10 Best Weed Killer for Lawns in 2021

Few things are more satisfying in the spring than stepping out your door to the sight of a perfectly manicured lawn. But that sight doesn’t just appear by itself in spring.

It takes a lot of hard work, dedication, and the right products to get your lawn looking great every year. But even if you have the hard work and dedication, if you use the wrong product, you won’t get the results you’re looking for – and you’ll have to wait until next year to try again.

That’s why we came up with this comprehensive guide to walk you through everything you need to know about it, so you can choose the right weed killer for your lawn the first time.

Our Favorites

  • Easy to use
  • Kills over 250 weeds
  • Extended wand is great for spot treating
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  • Sure Shot Wand provides precise application
  • Results in just 3 hours
  • Rainproof after just 10 minutes
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  • Results show in just 15 minutes
  • Kills all types of weeds
  • Application wand provides precise application
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10 Best Weed Killer for Lawns

If you’re shopping for the best weed killer to get your lawn under control, then you’ve come to the right place. While any of the ten weed killers we reviewed here can kill the weeds in your lawn, each one works better in specific situations. So check out the reviews and find the perfect weed killer for your lawn!

1. Roundup Ready to Use Weed & Grass Killer III – Best Overall

Top Pick
Roundup Ready-To-Use Weed & Grass Killer III

Our top pick Roundup Ready-To-Use Weed & Grass Killer III is killing the existing weeds to the root, with visible results in only 3 hours!

Style: Ready to Use Direct Spray

Sizes: 1.33 gallons

If you’re tired of weeds overtaking your garden, sidewalk, driveway, or just about any other area, you want Roundup Ready to Use Weed & Grass Killer III. Not only do you get results in just three hours, but it’s also rainproof after just 10 minutes!

Furthermore, it uses a Sure Shot Wand that provides a precise application without any overspray. If you’re trying to kill weeds around the garden or flower bed then that’s a huge deal that can help keep your flowers alive and your vegetables safe.

It’s incredibly easy to use, and is sure to take out any weeds in its way – all the way to the root. However, it doesn’t have the largest application area, at only 400 square feet, and it’s a more expensive product. That’s why Roundup Ready to Use Weed & Grass Killer III is best for spot-treating gardens and specific areas, not your entire lawn.

Pros

  • Easy to use
  • Sure Shot Wand provides precise application
  • Results in just 3 hours
  • Rainproof after just 10 minutes

Cons

  • Not the largest application area – only 400 square feet
  • More expensive option

2. Roundup for Lawns1 Ready to Use All-in-One Weed Killer – Best for All Weeds

Best for All Weeds
Roundup For Lawns1 Ready to Use - All-in-One Weed Killer

An all-in-one solution for Bermuda grass, as well as a variety of common weeds and invasive grass species (over 250). Roundup will not kill your lawn, as it removes the unwanted elements from your yard by targeting the root systems of weeds and eliminating them, along with all your garden plant problems!

Style: Ready to Use Direct Spray

Sizes: 1.33 gallons

Roundup is the number one name in the weed-killing industry for a reason, and that’s why both of our top picks come from the same brand. Before diving into everything their Lawns1 Ready to Use All-in-One Weed Killer does right, we need to look into the differences between this and our top choice.

For starters, this Roundup product isn’t rainproof until 3 hours after application, instead of 10 minutes. Second, it doesn’t come with an overspray shield to help protect veggies and flower beds.

However, it does come with an extended wand that’s great for spot-treating specific areas. Still, those two differences were enough to slide it into our runner-up position.

But second is a far cry from the bottom of our list. It’s still extremely easy to use, incredibly effective, and you’ll find it works great on just about any Northern grass type.

While it’s not the most affordable product out there, it is a little less expensive than our top choice too. So, if you’re not looking for a spray with an overspray shield, this can be a great way to save a few bucks.

