Weed killers to tackle that unsightly garden growth

Keep your garden looking pristine and summer-ready with these weed-busting solutions.

Woman weeding in garden

by Eleanor Weaver |

Unless you have a pet rabbit that loves those dandelion leaves, weeds are an eyesore that love to quickly spread and take over what would otherwise be a pretty great-looking garden.

When you first spot a sprouting weed, your first instinct, like us, will be to drop everything and pull it up - try not to, this is only a temporary fix. No doubt those weeds will be back with vengeance and steal valuable nutrients and growing space from the plants you actually want in your garden. Plus it'll distract you from enjoying time in your garden, whether beneath the gazebo or lounging in the hot tub.

The best way to tackle those blighters for good is to kill them down to the root using the best weed-killing solutions that'll make weed-busting quick and easy.

Some are really strong, destroying all plant life (perfect for clearing completely overgrown shrub areas), while others are more precise in their approach, targeting those rogue infestations without ruining your lawn or killing other plants and garden flowers.

We've picked out the best weed killers where you can easily find the one that's right for you, and included a guide to stop them from coming back for good!

Best weed killers

If you've got plenty of weeds to kill and are looking for the right weed-killer for the mission, Barclay Gallup is the UK's strongest off-the-shelf weed killer. By using the concentrated application of the chemical glyphosate, the product is ideal for all types of weed and due to its strength, the vast majority of plant life will be killed after one application within days.

It's worth noting that this isn't a casual weed killer, it's highly concentrated and can cover up to roughly 3332-square-meters. Before you get going you should create a temporary off-limits area in your garden, wear protective clothing and be mindful of pets and children.

Best for: Killing completely out of control weeds in areas of the garden.

This formula is a great all-in-one option for those wanting to give their lawn a refresh and a new lease of life. If you have a mild weed issue on the lawn, the weed killer will work its way into the roots to kill them off, and simultaneously deposit release-controlled potassium and nitrogen into the grass's environment to encourage and promote healthy, lush growth.

The 17.5kg bag will cover 500-square-meters, and while it might seem like a lot, you'll need this higher quantity to maximize the product's effectiveness and get the best results.

Best for: Ridding the lawn of pesky weeds and giving it the right nutrients to grow nice and thick to prevent the spread of weeds in the future.

The Roundup's weed killer is a highly recommended option for a wide array of applications. It'll take on everything from common weeds to Japanese knotweed, tree saplings to cut tree stumps, and is ideal for clearing up driveways, patios, fences, and masonry.

Highly concentrated, this solution will destroy the root of the weed within two days, and ensure that it's not coming back. Within seven days, residue from the solution is rendered entirely neutral by the soil, ready for planting so you can replace those unsightly growths with beautiful blooms instead.

One litre provides 3000-square-meters of coverage so it'll certainly go the distance and help keep any weeds from creeping back into your garden.

Best for: Targeted weed killing across the garden, including soils, tree growths, and hard surfaces.

If you're looking for the easiest weed-killing option, Resolva's 24-hour solution is the best as it's ready-to-use and you'll get visible results appearing after only 24-hours. This weed killer will work its magic on both the visible growth and the underlying roots and has a handy spray pump that will help you apply accurately to the weeds that need attention.

The five-litre bottle will cover approximately 200-square-meters, and we think it's a great choice for those looking for a quick fix.

Best for: Quick and easy, ready-to-go weed killer for targeted ousting.

This weed killer from Weddol's is tough by name, tough by nature. It's the ultimate overgrown ground clearance companion and uses high doses of glyphosate and pyraflufen-ethyl to kill off weeds. It'll tackle your common weeds, like dandelions and bindweed, with ease, as well as hardy, deep-rooted pervasive weeds like bramble, docks, and thistle.

The product comes in pre-packaged sachets which you simply add to your watering can or sprayer to apply. It'll kill off 240-square-meters of weeds, but just be aware that this is a non-discriminative weed killer so it could affect healthy grass and your flowers as much as the thistles and dandelions.

Best for: Clearing out overgrown areas of the garden and targeted the stubborn weeds that have refused to shift.

If you're looking for a pristine lawn with no common weeds in sight, this weed killer will take out the dandelion, plantain, and clover but leave the rest of the lawn untouched. That'll give your lawn the chance to flourish, no longer having to compete for nutrients and space with the other plants.

Simply add the Weedol powder to a sprayer or watering can for quick and easy application. It'll take a little longer for the roots of the weeds to be neutralised (up to a week) but with the absence of glyphosate, you can rest assured that your lawn will thrive again.

Best for: Targeting common weeds on your lawn

How to stop the return of weeds

You've got rid of those pesky garden weeds, but how do you make sure they stay away? Here are a few easy tips to keep them out of your garden and prevent them from coming back.

Apply weed killer at the right time

In order to maximise the performance of your weed killer, you need to give it the chance to absorb into the plant uninterrupted, and where possible apply to a fully formed weed so there's an increased surface area for the solution to sink into.

The best way to do this is to make sure to leave it be, no lawn mowing, and to check the weather forecast before applying. Rain and high winds can affect the weed killer's performance and this could be easily avoided by prepping in advance.

Fertilise your grass

It might not seem it, with the number of weeds that can appear on our lawns, but grass is tough and will win out over weeds in the quest for nutrition. By keeping your grass healthy and fertilised with water, nitrogen, and potassium, it'll stop weeds from having the chance to breakthrough, and keep your lawn looking thick and luscious too.

Products like Miracle-Gro EverGreen Complete 4-In-1 Treatment are great allies, feeding both the lawn and ousting weeds in one fell swoop.

Woman planting in bare soil
©Getty Images

Don't leave any bare soil

Leaving your soil unoccupied by plants is just asking for weed growth. Where possible, make this soil home to other plants you'll actually want in your garden, for gorgeous displays and to keep the weeds at bay.

Reduce digging

Sometimes this can't be helped with pets, but try to only dig up the soil in the garden when and where it is needed. Turning up and mixing the soil can bring weeds closer to the surface, giving them the opportunity to sprout and show face.

Put a weed control fabric under paving

Always a nightmare, weeds growing between the cracks on your driveway or patio are frustrating to see and a chore to pull out. To keep them away, and save you time and effort in the long run, you can peg a weed control fabric under your patio, decking, pavements and driveway.

A weed control fabric, also known as a weed control membrane, is a specially designed covering sheet that blocks UV from seeping through to deep seeds and preventing any unwanted plant growth. We'd recommend GardenMate's Woven Weed Control Fabric as a great example that's affordable too.

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