No matter how long you've been gardening for, it's no secret that our lawns, flowerbeds, and gardens are susceptible to weeds. Weeds don't need to reach a full-blown infestation before they start to annoy us or ruin our pristine greenery. Whether you purchase weed killers from the hardware store or make a homemade weed killer from the comfort of your own home with just a few ingredients, you have plenty of options.

Let's take a look at some of the most popular weed killers and take back control of your lawn!

Ortho GroundClear

Ortho GroundClear Vegetation Killer

Why You Should Buy It

Ortho GroundClear is one of the most effective weed killers and preventers currently out on the market.

This year's formula is effective, fast-acting, long-lasting, and will go quite a ways. In as little as 6 hours, your driveway, sidewalk, fence line, and patio will be free of weeds and other unsightly vegetation for up to a year.

There are a number of styles to choose from on sites like Amazon, including a wand, a sprayer that connects to your water hose, and a concentrate.

How To Use It

Simply point the wand towards the weeds you want to kill and spray to coat. You can use a similar method with the sprayer connected to your water hose.

Preen Garden Weed Preventer

Preen Garden Weed Preventer

Why You Should Buy It

This is the ideal product for someone who doesn't want weeds to overtake their recently constructed garden or flowerbed. Preen won't kill the weeds, but it will guarantee that you don't have to worry about any popping up any time soon.

This weed preventer is quick acting and can be used around flowers, shrubs, and other forms of vegetation. Just remember that it doesn't last as long as some of other formulas and doesn't kill existing weeds.

You can purchase bags up to 31.1 pounds in weight at most garden centers and online retailers like Amazon.

How To Use It

To use Preen Garden Weed Preventer, simply sprinkle over the entire soil surface of the garden or flowerbed at the rate of 5 pounds per 250 square feet. After applied, lightly rake the Preen into the soil and then immediately water the top 2 inches of the soil to activate the product.

Compare-N-Save Grass And Weed Killer Concentrate

Compare-N-Save Weed And Grass Killer

Why You Should Buy It

If you're looking to kill weeds but not necessarily prevent them from coming back, then this concentrate is for you. It's not the quickest acting product, but each gallon of concentrate makes up to 85 gallons of ready-to-use spray that will give you results in as little as two to four days.

You can purchase containers ranging from 16 oz to 2.5 gallons.

How To Use It

You will need to mix Compare-N-Save Grass And Weed Killer with water to properly dilute the concentrate. Once mixed, spray the solution on any patch of vegetation you wish to eliminate. Simple as that.

Southern Ag Amine Weed Killer

Southern Ag Amine Weed Killer

Why You Should Buy It

Southern Ag Amine Weed Killer is going to be great for those looking to take care of broadleaf weeds like dandelions, chickweed, and poison ivy without harming their grass.

This product comes as a 32oz concentrate that can be mixed with water to treat up to 1,000 square feet.

How To Use It

All you need to do is dilute the concentrate with water and you'll be killing weeds in no time.

BioAdvanced Brush Killer Plus

BioAdvanced Brush Killer Plus

Why You Should Buy It

BioAdvanced Brush Killer Plus is going to be useful in situations where you need to get rid of large patches of poison ivy, poison oak, wild blackberries, kudzu, and other types of brush that have long been problematic.

This weed killer has a special penetrating formula that kills even the toughest plants down to their roots.

With sizes ranging from 24 oz to 1 gallon, there are plenty of options available for jobs of all sizes.

How To Use It

To get the most out of this product, hold the sprayer about 12 inches above the vegetation and give it a thorough spraying.

Natural Weed Killers

Two old dandelions

It can be tempting to gravitate towards store-bought weed killers because they swear they can get the job done. While they do dispose of any uninvited weeds, popular weed killers have been under the microscope for years as scientists try to determine whether they're ultimately doing more harm than good. It's also a well-known fact that some weed killers have the potential to damage the environment, harm pets, irritate the skin, and attack other plants that we actually wanted to keep alive.

With all of this negativity swarming around store-bought weed killers, it might be time to invest in natural remedies that will deter any pests from harming your lawn or garden. Some of these items are, too, found in stores, but they don't contain any harsh chemicals and are comprised of natural materials.

Mulch

close-up of bark mulch

The National Gardening Association recommends mulching to get rid of weeds. They suggest using a smothering mulch in order to accomplish a few things for you and your garden. First, a smothering mulch prevents the sun from reaching the soil thereby depriving weeds of light. Secondly, some of the more organic mulches will deteriorate into the soil and help feed your garden. Finally, mulching the weeds will also prevent new ones from growing, so you don't have to worry about another generation spreading into your garden.

You should aim to keep your mulch about two inches thick and you'll need to replenish it as it starts to decay.

Vinegar

vinegar being poured into a dish

When you look at most bottles of "natural" or "organic" weed killers, more times than not you'll see vinegar listed as a key ingredient.

If you ever find yourself in the middle of a war with a pesky weed invasion but don't have access to a bottle of your favorite weed killer, you can always cut to the chase and grab a bottle of vinegar from the kitchen. You probably won't win the battle, but you will win the war if you stay at it and continue to the fight back those undying weeds several days a week. Give it some time and those weeds will wish they never found their way to your property.

