the weeds by hand.
Only if the area is extensive, will you need the best weed and grass killer for large areas. The nature of the weed growing in your garden may also dictate the kind of weed killer you want to buy. Some weeds are more resistant than others, and this is when you need to invest in a strong weed killer.
On the other hand, you might not want a very strong, chemical-based weed killer in your garden, if there are fruit bearing trees. The chemicals eventually tend to make their way into the fruits and might not be ideal for consumption. Opting for a mild or an organic weed killer might be a good alternative in this case.
The same is true when there are pets or children playing in that area. Kids tend to roll around a lot in the grass and so do pets, and you do not want them to develop allergies or any other kind of infection by coming in contact with strong chemicals.
The kind of weed killer you buy also depends on the amount of time you have to prep the soil. If you want the weeds cleared within a couple of days or a week, then you need a really strong weed killer. Or else, a milder variety would do, killing the weeds over a period of time.
What Are The Advantages Of Using Weed Killers?
If you want to kill the weeds quickly and have a large tract of land to clean up, then using a weed killer might be the best bet. It is also required if you do not want to waste time and effort manually pulling off the weeds with your hand. The work is done quickly and efficiently and there is no scope of missing out any weed which might skip your notice when you are engaged in manual de-weeding. Know more about weed control in this video.
How To Know Which Weed Killer Is Better?
Considering there are so many weed killers out there vying for your attention, it might be a little overwhelming to choose the right one. You could of course start by asking your family or friends who are also passionate about gardening and might have a fair idea about what works best on weeds.
You could also ask your gardener or your landscape artist who will be able to offer you a more informed solution based on the type of soil in your land, the kind of trees and plants you intend to grow on it and the nature of weeds which keep showing up.
Alternatively, you could also research the components of the weed killers and go through online reviews to check which one of them is considered the most effective by a large number of users. Look for labels like ‘child-friendly’ or ‘pet-friendly’ if you have children or pets in the house.
What Is The Best Way To Use Weed Killer?
While using a particular brand of weed and grass killer concentrate, it is important that all the instructions mentioned in the label are followed thoroughly. This is because each weed killer has some different chemical constituency and they may react differently under different circumstances.
Ideally, weed killers should be used around spring or summer, when weeds tend to thrive in the ideal weather conditions. It should not be used while it is raining or when it is too windy, as the effectiveness of the product is compromised.
They should also not be handled without adequate protective gear and one should seek immediate medical assistance if one feels sick in case the product accidentally gets into the eyes or mouth while spraying.
Controversy Regarding Weed Killers:
Over time, there have been quite a few controversies regarding whether weed killers are safe and whether they should be used at all. Some have cited environmental issues, arguing that such products weaken the soil and over time, renders it too poisonous for any kind of plant to grow on it.
Others have propagated that using home-made alternatives are better for tackling weed issues. Most of these controversies have risen because the products have not been used correctly as instructions stated and the results were far from satisfactory.
It is also important to follow a particular cycle for de-weeding so that the soil gets a chance to replenish itself, rather than using too much product in a very short span of time and concentrating the soil with chemicals.
Most of the concern surrounding weed killers is regarding the chemical Glyphosate, and various brands of weed killers use this chemical extensively in varying percentages in their products. However, organic alternatives are also available. If a systemic weed killer is used with care, then it poses no threat whatsoever, allowing the plants to thrive.
You can find more information on weed management here.
Prerequisites To Using The Product:
To use a weed killer for large overgrown areas, it is important to check the density of the weeds and notice the frequency with which they keep coming back. It is inadvisable to randomly buy a product without adequate research and without understanding the needs and nature of the soil and the plants you intend to grow in your garden.
On the other hand, if you are using the product in a neutral area of the house, like the driveway, where there are no other plants and fewer chances of your pets or children playing because of parked cars, then you can opt for a stronger product.
