7 Best Herbicides in 2017 – Reviews


There are two basic types of herbicides, pre-emergent and post-emergent. They target certain weeds and grasses to keep your plants safe and healthy.


To help you make an informed decision about which herbicide to buy here’s some useful info and tips.

ModelEditor RatingPrice 
1. Southern Ag Crossbow Specialty Herbicide
4.5$
2. Round Up Pro Concentrate 50.2% Glyphosate
4.7$$
3. Remedy Ultra Herbicide Weed Control
4.8$$
4. Tenacity Turf Herbicide
4.5$$
5. Agri Star Triclopyr 4E Herbicide
4.7$$
6. Blindside Herbicide
4.8$$$
7. Southern Ag Surfactant for Herbicides
4.8$



Top Herbicides Buying Guide

Pre-emergent herbicides are used to stop the germination of plant seeds.


Post-emergent herbicides are used when the weeds have appeared. They can be selective or non-selective. Products such as Roundup, for example, are considered “total vegetation”, non-selective and post-emergent.


Total vegetation products are soil sterilizers. What they do is kill all plant nutrients in the soil and prevent any vegetation from surviving.


A non-selective herbicide simply kills most plants, wanted and unwanted.


A selective herbicide aims at killing specific types of plants, usually grasses or broadleaf weeds.


This is why you need to think about what type of product you actually need before choosing your best post-emergent herbicide.


The most common phenoxy herbicides, such as 2,4-D and MCPA, are selective for broadleaf weeds. They work by disrupting the fine balance of biochemical processes that occur in these weeds.


Other selective herbicides target photosynthesis, the process where plants produce energy from sunlight. Blocking photosynthesis would result in a very slow death for weeds as they starve to death.


Blocking photosynthesis is only part of the story. The other thing that may happen when photosynthesis is blocked is that highly toxic oxygen and hydroxyl compounds may form within the weed. These compounds quickly destroy cell membranes, causing the weed to die.



When and how to apply your best pre-emergent herbicide?


It prevents the germination of seeds by inhibiting their key enzyme. An example use would be to prevent crabgrass from appearing in your lawns. Pre-emergent herbicides are used before you see the weeds appearing to prevent them from ruining your garden or lawn.

Pre-emergent herbicides are usually applied in the spring and fall to prevent the germination of weed seeds. They will not affect any established plant.


The weather and type of weeds will affect the application method. When using pre-emergent products for winter annuals, apply them in the fall because that is when the seeds germinate.


Summer annuals germinate in spring and that is the right time to apply a pre-emergent. If you are unsure what type of weed is the most troublesome, it is safe to assume that a springtime application will control the majority of the pests.Phenoxy herbicides have been commercially used for over 50 years and are the most widely used family of herbicides worldwide. These herbicides disrupt plant growth, so they are not considered as dangerous to people as pesticides are.


However, there are numerous studies pointing out the harmful effects of long-term exposure to herbicides.



Notes on best post-emergent herbicides


Post-emergent herbicides are applied after the weeds are growing or have become established. It is crucial that you choose a product which will control the type of weeds you have.


This is where weed identification can be helpful. If the weeds you are seeking to control are not listed on the label, you should choose a different product.


Weeds are either dicots (broadleaf weeds) or monocots (lawn grasses, including grassy weeds). There are also sedges, which are grass-like weeds. There are many genetic similarities between grasses and broadleaf weeds, yet there are also differences.


Herbicide manufacturers do research to identify these differences and find a method of attacking a specific part of the plant. An example would be an essential hormone that is found in dicots but not found in monocots.


By finding a way of blocking the hormone, you can control that weed. If a hormone is found in dicots (broadleaf weeds) but not in monocots (all types of grasses), then the monocots will not be affected by the herbicide

.

There are fewer chemicals labeled for grassy weeds since turf grass and grassy weeds are so closely related. For this reason, many grassy weeds still have no selective control methods.


