Last updated: August 7, 2021

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Do you want to keep your garden looking especially well-kept and beautiful during the spring and summer months? Then you should think about buying a lawn weed killer. With a weed killer you can fight the battle against superfluous weeds. Can a weed killer damage the lawn? What are the different types of weed killers you can buy?

Answers to the most frequently asked questions can be found here in the large lawn weed killer test 2021. We introduce you to different lawn weed killers to help you decide which one to buy. In addition, you will find helpful tips and tricks in our guide on how often and how you should use the weed killer. Whether you choose chemical, biological or mechanical weed killers, we will tell you about the advantages and disadvantages of each type of weed killer.

Contents




Summary

  • For a beautiful lawn, it is essential to regularly fight the weeds with a weed killer.
  • Basically, a distinction is made between chemical, biological and mechanical weed killers for lawns.
  • Chemical lawn weed killers are particularly suitable for large areas that need to be cleared of weeds quickly and cost-effectively. Biological and mechanical alternatives are often preferred when children or pets use the lawn.

The Best Lawn Weed Killer: Our choices

Guide: Questions you should ask yourself before buying a lawn weed killer

Why should I use a lawn weed killer?

At the beginning of the gardening season, the flowers of daisies and co. are seen as pretty splashes of colour in the lawn. But usually the weeds spread faster than you would like. A dense, lush green lawn is then often not much to be seen.

For a beautiful lawn and garden, it is essential to put a stop to weeds. What starts out harmlessly can soon turn into a veritable overgrowth of your lawn. Whether and which weeds spread in your lawn depends on various factors.

Compared to weeds, lawns have a very high nutrient requirement. However, the weeds steal the nutrients and cover them up, so the lawn gets too little sunlight. In addition, your beautiful garden design is ruined because the weeds spread unchecked.

This effect is supported by an insufficient water supply to the lawn in the dry summer months.

Even if you have already missed these preventive measures, there are ways and means to remedy the problem. We will introduce you to these in this article.

There are various options for getting rid of weeds easily and effectively: with or without chemicals, expensive or cheap. A good lawn soil is also important.

You don't need to water weeds, they grow overnight. (German proverb)

How do weed killers work in the lawn?

Chemical agents for weed control, so-called herbicides, can have different effects.

Some of them interfere with the plant's metabolism and thus cause the weeds to burn in the sun, for example. Other weed killers, on the other hand, lead to excessive growth of the plant and subsequently to its decay.

Does weed killer damage the lawn?

Special lawn weed killers do not usually harm your lawn when used properly.

So that you know how to apply weed killer correctly, we have selected an instructional video for you below.

However, don't forget to reseed any gaps left by the weed killer. This will help prevent a new weed infestation.

How much does a lawn weed killer cost?

The price of lawn weed killers depends primarily on the type of weed killer you choose.

Chemical lawn weed killers are available from about 10 euros per 200 ml concentrate.

Biodegradable lawn weed killers can be purchased in concentrated form for around 18 euros per litre. However, the yield is usually lower than that of chemical products.

Depending on the brand and place of purchase, the prices mentioned can of course fluctuate. In general, however, the price decreases as the quantity increases.

Mann versprüht Pestizide im Garten

It is often not necessary to spray pesticides in the garden. There are other ways to remove weeds. (Image source: 123rf.com / 62121255)

Mechanical weeders like weeders are available for as little as about 4 euros. Models that allow you to remove the weeds standing up can also be a little more expensive.

Type Price
Chemical weed killers From approx. 10 euros per 200 ml
Biological weed killers From approx. 18 euros per l
Mechanical weed killers From approx. 4 euros

When should I use the weed killer?

In general, you should use the weed killer from April to June. It is best to fertilise the lawn beforehand so that it can withstand the treatment without problems.

In addition, it should not rain or wind during the application. After all, you don't want the product to blow away and attack other plants or seep into the soil. Depending on the product, mild temperatures are desirable.

Do not mow the lawn for five days before and after treatment.

Plan the application of the product carefully. Pay attention to the weather forecast.

How often should I apply the lawn weed killer?

If you want to have a thick, lush green lawn in the long term, you cannot avoid regular weed control. How often you need to treat your lawn depends on several factors.

The type of weed in your lawn plays an important role. Once your lawn is infested with certain weeds, it is very difficult to get rid of them and you will have to prevent them from spreading further.

