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Last updated on January 22nd, 2020
Strong weedkillers and manual weeders
With so many weedkillers on the market it can be a bit of a nightmare to decide which one to use, so first we are going to discuss the different types of weedkiller that are available to gardeners.
Where possible we would nearly always advise that you remove weeds manually. There are some good weeder tools you may not have thought of such, as the ‘Fiskars Weed Puller’ which is an excellent tool that you put over the weed, press the foot peddle and it clamps the weed and roots and removes them easily. Seedlings that are in beds and borders can also be hoed with a dutch hoe and simply left on the surface of the soil to shrivel and decompose into the soil.
If this is impractical, then you are likely to want to choose a chemical weedkiller (also known as a herbicide) of which there are 4 types.
The 4 types of weedkillers
There are 4 types of weedkillers so it is important to understand them before selecting the ideal weedkiller for you, each one is ideal for a certain situation or area.
- Selective weedkillers – These types of weedkillers only kill certain types of weeds and leave the surrounding plants unharmed. Unfortunately this is used mostly in ‘lawn weed killers’ as this will kill broad leaved weeds such as dandelions and will not kill the grass. Read more about the best lawn weed killer – here
- Contact weedkillers – As the name suggests, these type of weedkillers only kill weeds on contact and the surrounding soil is unharmed. These are great for controlling annual weeds (weeds that only live for one season) in beds and borders. These should only be applied when the weeds are actively growing which is usually around March to September.
- Systemic weedkillers – These weedkillers are sprayed onto the weeds when they are actively growing and ‘systemic’ means that the weedkiller gets inside the weed and kills the roots as well as the leaves. They usually take longer to notice them working, (up to a few weeks) but as they kill the whole plant and root they are longer lasting and prevent the same weed growing again.
- Residual weedkiller – These weedkillers are good for industrial areas or places where no plant growth is grown such as paths, walkways and patios. The weedkiller kills the weeds but also forms a residual barrier to prevent other weeds growing for a few weeks.
Ready to use or concentrate weedkiller?
Most weedkillers are available in ready to use containers, usually in 1 litre spray bottles that are ideal for spraying in smaller areas or spraying individual weeds.
If you have got a larger area to treat such as a lawn or drive way, then you would use a concentrated weedkiller. Simply mix with water as instructed on the bottle or box and water on with a watering can or sprayer. Using a sprayer will ensure it goes further and it is advised other than using a watering can.
We have chosen a selection of weedkillers to try and recommend the best weedkillers whether you are clearing a weeds on your drive, treating weeds on the lawn or simply spraying individual weeds on your path or borders.
Roundup Fast Action Pump ‘n’ Go Weedkiller
Manufactured by Scotts Miracle Gro, this strong weedkiller comes ready to use and is probably the largest ready to use weedkiller available. The systemic action ensures it kills the foliage and roots making it ideal for most annual and perennial weeds. It kills most weeds including grasses, dandelions, docks, bindweed and thistles.
You will start seeing results within hours, a few advantages of this weedkiller is that not harmful to the soil as micro-organisms break it down meaning you can plant in treated areas. Once dry, children and pets can go onto treated areas. You can also get refills once empty so you can use it again and again when needed.
DO NOT USE ON LAWNS OR ON PLANTS YOU DO NOT WANT TO KILL.
Gallup 360 Professional Glyphosate Weedkiller
Developed for industrial use Gallup 360 uses a strong chemical called glyphosate that kills most annual and perennial weeds. This weedkiller is systemic so it is ideal for use on emerging and growing weeds as it is taken in by the weed and kills the foliage and roots. However it is none selective meaning it will kill most if not all weeds but it is non-residual which means it will not stop new weeds germinating. This makes it ideal for clearing out weedy borders and can be planted in after treatment. An excellent and effective weedkiller, sold as a concentrate to mix in a garden sprayer. Available in many quantities.
Weedol Rootkill Plus Weedkiller
Weedol is renowned for being a good quality weedkiller and there new formulated formula ticks all the boxes. Which makes it unique is it is designed to be used on hard surfaces as well as beds and borders. It uses a systemic action to kill the foliage and roots ensuring the weeds do not return. You can start seeing the effects after only an hour and it degrades into the soil so treated areas can be planted afterwards. It kills most broad-leafed weeds including docks, stinging nettles, thistles, couch grass, dandelions and creeping buttercups as well as grasses.
Designed more for domestic use rather than industrial, this effective weedkiller contains glyphosate plus Pyraflufen Ethyl and can be applied with a watering can or garden sprayer which is unusual as most glyphosate weedkillers cannot be applied with a watering can. Other advantages are children and pets do not need to be excluded from the treated area once dry. Available as a concentrate or ready to use.
Roundup Ready To Use Weedkiller Gel
Another excellent roundup product, if you have weeds in harder to reach places such as around other plants, in pots, in vegetable patches or other hard to reach places where it is not possible to use a sprayer then this could be what you need. What makes it unique and effective is that you remove the cap and then simply touch the weed with the specially designed applicator. One touch will kill most weeds although two applications may be needed for more hard to kill perennial weeds. It uses a systemic action to kill the roots ensuring they do not grow back. Once it touches the soil it degrades meaning it is harmless to other plants in the soil. Can also be used on lawns to kill individual weeds.
Clinic Ace Glyphosate Weedkiller
This professional weedkiller which contains glyphosate and is ideal for killing all weeds, it takes around 4 weeks to completely work but it is extremely effective and deadly to weeds. Be sure to wear protective gloves as with all weedkillers.
Which one is right for you?
All the above weedkillers are extremely effective, the professional weed killers ‘Gallup 360’ and ‘Clinic Ace’ are only available as concentrates and need to be used in a garden sprayer. These two are the most effective which is why they are commonly used by professionals. If you have large areas to treat then they are probably the best choice for you.
If you want a ready mixed weedkiller for larger areas then we would recommend ‘Roundup Pump n Go’.
For smaller areas the ‘Weedol Rootkill Plus’ would be ideal as it can be used in a garden sprayer or watering can and can also be purchased in ready to use sprayers which are also known as RTU.