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The Best Weed Killers for Lawns

Weeds can be a huge nuisance in your home lawn—especially if you put in a lot of time and money to keep your yard looking its best. If your grass is riddled with weeds, the best thing you can do is figure out which kinds of weeds are invading so that you can take appropriate treatment and prevention measures. It is recommended that you select an herbicide that is labeled to treat the weeds you’re seeing without harming the grass. Below are some of the most popular and effective weed killers for home lawns. As always, be sure to read the product labels thoroughly before application.

It should be noted before reading about the different post-emergent herbicides below that post-emergents serve to treat weeds you are currently seeing in your lawn. A pre-emergent herbicide, on the other hand, is designed to prevent weeds before they appear. If you see the same kind of weeds year after year, applying a pre-emergent during the spring and fall may save you more time and money. Herbicides are also either selective or non-selective. A non-selective herbicide kills all plants it comes in contact with, including your grass whereas a selective herbicide will only kill the weeds it is labeled to control.

Spectracide Weed Stop For Lawns Plus Crabgrass Killer

Spectracide Weed Stop For Lawns Plus Crabgrass Killer is an easy-to-use hose-end liquid herbicide that hooks up to the end of your garden hose for an even spray application. This product is labeled to kill over 470 different kinds of weeds. With four active ingredients, 2,4-D, dimethylamine salt, Quinclorac, Dicamba, dimethylamine salt and Sulfentrazone, Spectracide Weed Stop for Lawns Plus Crabgrass Killer covers 5,000 sq. ft. Of the many weeds this product targets, we especially love that it tackles crabgrass, an infamously common and pesky weed that homeowners seem to constantly be fighting off. Conveniently, Spectracide Weed Stop For Lawns Plus Crabgrass Killer can be applied to a wide variety of both warm and cool season grasses. For more information, read the Spectracide Weed Stop For Lawns Plus Crabgrass Killer product profile here or refer to the product’s label.

  • Coverage: One bottle covers 5,000 sq. ft.
  • Active Ingredient(s): 2,4-D, Dimethylamine salt 3.74%, Quinclorac 1.79%, Dicamba, dimethylamine salt 0.43%, Sulfentrazone 0.22%.
  • Ease of Use: Hooks up to the end of your garden hose for even spray application.
  • Best Used On/For: General outdoor weed control and crabgrass.

Both SpeedZone Broadleaf Herbicide for Turf and SpeedZone Southern Herbicide are selective post-emergent herbicides made by PBI Gordon. They contain the same active ingredients with differing amounts of 2,4-D, 2-ethylhexyl ester, Mecoprop-p, Carfentrazone-ethyl and Dicamba. SpeedZone Broadleaf Herbicide for Turf comes with superior cool weather performance so it can be used on cool season turfgrasses like Kentucky bluegrass, tall fescue or ryegrass. Although it comes with superior cool weather performance, it can also be used on most warm season grasses. Consult the label for more information. SpeedZone Southern Herbicide, in comparison, is labeled for use on warm season grasses like bahiagrass, buffalograss, centipedegrass, bermudagrass, St. Augustinegrass and zoysiagrass. View the full product label here. Both herbicides are effective on a large selection of the toughest broadleaf weeds such as cloverspurge, ground ivy, dandelion, dollarweed and more. Read product labels for a full list of weeds these products offer control over.

Q4 Plus Turf Herbicide for Grassy & Broadleaf Weeds

Like both SpeedZone products, Q4 Plus Turf Herbicide for Grassy & Broadleaf Weeds is also made by PBI Gordon Corporation. Q4 Plus is a different kind of herbicide that controls both tough grassy and broadleaf weeds. This is a really great herbicide to use on hard to control grassy weeds like crabgrass, yellow nutsedge, clover and chickweed. The active ingredients found in this liquid herbicide are Quinclorac, Sulfentrazone, 2,4-D and Dicamba. Depending on the bottle size you order, one quart of Q4 Plus treats between 11,000–12,000 sq. ft of cool season turfgrass. For warm season turfgrass, Q4 Plus treats between 12,000–18,000 sq. ft. after mixing in a spray tank. Application rates for cool season turfgrasses slightly differ than that of warm season turfgrasses. Q4 Plus offers rapid visual response and has a one-week reseeding interval for most listed turf. Refer to the product label for more information.

