How do you choose the right weed killer for your garden or yard? How do you know what is right for which weed? Are natural alternatives better than herbicide weedkillers?
The best weed killers are designed to do one thing and one thing only: eradicate weeds in your garden.
This might seem simple, but developing a weed-killing product that kills weeds on a pathway without killing the plants in your borders, or removing dandelions and creeping thistle from your lawn without making your green grass brown, is more difficult than you may think.
Fortunately, today’s best weedkillers are up to the task, and they’re a whole lot gentler on the garden – and on local wildlife – than any of the previous choices. Furthermore, they do not have to be prohibitively expensive, either literally or metaphorically.
In the blog, we look at the most common weedkillers on the market, and the difference between them and we provide a quick snapshot of weedkillers we recommend.
Quick weedkiller comparison chart
Some of the most common weed killers on the market
Weedkillers are a common type of pesticide that is used to kill unwanted plants. There are many different types of weedkillers available, and they come in both liquid and granular forms. Some common weedkillers on the market include Roundup, Spectracide and Ortho.
When choosing a weedkiller, it is important to read the label carefully to make sure that it is safe for use around children and pets. It is also important to choose a product that is specifically designed for the type of plant that you want to kill.
Weedkillers are typically applied using a sprayer or hose-end applicator. When using a sprayer, it is important to make sure that the entire plant is covered with the herbicide. For best results, weedkillers should be applied when the plants are actively growing.
Weedkillers can be an effective way to control unwanted plants in your yard or garden. However, it is important to use them safely and correctly to avoid harming people or animals.
How do you pick the right weedkiller for your needs?
Chemical weed killers are divided into five categories, and which one you choose is determined by the weeds you’re trying to eliminate and the location of the weeds.
1. Systemic weed killers are absorbed by the leaves of the plant and then distributed across the rest of the plant to the roots. This gives the weed killer a good chance of eradicating the whole plant. They take longer to work, but they’re successful against the plants they’re meant to destroy. Furthermore, they do not remain in the soil afterwards, indicating that it is healthy to plant again.
2. Contact weed killers: These potent herbicides destroy every part of the plant they come into contact with, and in some instances, the whole plant, when they are absorbed. They take a long time to work – sometimes weeks – but once they do, the soil neutralises them.
3. Non-selective weed killers: These ultra-violent weed killers are fast and efficient, but they kill anything they come into contact with, including plants and soil. That means they’re usually too powerful for use in lawns, beds, or borders, and are better used on weeds in driveways and patios.
4. Selective weed killers: These herbicides are more discriminating, killing only a single plant or plant type. They will, for example, target lawn weeds such as clover or dandelions while leaving your grass alone. The majority of weed killers for lawns are selective.
5. Residual weed killers: These weed killers are absorbed by the roots and destroy weeds in the soil. They’re powerful and long-lasting, but their incredible strength comes at a cost: they linger in your garden, affecting soil quality and potential plant growth.
If you must use non-selective or residual weed killers, you can do so only on pathways and driveways. Selective weed killers are the best bet for problematic beds and borders or your lawn, whereas contact and systemic weed killers are better if applied carefully.
What is the best way to use weed killer?
Always read the label on each weedkiller and remember to wear the appropriate PPE. If it’s a concentrate, pour it into a watering can or sprayer and dilute the mixture as instructed on the bottle.
Check the weather forecast to stop having your weed killer washed away by a downpour or having the mixture blown back in your face by strong winds.
It’s also a good idea to apply weed killer first thing in the morning or late evening, as this gives the unwanted plants plenty of time to consume the solution and die without being affected by too much moisture or the extremes of temperature.
Some weed killers begin to work within 24 hours, while others can take up to a week to show significant results.
If you still have persistent weeds after the recommended period, there’s normally no risk in giving them another dose to finish them off but wait at least a few weeks before reapplying.
Is there another option?
Chemical weed killers aren’t always the best option if you wish to take no chances in on damaging your vegetation. Instead, try natural alternatives like boiling water or white vinegar/acetic acid (which, though Defra-approved, isn’t necessarily organic).
In beds and borders, a decent hoe can be useful, and there are a variety of tools for digging weeds out of lawns, sidewalks, and driveways. The best part is that you can purchase a flame weeder or flame pistol. It’s not exactly environmentally friendly and should be taken seriously, but it does make you feel like a 1980s action hero when you’re weeding the garden route.
Are natural alternatives better than herbicide weed killers?
There is a big debate over whether natural alternatives are better than herbicide weed killers. Some people swear by the natural methods, while others say that herbicide weed killers are more effective and less harmful to the environment. Let’s take a closer look at both sides of this argument.
On the one hand, natural alternatives are often seen as being more gentle and safe for the environment. They typically don’t contain any harsh chemicals or toxins, and they can be made from ingredients that you might already have around the house, like vinegar or salt.
Natural weed killers also tend to be much cheaper than their chemical-based counterparts. If you’re looking to save some money, natural alternatives are definitely the way to go.
On the other hand, herbicide weed killers are often more effective at killing weeds than natural alternatives. This is because they contain powerful chemicals that are specifically designed to kill plants. While this might not be great for the environment, it does mean that you’re more likely to get rid of your weed problem for good.
So, which is better? Natural alternatives or herbicide weed killers? Ultimately, the decision is up to you. Consider your needs and preferences, and choose the option that you think will work best for you.
The best weed killer to buy
Resolva Ready to Use
The Resolva Ready to Use weed killer is our recommended weed killer of choice as it strikes the balance between being a commercial strength weed killer and a natural bio alternative.
The Ready to Use Weedkiller from Resolva promises to deliver visible results within 24 hours of deployment. This weed killer’s biodegradable formula means that it won’t stay in the soil for longer than necessary, and it kills the weed at the root for long-term results.
It’s inexpensive and reliable, and if you get the three-litre version, you’ll be able to treat 120 square metres. The five-litre version includes a convenient pump and an adjustable spray for precise weed control.
- This Resolva ready to use formulation provides you with visible results after 24 hours
- Kills both the visible weed and its root system of annual and deep-rooted perennial garden weeds including grasses, docks, nettles, dandelions, bindweed and many more
- This formula is broken down naturally in soil leaving no residue
- Use in a Resolva Power Pump or other garden sprayer
- This pack will treat a 185 sq m area (equivalent to 18.5 car parking spaces)
- Kills weeds by contact action
- Fast visible results
- Ready to use formulation
- Kills weeds by contact action
- Fast visible results
- Perfect for refilling power pump or garden sprayers
- Can be used all year round
- Kills the weed and the root
- Kills weeds NOT lawns
- Kills broad-leaved weeds such as clover, daisy buttercup and dandelions
- 500 ml
Want to know more about choosing the right weed killer?
Knotweed Removal aims to provide the most up-to-date information, help and advice for YOU to make informed decisions. If you are unsure or uncertain about how to proceed, please reach out to us and we will gladly come back and advise you as best we can.
The best means to contact us is via our email – firstname.lastname@example.org
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