Allow a waiting period of four to five weeks before assessing the effectiveness and re-spraying. Weed killers need some time.

How is lawn weed killer applied?

There are different application methods for different systems.

You lay weed fleece on the soil layer and then put the stones or tiles on top. Fleece is not used for lawns, but for walkways, yards or other areas. With a thermal weed killer, you blast the weeds. The heat kills them.

Mechanical systems such as weeding are self-explanatory. Make sure you remove the root. This prevents the weeds from growing back.

Liquid weed killers come in two varieties: pure weed killer and weed killer with lawn fertiliser.

https://www.gartenspring.de/rasenduenger-mit-unkrautvernichter-test/

If your product has only one function, you should use it sparingly on the weeds. After all, you don't want to attack the other plants or contaminate the groundwater.

You can use a weed killer with lawn fertiliser more liberally. However, these products cost a little more. That's why we recommend that you use a product without a dual function. Unless your lawn is just sprouting with weeds.

Then there is the granular form. Here, too, there are variants with mono or dual function. To spread the granules, you can use your hands (wear gloves!). However, to distribute it evenly, we recommend a small spreader.

How long should the lawn not be walked on?

It is clear that you should not walk on the lawn immediately after applying a liquid weed killer. According to the manufacturer, the toxic substances are harmless when used correctly, but it is best not to take any risks.

Weed killers can be dangerous for pets and children. (Image source: unsplash.com / Ben Konfrst)

The duration depends on the product. The manufacturer Compo recommends waiting until the product has dried. You should not play on the lawn until the next mowing and you should not feed the treated grass to pets until next year.

As the waiting time varies depending on the brand, it is best to ask a specialist dealer for advice. If you remove the weeds from your lawn mechanically, the lawn can of course continue to be used without interruption.

Where can I apply lawn weed killer?

This question usually refers to liquid chemical weed killers. In general, according to the Plant Protection Act, you may only apply weed killers to areas that are used for agricultural, horticultural or forestry purposes.

This does not include walkways, patios or your driveway. The reason is that the product does not seep into the stone and can be washed into the groundwater the next time it rains.

To rid your stones of weeds, you can weed or use a thermal weed killer. This option even protects your stones.

You are not allowed to use weedkiller near rivers. Note that as a private person you are not allowed to buy unlimited amounts of weedkiller without a permit.

ATTENTION: We cannot give you legal advice. Please check this issue with your municipality. Otherwise the penalty could be quite high, as you are endangering people, animals and the environment.

Are home remedies for weed control allowed?

Some sites recommend home remedies like vinegar and salt to get rid of weeds. Unfortunately, this is also a legal grey area. Vinegar or salt can damage the soil just as much as chemicals.

So you should also check this with the local authority.

Guidelines for the use of weed killers

You must not spray herbicides as you please. The guidelines for use are summarised by the Royal Garden Academy Berlin as follows:

  1. Use as little as possible.
  2. Use only if necessary.
  3. Choose safe products.
  4. Apply exactly as directed.
  5. Do not accidentally spray neighbouring plants.
  6. Document when spraying was carried out.
  7. Pay attention to storage and disposal.

What are the alternatives to a lawn weed killer?

The cheapest but probably most time-consuming alternative to the weed killers mentioned is hand weeding. If you don't have many weeds in your garden, this is definitely the most sustainable and easiest method.

When weeding, make sure that you remove as much of the weed's root as possible from the soil. This is the only way to prevent it from growing back.

Thermal weeders, also known as weed burners, are not suitable for lawn weeds. These are only suitable for weed control on pavements or similar, as you would burn the lawn as well as the weeds with them.

Alternative type Suitability for lawn weeding
Hand weeding Yes
Thermal weeders No

Decision: What types of lawn weed killers are there and which is right for you?

There are three groups of lawn weed killers:

  • Chemical weed killers
  • Chemical weed killers with lawn fertiliser
  • Biological weed killers
  • Mechanical weed killers

With chemical weed killers you have the choice between liquid preparations and granulates, which consist of a combination of lawn fertiliser and weed killer.

Which of these product groups you choose depends mainly on where you want to use the weed killer and how much time and money you want to invest.

In the following we will explain the different types and their advantages and disadvantages. In this way, we want to help you find the weed killer that is best for you.

