8 Best Weed Killers for Lawns [Comparison + Reviews 2021]

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Weeds are frustrating especially if they’re the tenacious type. When selecting the best weed killer for lawns, it is preferred that you choose a herbicide that’s specific to the weed you’re trying to get rid of.

However, different types of weeds can grow in your lawn meaning you’ll need a strong weed killer. I’ve reviewed and compared the best below to help you choose the best weed killer for your lawn – be it an organic, selective, for broadleaf or grass weeds, natural, or pet-friendly.

Best Weed Killers: Comparison + Rating

In a hurry? Here are the best weed killers we’ve compared by category:

Tenacity Turf Herbicide - 8 ounces (Packaging may vary)
BASF Drive XLR8 Crabgrass Herbicide (1/2 Gallon, 64 OZ.)
Celcius WG Herbicide 6666194
Syngenta Tenacity Turf Herbicide
Drive XLR8 Herbicide
  • Pre and post-emergent crabgrass killer.
  • Kills a lot of other tough grass weeds too
  • Destroys weeds to the root.
Be sure to also use a Surfactant and Blue Dye in the mix for best results.
  • Most effective selective crabgrass killer.
  • Rainproof within 24 hour
  • See results in 7 days.
Be sure to also use a Surfactant and Blue Dye in the mix for best results.
  • Kills crabgrass to the root
  • Kills dozens of other weeds as well.
  • Does not affect lawn grass.
Be sure to also use a Surfactant and Blue Dye in the mix for best results.
Tenacity Turf Herbicide - 8 ounces (Packaging may vary)
Syngenta Tenacity Turf Herbicide
  • Pre and post-emergent crabgrass killer.
  • Kills a lot of other tough grass weeds too
  • Destroys weeds to the root.
Be sure to also use a Surfactant and Blue Dye in the mix for best results.
Check it Out
BASF Drive XLR8 Crabgrass Herbicide (1/2 Gallon, 64 OZ.)
Drive XLR8 Herbicide
  • Most effective selective crabgrass killer.
  • Rainproof within 24 hour
  • See results in 7 days.
Be sure to also use a Surfactant and Blue Dye in the mix for best results.
Check it Out
Celcius WG Herbicide 6666194
  • Kills crabgrass to the root
  • Kills dozens of other weeds as well.
  • Does not affect lawn grass.
Be sure to also use a Surfactant and Blue Dye in the mix for best results.
Check it Out

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In the table, I’ve shown the most important features you’ll get with each of the top weed killers on the market today. Below, we’ll discuss what to look for when selecting one for your lawn.

I’ve also done in-depth reviews of each of these weed killers, so be sure to read the details below.

Top 10 Weed Killers for Lawns (Reviews)

These products are great for their specific functions and that’s why I’ve listed them with their most effective use. Using them will get rid of different types of weeds in your lawn and flower beds.

Some are great for large areas, broad-leaf selective removal, and grassy weeds while others are great for people with kids and pets. Not sure what type of weed you have, please refer to our weed identification directory.

Here are the top 10 lawn weed killers with reviews and ratings:

1. Syngenta Tenacity Turf Herbicide

BEST OVERALL FOR: Buffalograss, Centipedegrass, Fine & Tall Fescue, Kentucky Bluegrass, Perennial Ryegrass

  • Most effective grass weed killer
  • Can be used as a pre-emergent and post-emergent
  • Tenacity won’t kill grass (kills only weeds). (For Bermuda, only apply to dormant grass)
  • Retards weeds, letting your lawn grow thick and choke out weeds.
  • Controls crabgrass as well as broad-leaf weeds in the lawn.
  • Strong formulation controlling 46 broadleaf weed and grass species
  • Has a long-lasting weed control power (up-to 4 tills)
  • Can be applied at seeding

Tenacity is one of the best systemic herbicides on the market today. Its formulation contains 40% mesotrione, which is in the grade of commercial weed killers and is capable of controlling broadleaf and grassy weeds in the lawn before and after emerging.

Tenacity Turf Herbicide will kill grassy weeds and won’t kill lawn grass. (For Bermuda, only apply to dormant grass. See also our best weed killers for Bermuda grass article).

List of weeds Tenacity kills
Barnyardgrass, goosegrass, carpetweed, dandelion, chickweed, clover, crabgrass (large & smooth), foxtail, henbit, purslane, thistle, yellow nutsedge, wild carrot, nimble grass, bentgrass, and many more.