All vegetation killers, or non-selective herbicides, do not differentiate between monocots and dicots. Products, such as glyphosate (Round-Up or Rodeo, etc.) control by attacking an element common to both dicots and monocots so you need to be cautious when applying the product.


A lot of brushy weeds may not be controlled successfully. An additional ingredient is usually needed to penetrate brushy plants.


So, make sure to know which weeds can be treated and eliminated by which product.


And when do you apply a post-emergent? When you missed the right time to apply a pre-emergent herbicide or whenever there’s weed infestation all of a sudden.



How to improve the effect of herbicides


When applying herbicides on plants, a surfactant may be used in order to increase the efficiency of herbicides.


A surfactant (the term is derived from its purpose of a surface active agent) is an organic compound soluble in chemical solutions or water which allows herbicides to blend, adhere and work better. It serves as an enhancement and helps to break the barrier of hard to penetrate surfaces, like the waxy surface of a leaf.


Adding just a little surfactant will increase the effectiveness of the herbicide by breaking the surface tension of the herbicide and leaf surface.



How to apply herbicides safely and efficiently


You should use all chemicals in your garden or yard with great caution. There is a lot about herbicides and how they work that science doesn’t understand.


What you should do for protection is always wear long sleeves, gloves, and goggles.

Make sure the label lists the target weeds you want to control.


Also, remember not to apply the product if it’s too windy to spray. Just wait until weather conditions are right.


Don’t forget to read the product label to find out how long you must stay out of the treated area. Don’t let your kids or pets in the areas you are treating.


Although herbicides are helpful for your plants, your yard or other areas around the home, they are not so good for the environment. Some products break down in the soil in just a few days, but others linger for many months or even years.


They may leach into the root systems of nearby plants, and trickle down to the underground water which ultimately finds its way to the rivers and oceans so use as little herbicide as necessary.


6 Best Herbicide - Pros, Cons & Reviews

Editor Rating:

4.5/5

Southern Ag Crossbow Specialty Herbicide Crossbow is a non-selective post-emergent herbicide. It successfully eliminates woody plants and brush such as blackberries and poison oak.


It will also be of great help for the unwanted annual and perennial broadleaves. This product is rainfast within two hours after application and can be applied using different types of sprayers, from hand-held containers to tractor-mounted spray rigs.


Southern Crossbow can be used on non-crop areas, rangeland, and grass pastures. Its active ingredients are 2,4-dichlorophenoxyacetic acid, butoxyethyl ester, and Triclopyr. If you use it to control undergrowth and weeds, it will kill them to the root.


As for application, use 4 to 6 fl. oz in 3 gallons of water for spot applications and spray thoroughly until you wet all foliage. Since application types and rates vary, you should check product label for specifics.


It will kill all your horrible bushes in one shot, taking down smaller weeds as well. I really don’t know why Southern named it Crossbow. If you ask me, Nuke would be a more suitable name.


As for turf grass, some folks recommend applying the product when there is a light mist on the lawn because that helps to prevent hurting your regular turfgrass. Since it’s a non-selective herbicide and kills everything it touches, do be careful what you spray.


The use of this product in areas where the soil is permeable, especially where the water table is shallow, may result in groundwater contamination so use it sparingly. Drift or runoff may adversely affect fish and non-targeted plants. Southern Crossbow also may be hazardous to other aquatic organisms in waters near the treated areas.


It is intended for use on plants in non-crop and non-timber areas only. Don’t use it on crops, timber, or other plants which are grown for sale or other commercial use. As for the weeds, it will definitely get the job done even with toughest weeds and it’s certainly a good deal for the price.

Things We Liked


  • Successfully kills a wide range of weeds
  • Great for annual and perennial broadleaves
  • Rainfast within two hours after application
  • Can be applied using all types of sprayers
  • Great deal for the price

Things We Didn't Like


  • Might leave an unpleasant smell in your yard for some time

Price:

$$$

Editor Rating:

4./5

Round Up Pro Concentrate 50.2% Glyphosate is a post-emergent, systemic herbicide which gives broad-range control of many annual weeds, perennial weeds, and woody brush. This more concentrated formulation delivers more miles per gallon and fewer containers to handle.