What are the characteristics of a chemical weed killer and what are its advantages and disadvantages?

Chemical weed killers are probably the best known form of weed killer. Here, a powder or liquid weed killer is diluted with water and sprayed onto the lawn.

Weed killers for sprinkling are easier to use than those for spraying or watering, but they also do not have the same reliable effect.

The advantage is that chemical killers work quickly. In addition, the application is simple and inexpensive. It is also possible to treat large areas.

Advantages
  • Fast action time
  • Suitable for large areas
  • Inexpensive
  • Mostly long-term effect
Disadvantages
  • Requires proper use
  • Planning required
  • Not suitable for every weed
  • Legal requirements

The disadvantages are the chemical composition and the resulting potential danger to people, animals and the environment if used improperly. Especially if children or dogs play in your garden, this is a serious factor.

You also need to plan your use and be aware of weather changes and temperature.

In general, you should be aware that despite the often broad effect of chemical lawn weed killers, you cannot control all weeds equally well. It is therefore essential to determine which weeds you have in your lawn and only then buy an appropriate product.

Weeds such as dandelions, daisies, white clover and plantain can be controlled relatively easily. It is more difficult with wood sorrel, speedwell and groundsel.

If you want to control flowering weeds, you should use a bee-friendly product. Otherwise you can cause considerable damage.

What distinguishes chemical weed killers with lawn fertiliser and what are its advantages and disadvantages?

The advantages and disadvantages of the chemical weed killer with lawn fertiliser are shared with the variant without fertiliser. In addition, there are the following aspects:

Advantages
  • Time saving
Disadvantages
  • More expensive
  • Does not always make sense

The integrated fertiliser saves you a lot of time. However, such a product is more expensive and not always necessary, for example if you have very few weeds.

What are the characteristics of an organic weed killer and what are its advantages and disadvantages?

Organic weed killers are made from natural ingredients and fungal spores. This means they are harmless to the environment and children and animals can walk on the lawn again more quickly.

Advantages
  • Environmentally friendly
  • Harmless to children and pets
Disadvantages
  • Expensive
  • Often only suitable for one type of weed
  • Time-consuming

Since many of these biological alternatives are only suitable for one type of weed, you may have to use several products to get rid of all the weeds in your lawn. In addition, the destruction time is relatively long.

Ultimately, you have to decide for yourself what the benefits of an organic lawn weed killer are worth. Because they can be quite expensive.

What distinguishes a mechanical weed killer and what are its advantages and disadvantages?

This type of weeding is done with the help of a suitable device and in combination with your own physical effort.

Depending on the weed infestation, mechanical weeding can be very time-consuming and strenuous. Often the root remains partly or completely in the soil, which leads to a rapid regrowth of the weed.

Especially compared to chemical weed killers, this method is absolutely harmless to nature. Children and pets can immediately walk on the lawn again.

There are three different systems of mechanical weeding, which we will introduce to you below.

Weeding

Weeding is probably the easiest way to remove weeds. If you only have a few weeds, this method is particularly suitable.

However, weeding is very tiring and time-consuming.

Advantages
  • Simple
  • No danger to humans or animals
Disadvantages
  • Time-consuming
  • Causes backache

Thermal weedkiller

With a thermal weedkiller, the weeds are burnt away by hot air.

This variant is permitted on footpaths and driveways and makes it possible to work in a way that is easy on the back.

Advantages
  • Allowed everywhere
  • Back-friendly
Disadvantages
  • Time-consuming
  • root is not removed

The disadvantages are that removal is sometimes time-consuming. Sometimes it takes a little longer to remove the weeds completely. In addition, the root is not removed, so the weeds grow back.

Weed fleece

Lay a weed fleece on top of the soil layer. Only then do you place stones or patio slabs on top.

The advantage of a weed mat is that the black colour prevents light from getting through and the weeds from growing. This keeps your driveway beautiful and weed-free. The fleece is also very durable.

Advantages
  • Suitable for pavements
  • Long durability
Disadvantages
  • Not suitable for lawns
  • Expensive

The disadvantage is that you cannot use the fleece for the lawn. It can also be very expensive.