Best weed killer for lawns - Syngenta's Tenacity Weed Killer Samples

According to the manufacturer, Tenacity weed killer spray also controls grassy weeds at seeding, giving your lawn a competitive advantage over the weeds. As your grass establishes into a thick cover, it prevents any new weeds from sprouting and growing in your lawn.

Tenacity is also recommended for application before seeding. It does not have time limitations, meaning you can apply in spring, fall, or even when you want to control weeds during summer. If your turf is already established, you can also apply this professional weed killer to your lawn when overseeding.

Overall, if you’re looking for a permanent grass killer for your lawn, Syngenta’s Tenacity is a great product to try. I tried it on crabgrass and dallisgrass and I was impressed with the results. However, I was not able to test how it works as a pre-emergent.

Tenacity Herbicide

2. Southern Ag Amine 2, 4-D Weed Killer


Southern Ag Amine 2, 4-D Weed Killer

For me and most homeowners, a selective herbicide is the best. If it targets weeds and won’t kill grass, it is the perfect choice. That’s what this Southern AG Amine 24-D formulation does.

  • It is safe to apply on lawns and golf courses.
  • Economical rate of 2- 3 tablespoons in 3 – 5 gallons of water to cover 1,000 sq. ft.
  • Kills over 200 broadleaf weeds
  • Acts fast – kills weeds within 2 days to 2 weeks
  • Not as pricey as most herbicides

List of weeds controlled:
Carpetweed, catnip, chicory, cocklebur, coffeeweed, cornflower, croton, dandelion, wild garlic, wild hemp mustards, nettles, wild onionpepperweed pigweed, plantains, wild radish, redstem, smartweed, thistle bull, thistle musk, thistle russian, velvetleaf, vervains, water plantain, witchweed, wormwood, yellow rocket and many more.

This herbicide is suitable for controlling broadleaf weeds in your lawn without harming the plants you want to keep. This makes it ideal for use in lawns with extensive weed invasion.

You can, however, use it to spot-treat weeds if you have instances of weeds such as plantain spread out sparsely in your lawn.

The Southern Ag Amine 2, 4-D liquid concentrate weed killer can be used in many areas including pasture, rangelands, industrial sites, golf courses, lawns, and even cemeteries.

When I applied it on the poison ivy behind my garage, I noticed that it did not kill it right away, but on the second application, it killed the weed just fine without harming or injuring the St. Augustine grass that was thriving there.

Pro tip:
On hardy weeds that can prove hard to kill, apply twice or even three times. This goes for weeds such as oxalis and dandelions.

I would not recommend using this herbicide as a pre-emergent because it works best as a post-emergent application – getting absorbed through the foliage and killing weeds in the process.

In addition, you’d probably do better with a stronger weed killer if you have crabgrass in your lawn that you’d like to get rid of.

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3. Scotts Turf Builder Weed and Feed Fertilizer


Scotts Turf Builder Weed and Feed Fertilizer

Quite a unique formulation on this list, the Scotts Weed and Feed formulation acts as a fertilizer as well as a weed control product. Here’s what I like about this herbicide:

  • Helps prevent weeds in the lawn by crowding them out
  • Kills dandelions and clovers effectively (guaranteed)
  • Helps grow a thick, lawn
  • Large coverage area
  • Controls over 50 species of weed

List of weeds it kills:
Dollarweed, clover, dandelions, chickweed, pigweed, ground ivy, hawkweed, knotweed, mustard, plantain, pepperweed, sow thistle, spurweed, yarrow, wild carrot, yellow rocket plantain, pusley, red sorrel etc.

How to Use Weed and Feed Fertilizer

This is one of the best granular lawn weed killers that can be used on different turfgrasses including fescue, ryegrass, Kentucky bluegrass, centipede, bahiagrass, Bermuda grass, and zoysia.

As soon as I applied to a small test area on my lawn, I noticed results starting to show within about 8 days. The grass had started to outgrow the clovers that were growing and starting to thin out the grass in my lawn.


