Best Weed Killer for Gardens? Hint: It’s NOT Roundup

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My pick of the very best weed killer for gardens plus 8 other great choices for lawns and flower beds. While Roundup is the most used and a popular herbicide, it has not featured on the list based on the criteria I’m going to explain shortly.

Looking for the best garden weed killers you can buy?

You have come to the right place. I have thoroughly researched and ranked the best options for everyday gardeners and plant enthusiasts.

While there may be an overlap, I have focused largely on weed killers that are best suited to those who like to grow organic food while conserving the environment.

Whether you’re a novice gardener or a seasoned green thumb there are several factors to consider when deciding the best weed killer for you.

You’ll want to look at formulation which includes active ingredients and any additives used to enhance the weed killers effectiveness, stability or ease of application.

You’ll also need to look at mechanism of dissipation which is the degradation or immobilization of the herbicide in the environment.

Certain aspects might also be decisive depending on your size of the garden, your environment consciousness, and your intended use for instance; on lawns, flower beds, or a vegetable garden.

If you want to eradicate the weeds quick, on a small area, go for a less quantity, more effective weed killer.

In addition, if you’re concerned about the environment and safety, go for a weed killer that readily dissolves in water and has a lower LD50 (indicated on the herbicide label).

Whatever your budget, expectations or approach, this guide on the best weed killers will feature the perfect option for you: from selective to non-selective weed killers, I’ve sifted the best options to confirm which ticks every gardening box.

My outright pick at the moment is the Biosafe Weed Control Concentrate. Organic herbicidal soap providing a burn down of annual and perennial broadleaf weeds and grasses within hours of application.

The perfect choice for both avid and new gardeners, easy to use with visible results; it will start to work immediately, destroying the cells of the unwanted plant within hours.

That’s not to say it’s the perfect weed killer for you. Spectracide Weed & Grass Killer for instance, is a strong choice if you are tight on a budget.

The list below covers the best weed killers for gardens that have been certified organic, as well as a handful of systemic herbicides that provide excellent value for money – so you can be sure you’ll find exactly the right weed killer for you.

Best Weed Killers for Gardens 2023 at a Glance

1. Biosafe Weed Killer Concentrate (Outright Pick)

2. FinalSan Organic Weed Killer (Runners-up)

3. Spectracide Weed & Grass Killer Concentrate (Best by price)

4. Green Gobbler Vinegar Weed & Grass Killer

5. Weed Slayer Organic Herbicide

6. Tenacity Turf Herbicide

7. B Gon Weed Killer for Lawns

8. Southern 2, 4-D Amine Weed Killer

9. Natria Grass & Weed Killer

10. Southern Crossbow Specialty Herbicide

Best Weed Killers for Gardens in 2023

Biosafe Weed Killer Concentrate [Outright Pick for Organic Gardens]

Active Ingredient: Ammonium nonanoate (a non-systemic, broad spectrum contact weed killer that has no soil activity.

Target Weeds: Bittercress, Chickweed, Liverwort, Mustards, Pigweed, Moneywort, Spurge, Velvet Leaf, Bentgrass, Bluegrass, Crabgrass, Nimblewill, Ryegrass, Bermudagrass, Dandelion, and Ragweed.

BioSafe Weed Control was certified organic by OMRI and approved by EPA. This herbicide provides a burn down of annual and perennial broadleaf weeds and grasses within hours of application.

As a non-volatile and water-soluble herbicide, BioSafe Weed Control is not harmful to people, pets or the environment - making it a great alternative to Roundup.

You will achieve the best results when you apply in warmer weather or when the weeds are dry from dew or water. Spray on patios, walkways, and along edgings. When treating in gardens, do not spray desirable plants. Great for vegetable garden paths too.

This weed killer works on contact. Therefore, for the best weed control, thoroughly and uniformly cover undesirable plants.

Check the price at Amazon

FinalSan Organic Weed Killer (Runners-up)

Active Ingredient: Ammonium soaps of fatty acids

Target Weeds: Grasses, moss, algae, annual, biennial, and perennial weeds.