Top 10 Weed Killers That You Can Consider:
Here are the top ten weed killers which you can consider, depending on your needs and requirements:
Touted as one of the best grass killer and weed control, the product is suitable for use in gardens, patios and landscaped beds. It is a broadleaf weed killer and the product claims to show results within fifteen minutes of spraying. Buyers can choose from six pack sizes, depending on the amount they need to spray or the expanse of the area that needs de-weeding.
Can be used directly on weeds and patios
Results noticeable within 15 minutes
Can be applied at any time of the year
Easy to mix and use
Product without glyphosphate
Kills only weeds and not surrounding plants
Does not work as quickly on all types of weeds
Parts of the weed below the ground do not always die out
Only kills parts of the weed that comes in direct contact with the product
This product is mainly known for killing weeds which are otherwise hard to kill. The herbicide is quite potent and should be used with care s it is very difficult to come off if it somehow gets on clothes or shoes. Wearing protective gear while using this systemic weed killer is an absolute must. It prevents certain kinds of weeds from growing any taller and stunts their growth, eventually killing them over a period.
Requires no assembly as it comes in easy spray bottle
Even kills otherwise hard- to- kill grasses and weeds like Creeping Charlie
Results are noticeable within a few days
No need to use more than twice a year
Good for broad leaf weeds
Can be used only on cool- season grasses
Only one container size is available
Slightly overpriced for a low- concentrate product
The product is available in two forms- Concentrate and Ready-to-Spray. Users can choose the one which they feel is most convenient for their use- the Concentrate is good for those who have a variety of weeds growing in their gardens, and different concentration levels are needed for the separate varieties. One can dilute the concentrate as per their requirements. The Ready-to-Spray variety is good for regular garden use.
The product is effective on over 200 species of broadleaf weeds including dandelion, clover, nettle, Creeping Charlie and chickweed
Safe for the surrounding grass
Weeds start wilting within hours and die out within seven to fourteen days
Does not wash out in rain after it has dried on the leaf surface in a couple of hours
Easy to dilute and spray
Most effective with Bonide’s Turbo Spreader Sticker
Not very effective on Zoysa grass
This weed killer is mostly apt for use on roots and weeds that tend to grow inside or on the joints of septic tanks and water pipes. The constant presence of moisture in the pipes results in weeds shooting out within them or in their tight bends.
Not all kinds of weed killers can be used on water pipes because of the danger of perforating the pipes and mixing with the water. This weed killer is considered safe for plumbing. It also poses no threat to septic tanks or the water pipes. There is no need for costly digging or rooter service as well.
No need for digging
Suitable on all kinds of plumbing
Safe for use around septic tanks and does not affect the good bacteria within
Keeps pipes free from clogging due to overgrown roots and weeds
Clears existing roots in pipes and prevents growth of new ones
Needs good water pressure to flush out the dead roots
Might need a reapplication in case of heavy root infestation
One of the more popular weed killers in the market, this weed killer is deemed perfect for home use. The concentrate can be diluted depending on the intensity of the weed growth and it can be used in yards, gardens, flower beds, shrubs, patios, walkways and fences.
The weeds are also completely wilted within 24 hours. The product claims to be waterproof and even if it rains within fifteen minutes of application, the product will not wash away. It is considered a safe weed killer for large areas.
Results noticed within three to six hours of application
Weeds are killed right down to the roots
Rain-proof within 15 minutes of application
Easy to dilute and easy apply with tank sprayer
Also effective on grass- eating insects
Can be dangerous when sprayed on edible food and crops
Good grass and plants might also die- crucial to cover them with plastic or cardboard for protection before spraying
May not be very effective when temperatures are below 60 degrees
Weeds die out, but tend to come back quickly enough
Roundup claims to kill even the toughest weeds and grass, guaranteed! It is 18% Glyphosate. This is a great relief for those who have problems with overriding weeds which simply refuse to go away, no matter which products have been used.
The product is ideal for use in tank sprayer. The product has been manufactured with FastAct technology, which is why results can be seen within 12 hours of application. The product is also rainproof.