It is produced as a water-soluble liquid and can be applied through standard equipment after dilution and mixing with water or other carriers. For the best efficiency remember to read the label instructions carefully.


This product moves through the plant from the point of contact and into the root system. Visible effects on most annual weeds occur within 2 to 4 days. On some perennial weeds, the effects may not occur for 7 days or even more. Extremely cold or cloudy weather following the treatment may slow down the effects of the product.


The visible effects are gradual wilting and yellowing of the weeds which moves on to complete browning and finally death of the roots. The active ingredient in this herbicide inhibits the enzyme essential to the formation of amino acids necessary for the growth of weeds.


Lower efficiency might occur when you apply the product to annual or perennial weeds that have been mowed or cut and have not been allowed to grow to the specific stage needed for successful treatment.


The active ingredient, glyphosate, has favorable environmental characteristics such as low volatility and binds tightly to soil. This product has been thoroughly tested and has proven results with Sicklepod, Panicum Texas, Spanishneedles, Rye, Shattercane, Beggarweed, Florida, Ragweed, Bermudagrass, Ragweed, Dogbane, Smutgrass, Dogfennel, Sunflower, Guineagrass, Thistle, Johnsongrass, Milkweed, Vaseygrass, and Velvetleaf.


It’s also highly efficient in controlling Pigweed, Barley, Lamb’s-quarters, Barnyardgrass, Little barley, Itchgrass, Wild oats, Johnsongrass, Bassia, Bittercress, Mayweed, Bluegrass, Morningglory, Bluegrass, Mustard, Browntop, Mustard, Buttercup, Oats, Pigweed, Carolina geranium, Corn speedwell, Ryegrass, Crabgrass, Sandbur, Dwarfdandelion, Shattercane, Eastern mannagrass, Goatgrass, Stinkgrass, Goosegrass Sunflower, Grain sorghum, Teaweed, Groundsel, Texas Panicum, and more.


As for the usage, for broadcast ground applications: Use this product at the rate of 0.8 to 1.6 quarts per acre for annual weeds, 1.6 to 4 quarts per acre for perennial weeds, and 4 to 8 quarts per acre for woody brush and trees. For all other application techniques, please see product label below.


We recommend adding 1 pint of non-ionic surfactant per 100 gallons. For all other application techniques, please check the product label.

Things We Liked


  • Successfully kills a wide range of weeds
  • Rainfast within two hours after application
  • Can be applied using all types of sprayers
  • Great deal for the price

Things We Didn't Like


  • Might leave an unpleasant smell in your yard for some time

Price:

$$$

Editor Rating:

4.8/5

Remedy Ultra Herbicide Weed Control is an oil-soluble herbicide that controls woody and broadleaf weeds in many outdoor residential and commercial areas.


It provides flexible, all-purpose brush control with a non-restricted use and without residual activity.

Using Triclopyr as an active ingredient, this product can be applied through different methods: sprayers, basal bark, cut stump applications, and even through the aerial broadcast.


This product efficiently controls over 35 different species of brush weeds. Remedy Ultra Herbicide does well on established grass, destroying the weeds while improving the growth of the grass.


Remember to follow the directions on the label and you’ll get rid of the weeds in no time. Do not apply more than 1/2 gallons per acre during a growing season on areas where animals graze. On non-grazing land, up to 8 quarts of Remedy Ultra can safely be applied per acre once a year.


Individual plant treatment options make Remedy Ultra a great product for maintaining fence rows and for treating scattered and encroaching brush.


Apart from residential needs, this product is valuable for commercial use. Shrubs and brush can significantly limit land productivity although brush infestations often start out as small, scattered areas. As those shrubs grow and expand, they tighten their grip on grazing capacity, which leads to shortened grazing season, buying more stored feed or overuse of other pastures.