If you’re interested in growing organic food while keeping the environment safe, you’ll love this weed killer. With Ammonium soaps of fatty acids as the main active ingredient, you can be sure of efficient degradation and immobilization of the herbicide in the environment.

Manufactured by Neudorff, FinalSan Organic Weed Killer is a game-changer in the control or suppression of many common annual, biennial, and perennial weeds including moss & algae on roofs, decks, walks, and sidings.

This roundup alternative works within minutes of application by breaking down the waxy surfaces of leaf cells causing wilt and effectively killing the weed(s). However, if you don’t cover all the weeds properly, it will take longer for the weeds to die off.

For the best results, apply FinalSan organic weed killer when the weather is warm and dry. Besides, read all the instructions on the label carefully before using the product.

Check the price at Amazon

Spectracide Weed & Grass Killer Concentrate [Best by Price]

Active Ingredient: Diquat Dibromide

Target Areas: Spot spray around patios, walkways and driveways; around flowers, shrubs and trees; and along fences and foundations.

Spectracide Weed & Grass Killer is affordable in comparison to similar products and works a lot faster. In addition, it is not only a non-selective weed and grass killer that kill weeds down to the root but also takes care of plant pest and diseases for you.

According to the manufacturer, this formula is rainproof in 15 minutes which means rainfall or watering after 15 minutes won’t wash away effectiveness.

For the best results, apply during warm, sunny weather when the temperature is over 60 degrees. Read instructions on the label carefully you start working. Make sure you do not spray on or around edible feed or food crops or desirable plants.

Caution: DO NOT spray this weed killer all over the yard or lawn unless you are replanting everything. It is nonselective, meaning that it does not spare 'nontarget' plants from its herbicidal effects.

Check the price at Amazon

B Gon Weed Killer [Best Weed Killer for Lawns]

Active Ingredient: Dimethylamine salt of 2, 4-D acid

Target Weeds: Mostly broadleaved weeds such as dandelion, clover, chickweed, dollarweed, thistle and many others that destroy many lawns. Can also be used on unwanted grasses such as St. Augustine (excluding Floratam), Bahiagrass, Bermudagrass, Bluegrass, Buffalograss, Centipedegrass, Fescues, Ryegrass and Zoysiagrass.

Ortho B Gon Weed Killer for Lawns kill weeds to the roots. With the convenient Comfort Wand applicator, you can kill over 250+ weeds for easy and effective spot treatment without damaging your lawn.

According to the manufacturer, this herbicide is specially designed for Northern and Southern lawns.

The herbicide is ideal for large or small areas and available in various sizes including: 32 oz. that covers up to 16,000 sq. ft. and 1 gallon covers up to 64,000 sq. ft.

Check the price at Amazon

Green Gobbler Vinegar Weed & Grass Killer

Active Ingredient: Ethanol distilled from corn grain (OMRI certified for organic use) plus Acetic Acid.

Target Weeds: crabgrass, white clover, musk thistle, oxalis, dandelions, and more.

20% Vinegar Weed Killer by Green Gobbler is the fastest and easiest way to eliminate weeds on your property. Green Gobbler's contact weed killer is derived from corn and approved for organic use by OMRI.

The Weed Killer eliminates all types of broadleaf weeds on contact, including crabgrass, white clover, musk thistle, oxalis, dandelions, and more. To use, simply spray on targeted weeds using a trigger sprayer (included) and watch weeds wilt away. Green Gobbler can be used along fences, near foundations, and between pavers in walkways.

Remember: vinegar weed killer is a non-selective herbicide, so avoid spraying on healthy grass and desired plants. Handle with care.

Check the price at Amazon

Tenacity Turf Herbicide

Active Ingredient: Mesotrione

Target Weeds: crabgrass, bentgrass, ground ivy, yellow foxtail, yellow nutsedge and nimblewill.