Guarantees to kill even the toughest weeds and grass
Rainproof in only 30 mins after application
Suitable for use anywhere like lawns, gardens, patios, walkways, shrubs and flower beds
Starts showing results in 12 hours with FastAct technology
Can be used in a tank sprayer
Keeps pests away
Needs higher level of concentrate to be effective
Change in formula in the new products have rendered it ineffectual against some weeds
Can cause allergies if comes in contact with skin
This product promises to kill weeds with only one application in the entire year. The active ingredients in the product are 4.68% Glyphosate and .78% imazapyr, and that makes it a concentrated formula.
One gallon of the product can cover an area of around 17,300 sq feet approximately. The product can be used around farm buildings and barns, along with patios, gardens, walkways and around the fence. It is one of the best way to clear large area of weeds.
Promises total unwanted vegetation control
Effective against most grasses, vine, brush, vines.
Good for use on non-crop areas like driveways and fences
A small quantity goes a long way
Effective with one application per year
Could take two weeks or more to show ideal results
Weeds start coming back within 8 weeks
This weed killer contains 41% Glyphosate and a gallon of the product can cover an area of 25,000 sq feet, because when diluted, it makes about 85 gallons of spray, making it one of the best way to spray large area of weeds.
While making a spray, mixing three tablespoons with a gallon of water is enough to cover long fences and similar areas. It is highly water soluble and mixes easily, yet becomes rainproof within 2 hours of application. The product should be ideally applied when temperatures are over 60 degree F.
Mixes easily with water
One gallon of product can cover 200 sq feet.
Rainproof in 2 hours
Best use in driveways, walkways and fences
New trees can be replanted within one day of application
Kills to the roots
Non- residual herbicide, hence will not prevent future growth
Kills all grass, hence not suitable for spraying in lawns
Not suitable for spraying around edibles
Not effective on all types of weeds
This product is considered very good weed killer for large overgrown areas. This is because it claims not only to kill weed but also prevents it from recurring within a year. The product promises total vegetation control and it can treat about 17,000 sq feet.
The product should be used in places where no vegetation is wanted and only to kill weeds in areas where no plant is desirable at all. It is best used for spot control. The product has two herbicides and one surfactant as its principal components.
Good for use in large, overgrown areas
Very good spot control for brush, vines and weeds
Rainproof within 2 hours of application
Pets and children can play in the area after product has died
One gallon of product, when diluted, makes about 53 gallons of spray
The product is ideal for use on barren ground only
Poses threat to other vegetation
This product is natural and organic and one of the few such products that is used for killing weeds and grass. Those who are highly susceptible to allergies and do not want any kind of chemicals or their residue in their immediate environment can opt for this product.
The product contains 20% ascetic acid, which is mainly vinegar, and complete elimination of weeds can be expected in 24 hours. The product is made from corn has been certified organic by OMRI. This makes it perfect for use for residential and agricultural purposes.
Made from corn and completely organic in nature
Suitable for use on a wide variety of weeds like dandelion, crabgrass, moss, clovers and the like
Can be used right out of the container
Glyphosate- free, which makes it suitable for those allergic to the chemical
Does not contain other chemicals like phosphates, sulfates, VOCs, fluorine, ethoxylates, dye, petroleum solvents, chlorine, or bleach
Can be used around barns, driveways, fences
A simple targeted application from spray bottle, without any dilatation, is all that is needed
Labels state that not suitable for birds, pets or fish
Wearing protective gear is an absolute must in spite of the product claiming to be organic
Not as eco-friendly as stated and can be highly corrosive
Why does weed growth accelerate after spreading weed killers?
Contrary to popular belief, weed killers do not just work by poisoning the plant. While that is the basic mechanism, some might notice an acceleration of weed growth before they start to wither and eventually die. This is because the formula accelerates the growth and shoves their natural growth into a state of imbalance. When they cannot handle their own, indiscriminate growth, they eventually start dying out.
Do rain-fast weed killers actually work, or are they just a marketing gimmick?