  • If you apply too much (accidentally or not) it will make your lawn brown
  • It does not kill crabgrass
  • The application process is a bit tedious – since you have to water your lawn before applying it.
  • It is not pet-friendly. You might want to keep your pets and kids off the lawn after application until the dust settles (as the manufacturer recommends)
Scotts Turf Builder Weed and Feed 3; Covers up to 5,000 Sq. Ft.,...
17,703 Reviews
Scotts Turf Builder Weed and Feed 3; Covers up to 5,000 Sq. Ft.,...
  • Scotts Turf Builder Weed and Feed3 weed killer plus fertilizer kills existing weeds and feeds to thicken your lawn and crowd out future weeds
  • Weed and feed utilizes WeedGrip Technology to grip onto and kill the weeds you see and the ones you don't
  • Controls over 50 listed lawn weeds, including clover, dandelion, plantain, morningglory, chicory, eveningprimrose, and purslane

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4. Green Gobbler Vinegar Weed & Grass Killer (Natural Organic, Pet Safe)


Green Gobbler Vinegar Weed & Grass Killer

Vinegar is one of the best homemade natural weed killers I’ve experienced. From my reviews and tests, this is a very effective spot-treatment for lawns. Be careful not to apply it on the turfgrass you’re growing.

  • Extremely effective on any weed.
  • The 20% acetic acid concentrate destroys weeds FAST.
  • Kills crabgrass, quackgrass, clovers, dandelions
  • It is safe for pets and kids
  • 100% organic – eliminates weeds without chemicals
  • It is glyphosate-free
  • Suitable for broadleaf and grassy weeds
  • It will also kill moss in your lawn

List of weeds vinegar kills:
Crabgrass, oxalis, clover, chickweed, pigweed, dandelions, quackgrass, and many, many more weeds.

For spot-treating weeds, this 20% natural vinegar weed killer is one of the most effective organic solutions to single instances of weeds. It acts as a post-emergent, so do not expect it to act as a weed preventer.

What I like more about it is that it will get rid of both grassy weeds as well as broad-leaf plants.

Be careful when using this organic weed solution because it can easily destroy any plant it comes into contact with.

If your home has pets and kids that play in the yard, using this vinegar recipe to kill weeds is one of the best ways to guarantee their safety.

Disadvantages of Using Vinegar to Kill Weeds

  • Yes, it looks like a great weed killer for lawns, but it is not practical in lawns that are vastly invaded with weeds.
  • It might not be very effective for controlling perennial weeds since they appear as though they’re dying only to re-appear from the roots.
  • At such high concentrations above 11%, vinegar is extremely dangerous and can cause serious skin burns, blindness, and irritation.
  • Household vinegar, usually at much lower concentrations, cannot kill weeds effectively.
  • Vinegar is not suitable for controlling weeds in large areas. You cannot also use it as a commercial weed killer.

Overall, I would recommend using vinegar as a natural, organic or pet-safe weed killer for your lawn. However, be careful not to cause corrosion on your driveways, patios, and other areas where you apply this herbicide.

Green Gobbler 20% Vinegar Weed & Grass Killer | Natural & Organic...
12,311 Reviews
Green Gobbler 20% Vinegar Weed & Grass Killer | Natural & Organic...
  • CERTIFIED FOR ORGANIC USE — Completely eliminates and desiccates weeds and grasses without using toxic chemicals. Made straight from corn grown in the USA. OMRI listed weed killer and certified for organic use.
  • KILLS WEEDS FAST — Eliminate any type of weed in just a matter of hours. Expect full desiccation in less than 24 hours. Green Gobbler contains 20% acetic acid. Use on crabgrass, dandelions, clover weeds, white clover, moss, etc. Works best for weeds exposed to direct sunlight.
  • POWERFUL FORMULA — NO cancer-causing chemicals. Glyphosate-free. 20% formula is four times stronger than traditional table vinegar. Made strictly from ethanol distilled from corn grain.

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5. Spectracide Weed Grass Killer


Spectracide Weed Grass Killer

Fast-acting weed and grass killers are my favorite herbicides. Spectracide scored highly on our rating scale when it got rid of some weeds within 24 hours. It quickly became one of the fastest-acting sprays.

  • Shortest rainproof period of 15 minutes
  • Fast-acting formula with results as fast as 3 hours
  • Kills shrubs, weeds, and grasses effectively.
  • Can be used over a large area
  • Can be used to remove old lawn for re-seeding (ground clear weed killer)

While it is not an industrial-grade weed killer for lawns, you can use it on your lawn without killing grass. It is pretty effective at getting rid of most broadleaf weeds as well as a decent number of unwanted grass species.

We tested this concentrate on clovers and plantains that were growing along driveways and walkways, and it did a great job in removing the weeds within a period of 24 hours. The results were visible and satisfying.