Pros

  • Easy to use
  • Kills over 250 weeds
  • Extended wand is great for spot treating
  • Works great on Northern grass types

Cons

  • Not rainproof until after 3 hours
  • No shield to prevent overspray

3. Ortho GroundClear Weed & Grass Killer Ready to Use – Runner Up

Runner Up
Ortho GroundClear Weed & Grass Killer

Ortho GroundClear Weed & Grass Killer is effective on all types of weeds and grasses. Ortho GroundClear is good for use on hard surfaces such as patios, and gravel driveways. It kills grass and weeds and prevents regrowth for up to a year


Style: Ready to Use Direct Spray

Sizes: 1 gallon

While Roundup may be the largest name in the weed-killing industry, Ortho is right behind them. And with products like their GroundClear Weed & Grass Killer, it’s not hard to see why. It’s another ready-to-use spray that provides an easy application process.

It starts killing weeds in just 15 minutes, and it kills just about every type of weed you’ll encounter. It comes with an application wand that allows for a precise application process, but it still doesn’t have an overspray prevention cone, so there is some risk if you’re spraying around vegetables or flowers.

Not only that, but the Ortho GroundClear Weed & Grass Killer is a more expensive product when you account for the smaller size. It only covers about 300 square feet, which is 25 percent less than what Roundup Weed & Grass Killer III covers.

But if you want to stay clear of Roundup for one reason or another, this is another outstanding choice.

Pros

  • Easy to use
  • Results show in just 15 minutes
  • Kills all types of weeds
  • Application wand provides precise application

Cons

  • Less coverage area – only 300 square feet
  • More expensive for how much you get

4. Spectracide HG-96451

Fast Visible Results
Spectracide HG-96451 Weed & Grass Killer Concentrate

Incredibly fast-acting and effective within hours of application, simply mix up the product according to specifications and spray on the problem areas.

Style: Concentrate

Sizes: 32, 64, or 128 ounces

While Spectracide might not have the same name-brand recognition as Ortho or Roundup, it still does a phenomenal job. You can start to see results within three hours, and it’s waterproof in just 15 minutes!

And if you’re worried about going with a name other than Roundup, with Spectracide’s money-back guarantee, you can get your entire purchase refunded if you’re not happy for any reason. But chances are you won’t have any problems since it’s an extremely effective product.

Still, while it’s available for a great price for how much area it covers, it is a concentrate. That means that you’ll need a separate mixing container and tank sprayer, which means even more money upfront.

But since the concentrates are more affordable in the long run, it might be a good investment if you plan on spraying every year. But the second concern with concentrates is that you need to mix them correctly yourself.

If you don’t use enough, you won’t kill the weeds, but if you use too much, you can kill your entire lawn. It’s a lot of pressure to get the right amount, and that’s a big reason why many people prefer to stick with the ready-to-use sprays despite their higher cost.

Pros

  • Results in just 3 hours
  • Waterproof in just 15 minutes
  • Money-back guarantee
  • Very effective product

Cons

  • You need a separate mixing area/sprayer
  • The wrong mixture can kill your entire lawn

5. Natural Armor Weed and Grass Killer

Natural Concentrated Formula
Natural Armor Weed and Grass Killer All-Natural Concentrated Formula

Our Natural Concentrated Formula pick brings an organic solution, usable in any area of your garden. The results are visible within only a few hours.

Style: Ready to Use Direct Spray

Sizes: 32 ounces, 1 gallon, or 2.5 gallons

If you’re looking for an organic solution to take care of your weeds, then Natural Armor Weed and Grass Killer is just what you’ve been looking for. It’s a completely organic product that kills over 250 types of weeds, and is extremely easy to use.

It’s a ready-to-use direct spray, so all you need to do is point and spray, and it comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee! If you don’t like the results for any reason in the first 30 days, Natural Armor will give you every penny back!

There’s only a slim chance you won’t like the results, but for everything Natural Armor Weed and Grass Killer does right, there are two drawbacks that sent them down to the middle of our list.

First is its price. Organic products cost more, and this is certainly no exception. Second, it’s a manual squeeze to spray nozzle, which can be challenging to spray over a large area, but at the same time, it’s hard to pinpoint a precise application area.

While this isn’t a huge deal since it’s an organic product, it can still kill your flower and vegetable plants. But on the plus side, you shouldn’t have to worry as much around pets or children!