  • Coverage: One quart treats between 11,000–12,000 sq. ft. of cool season turfgrass.
  • Active Ingredient(s):  Quinclorac 8.43%, Sulfentrazone 0.69%, 2,4-D, dimethylamine salt 11.81%, Dicamba, dimethylamine salt 1.49%.
  • Ease of Use: Requires tank mixing and application with sprayer.
  • Best Used On/For: Established warm and cool season turfgrasses.
Quinclorac 75 DF

Quinclorac 75 DFmade by Quali-Pro is slightly similar to the Q4 Plus herbicide, but contains 75 percent Quinclorac as its single active ingredient. This is one of the best—if not the best—herbicides on the market for crabgrass control. Quinclorac 75 DF also offers control for some of the most tough to kill broadleaf and grassy weeds such as barnyardgrass, foxtail, kikuyugrass, torpedograss and more. Consult the product label for a full list of weeds this product offers control over. Quinclorac 75 DF also provides 45 day pre-emergence for crabgrass in bermudagrass lawns. This herbicide should not be used on bahiagrass, colonial bentgrass, seaside bentgrass, centipedegrass, dichondra or St. Augustine. One pound of Quinclorac 75 DF covers 43,000 sq. ft. after mixing in a spray tank. Drive XLR8 is a similar weed control product to Quinclorac, but slightly more effective in controlling tough weeds as it is a new and improved version of Quinclorac with a different brand name. Take a look at Drive XLR8 below or view the product label here.

  • Coverage: One pound covers 43,000 sq. ft.
  • Active Ingredient(s):  Quinclorac 75%.
  • Ease of Use: Requires tank mixing and application with sprayer.
  • Best Used On/For: Broadcast and spot treatment applications on certain warm and cool season grasses.
Fusilade II Turf and Ornamental

Fusilade II Turf and Ornamental made by Syngenta is a selective post-emergent herbicide that offers broad-spectrum control over perennial and annual grass weeds. Fusilade II is a systemic herbicide, meaning it will quickly move into the shoots, roots, rhizomes, stolons and other growing points of the plants it has been applied on. Fusilade II’s active ingredient is Fluazifop-p-butyl. As a selective herbicide, it will not cause damage to ornamental plants or other plants listed for use on in the product label. Fusilade II is often used to control invading bermudagrass in both zoysia and tall fescue lawns. If you have a bermudagrass lawn, do not use Fusilade II on it. To see all the weeds this herbicide offers control over, refer to the product label.

  • Coverage: One quart covers between 53,000–80,000 sq. ft.
  • Active Ingredient(s):  Fluazifop-P-butyl 24.5%.
  • Ease of Use: Requires tank mixing and application with sprayer.
  • Best Used On/For: Warm and cool season turfgrasses.

SedgeHammer+ made by Gowan, as its name suggest, is infamously known for its effective control over different types of nutsedge. Nutsedge is one of the hardest weeds to kill and remove effectively due to the seeds located on the roots underground. When homeowners and even professionals go to remove nutsedge, they often pull the plant, therefore causing the seeds to detatch from the underground roots and stay in the soil. SedgeHammer+ works to enter the plant’s system and kill it from the inside out with the active ingredient, Halosulfuron-methyl. SedgeHammer+ comes in a packet that should be mixed with water and spread evenly over the grass and weeds.

As a selective herbicide, SedgeHammer+ offers control over both yellow and purple nutsedge, kyllinga and other listed broadleaf weeds on the product label. SedgeHammer+ is a systemic, post-emergent herbicide meaning that it works best when applied on sedge after it has emerged from the soil’s surface and works systemically through the plant’s system to kill it. A single packet covers 1,000 sq. ft. of a warm or cool season turfgrass lawn. Be sure to read our SedgeHammer+ product profile for more information.

  • Coverage: 0.5 oz. (13.5 grams) covers 1,000 sq. ft.
  • Active Ingredient(s): Halosulfuron-methyl 5.0%.
  • Ease of Use: Requires tank mixing and application with a sprayer.
  • Best Used On/For: Turfgrass, landscaped areas, residential, commercial, industrial sites and other non-crop areas.
Mesotrione 4SC Select

Mesotrione 4SC Select, manufactured by Prime Source, is another really popular herbicide product that a great amount of homeowners love to have in their garage for weed control. Mesotrione 4SC Select is a highly effective systemic pre- and post-emergent herbicide for the selective contact and residual control of over 46 broadleaf and grassy weed species in turfgrass such as barnyardgrass, creeping bentgrass, annual bluegrass (Poa annua), chickweed, crabgrass, dandelion, goosegrass, yellow nutsedge, wild violet and more. The active ingredient found in Mesotrione 4SC Select is Mesotrione, which should be tank mixed as 5–8 oz. per 30 gallons of water per acre. For more information on Mesotrione 4SC Select, read our product profile on Sod University.

  • Coverage: Covers one to two acres when mixed properly.
  • Active Ingredient(s): Mesotrione 40%
  • Ease of Use: Requires tank mixing and application with sprayer.
  • Best Used On/For: Difficult to remove outdoor weeds such as crabgrass.
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