Flexible brush control makes it ideal for pasture restoration, treating encroaching brush, and general brush control. It is also a great option for maintaining Conservation Reserve Program.


Removing brush will result in increased forage production, improved forage use, and the preservation of land resources for future generations. It is, in fact, a must have for all your weed killing needs.

Things We Liked


  • The most economical way to reclaim your pasture from brush encroachment
  • Efficient control of over 35 sorts of weeds
  • Can be conveniently applied using various methods
  • Recommended for the control annual and perennial broad-leaved weeds
  • Great individual plant treatment solution
  • Excellent for maintaining fence rows and treating scattered brush
  • Low residual properties and minimal environmental impact

Things We Didn't Like


  • Seems to need a little more time for crabgrass

Price:

$$

Editor Rating:

4.5/5

Tenacity Turf Herbicide can be used for pre-emergence and post-emergence control of more than 46 broadleaf weed and grass species. Its active ingredient, (mesotrione 40.0%), is based on a naturally occurring compound produced by the bottlebrush plant (Callistemon citrinus).


It works by inhibiting 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. The end result – no more weeds!


This is an efficient herbicide for the selective contact and residual control of weeds in ornamental turfgrasses. It can be used on lawns, residential and commercial properties and also on golf courses, sod farms, athletic fields, and parks. You should mix 1/3 ounce of Tenacity herbicide in 1 gallon of water for spot treatments.


Tenacity Turf Herbicide is an effective product for weed control before or during seeding of certain turfgrasses during turf renovation. If you intend to use it as a pre-emergent in established turf, do not plant any crops other than turfgrass species for 18 months after the last application of Tenacity.


A few more words of caution: don’t apply the product through any type of irrigation system and don’t use grass clippings from Tenacity-treated turf as mulch. Think of other plants’ wellbeing and of the environment in general when using this potent herbicide: poorly draining soils, as well as soils with shallow water tables, are prone to produce runoff that contains this product.


A level, well maintained vegetative buffer strip between areas treated with Tenacity and any surface water features such as ponds, streams, and springs will reduce the potential for contamination of water from runoff.

Things We Liked


  • A potent pre-emergent as well as post-emergent herbicide
  • Great for controlling weeds in ornamental turfgrasses
  • The amount sold is enough for treating 1 acre at the full rate
  • Works great in combination with a non-ionic surfactant for better effect

Things We Didn't Like


  • It may cause temporary whitening of turfgrass foliage

Price:

$$$

$$​

Editor Rating:

4.7/5

Agri Star Triclopyr 4E Herbicide is another great formula if you need to deal with woody plants, annuals and perennial broadleaf weeds in forests, grass pastures, and rangeland. It’s also widely used for weed control in non-crop areas and on ornamental turf, on industrial sites and on non-irrigation ditch banks.


The application rate is 1-2 pints per acre, depending on what weeds you need to control. When mixing up a gallon of spray it’s best to use a surfactant, which will increase the ability of the herbicide to stick to the leaves you are spraying.


Remember not to spray on windy days as the spray will drift. Also, protect yourself while spraying by using a breathing mask and glasses. The spray is not really toxic to animals or birds, but do not spray around their water or feeders. Close your pets up until the treated area dries.


Agriculturally registered spray thickening drift control agents or high viscosity invert systems may be used with Triclopyr. However, when using these agents, follow all use directions and precautions on the product label.


An oil-water emulsion performs more dependably under a broader range of conditions than a straight water dilution for woody plant control and is recommended for aerial applications.


Prior to preparing oil-water emulsion sprays in the mixing tank for aerial application, you should carry out a jar test to check spray mix compatibility. You can prepare the oil-water emulsion using diesel fuel, fuel oil, or edible oil, plus an emulsifier.


For aerial application, you should add 1:5 mixture of oil and water (1 part oil to 5 parts water) to the spray mixture, up to a maximum of 1 gallon of oil per 1 acre total.