Pros

  • Kills over 250 types of weeds
  • 30-day money-back guarantee
  • Easy to use
  • Completely organic product

Cons

  • Sprayer nozzle has a wide application area
  • More expensive option

6. Ortho WeedClear Lawn Weed Killer

Top Pick
Ortho WeedClear Lawn Weed Killer: For Northern Lawns

Our Top Pick product for Crabgrass Killers in 2021 is Ortho WeedClear Lawn Weed Killer. It will easily kill weeds without damaging your lawn.

We earn a commission if you click this link and make a purchase at no additional cost to you.

Style: Ready to Use Garden Hose Spray

Sizes: 32 ounces

If you need a product that can cover large areas instead of specific problem spots, then Ortho WeedClear Lawn Weed Killer is what you need. You hook it up to a garden hose to apply it, and even a single 32-ounce container covers 5,000 square feet.

This makes it extremely affordable, and it’s still highly effective since it can kill over 200 types of weeds. However, since you have to spray it with a garden hose, you can’t really pinpoint areas, and overspray can travel if the wind picks up.

Avoid spraying it around flower beds and vegetable gardens, as this can easily kill everything there. It’s rainproof in just one hour, so after you spray, you don’t need to stare nervously up at the sky all day.

If you’re looking to treat your entire lawn, Ortho WeedClear Lawn Weed Killer is one of the most cost-effective ways to get the job done.

Pros

  • Affordably priced
  • Kills over 200 types of weeds
  • Easy to use
  • Rainproof in just 1 hour

Cons

  • Not easy to pinpoint areas

7. Spectracide HG-95703

Overall Weed Killer
Spectracide HG-95703 Home-pest-repellents

Our Overall Weed Killer, Spectracide HG-95703, kills more than 470 different types of weeds. Becomes rainproof in just 3 hours after applying.

Style: Ready to Use Garden Hose Spray

Sizes: 32 ounces

If you’re looking for the lowest-priced option to treat your entire yard, Spectracide HG-95703 is exactly what you need. It’s available for an extremely low price, and can kill over 470 types of weeds!

You may not think that a 32-ounce bottle will go very far, but since you hook it up to a garden hose while spraying a single bottle can cover over 5,000 square feet. When you combine that with the already impressive low price, you’re not going to find a better deal.

But the truth is that while a few applications year after year will kill all the weeds, the chances of you getting a perfect lawn with just one application is slim. And since you can’t apply too much in one season or you’ll kill your grass, you won’t get a perfect lawn for quite some time.

That’s the primary reason Spectracide HG-95703 fell down our list. But if you’re just looking for an affordable product for upkeep year after year, this can get the job done at a fraction of the cost of other brands.

Pros

  • Smaller size is great for small projects
  • Low price for a single bottle
  • Kills over 470 types of weeds
  • Easy to use

Cons

  • Not rainproof for three hours
  • Doesn’t work as well as premium products

8. Roundup Extended Control Grass Killer Plus Weed Preventer II

Ready to Use Pump 'N Go Sprayer
Roundup 5725070 Extended Control and Preventer II

While we've covered concentrates and garden hose sprays for a while, for extremely tough weeds, you really do need a ready-to-use product. And if you're looking for a product that can kill even the toughest weeds, the Roundup Extended Control Grass Killer Plus Weed Preventer II is an outstanding choice.

Style: Ready to Use Pump ‘N Go Sprayer

Sizes: 1.33 gallon

While we’ve covered concentrates and garden hose sprays for a while, for extremely tough weeds, you really do need a ready-to-use product. And if you’re looking for a product that can kill even the toughest weeds, the Roundup Extended Control Grass Killer Plus Weed Preventer II is an outstanding choice.

It’s rainproof in just ten minutes, and you can see results in as little as three hours! But while you can start to notice results straight away, what really sets this product apart is its ability to prevent new weeds from sprouting for up to four months.

Roundup is so sure that you’ll be satisfied with this product that they offer a money-back guarantee, but it’s unlikely you’ll need it.

Despite its awesome effectiveness, this product fell down our list for a few reasons. First, it’s expensive. Not only is each bottle expensive, but it doesn’t cover much area compared to other products.

This makes it better suited for spot treatments of trouble areas, but even with its pump and spray nozzle, it’s hard to pinpoint small areas you want to spray without overspray coming into play. These factors combine to limit the overall versatility of this otherwise excellent product.