The Cons

  • First thing, you might want to use your own sprayer. The one it comes with is a little weak, and the nozzles don’t spray so well.
  • The second downside I noticed with the Spectracide weed killer is that it struggled a bit killing poison ivy even though it killed most other broad-leaf vegetation in the yard.
  • The third issue I noticed is that it may damage your flower beds if you apply non-selectively. It can also kill your lawn grass very easily, so use it carefully to spot-treat.

If you have thick grass within the cracks in sidewalks and rocks, you might need a few applications of this herbicide to eliminate the weeds.

Spectracide Weed & Grass Killer Concentrate, Use On Driveways,...
3,874 Reviews
Spectracide Weed & Grass Killer Concentrate, Use On Driveways,...
  • KILLS WEEDS AND GRASSES: use on driveways and walkways, and around fences, trees, flower beds, shrubs and other areas in your yard
  • KILLS THE ROOT: visible results as fast as 3 hours – replant new flowers, trees and shrubs the same weekend
  • RAINFAST: rainfall or watering 15 minutes after application will not wash away effectiveness

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6. Scotts Halts Crabgrass & Grassy Weed Preventer

Scotts Halts Crabgrass & Grassy Weed Preventer

Most of the best weed killers on this list are post-emergents, but this one is a great pre-emergent. Here’s why it is highly rated on this list:

  • Prevents crabgrass all-season-long.
  • Can be applied in spring, fall, and winter.
  • Prevents winter weeds such as poa annua and chickweed.
  • Prevents moss in lawns
  • Can be applied during rain, which is unique

List of weeds it prevents:
Crabgrass, Goosegrass, Barnyard grass, Spurge, Foxtail, Poa annua, Henbit, Chickweed.

Being a crabgrass preventer, ensure that you apply this herbicide at the onset of spring. This is the time when crabgrass usually starts to germinate. Poor timing might lead to ineffectiveness in preventing grass weeds in your lawn.

Crabgrass germinates best at 59F to 65F. So wait for soil to warm before applying pre-emergence crabgrass control.

Scotts Halts Crabgrass & Grassy Weed Preventer: Treats up to...
6,811 Reviews
Scotts Halts Crabgrass & Grassy Weed Preventer: Treats up to...
  • One application prevents crabgrass all season long
  • Apply in spring to prevent crabgrass and problem weeds all season long
  • Fall application prevents winter weeds, such as poa annua, henbit and chickweed

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7. Compare-N-Save Weed Killer for Lawns (Non-Selective)

Compare-N-Save Weed Killer for Lawns

This herbicide is one of the strongest weed killers you can find on the market. Here’s why:

  • Best non-selective lawn weed killer
  • Kills broadleaf and grassy weeds
  • It starts killing weeds immediately
  • Eliminates over 200 different weeds in the lawn
  • Becomes rainproof within 1 hour of application

This herbicide is highly effective in getting rid of broadleaf and grassy weeds you find in lawns. It starts working immediately, and the 8.6% Dimethylamine Salt of 2,4-D Acid concentrate you get for the low price can kill weeds in a very large area of up to 16,000 sq. ft.

List of weeds it kills:
It kills over 200 weeds including clover, chickweed, thistle, plantain, nettles, oxalis, Dandelion, nutgrass, primrose, horsetail, radish, marigold, ground ivy, poison oak, pigweed, etc.

When removing weeds in your lawn, you don’t want to kill the good grass. This Compare N Save Weed Killer for Lawns is the right product for that if you keep getting the most broad-leaf weeds.

Compare N Save weed killer can be sprayed non-selectively on both warm-season and cool-season lawns. It is safe to spot-treat on turfgrasses such as Bermuda grass, St. Augustine grass, bluegrass, fescue, ryegrass, centipede, and zoysia.

You can overseed the lawn when you finish killing weeds to cover the bare spot-treated areas.

The one thing I did not like about this top non-selective weed killer for lawns is that you cannot use it for controlling weeds in flower or vegetable beds. It can easily kill some of the great plants you have including ornamental grasses.

Another downside is that it does not kill crabgrass nor does it kill quackgrass which is very common and difficult to get rid of when they germinate in spring.

Important to note: Do not apply this herbicide on newly seeded turfgrasses. Only use them when you’ve moved at least 3 times already. Also, after eliminating weeds, wait 3-4 weeks to reseed, otherwise, germination will be poor.

Compare-N-Save 75324 Herbicide, 1-gallon, white
17,967 Reviews
Compare-N-Save 75324 Herbicide, 1-gallon, white
  • Rainproof in 2 hours
  • Visible results in as little as 2 to 4 days
  • Contains 41-percent glyphosate

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8. Roundup Max Control 365

Roundup Max Control 365

Roundup has made a name for itself as the most effective weed destroyer. The formulation made with the Fast-Act technology that makes it one of the fastest weed killers you can buy.

  • Kills over 250 weeds and won’t harm lawn grass
  • Fastest action – visible results within 12 hours.
  • Great coverage with 16oz covering up to 5000 sq. ft.
  • Kills weeds down to the root
  • Eliminates tough-to-kill weeds including crabgrass
  • Rainproof within 3 hours.
  • Comes in a ready-to-use spray package.

Roundup is definitely one of the go-to weed killers. Most Round-up products can kill almost any plant they come in contact with, making them one of the best weed control herbicides.

However, with this particular product, the formulation is meant for safe use on the lawn and can be sprayed to target weeds only. Keep in mind over-application on your lawn can easily kill your lawn grass and leave a ring of death around the treated spot.

When you want to use a very high concentration, it is best to use the spot-spray technique using a weed sprayer on the weeds instead of spraying the entire turfgrass.

Weeds Roundup for lawns will kill:
Crabgrass, dandelions, clover, yellow nutsedge and many more.

The major issue I find with Roundup products is that it is not very clear whether cancer concerns are real or not. Over the years, there have been many concerns about the environmental impact of this chemical weed killer.

As such, it is obvious that it is not safe for humans, and definitely not safe for pets. Most herbicides aren’t and it is important to take maximum precaution when applying this product on the weeds in your lawn.

How to Fix a Lawn Full of WEEDS - DIY Weed Control
Roundup Concentrate Max Control 365 Vegetation Killer, 32 oz.
7,876 Reviews
Roundup Concentrate Max Control 365 Vegetation Killer, 32 oz.
  • Kills and prevents weeds for up to 12 months by creating an invisible barrier in the soil
  • Kills weeds to the root. Guaranteed! (Consumer Guarantee: If for any reason you are not satisfied after using this product, simply send us original proof of purchase and we will refund the purchase price.)
  • Use on driveways, patios, sidewalks and gravel areas

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Buying Guide: What to Consider When Choosing Lawn Herbicide

weed killer buyers guide

Not all herbicides are suitable for any type of weeds. Even different landscapes may affect the choice of herbicide you use. For example, rocky areas may use a non-selective weed killer while areas near waterways may require an organic herbicide.

Here are the things to consider when choosing the best weed killer for your lawn:

  • Herbicides that won’t kill grass: Selectivity is key if you don’t want to destroy your lawn with rings of death or extensive areas of dead grass. If you have broadleaf weeds all over your lawn, choose a product that won’t kill your lawn grass.
  • Type of weeds in your lawn: Start by identifying the weeds you’re dealing with. There are very many species of weeds and choosing a herbicide that targets the specific species is key to getting rid of them.
  • Safety for kids and pets: If you have pets and kids hanging out in your lawn, you might want to consider organic options rather than chemical ones that may be harmful to them.
  • Location: Different weeds grow in different states. If you’re in Texas, you may not be dealing with the same weeds as someone in Florida. Weather and season also affect the choice of weed killer to buy. Note that some herbicides are not sold in all states across the U.S.
  • Coverage: This has to do with the potency of a concentration. Most labels guide on how much lawn the application can cover. First, measure your lawn in order to determine how much of the concentrate you’ll need to buy to control unwanted vegetation in your yard.

Above all, the type of weeds you’re dealing with may dictate different stages of control to get rid of them completely. For example, if you’re not using a systemic weed killer to control perennial weeds, you might want to control them at different stages of development.

Perennial weeds can spread via seeds as well as vegetative parts and are very difficult to kill. For these, use the strongest systemic weed killer to get rid of them.

Annual weeds grow from seed to adult plants that flower and produce seeds within one season (one year). These can be controlled using a pre-emergent and a post-emergent application.

Biennial weeds usually live for two years to complete their life-cycle. You can kill these using a post-emergent herbicide or even by cultivating.

Types of Herbicides

what are the types of herbicides

Just before you choose one of the above herbicides, it is important to understand how they work. In general, you’ll find two types of weed killers in your local store or online. These are pre-emergents and post-emergents.