Not at all. There are indeed rain-proof weed killers which are completely resistant to rain and hence would not flush away from the weeds after application. The duration for the rain-proof technology to kick in after application might differ from brand to brand, but in the quick action weed killers, they can become rainproof as quickly as 30 minutes after application. In some other brands, it could take up to two hours. But once the product dries and sticks to the leaves, rain cannot wash it away.
Why are there so many different kinds of weeds in the garden?
This could be due to the kind of soil used in the garden which promotes the growth of various kinds of plants and trees, and weeds, though unwanted, are also plant life. If there is a profusion of weeds in your garden, it could be because there are loose pockets which allow the weeds to take root. Seeds and pollens lodge in these nooks and spots and before you know it, there are weeds all over.
Are all weeds the same?
No, not all weeds are the same. There are various species of weeds like dandelions, crabgrass, ivy, Creeping Charlie, white clovers, and nettles among others. All of them have their own growth rate and will respond differently to seasonal changes. This is why you see one species of weeds invading your gardens in the winters while another species show up during the summers.
Why is it important to identify the various kinds of weeds?
It is important to identify the various kinds of weeds so that you can choose the right method of tackling them. While most weed killers today are formulated to kill all varieties of weeds, you will often find all the weeds dying except one or two kinds in your garden.
Depending on their constituency, the weed killer you are using might be completely ineffective for them and some other product should be used to eliminate them instead. Knowing the species of your weeds will result in less trial and error and prevent your soil being uselessly contaminated with chemicals.
How to separate weed from desirable plants while spot spraying?
If the weeds are entwined between your desirable plants, then it can be particularly difficult to get rid of them. This only happens when the weeds are left unchecked over long periods. In such cases, nothing less than much focused spot spraying will do.
Take a spray with very fine nozzle and spray on the weeds individually, careful to avoid the desirable plants. This could be a time consuming and labor intensive method. If possible, you could dig out the desirable plants and replant them later after the weeds are eliminated.
How often should Weed Killers be used?
It depends entirely on the nature of the weeds. If you notice that the weeds are seasonal, then you can spray your yard or lawn right before the season, which is usually around spring or summer. In other cases, using the product twice or thrice a year keeps the growth of weeds in check.
Can I use groundcover plants to minimize the appearance of weeds?
Yes, there are certain kinds of groundcover plants which shade out weeds and they require almost no irrigation or very little if at all. Some of them are monkeyflower, California buckwheat, California fuchsia, dwarf coyote brush, sage, silver bush lupine, yarrow and yucca among others. They will help the weeds from recurring or even if they do, they will find it hard to compete and will be a lot less noticeable.
Why is mulching important?
A thin layer of mulch will loosen over time and wash away with rain or wind. Mulches should be around 2 to 4 inches thick and should be tightly places so that there are no pockets where seeds and pollens get stuck and start multiplying. Regular mulching keeps weed at bay, but please be careful while using propane torches for rooting out weeds if you have used wood chips as mulch.
Can weed killers kill pests?
Weed killers are formulated to kill only weeds and grass, which are plant life. It is not manufactured to be effective on organisms. However, due to the high concentration of chemicals, predominantly Glyphosate, it is quite possible that pests would die out as well as they come in contact with the harsh product. However, if you have a particularly difficult pest problem in your garden or lawn, you should contact pest control instead.
Conclusion: Which Weed Killer Should You Use?
Among all the various weed killers, Roundup Weed & Grass Killer Concentrate Plus happens to be the best and the most effective one. This is not just because the product is efficient in killing weeds - this is something that almost all weed killers do in some capacity.
However, the right concentration of Glyphosate sets it apart from the rest. The 18% Glyphosate is not high, and hence, not too harsh as is the case with some other products and yet it is enough to do its jobs and kill weeds from the root.
For those who want a stronger product, can opt for Roundup with Glyphosate as high as 41%. The broad spectrum of Glyphosate concentration makes it convenient for the users to choose exactly how strong they want the weed killer to be.
The product has been tried and tested over many years and it is available in a number of application process and container sizes. When used with caution, and all the instructions are carefully followed, it is one of the best weed killer for large areas to be used for both domestic and industrial purposes.