For ground application, add oil at a rate of 5 to 10% of the total to the spray mix (up to a maximum of 1 gallon of oil per acre) and use an agricultural spray emulsifier.


When preparing an oil mixture, be sure to read and follow the use directions and precautions on the manufacturer’s product label. An agricultural surfactant at the manufacturer’s recommended rate may be added to the spray mixture.


To help minimize spray drift, a drift control and deposition aid cleared for application to growing crops are highly recommended.

Things We Liked


  • It kills most common weeds effectively and conveniently
  • Great for controlling woody plants, annuals, and perennial broadleaf weeds
  • Various applications possible including forests, grass pastures, rangeland, CRP acres, rights-of-way
  • Also applicable for non-crop areas, ornamental turf, industrial sites, and non-irrigation ditch banks

Things We Didn't Like


  • Not the best instructions provided by the manufacturer

Price:

$$

Editor Rating:

4.8/5

Blindside Herbicide by FMC is designed especially for warm season turf for post-emergent tough weed problems like St. Augustine grass.


This product acts fast as a post-emergence herbicide on over 70 weeds and sedges, including resilient weeds like Dollarweed, Ground Ivy, Doveweed, and Buttonweed.

Using Blindside on time will ensure you won’t be caught off-guard by weeds next year.


Blindside Herbicide is formulated as a WDG (Water Dispersible Granule). It contains 0.66 lb of active ingredient per pound of product.


It works through both foliar and root uptake to deliver faster control. Blindside is proven to deliver visible signs of control within a week. This makes it competitive as regards the effectiveness although it’s a tad more expensive.


Blindside herbicide features a unique mode of action: it works underground to stop the reproductive structures of target weeds from germinating. With the extended soil activity, you’ll notice a significant reduction in future infestations of weeds.


Blindside offers homeowners as well as professionals the ultimate performance in speed, flexibility, and efficacy for tough broadleaf weeds and sedges. In addition, it is highly-selective and approved for use on most warm-season and some cool-season turfgrasses.


The dispersible granular formulation of Blindside herbicide is available in a convenient package with a dosing chamber which accurately dispenses enough herbicide to treat 1,000 square feet at both low and high application rates.

Things We Liked


  • Designed to get rid of more than 70 broadleaf weeds and sedges
  • Kills most weeds within a week
  • Can be applied safely on most lawns
  • Convenient tip and measure package with a dosing chamber
  • Guaranteed speed, flexibility, and efficacy for tough broadleaf weeds and sedges

Things We Didn't Like


  • Not for use on seashore paspalum or Bahiagrass

Price:

$$$

Editor Rating:

4.8/5

Southern Ag Surfactant for Herbicides is a quality wetting agent that increases coverage and penetration of any herbicide. It does so by reducing the surface tension of water to ensure more uniform coverage and penetration of the herbicide used.


It contains 80% non-ionic surfactant which can be used with almost all herbicide sprays with the rate of 1 – 2 teaspoons per gallon of water.


The way it helps the herbicide, simply put, is by helping it stick to the leaves better and therefore wet out and absorb longer and more efficiently.


Some broadleaf plants will naturally repel liquids like herbicides so Southern Ag Surfactant fixes this and makes your herbicide go much further and be more effective.

Although there are DIY mixing alternatives, Southern Ag Surfactant has been reported to do a much better job with no hassle.

Overall, it’s found it highly efficient and you can use it with a variety of herbicides, to get rid of thistles, poison ivy and dozens and dozens of other weeds. Just follow the manufacturer’s mixing recommendations as regards different herbicides and you’ll be amazed when you see the results.

Things We Liked


  • Hugely popular as a way to boost the effect of herbicides
  • Easy to use and highly efficient
  • Clear and precise mixing instructions
  • Compatible with most herbicides
  • Will save you time and money at the same time

Things We Didn't Like


  • No verified cons reported

Price:

$