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Getting The Job Done Right
By: Darion Robinson
My wife and I share the passion of taking care of living creatures so, aside from having a cat, we also love growing our garden full of blooms. Not only does it make our home look welcoming, but the natural scent of the flowers come springtime also makes anyone who visits feel good. While we welcome all living creatures to our garden, there’s one thing that we cannot stand, pesky weeds.
So, after much experimentations and different rotations, we found that the Roundup Landscape Weed Preventer (available on amazon.com) was what worked best for our garden beds.
Weed killers or herbicides are important for anyone who is looking to grow plants whether for consumption or as part of their home’s landscape. While herbicides are toxic to plants, they are valued due to their efficacy in eliminating weeds that either take away nutrients from your blooms or ruin the appearance of your gardens. You can always uproot these pesky weeds but, they are sure to come back. To lessen or to prevent such mishaps, here are ten of the best herbicides for your garden available right now on Amazon.
*List recently updated for 2019
It goes without saying that there are several different kinds of weed killers are available on the market today. Herbicides range from preventers, which you put before laying out your garden or yard, and the so-called post-emergent are like a spot treatment that kills weeds just as they come. Herbicides also vary depending on their content, some come as naturally-produced, and some are produced chemically. Rotation of these herbicides is advisable, however, finding one that works for your garden would save you money in the long run.
One of the most important sayings that my mother has always taught me was “Prevention is better than cure” That’s what Roundup Landscape Weed Preventer has done for my beautiful garden, and that’s what it’s done excellently.
Roundup is a brand of herbicides that use glyphosate as its main killing ingredient. Glyphosate is a chemical that kills a large number of different weeds that can be found in your home garden. Glyphosate prevents the weeds from making the life-sustaining proteins that make them grow.
I love the Roundup Landscape Weed Preventer so much because it was the one that did not damage any of my growing plants. Its efficacy was obvious, and it guarantees me a weed-free garden for up to 6 months. This amount of time means that I won’t have to uproot or use spot herbicides for that much time. I thought of all of the savings I would be making that’s why this one takes the top spot for me.
How does Roundup make sure that their customers are guaranteed with a weed-free landscape for 6 months? Simple! They do this by creating a weed barrier. The weed barrier shields the soil from any weed outgrowth, which is pretty convenient. No more multiple uprooting for 6 months! You can tell that its active ingredient, Pendimethalin, works perfectly in preventing any weed growths, four weeks in and the yard is still clear from any wild weeds.
Roundup Landscape Weed Preventer is safe to use on different plants, shrubs, and trees. It’s even safe around ornamental grass, ornamental bulbs, and even on wildflowers! My favorite with this Roundup Landscape Weed Preventer is just how easy it is to apply. Just put it before the mulch and then water it for activation. There is no need for any complicated pre-mixing. It also comes in 13 lbs and 5.4 lbs. I have the 5.4 lbs which are very easy to carry around my yard and garden.
You might get confused by the number of negative comments saying that this product did not work for them, which may be the case for your garden. However, I stand by this $20 preventer that worked for my garden. With its efficacy and ease of application, I would say that this is the perfect weed preventer for my home garden.
This product from Doctor Kirchner ties with my best herbicide from Roundup. The makers over at Doctor Kirchner used the incredible combination of ocean water and commercial food-grade vinegar which makes it safe to be around pets and other animals, except for pestilent weeds.
This is one of the herbicides available on Amazon that has a compelling backstory and impressive reviews. Overall, people loved this natural herbicide because part of the company’s campaign was to produce a herbicide that’s safe for animals. As fur parents, one of our priorities is to keep our pets safe around our house as well. I wouldn’t want to harm Baxter just because I was killing these pesky sprouts around the lawn.
I honestly felt pity for all the wild sprouts I killed because of this Natural Weed Killer from Doctor Kirchner. It was very quick to effect. I had some stones on my pavement where these wild outgrowths could be seen, and the morning after I sprayed this, I found myself looking at brown weeds.
I had doubts with Doctor Kirchner’s Natural Weed Killer because of its ingredients. The combination of ocean water and commercial-grade vinegar was a little unexpected but it worked, and it worked excellently! Both the Roundup Landscape Weed Preventer and Doctor Kirchner’s Natural Weed Killer had admirable effects in terms of efficacy and quick action.
As with most “killers,” the smell is usually foul. This smelled pretty pungent because of its composition; if you are sensitive to these kinds of smells, this is something you’ll have to look out for when purchasing this herbicide. Another thing that concerned me was the included sprayer. I had to purchase a different sprayer, but it was the least of my concerns since it worked perfectly fine against the weeds.
One can tell that Roundup puts a lot of thinking in their product designs. I’ve previously used this Extended Control Weed and Grass Killer Plus Weed Preventer II because of its ready-to-use comfort wand sprayer.
It helped to distribute the product evenly in my yard conveniently. I would say that the highlight of Roundup’s products is the thought that they put in making the application easy. The comfort wand sprayer was comfortable and convenient because I did not have to buy additional spray mechanisms.
But more importantly, we also have to talk about the effective formulation of the Roundup Extended Control Weed and Grass Killer Plus Weed Preventer II, which according to their studies cannot be washed away 10 minutes right after the application. If you live in a place where there are very high chances of raining, you would for sure appreciate this products capability to withstand water within that short amount of time. What’s even more amazing is that the product has visible effects within three hours of application. Comfortable and convenient method and fast action? Now that’s something that’s worth every penny.
Now, this version of Roundup’s herbicide is a total killer. The formulation of this concentrate seems to be very intense (I guess that’s why they put the word “extended”) while it did its job, it smelled very toxic and horrible. It also made my skin itch when it came in contact with my hands. Take the necessary caution when using this product even if your skin is not that sensitive. Better safe than sorry!
Green Gobbler is a small company based in New York that makes industrial cleaners mostly made from naturally-occurring products. Green Gobbler’s Ultimate Vinegar Home & Garden which is made from 30% vinegar concentrate.
They promise a safe and effective herbicide, which can also work as a cleaner. As part of my experiment, I also had to check out the cleaning efficacy of this product.A gallon of this Green Gobbler Ultimate Vinegar Home & Garden will set you back for about $25, with that amount of herbicide along with its promised multiple uses, I was hooked.
First, I tried it on the wild sprouts that were growing on my stone walkway. In a matter of hours, I was fascinated by its efficacy. I didn’t expect so much from this because most “multipurpose” products usually end up being great at just one effect or two instead of the entire expected effects. This stuff works! It even cleared the mildew on my stone walkway. It honestly looks brand new.
Green Gobbler’s Ultimate Vinegar Home & Garden was able to deliver its promise. What’s more, is that it was able to do it naturally. Among the items that I have reviewed, this was the herbicide that made me say I got more than what I paid for.
However, unlike my top choice, there was some kind of weeds that It couldn’t take out, such as thistles. Green Gobbler was excellent on other pesky weeds, but for thistles, it just wasn’t doing anything to it. That said, it could be a point for improvement to make this multipurpose herbicide and cleaner tested out on a broader range of weeds.
Another non-chemical based herbicide is the all-natural and concentrated Natural Armor Weed & Grass Killer. Natural Armor guarantees that they can kill 250+ types of weeds and grasses immediately, so I just had to try it.
Natural Armor does not use glyphosate (the potent ingredient in Roundup products) and is poison and chemical-free. This means that even though it’s toxic to plants, weeds and wild grasses or shrubs, it won’t harm children and small animals such as birds.
It was amazingly quick and was able to clear a path of wild grasses that have grown in my backyard. After a few days, however, the weeds and grass did grow for a bit. It was fast in action, but the results weren’t as long-lasting. It’s recommended to re-apply in two weeks from the first treatment.
Aside from its quick action, Natural Armor wasn’t complicated. It’s an outright herbicide that you can use directly from the bottle. The gallon did not have its sprayer but, if you had a bottle sprayer lying around your house, it would be enough to use. It was safe to use even on pavements and my metal fence as it didn’t leave any stains or residues.
From my trials, I also found that applying this in the morning was the best time to do so. This is to allow the interaction of sunlight along with the active ingredients in the herbicide to work together perfectly.
For garden growers looking for alternatives to the leading brands, you can try using Natural Armor as it works just as well. There’s no doubt that Natural Armor works well as a post-emergent herbicide. The strong smell of pungent odor is something you should expect so, just wear protective gear to prevent an adverse reaction to the smell.
If you’re looking for another pre-emergent solution that’s just perfect for the coming spring, SCOTTS 50250 Turf Builder Winterguard Fall Weed and Feed Fertilizer is something worth looking at. SCOTTS 50250 formulation is perfect for pre-emergent clovers and dandelions.
Sure, they look pretty when they’re growing in the wild, but they will take away nutrients from your garden flowers if you let it grow. If you’re trying hard to grow Iris and Hyacinths for the spring, this is one of your best bets against pesky clovers, dandelions, and other weeds which may hamper the growth of your spring blooms.
Among the features of SCOTTS 50250 is what they call as weed grip technology. This is what makes this herbicide perfect as a pre-emergent treatment because of it “grips” the weeds, both those that you can see and can’t. As this is also a fertilizer, SCOTTS 50250 will nourish your plot by letting it be more absorbent of water and other nutrients compared to an untreated plot. Now, that’s what you call a 1-2 punch, a herbicide and a fertilizer for the price of one.
Scotts 50250 Turf Builder Winterguard Fall Weed & Feed Fertilizer come in two different sizes, a 5M bag, and a 15M bag. The 5M will be able to cover 5,000 sq. feet of yard, while the 15M bag, is supposed to have enough coverage for a 15,000 sq. feet yard.
As we said, prevention is always better than cure. Taking the necessary steps in preparing your plot for the coming spring will likely save you from any headaches of pulling out weeds that randomly grow on your yard. You can trust SCOTTS 50250 to do its job, but unlike the Roundup Weed Preventer, this has a more complicated way of application and can come across as too strong for some of my ornamental grasses already laid out.
Of all the weed killers that I have reviewed for this post, Perfectly Natural’s 5821020 Ready to Use with Trigger Sprayer Weed and Grass Killer was the best smelling one. It gave off the sweet and almost clover-ly odor that didn’t give a hint of how toxic it can be for weed and wild grass.
But enough about the scent, there are a few more things that you can like about this weed and grass killer. Perfectly Natural did a great job of killing some of the most common wild grasses like the clover, henbit, dandelion, bluegrasses, and chickweed. Despite the broad range of wild grasses that it can kill, it’s completely organic, and it’s family-friendly.
Since this is not a type of pre-emergent weed killer, you can expect some outgrowths within two to three weeks. I honestly wouldn’t mind reapplying this herbicide because of its scent.Perfectly Natural’s 5821020 Weed Killer is composed of 8% Clove Oil, 90% Vinegar of about 8% acetic acid in solution and then 2% lecithin. With the highest potential of weed killing present in clove oil and vinegar of high concentration, Perfectly Natural made for a quick solution against weeds especially the broad-leaved ones.
While they don’t have the OMRI (Organic Materials Review Institute) certification like the Green Gobbler, I think this organic herbicide is still worth giving a go due to its efficacy. I think as a pre-emergent herbicide, it’s fast acting; however, the re-application was what I didn’t like about it. I had wished it would target down to the roots.
IMAGE herbicides created the all-in-one weed killer with a design that you can hook to your garden hose and just spray as you go. It sounds less complicated than it appears, but it’s a pretty convenient way of applying a herbicide especially to a large area to be treated such as a lawn.
What’s more, is that the 24-ounce bottle can deliver coverage treatment for up to 6,000 square feet.This specific weed killer works best on the freshly emerging weeds. Eradicate them while they’re still growing, right? IMAGE Herbicides’ all-in-one herbicide works great with sedges, clover, plantain, crabgrass, chickweed, among others.
It is known to be selective, but since it has a very potent formulation, it can affect some of your decorative grasses. Sadly, it took a month for a part of my lawn to regrow because of how strong the formulation is. So, how does IMAGE Herbicides’ All-in-One weed killer do it? Simple. Their formulation makes the weeds photosynthesize so much by speeding it up which ends up killing the wild grasses.
I do love the way this herbicide can be applied. You just attach it to your garden hose, and you’re good to go! The makers have indicated that this is great for use on weeds that are young and just about to spring, I think it would take multiple applications to kill a weed infestation problem.
This All-in-One weed killer from IMAGE has a lot of mixed reviews so, I would say that the best way to determine whether this will work for your lawn is to take a small amount of this herbicide and try it on a certain small area before using it on the entirety of your lawn.