Pros

  • Rainproof in just 10 minutes
  • Results in as little as three hours
  • Kills and prevents new weeds
  • Consumer satisfaction guarantee

Cons

  • More expensive option
  • Not as easy to pinpoint application
  • Doesn’t cover much area

9. Ortho GroundClear Year-Long Vegetation Killer1

Best Concentrate Formula
Ortho GroundClear Year Long Vegetation Killer1

Ortho GroundClear Year Long Vegetation Killer1 is a concentrate formula that kills weeds and prevents any re-growth for up to 1 year with a single application. Kills tough weeds to the root when used as directed



Style: Concentrate

Sizes: 32 ounces, 1 gallon, or 2 gallons

If you’re like us, you don’t want to head back out every few months to take care of your lawn. That’s why Ortho GroundClear Year-Long Vegetation Killer1 is such a tempting option. You head out and spray your lawn once a year, and this product keeps weeds away for an entire year afterward!

It starts to kill weeds in just three hours, so you can see results straight away, and it’s rainproof after only one hour! But with all those great perks, you might wonder why it fell to near the bottom of our list.

The reason is two-fold. First is the price. Ortho GroundClear Year-Long Vegetation Killer1 is the most expensive product on our list, and that alone drives it down a bit. Second, it’s a concentrate. While that’s no big deal if you already have a place to mix them and a spray tank, if you don’t, that’s even more money.

Moreover, if you get the mixture wrong, you can kill all the grass on your lawn, which creates just a bit of pressure when you’re setting up the mixture.

Pros

  • Up to 1 year of weed and grass control
  • Starts to kill weeds in just three hours
  • Rainproof in just 1 hour
  • Large coverage area

Cons

  • More expensive option
  • Needs a separate mixing area/sprayer
  • The wrong mixture can kill your entire lawn

10. Preen Extended Control Weed Preventer

Extended Control Preventer
Preen 2464161 Extended Control Weed Preventer

1 Application blocks weeds up to 6 months guaranteed

When used as directed Preen Extended Control Weed Preventer can be used around more than 600 perennials, groundcovers, shrubs and trees as listed on the product label


Style: Granules

Sizes: 4.93, 10, 13.75, or 21.45 pounds

Every option we’ve highlighted up to this point has been a spray of some sort, but with the Preen Extended Control Weed Preventer that changes. This product is nothing but granules, but you don’t need a spreader to use them.

They’re extremely easy to apply, and they block new weeds from coming for six months! But there’s a reason sprays are the more common option. First, they’re simply more effective.

While the Preen Extended Control Weed Preventer does a great job at preventing new weeds, it’s subpar when it comes to killing existing weeds. Not only that, but these granules are hazardous to humans and animals, and they’re small enough that wildlife can come along and eat it.

So, while they might do a great job at preventing weeds, if you have dogs, kids, bird feeders, or other wildlife in your yard, you might want to find another option besides Preen Extended Control Weed Preventer.

Pro

  • Blocks weeds for up to six months
  • Easy to apply
  • Prevents and kills weeds

Cons

  • Can’t be used around gardens or flowers
  • Hazardous to humans and animals
  • Prevention power is better than the weed-killing ability

FAQ

When you’re trying to get weeds under control, you’re likely going to have a few questions. We’ve answered four of the most frequently asked questions here. Additionally, for different types of weed killers, you can read here.

What Will Kill Weeds but Not the Grass?

Any weed killer has the potential to kill grass if you overuse it. This goes for herbicidal options like Roundup as well as completely organic options like vinegar or boiling water. This is why it’s essential that you carefully follow the directions on any product you get.

What Weed Killer Do Professionals Use?

While there are a wide array of professional quality weed killers used by various companies, some common chemicals in these weed killers include bensulide, DCPA, dichlobenil, trifluralin, simazine, and oryzalin.

These are all extremely powerful weed killers that can help you get your lawn under control – and you can find many of them in the weed killers we highlighted here.

What Is the Safest Weed Killer?

If you’re looking for the safest weed killer, you want a natural product like kitchen vinegar or Natural Armor Weed and Grass Killer. These products are completely organic and safe around kids, pets, and wild animals – all while still killing weeds.

Does Vinegar Kill Weeds Permanently?