Let’s find out what each of these means and which one you need right now.

Best Clover Weed Killer for Lawns

clover killer for lawns

If you are looking for the best product and ratio to use to kill clover in your lawn then you can’t beat a product called Change Up. Its a pricier product up front but over the long haul it will cost you much less than your typical big box store weed killer.

Mix up the product in your sprayer and then apply a few hours before rain or running the sprinklers. You’ll notice the clover start turning brown in 3-4 days, depending on how hot it is when you apply it. If you don’t notice any browning, then hit it with another round.

Alternatively, if you are interested in the benefits of a clover lawn, check my guide on how to grow and care for a clover lawn.


Pre-emergent weed killers for lawns work by preventing the root development of weeds in your lawn during germination. They work by inhibiting certain enzymes that stimulate root development. Most of these are used to control annual weeds.

You really want to get one of these weed preventers if you usually have a problem of annual weeds such as the following:

  • Crabgrass
  • Purslane
  • Foxtails
  • Spurge
  • Knotweed
  • Barnyardgrass

Timing is Key

The best pre-emergent weed killers can get rid of broadleaf weeds as well as grass weeds. However, remember that crabgrass preventers, as well as other types of pre-emergent herbicides, must be applied at the right time.

For example, crabgrass preventers are applied in early spring (as shown in the guide in the link). If you miss the timing, you’re likely to fail to control the weeds in your lawn.

Just after the application of a pre-emergent, you’ll need to water your lawn, or time well and apply just before it rains – according to the Colorado State University Plant Talk1.

Pre-emergents will not control existing weeds. For that, you’ll need a post-emergent application.

Post-emergent Weed Killer

These are generally weed killers that you apply after the emergence of the weeds themselves. Herbicides can be applied in a spray form or as granular applications.

If you already see weeds in your lawn, what you need right now is a post-emergent herbicide. However, after killing the existing weeds, this type of weed killer, however strong, will not prevent the germination of new weeds from seeds that are already in the soil.

As for the timing, post-emergent weed killers can be applied at any time so long as the weeds are visible.

If your best weed killer is a non-selective post-emergent, it is likely to kill your lawn grass, so be very careful how you choose. Some very strong weed killers like Roundup are known to produce this effect.

Pro tip:
If you intend to use a strong weed killer, use the spot-spray method where you apply only on the existing weed and not on the entire lawn. You may need a good surfactant for this to help the herbicide stick and remain effective.

Safest Weed Killers that Won’t Kill Grass in Lawn

safest weed killers that won't kill grass

By far, the safest way to control weeds without killing grass is by pulling them up. You can also remove broadleaf leaves and some grass weeds using weed eaters, but that is not easy if the lawn has been invaded extensively.

That’s when you resort to using a weed killer. The problem is, you want to kill weeds and not your lawn grass. So, what’s a safe weed killer that won’t kill grass and other good plants in your yard?

Tenacity Weed Killer

safest weed killer without killing grass

This is the best herbicide on the market that will kill weeds in your lawn without killing grass. If you have ornamental grasses in your lawn, don’t worry about killing the plants.

Tenacity is used for controlling many broadleaf weeds such as crabgrass, poison ivy, yellow sorrel, dandelion, clover, ground ivy, thistle, etc. It is safe to use on different types of lawns such as St. Augustine, fescue, Bermuda grass, zoysia, centipede, and many more.

Pro tip: Some people mix Tenacity with soap to make it stick longer and become more effective. Instead of using soap, you can use an inexpensive professional surfactant with this herbicide to spot-treat and kill weeds in your lawn.

Alternative selective weed killers that won’t kill grass include Dicamba, MCPA, Triclopyr, and Carfentrazon-ethyl.

Granules vs Liquid Concentrate Herbicides

granuals vs. liquid herbicides

DIY weed control options sold at local stores and online come in two general formulations – dry (granular) or liquid concentrates.

  • Granular herbicides are the type you apply on your lawn like fertilizer while liquid weed killer is mixed with water and sprayed on the weeds.
  • Liquid herbicides must be mixed with water in the right ratio in order to be effective while granular ones are applied without any mixing involved.

Since most weed killers work by sticking to the foliage and then get absorbed into the plant system, acting liquid concentrates are more effective at this because they are sprayed directly onto the plant. On the other hand, granular weed killers need to be applied to wet weeds. You may need to water your lawn before applying granular herbicides.