One of the herbicides with the most ingenious product design is the Preen Extended Control Weed Preventer. It has a flip-top applicator cap that makes it so convenient to apply to any landscape.
With a handheld size that’s easy to carry around, Preen is a great competitor to Roundup’s Weed Preventer in terms of convenience. But enough about the convenient product design, let’s talk about how Preen can do its job.
Preen’s active ingredient in working its magic against weeds is trifluralin. If you look up the substance, trifluralin is a chemical compound that is used best as a pre-emergence herbicide. In general, this substance is to be applied directly to the soil to restraint any root growth. It impedes mitosis, or the cellular development of these pesky weeds which in turn, halts the cell production of the weeds.
If you do not have any ponds or are working this weed preventer around already grown plants, you’re completely in the clear. It is important to know that the Preen Extended Control Weed Preventer should not be used around seedlings, you should only use this around plants that have grown. Otherwise, your seedlings will suffer. Also, since Trifluralin is a known toxic ingredient take extra measures not to get this substance in a pond with fish. The European Union banned the said substance in 2008, because of the effects it had to aquatic life.
Despite these seemingly gloomy effects that the Preen Extended Control, it was able to do its job. Thistle? Check. Henbit? Check. Chickweed? Stinging Nettle? Check and check! Preen promises that it will control and inhibit the weed growth for up to six months per application. That’s almost only applying this herbicide twice a year and not having to do any uprootings at all!
A product that I thought was too potent for a herbicide is the Ortho GroundClear Vegetation Killer. It almost sounds notorious once the product name is read, and it is. But, this might be the weed killer that you’re looking for!
For my experiment, I did apply Ortho’s GroundClear Vegetation Killer on the part of my yard, just to check how it works. I did, and I kinda regret hurting my already luscious yard, however, if you’re going to apply this on a walkway paved stone interlock, this will do the job.
This Vegetation Killer has combined the efficiency of glyphosate and imazapyr to kill the weeds. Due to the toxicity levels of these two, it is advised that the treated area be left alone free from pets and children to prevent any adverse skin or stomach reactions.
Also, since these two ingredients are very toxic and reactive, it is important to make sure that you’re only targeting an area that you do not need any growth at all. Ortho also warns against its use on metallic fences and not to use anything metallic to stir the concentrate.
Ortho GroundClear Vegetation Killer is a perfect solution for killing weed growth where you do not expect to plant anything within the next year or so because once it’s been applied, you can never reverse its effects. The 32 ounces is just right for a 400 square feet area, or if you’re just looking to try out its results, you can grab one for only $20.
If you’ve only recently moved into a new home with weed infestation and you are clueless in what to look for when buying herbicides, there’s no need to look any further. Aside from listing multiple herbicides above, here are some points to consider when buying a herbicides/weed killers for the first time:
Knowing a little bit about your landscape’s flora can help trim down the choices of herbicides that you should be buying. A lot of these herbicides can kill broadleaf weeds, which are clover, dandelion, and purslane. Some are selective that even though you have ornamental grass like bermudagrass, the herbicide will still be able to skip on killing your ornamental ones and concentrate on eradicating the broadleaf ones.
Certain herbicides aren’t formulated to be selective. Some herbicides aren’t meant to be used on edible plants, while some are safe to use. Taking note of all the plants that you wish to grow in your garden or farm, for that matter, before going to the store and buying a weed killer makes for a wise decision.
If you noticed in my review above, I have mentioned paved walkways, lawns, garden beds and this is because it is important to know the environment in which you will be using these weed killers. Some of these herbicides I reviewed are perfect for stone-paved walkways because I am not expecting any growth in that area since it’s stone-paved. Always read the labels and instructions before buying.
Choosing between organic and chemical can boil down to your priorities. If you’re looking for something that’s safe for your pets and children, you can always choose organic. They’re potent and fast-acting. However, the effects don’t last as long as the chemical ones. The thing with chemical-based weed killers, though, is that once it’s been applied, it may take months before you can even start seeing plants grow in the treated soil due to the toxicity of the weed killer.
Studies have shown that it is better to buy a combination of herbicides. Whether it’s two different weed killers or a combination of pre and post-emergent herbicides. Having both will increase the weed killing effects of both. As the saying goes, two is better than one.
By Darion Robinson
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