Tenacity herbicide can be used for pre- and post-emergence control of more than 46 broadleaf weed and grass species.

Its active ingredient, mesotrione, is based on a naturally occurring compound produced by the bottlebrush plant (Callistemon citrinus) that inhibits photosynthesis in susceptible plant species.

It is absorbed by plants through the roots, shoots and leaves and distributed throughout the plant by both xylem and phloem translocation.

Check the price at Amazon

Southern 2, 4-D Amine Weed Killer

Active Ingredient: 2, 4-D Acid.

Target Areas: Certain grasses in lawns, parks, golf courses, and pastures; fences, ditch banks, non-crop sites, small grains, and corn (pre and post emergent herbicide).

Southern 2, 4-D Amine Weed Killer is very economical where you’re required to use rate of 1 to 4 pints per acre and controls many broadleaf weeds & woody plants.

The herbicide contains 3.8 lbs. per gallon 2, 4-D acid equivalent liquid concentrate in a low volatile amine form. For the best results, apply as a coarse low pressure spray, preferably with fan type nozzle.

Currently unavailable

Natria Grass & Weed Killer

Active Ingredient: Maleic Hydrazide (ammoniated soap of fatty acids).

Target: Poison ivy, foxtail, cat's-ear, kudzu, annual bluegrass and other listed grasses and weeds.

Finally, a natural way to kill unwanted grass and weeds to their roots with Natria Grass and Weed Control with Root Kill technology. This fast acting formula is approved for use in and around edibles and makes for a great herbicide to use around the home and garden.

This herbicide is suitable for use on patios, driveways, sidewalks and flower beds. Spray weeds until foliage is wet. Thorough coverage is important.

For spot treatment of individual weeds, apply the solution to the center of plant. Repeat treatment to control newly emerged weeds growing from seed and re-growth from biennial and perennial weeds.

Currently unavailable

Southern Crossbow Specialty Herbicide

Active Ingredient(s): 2, 4-D acid, Butoxyethyl ester, and Triclopyr.

Target Areas: Rangeland, grass pastures, non-crop areas.

Southern Crossbow Specialty Herbicide controls most unwanted trees and brush. Use on rangeland, grass pastures, non-crop areas.

For spot applications use 4 to 6 fl. oz in 3 gallons of water. Spray thoroughly to wet all foliage. Application types and rates vary, consult product label for specifics. Controls most unwanted trees and brush.

Check the price at Amazon


You’ve read about the best weed killer for gardens, lawns, and flowers beds. 

To summarize, these are the top picks:

1. Biosafe Weed Killer Concentrate (Outright Pick)

2. FinalSan Organic Weed Killer (Runners-up)

3. Spectracide Weed & Grass Killer Concentrate (Best by price)

Whichever you choose, remember to always properly protect yourself and others and thoroughly read the label for instructions.

Most especially, check for the following information:

Formulations - It includes the active ingredient(s), any additives that enhance herbicide effectiveness, stability, or ease of application such as surfactants and other adjuvants, and any other ingredients including solvents, carriers, or dyes.

Mechanisms of dissipation - movement, degradation, or immobilization of an herbicide in the environment.

Behaviour in the environment - Perhaps the most important factor determining the fate of herbicide in the environment is its solubility in water. Water-soluble herbicides generally have low adsorption capacities, and are consequently more mobile in the environment and more available for microbial metabolism and other degradation processes.

Environmental toxicity - In some cases, it is not the herbicide itself that is the most toxic component of the applied formula. Adjuvants, such as petroleum solvents (e.g. diesel fuel, deodorized kerosene, methanol), can be highly toxic). In addition, impurities resulting from the manufacturing process can be more toxic than the active ingredient itself. Measured in LD50.

Humanity toxicity - When proper safety precautions are taken, human exposure to herbicides used in natural areas should be minimal. Properly fitted personal protection equipment and well-planned emergency response procedures will minimize exposure from normal use as well as emergency spill situations.

Editor's Note: This post was originally published in August 2020 and has been revamped and updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness.