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8 Best Weed Killers for Lawn

The eight best lawn weed killers to keep your precious plot of green weed-free.

Every editorial product is independently selected, though we may be compensated or receive an affiliate commission if you buy something through our links. Ratings and prices are accurate and items are in stock as of time of publication.

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Spraying Weed KillerHenfaes/Getty Images

Choosing a Lawn Weed Killer

When deciding which is the best weed killer for your lawn, it’s imperative you understand how weed killers work.

“This can get pretty involved and complicated,” says Senior Turf Specialist Joe Churchill at Reinders Inc. In the simplest terms, Churchill says, “The active ingredient in many of them literally accelerate growth, and the weeds grow themselves to death.”

There’s no “one-size-fits-all” solution to lawn weeds. So it’s essential you choose a “selective” herbicide specific to the type of lawn you have, as well for the kind of weeds you want to kill. Local nurseries will only sell products intended for use in your region.

When buying online from big box stores, be sure to check that the products are suited to your climate, grass and weeds. Keep in mind that “non-selective” herbicides will kill everything in their wake, including your grass.

Breaking it down even further, the type of weed killer you use depends on whether you are treating:

  • Preventively (pre-emergence) or;
  • After germination occurs (post-emergence).

Applying a lawn weed killer should be timed based on how the active ingredient is designed to work and under which conditions.

“A pre-emergent herbicide intended for use to control crabgrass will be applied at a different time than a post-emergent herbicide intended to be used to kill clover or dandelions,” Churchill says. “What’s more, even the timing of a crabgrass pre-emergent herbicide will vary by weeks depending on regional climate.”

The following are some of the best weed killers for lawns.

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Best Value Weed Killer for Lawns

Ortho Weed B Gon concentrate is our top contender for its affordability and effectiveness at killing tough lawn weeds. It contains triclopyr, an active ingredient that works wonders on controlling Creeping Charlie, clover, plantain and more.

Use Weed B Gon with a tank sprayer or the Ortho Dial N Spray. When applied to actively growing weeds, it becomes rainproof after six hours. One 16-oz. container treats up to 3,200 square feet of lawn.

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Best Pre-Emergent Weed Killer for Lawns

When recommending pre-emergent weed killers for lawns, Churchill favors ones containing dithiopyr, like Dimension 2EW Dithiopyr Pre-Emergent Herbicide. It’s pricey, but highly effective at controlling or suppressing crabgrass and broadleaf culprits all season long. Non-staining and low odor, it mixes easily in spray tanks. It’s available in 1/2- and 2-1/2-gallon containers.

Amazon reviewer Sandra R loves how it works. “This product stops hard-to-kill weeds, such as dallisgrass, poa annua, and crabgrass from germinating in my Bermudagrass lawn,” she writes.

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Best Post-Emergent Weed Killer for Lawns

Providing selective, post-emergent broadleaf weed control, Southern Ag Amine 2,4-D Weed Killer Concentrate is an excellent option. This product is recommended not only for lawns but in pastures, rangelands, golf courses and other ornamental turfs.

Mix two to three tablespoons in three to five gallons of water, and apply with a coarse, low-pressure sprayer to cover a 1,000-square-foot area.

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Best Natural Weed Killer

Made of eco-friendly concentrated vinegar that won’t harm people or pets, Natural Armor’s 30 percent home and garden vinegar’s main drawback is that it’s a non-specific herbicide. That means it will destroy anything it comes in contact with, including your turfgrass.

Still, it’s great option for eliminating stubborn weeds and unwanted grasses in driveways, cracks in the sidewalks and along gravel paths. Six times stronger than table vinegar, it can also be used as a cleaner on patio pavers, pool decks, outdoor furniture and more.

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Best Lawn Weed Killer for Nutsedge

Nutsedge is a formidable adversary that requires a special battle plan. Sedgehammer Plus Turf Herbicide (Two Packs), containing five percent halosulfuron-methyl, is a selective herbicide that zeros in on persistent yellow and purple sedges and wipes them out.

Apply to established lawns and ornamental turfgrass as well as landscaped and non-crop areas. When sprayed weekly, it purges your lawn of nutsedge in about a month. As one Amazon reviewer writes, “The product targets just the weed and so there is no negative impact to my lawn.”

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Best Fast-Acting Weed Killer for Lawns

Ortho GroundClear Weed and Grass Killer is a scorched-Earth solution that works on contact. See results in 15 minutes — it’s a non-selective herbicide that works on all types of weeds and grasses. It’s glyphosate-free and is safe to use in vegetable gardens when applied directly to weeds.

“Lawn owners wouldn’t want to use this as a true herbicide,” Churchill says. “But it does have a place if they’re trying to totally kill off a stubborn grass within their grass lawn, such as removing bentgrass or Poa trivialis from their bluegrass lawn.”

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Best Combination Weed Killer for Lawns

If you’re looking for a product that controls broadleaf and crabgrass — even in their mature stages — Quinclorac 75 DF Herbicide‘s active ingredient works well, even on clover. Absorbed by roots and foliage, Quinclorac disrupts plant growth and causes the annoying weeds to die, often within 10 days of application.

One Amazon reviewer writes, “I can’t imagine a more effective product, this stuff should be called Crabgrass Kryptonite.”

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Best Lawn Weed Killer and Fertilizer Combo

A healthy lawn is a happy, weed-free lawn. Scotts Turf Builder Weed & Feed works by feeding your lawn with fertilizer to thicken it and crowd out destructive weeds. It won’t kill crabgrass but it will kill dandelions and clover. It’s formulated to work on most grass types and comes with a money-back guarantee.

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Toni DeBella
Toni DeBella is a freelance travel, lifestyle and digital content writer based in a medieval hill town in central Italy. Her work has been featured in such publications as Fodor's, The Telegraph, Walks of Italy, Italy Magazine, Frommers.com, Touring Bird (via [email protected]) and more. Most recently she authored the 2020 edition of DK Eyewitness Sicily travel guide. When Toni is not roaming around Europe, you'll find her tending her alley-side container garden or honing her clay-court tennis game.

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