Vinegar can kill weeds just as permanently as any other product. But just like with any other weed killer, you’ll need to reapply vinegar each spring to keep the weeds from coming back. You need to be careful with how much vinegar you apply as well, as vinegar will kill the grass too!

Buyer’s Guide

If it’s the first time you’re dealing with weeds in your lawn, or it’s your first time owning a lawn, picking out the right products can be a little overwhelming.

That’s why we came up with this comprehensive buyer’s guide to walk you through everything you need to know to get the right weed killer for your lawn the first time.

Different Spraying Applications

Before purchasing a weed killer, you need to make an extremely important decision – what kind of weed killer do you need? There are four main options to choose from here: ready to spray direct sprays, ready to spray for garden hoses, concentrates, and granules.

Each application excels in its own area and has its own perks and drawbacks. In fact, after reading about all four options, you might find that getting more than one style might be the best way to tackle your lawn!

Ready to Spray – Direct Spray

weed killer Ready to Spray

There are two kinds of ready-to-spray products. We’re going to highlight the direct spray products first. For these products, all you do is buy the container of weed killer, point the sprayer at the weeds and pull the trigger.

There are no weed killers that are as easy to use, and you might be surprised to learn that there are none more effective either. This makes them an excellent choice for tough weeds and tackling problems that other weed killers simply can’t handle.

Not only that, but since it’s a point and spray application, you get precise control where you spray. Some direct spray weed killers even have cones that prevent overspray!

However, for everything that these direct sprays weed killers do right, they do have a few drawbacks. First, they’re extremely effective. That might not sound like a bad thing, but it’s easy to spray too much and kill grass or other surrounding plants if you’re not careful.

Second, they’re far more expensive than the other types, and don’t cover as much area. A single direct spray weed killer usually covers about 400 square feet, while the garden hose kind can cover up to 5,000 square feet. And when you’re comparing the price between the two products, the direct spray is typically more expensive!

If you’re trying to tackle weeds throughout your entire lawn, a direct spray option can quickly get too expensive. However, they make an excellent choice for flower beds, gardens, and tough-to-reach places.

They’re worth investing in, but because of their price, you should use them sparingly.

Ready to Spray – Garden Hose

If you’re looking for a cost-effective way to treat your entire lawn, then ready to spray garden hose-style weed killers are an outstanding choice. They’re extremely affordable, and a single bottle can cover up to 5,000 square feet!

Not only that, but they’re highly effective against most types of weeds. Most options can kill well over 200 different types of weeds, and they’re relatively quick to apply. Unlike a direct spray where you have to spray each individual area with the garden-hose variety, you simply spray over a much larger area to kill weeds.

However, there are still some definite drawbacks to these sprays. For starters, while they’re easy to spray over large areas, they’re difficult to only apply to smaller areas. So if you’re spraying around flower beds, shrubs, or vegetable gardens, you don’t want to use this type.

Not only that, but since you’re spraying with a garden hose, it can be challenging to cover your entire yard with a single consistent spray.

We recommend using a garden hose-style ready-to-use weed killer when covering the bulk of your lawn, then using a direct spray option around more sensitive areas.

Concentrate

weed killer Concentrate

Concentrates usually come in a bottle that lets you mix them personally for a direct spray application. However, the bottle itself doesn’t come with anything you need to mix or apply the weed killer.

Instead, you’ll need to purchase a tank sprayer to mix and apply the weed killer. This is undoubtedly more work, but the reason people do it is twofold. First, with concentrate you get to control how much product you’re using.

While too much can kill your entire lawn and too little won’t kill enough weeds, there’s a range you can stay at between them. That gives you the ability to decide if you need a little extra oomph if the yard is full of weeds, or you can tone it back a bit if you’re spraying for prevention.

Not only that, but concentrate can also be more affordable than ready-to-use spray. While you need to account for the tank sprayer upfront, if you’re spraying twice a year, or even once a year, eventually you’ll save some money by going with concentrate.

Granules

weed killer Granules

There are two types of granules you can purchase, but they all work the same. First are the granules you need to apply with a spreader. None of those made our list here, but if you’re looking to treat your entire yard and not just problem areas, they can make a great choice.

