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The Best Weed Killers for Your Lawn for 2022

Wondering how to choose the best weed killer for your lawn? Read on to learn how weed killers work, how to apply these products, and our recommendations for the top weed killers.

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If your lawn is getting out of control with weeds, hand pulling them just isn’t going to cut it. Sure, you can tug out a few by the root, but it may be difficult and time-consuming to do that for your entire yard. That’s where weed killers come in, often the best method for lawn weed control.

There are tons of lawn weed killers on the market, so it may be difficult to choose the exact right one for your lawn. The This Old House Reviews Team has rounded up the top weed killers for 2022—and how to choose them. For extensive weed control and lawn care, we recommend considering a lawn company like TruGreen.

If you'd like a free quote from the company, call 866-817-2287 or fill out this simple form.


Identifying Weeds

Before you can choose the proper weed killer, you’ll have to determine exactly what type of weed you’re dealing with. Different weed types require different treatments—what’s effective for one may do little or no damage to another.

There are three main categories of weeds: broadleaf, grassy, and grass-like.

1. Broadleaf weeds

These weeds have broad, flat leaves, so it’s unlikely you’ll mistake them for grass. They thrive in soil that’s lacking key nutrients, and they come in different types—annual, biennial, and perennial, so different broadleaf weed varieties require different chemicals depending on their life cycle.

Examples of broadleaf weeds include dandelions, ground ivy, clover, chickweed, dollarweed, thistle, and oxalis.

2. Grassy weeds

Grassy weeds have leaves that look like grass blades, and they grow one at a time. Examples of grassy weeks include crabgrass, quackgrass, goosegrass, and foxtail.

3. Grass-like weeds

This weed type resembles grass, but its leaves are more tube-like and triangular than flat. Examples of grass-like weeks include garlic, nutsedge, and wild onion.


How Weed Killers Work

Weed killers work by using chemicals that kill the weed or prevent its growth. There are a variety of different herbicide types to treat weeds at different stages of their life cycle—or before they even sprout. Here are the main characteristics to consider when choosing your specific weed killer.

Pre- or post-emergent

Pre-emergent weed killers target weed seedlings before they get a chance to sprout. If weeds have already popped up, this type won’t help. Post-emergent weed killers are designed to eradicate weeds in their active growing season. You apply post-emergent weed killers directly to the plants’ leaves.

Selective or non-selective

This aspect is critical. Selective weed killers eliminate weeds without harming beneficial plants nearby, while non-selective herbicides will damage all nearby plants, even if they’re beneficial.

Systemic or topical

Systemic weed killers attack the entire plant, including the roots. Topical herbicides, on the other hand, only kill the areas where the weed killer is applied.

Persistent or non-persistent

Persistent weed killers stay active after you apply them to prevent future weeds. Non-persistent weed killers don’t offer ongoing weed control.


How to Apply Weed Killer

Even if you select the right weed killer, applying it incorrectly can make your efforts fruitless, and the wrong application can cause complications.

Many weed killers need to be diluted with water and put in a spray bottle. The product’s label will explain precisely how much water and weed killer you’ll need to combine. Some weed killers, however, come in granular form. Solid weed killers must be applied with a spreader.

When applying weed killer, timing is everything. You don’t want to apply weed killer immediately after mowing your lawn since that could harm your tender grass. The same goes for fertilizer. In both cases, wait several days before applying weed killer.

The weather also plays a role in when to apply weed killer. Applying weed killer when it’s too hot can stress your grass, and applying it right too soon before it rains means it can wash away before it gets absorbed.


The 3 Best Weed Killers

Here are the top three best weed killers for 2022.

Compare-N-Save

This powerful, fast-acting weed killer battles the exterior part of the weeds it contacts as well as the root systems. It kills stubborn weeds very efficiently, and spraying weeds selectively will ensure your lawn stays intact.

Preen Garden Weed Preventer

This pre-emergent, selective weed killer offers residual effects, with ingredients remaining active in the soil for three months after application. Preen prevents nearly 30 broadleaf weed varieties without hurting nearby plants.

Scotts Turf Builder Weed & Feed

Scotts’ most powerful weed and feed thickens grass while crowding out weeds. It’s especially effective against dandelions and clover. The company offers a satisfaction guarantee, promising your money back if you aren’t satisfied with your results.


Top Recommended Professional Lawn Care Company: TruGreen

If you’re battling stubborn weeds or confused about what weed killer is best, it may be time to call in the experts. The This Old House Reviews Team’s top selection for lawn care, TruGreen, offers both pre and post-emergent weed control.

The specialists at TruGreen can create a custom-made plan to restore your lawn to its former health and make sure it can compete against future weeds. The lawn care company offers five annual plans with varying levels of coverage in every state except for Alaska and Hawaii.

If you'd like a free quote, call 866-817-2287 or fill out this simple form.


How to Prevent Weeds

When it comes to tackling weeds, the best defense is a good offense. You should always take these steps to keep your grass hardy and robust, reducing the chances of weeds taking over.

  • Water deeply and infrequently—If you want your grass to have strong, deep roots, you need to water deeply and infrequently instead of choosing shallow, daily watering. With deep, sturdy roots, your grass can grow nice and thick and compete with weeds that may try to grow.
  • Mow high—Weeds need sunlight to grow. If you let your grass blades grow taller by setting your lawn mower to the first or second highest setting, the grass will grow tall enough to cast shade on any weed seeds, preventing them from sprouting.
  • Feed regularly—Stressed lawns are more susceptible to being crowded by weeds. Feeding regularly will keep your lawn lush and make it less hospitable to enterprising weeds.

Our Rating Methodology

To provide readers with the most objective, accurate, and detailed recommendations, the This Old House Reviews Team continually researches lawn care service companies on the market. We take the following steps to obtain up-to-date information about the industry and each company we review:

  • Analyze more than 100 customer reviews from third-party review sites, such as Yelp, the Better Business Bureau (BBB), and Google Reviews, for each company
  • Secret-shop for lawn care plans and packages to get a sense of cost, offered services, and the overall shopping experience for prospective customers
  • Speak with representatives on the phone to simulate the customer service experience from each provider
  • Update information on a regular basis to ensure the most accurate information when plans or services change with each company

We use the data from our research to build an in-depth rating system that allows us to score lawn care providers on a 100-point scale. Here are the factors in our evaluation and their designated scores:

  • Plan options (30): As one of the most important factors for homeowners shopping for a lawn care service, this one is weighted heavily based on each company’s lawn coverage. Companies that offer more options, such as irrigation, weed control, seeding, and aeration services in addition to a general plan, score higher than others.
  • Trustworthiness (30): Each company’s reputation is another significant factor for homeowners to consider before signing up for a plan. We scored providers based on their BBB score, accreditation, and offered guarantees available with each purchase.
  • Additional Benefits (20): We gave extra points to companies that provide a few additional services and benefits with their offered plans, such as organic treatments, pest control services, and a mobile app for digital communication and plan management.
  • Customer Service (10): In this rating category, we awarded points to customer-focused lawn care service providers who offer weekend availability and easy communication through phones, online chats, and online resources.
  • Availability (10): We also scored companies based on their overall availability, rewarding those that are nationally available over local companies only operating in select cities or ZIP codes.

To share feedback or ask a question about this article, send a note to our Reviews Team at reviews@thisoldhousereviews.com.