Pro tip: You’ll get better and faster results if you apply a liquid weed control product on your lawn weeds than when you use granular applications. The product will be absorbed easily and can stick to the plant if you use a surfactant.

Spot Treating vs. Spraying To Kill Weeds

Spot Treat vs. spraying to kill weeds

Spot-treating and spraying the entire lawn comes down to using liquid concentrates. Lawn herbicides can be divided into selective and non-selective applications.

See my Best Weed Sprayers guide here.

  • Selective herbicides: These are weed killer chemicals that are formulated to kill specific types or species of weeds. If you have a selective herbicide, you can spray it in your entire lawn if it is infested with weeds. Most selective products kill broadleaf weeds and not grass weeds.
  • Non-selective herbicides: These kill any plants or vegetation they come in contact with. You can buy a non-selective weed killer for your lawn if you don’t know how to identify the weeds you’re dealing with. The problem is, if you apply to your grass, you’ll end up killing the lawn grass you’re trying to grow.

One of the best non-selective herbicides on the market for a long time is Round-up. It is a thorough systemic weed remover, killing plants to the root.

If you intend to use such products on your lawn, ensure that you spot-treat using a sponge or a targeted sprayer, such as the attachment below. This will prevent harming lawn grasses.

Smucker RWTD03 Drift Free Sponge Dauber - Push Metered Weed Wiper...
12 Reviews
Smucker RWTD03 Drift Free Sponge Dauber - Push Metered Weed Wiper...
  • HAND-HELD SPONGE DAUBER: The dauber is specifically designed to wipe out weeds easily and instantly without making any extra efforts. It works perfectly on a windy day too. This handheld weed dauber is widely used for lawns, nursery, and garden area. It h
  • SAVE ON CHEMICALS: This handheld weed wiper is uniquely designed and offers optimum performance whenever used. Save on your chemical and money with this dauber that helps to put the chemical exactly on the desired spot. This helps to reduce the wastage of
  • MATERIAL USED: This gardening tool is primarily designed using high-grade material, which is designed to last and is given a cellulose sponge design. It is designed with a check valve, which can be easily be turned off when not in use, or to block the hea

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  1. Colorado State University Plant Talk Extension: Herbicides: Pre-emergent
  2. National Pesticide Information Center: 2,4-D Fact Sheet
  3. University of Arizona Cooperative Extension: Granular Weed Control Products in Lawns
  4. United States Environmental Protection Agency: Mesotrione 40% Pesticide Fact Sheet
  5. Wikipedia: 2,4-Dichlorophenoxyacetic acid

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3 thoughts on “8 Best Weed Killers for Lawns [Comparison + Reviews 2021]”

  1. Glyphosate can kill pretty much any plant you spray it on. Regarding cancer, a panel of 12 jurors say it causes cancer. Almost 50 years and over 800 studies done my professional chemists say it is not carcinogenic. It depends on who you want to believe, 12 jurors that are not chemists, or 50 years and 800+ studies by professional chemists.

    2, 4D is amazing. Another great herbicide you could include is Quincloric. It does great on many weeds too. I mixed 2, 4D and Quincloric and sprayed my Zoysia lawn and it didn’t hurt my turf grass at all, even though it was not even established enough to have been mowed once. It killed 100% of the crabgrass and other weeds. Sedge was not listed as a controlled weed on either, but the first application definitely made the sedge pretty wimpy looking, but not dead. I chose to do a split application so when I came back 2 weeks later and applied again, it took out the sedge too. I mowed once before winter set in (weather really screwed me over and delayed my planting for about 4 weeks). The sedge still hasn’t come back 5+ months later. I really should have put down annual ryegrass…with new grass I couldn’t use a pre-emergent and a lot of cool season weeds popped up over the winter.

    Tenacity is great, but it isn’t safe on all turf types. I’d love to use Tenacity on my Zoysia, but Zoysia isn’t tolerant of Tenacity. My back yard though, it’s not Zoysia and I’ll be employing Tenacity there this year, then seeding with Kentucky Blue Grass and Annual Rye since it grow quickly. I need grass or my dogs will track mud through the house, and my wife will beat me, and I couldn’t even argue I didn’t deserve it! :0) She wouldn’t actually hit me, but I’d get “that look”.

    • Thanks for the feedback Troy. I too need grass in the backyard because my dogs are tracking mud throughout. Not a fun situation for anyone in the house. 😉

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