Second is the granules like the Preen Extended Control Weed Preventer. These products are easy to apply, and since you’re directly applying them, you can easily see how much you’re applying and where you’re applying them to.

They’re pretty affordable, and they come in bulk sizes that can drive down the cost further. But the problem with these types of granules is two-fold. First, they’re not as effective at killing weeds after they start to grow.

If you’re applying at the right time then you don’t need to worry about this, but if you miss your window, you might not get the results you want.

Second, to some birds, pets, and even kids, granules look like an interesting treat or toy to play with. The problem is that these granules are toxic. While spray herbicides can have the same problem, once they dry the risk is all but gone.

With granules though, you need to wait until they dissolve, and this can take a bit longer. That’s why we recommend covering granules after you apply them, even if that’s not what the package recommends for ideal results.

Deciding How Much You Need

Before you start spraying, you need to determine precisely how much product you need. Too much product and you’ll fry your lawn, too little and the weeds will keep growing as if you didn’t even do anything.

While you should always rely on the product label to determine how much you need, most direct sprays cover about 300 square feet per gallon, garden hose styles typically cover 5,000 square feet, and granules cover about 150 square feet per pound.

The concentrates can be harder to pinpoint, but each product will let you know how much to mix per gallon. But because of their larger size and how much you dilute them; one container is usually enough for an entire lawn.

Checking the Weather

Before you head out and start applying any weed killer, do yourself a favor and check the weather for the day. What you’re looking for is rain. If rain is in the forecast, then move the application to a different day.

For spot treating individual weeds on sidewalks and driveways, it’s not such a big deal, but for full lawn applications, it matters quite a bit. That’s because before the product becomes completely waterproof, rain will significantly reduce its overall effectiveness.

But of course, reduce doesn’t mean eliminate. If it rains, you’re now stuck between a rock and a hard place. If you reapply soon afterward, you might kill your entire lawn, but if you don’t, you might have a lawn full of weeds.

Do yourself a favor and avoid this headache by checking the weather and only applying if there’s zero chance of rain in the forecast.

Organic vs Inorganic

One of the biggest debates in the weed-killing industry is whether or not you should stick to using organic products. In the end, the choice is up to you, but we’ll highlight some of the main points from each side here.

For those that choose organic products, the thought process is simple. Since you’re only introducing stuff into the environment that was already there to begin with, it’s better for everyone. There is some truth to this argument.

Most organic products won’t have detrimental effects on wildlife, and they are typically considered safer around children.

For those that go with non-organic products, the reasons are typically two-fold. First, non-organic products typically work better. They’re more effective at killing a wider array of weeds, which means you’re more likely to get the results you want.

Second, inorganic products are cheaper. There are no ifs ands or buts about it; inorganic products are available at a fraction of the cost of their organic counterparts. They work better and they’re cheaper, and that’s enough to keep many people coming back.

When to Spray and How Often

When you’re applying weed killers to your lawn, you generally want to apply them towards the end of winter or in early spring before the weeds have had time to take root. Most weeds will die naturally during the colder months, and preventing them from coming back up is much easier than killing them once they’re there.

From there, you should apply most products again roughly six months after the initial application. This second application is great for prevention, and kills any weeds that might have snuck through the first application.

While you should get great results the first year, if you apply twice a year, the second-year results should be near perfect. Just take your time during both applications to get the best possible results.

Consumer Satisfaction Guarantees

While consumer satisfaction guarantees are nice, you really don’t want to have to use one. That’s because even if you’re not satisfied with the results, you’re still stuck with your lawn until next season. The chemicals are already there, and if you keep spraying, there’s a good chance you’ll just kill your lawn.

So, while getting your money back is nice, you’ll be stuck with a lawn full of weeds for at least six months. While it’s nice to have a little extra peace of mind, the chances of you needing to use any of the money-back guarantees with the products we reviewed are slim to none.

Final Thoughts

If you’re still struggling with figuring out what weed killer you need for your lawn, do yourself a favor and get two. Get the Ortho WeedClear Lawn Weed Killer for the bulk of your lawn, but then get our top choice, the Roundup Ready to Use Weed & Grass Killer III, to hit all the problem spots.

If you use both these products correctly and cover your lawn at the right time, you’ll have a perfect lawn when spring comes into full bloom!

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