Buying criteria: You can use these factors to compare and evaluate lawn weed killers

To buy a suitable product for your needs, you must not only look at the product itself, but also consider your needs. Do you have time? Do you want to use chemicals or not? Below we list a few criteria for your purchase:

  • Lawn
  • Type of weed
  • Location of garden (e.g. near river)

As well as your personal circumstances:

  • Chemical yes or no
  • Family (children, pets)
  • Time

Below you can read about the criteria and find out why it makes sense for you to buy a weed killer based on the criteria or not.

Lawn area

Which lawn weed killer you choose also depends on the size of the area to be treated.

If you have a very large garden, you will probably not have enough time to remove the weeds mechanically. However, if you have a small garden, this may make sense.

Whether you choose a chemical or biological weed killer for a very large lawn is also a question of price. You can find out what the different weed killers cost in our guide.

Type of weed

As mentioned above, you should determine exactly what kind of weeds you have in your lawn before making your purchase decision. Not every herbicide is suitable for every weed.

The type of weed you want to control is an important criterion for your purchase decision. (Image source: unsplash.com / Markus Spiske)

Mechanical weed killers can be used against almost all weeds. With chemical, but especially with biological products, you have to choose exactly the right product for your needs. Otherwise, the fight against your lawn weeds will be unsuccessful.

Location of the garden

As already mentioned, the use of plant protection products is strictly regulated. In the vicinity of water bodies, their use is often completely prohibited.

If you are not sure whether you are allowed to use chemical weedkillers in your garden, it is best to ask your local authority.

If your garden is located in such a protected area, you must use a biological or mechanical lawn weed killer.

Chemicals yes or no

If the use of chemical pesticides in your garden is permitted by law, you are free to choose whether or not to use chemicals in your garden.

Frau zieht Unkraut

Some people prefer to do it themselves instead of spraying chemicals in the garden. (Image source: 123rf.com / 21975913)

For many, the use of chemical weed killers is generally out of the question. Especially when children play in the garden.

Others, however, put the use of herbicides into perspective. They want a quick, effective and inexpensive solution.

Family

Depending on which option you choose, your lawn will become a no-go area after application.

If you decide to use a chemical lawn weed killer, the lawn must not be walked on by children or animals for a few days. Contact with the poison can cause health problems.

Otherwise, you can easily resort to the chemical option.

Time

The use of mechanical weed killers can be very time-consuming, depending on the lawn area and the weed infestation of your lawn. If you are short on time, chemical or biological alternatives may be more suitable.

Facts worth knowing about lawn weed killers

How do I apply lawn weed killer correctly?

The application depends on the type of weed killer you choose. It is best to always follow the instructions on the package leaflet exactly.

You should always check beforehand whether you can use a product for newly sown lawns. Weed killers that are unsuitable for newly sown lawns can also destroy the young lawn.

We also recommend that you scarify your lawn in spring and autumn. This will aerate your lawn regularly and allow it to grow more.

Can I make my own weed killer?

The use of plant protection products is strictly regulated in Germany. Only plant protection products that have been expressly approved may be used.

Among hobby gardeners, home remedies such as vinegar or salt for weed control are not unknown. From a purely legal point of view, this is a grey area, but these products are not recommended.

In order to achieve visible success, highly concentrated solutions are required. This in turn can cause long-term damage to surrounding plants as well as to the soil and its organisms.

What is glyphosate all about?

Glyphosate is a very effective active ingredient. It is a herbicide that is effective for any weed. The drug "Roundup" has been marketed by the US company Monsanto since the 1970s.

The active ingredient glyphosate makes it a very effective means of combating weeds. Since the patent expired in the 2000s, many brands have been producing herbicides with this active ingredient. Farmers in particular appreciate its simplicity.

The problem is that glyphosate kills all plants. It blocks an enzyme that plants need to make important amino acids. So while glyphosate can get rid of any weed, it can also get rid of any grass or moss.

Most recently, the active ingredient attracted attention because of its cancer risk. Nevertheless, glyphosate is permitted in the EU. A planned ban on glyphosate could not be enforced in the EU. In 2018, the authorisation was extended by five years.

My lawn is brown after treatment with weed killer - what now?

If the lawn is damaged by a weed treatment, this can have different reasons.

You may have used a total weed killer. This not only destroys weeds, but also the lawn itself. For lawns, you should therefore only use selective weed killers.

Finally, we would like to give you a video with valuable tips for a beautiful lawn.

Image source: pixabay.com / ulleo

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