Boiling Water

water boiling in a pot on the stove

One of the simplest and cheapest ways you can attack weeds is to pour boiling water over them. You simply need to boil some water in a pot or a kettle and then gently douse the weeds with it. You'll want to take extra caution to not inadvertently splash yourself with the water or any plants suffering from a weed infestation. You should get as close as you can to the weed and then slowly and carefully pour the boiling water onto it.

You'll also need to exert some caution when it comes to spreading the water to unoffending greenery. The boiling water may spread to other plants so you'll want to ensure you get as close to only the weeds as possible.

The results are immediate and it's one of the best, most organic methods. Though one treatment may not be enough, so if you see weeds start to sprout again you may need to repeat the process until the weeds clear out completely.

Plucking Them Out With Your Hands

gardener pulling out a weed from the ground

A tried and true method for weed control is to merely pluck them out manually. The National Gardening Association suggests plucking weeds after rainfall due to the softening of a weed's roots. They warn that you should rip from the root of the weed as only pulling off its head will guarantee regrowth in the future.

Aim to use garden gloves during the process in order to avoid spreading weed seeds around your lawn or garden. You'll also want to have a garden tool on standby such as a claw to help loosen the soil around the affected area.

Lemon Juice

slices of lemon on a white plate on a pink background

This is one of the easiest and natural homemade weed killer because you can find lemons at a low cost in your local grocery store. You should avoid just squirting lemon juice from the fruit, however, and should instead aim to put lemon juice inside of a spray bottle and spray any offending weeds. You won't have to wait much longer than a few days before the acidity in the juice dries out the weeds and kills them. What's also great about this method is that you seldom need an additional treatment.

Newspaper Or Carpet Scraps

bunch of folded up newspapers

We've found another way for you to recycle those old newspaper piling in your home. If you rip the pages to shreds then you can layer them on your soil and cover them with a smothering mulch. Not only will this help feed your garden as the materials begin to decay, but they also serve the same purpose as mulch: blocking out the sun from reaching the weeds. If you're looking to use newspaper then you should try to add about 3-4 layers before mulching.

Carpet scraps is another method you can try to accompany mulch. With an old rug, though, you shouldn't keep the scraps on your soil for longer than 11-12 months.

Each work in the same way. They block out the sun from reaching the weeds and prevent them or future generations from seeing the light of day again... quite literally.

Using Fire

fire burning on a black background

Not to say that you should take a flamethrower to your weeds (though the idea is certainly tempting) but you can use flames to eat away those little intruders.

According to garden.org, purchasing a weed torch is a good way to treat unwanted pests in the garden because when you pass the flame over weeds, it dries them out and inevitably kills them. Weed ecologist Tom Laine spoke with them and said that it doesn't take much heat either. "You know you're successful when the weed changes from a glossy to a matte finish. The weed may not droop immediately but will wilt and die within a few hours. Then you just leave the weed to compost naturally." He added that you just want to leave it at that since you don't want to disturb your soil and encourage more weeds to grow.

Most of the weed torches you'll find will set you back anywhere from $50.00 - $90.00. There are also safety tips to be followed such as not using flames during an extremely dry season, not using flames in high winds, always following the instructions of your torch, and keeping any extensions away from the tank and hose.

Off With Their Heads

bird's eye view of a dying dandelion

Perhaps the most satisfying homemade weed killer on this list is to remove its head.

You can use a pair of shears or simply use your hands to behead them, but either way, this method has proved itself to be a fan favorite thanks to its success rate. Cutting off the heads of perennial weeds stops the seeding process and prevents them from spreading.

Some people have been known to mow over weeds when they're mowing the grass, but it's important to know that this doesn't always kill them. If you have perennial weeds sneaking up on your grass or garden then you mowing over them won't prevent them from trying to sprout again next year.

Make Yourself A Snack

dandelion in the grass

Talk about a homemade weed killer that kills two birds with one stone.

Believe it or not, there are several weeds out there that are perfectly edible. In fact, dandelions have been proven to be a bitter food packed with vitamins and nutrients such as vitamin A, C, and B6. It also contains calcium and iron and studies have shown that dandelions have a significant effect on type 2 diabetes.

They're not the only ones safe for consumption. Feel free to eat weeds like clover, purslane, lamb's quarters, and plantains. They can be used in salads or ground into flour and many people prefer to indulge in a recipe rather than getting rid of weeds and having that be the end of it.

Weed Killer Recipe

a lawn of green grass

Making a homemade weed killer doesn't take very much time, spending, or ingredients. Some of the ingredients you need are probably laying around in your pantry or shed as we speak. If you follow this guide you'll be able to finally have your lawn looking picture-perfect.

What You'll Need

  • 1 gallon of white vinegar
  • 1 cup of salt
  • 1 tablespoon of dish soap

Steps

  • Combine all of the ingredients together in a bowl.
  • Pour the mixture into a spray bottle.
  • Use whenever pesky weeds sprout in your garden or on your lawn.

Why This Works

The salt and the vinegar work hard to reduce the moisture in weeds and the dish soap helps the salt and vinegar stick to the leaves and effectively kill weeds. The acetic acid in the vinegar sucks the moisture from a weed's leaves thereby drying it out and preventing future growth. Since salt is sodium chloride, the compound works a little more effectively to rid of some harsher weeds that vinegar wouldn't be able to pulverize on its own.

You should use this concoction on a sunny day because when you dry out the weeds, they'll shrivel and die throughout the day and by the time the sun goes down you'll have nothing left to worry about.

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