The best weed killers for lawns in the UK – The warmer weather is (hopefully) looming ever closer, providing us all with the opportunity to spend more time outdoors.
Whether you enjoy tending to your blooms in your well-stocked borders, grilling sausages on the BBQ or simply lazing in a deckchair, enjoying time in your garden can be a therapeutic and thoroughly pleasant way to while away the day.
Your garden should be a place you can kick back and relax after a busy day, a welcoming space enticing you to invite family and friends over for a get-together. So, it’s understandable that you want your little slice of greenery to look it’s best.
You spend time tending to your flowers and pruning your bushes – everything’s looking lovely – until you spot an uninvited plant springing from the lawn. On closer inspection, you notice that there’s more than just one pesky weed – it’s akin to an invasion!
So, what do you do when you find weeds and moss taking over your precious lawn? You use the best weed killer for lawns you can find! There’s plenty to choose from, so we’ve put together this handy guide – taking a close up look at five of the best on the market:
Our Top 5 Best Weed Killers For Lawns Currently On The Market
We’ve Featured In:
Take a look at our top 5 picks to see which weed killer will give you the best possible results, without breaking the bank.
#1: Miracle-Gro Evergreen Complete 4in1
- A complete 4-in-1 lawn treatment, will kill moss and weeds, whilst feeding your grass.
- Unique blend of nutrients and minerals assists in strengthening your lawn.
- Added potassium for super results.
- Utilises a water smart formula, concocted to helps guard your lawn against heat and drought and help it to absorb nutrients more effectively.
- Start to see results after just one week – your lawn will look visibly greener.
- After two weeks any moss will turn black and can be raked from the lawn.
- In three to five weeks your lawn problems will have disappeared and you will be left with a lush lawn.
Anything You Should Know?
- Best applied using an EverGreen or Scotts spreader to encourage level coverage as using too much on any one place could damage your grass.
- Always read instructions before use – make sure pets and children do not come into contact with the product until treated areas are dry.
- Use from April to September.
#2: Elixir Gardens Complete Lawn
- A high-quality product made by a reputable manufacturer.
- A mixture of 3 weed killers: Iron Sulphate, Dicamba and Mecoprop.
- Use to combat buttercups, cinquefoil, daisies, greater plantain, dandelions, lesser trefoil, mouse-ear chickwood, white clover etc.
- This granular product can be spread effortlessly – either by hand or with a spreader.
- 20kg bag of Complete Lawn will cover approximately 625m squared.
- Use Elixir Complete Lawn as an integral part of your garden care plan.
- For best results use combined with non-chemical techniques such as fertilising your lawn, soil aeration (to aid absorption of water and nutrients), and the raking up of fallen leaves and dead moss.
Anything You Should Know?
- You can apply the Elixir by hand – mark out the area you want to treat and use 32 grams of weed killer per square metre.
- Accidentally spilt product can cause discolouration to paving slabs etc you will need to immediately clean-up the spillage (brush it away) to try and avoid this.
- You will need to water the lawn yourself if no rain falls in the 48 hours following treatment.
#3: Weedol 1 Litre Lawn Weed Killer Concentrate Liquid
- Can eradicate weeds such as clover, dandelions, daisies, black medick, lesser trefoil, daisy, dandelion, plantain and common mouse-ear.
- Does not contain Glyphosate.
- Covers an area of approximately 667 m2.
- Scientifically formulated – kills the weeds rather than your grass!
- Designed to kill weeds by over-stimulating their development, effectively exhausting the weeds and causing their downfall.
- Can be used on new lawn once the grass is growing well (around 2 months after seeds are sown or turf is laid).
Anything You Should Know:
- You can apply using a watering can or a sprayer (thoroughly wash out whichever you use afterwards).
- Apply evenly over 10 square metres of lawn.
- Follow instructions carefully. Misuse can damage your health and the environment.
- Avoid contact with ponds and crops.
- Do not mow your lawn three days prior or following treatment.
#4: Resolva Concentrate Lawn Weedkiller Extra
- Can be used to effectively kill a wide range of weeds including plantain, dandelions, daisies and buttercups.
- Kills broadleaf weeds, but won’t damage your grass.
- Kills the whole plant – roots and all.
- Can also prove comparatively effective on the elimination of nettles, ragwort, thistles and docks.
- Use 50ml in 2.5 – 5 litres of water to cover a 25 sq. Metre area.
- For best results apply when weeds are growing and when soil is still moist.
Things You Should Know:
- Can be applied using a watering can or sprayer (wash thoroughly after using).
- You might have to repeat the treatment if weeds are well established, but you will need to leave a 6-week period between each use.
- Do not cut lawn for at least 24 hours following treatment.
- Follow all instructions carefully.
#5: Westland SafeLawn Natural Lawn Feed
- Covers a 150 m2 area.
- Added grass seed fills any gaps to create a thick, lush lawn – weeds and moss will not be able to compete.
- Organic fertiliser made with natural ingredients.
- No pesticides or herbicides.
- Contains essential nutrients.
- Consists of plant nutrients and friendly bacteria that will break down dead leaves and moss.
- Expect to see noticeable results in just one week.
- Helps improve soil and aid absorption of nutrients.
- Won’t stain or scorch hard surface areas.
- Granules break down quickly to release nutrients
Anything You Should Know?
- Best applied every 3 to 4 weeks February through to September, whilst your lawn is growing.
- Follow instructions carefully and store out of reach of pets and children.
- As Westland SafeLawn is made from organic matter you might notice a string odour when opening pack.
- Keep your lawn well-watered for at least 2 weeks following treatment to help the grass seed to grow.
Do I Need To Buy A Spreader?
If you opt for a granular weed killer, you might like to use a spreader to disperse it evenly. There are a number of spreaders on the market, here are three of the best:
Best For Small Gardens: Scotts EverGreen Handy Spreader
- Great for smaller areas.
- Easy to handle – hold the spreader in one arm and use your other hand to turn handle and distribute treatment.
- Five settings to choose from.
- Spread width of 2 metres.
Anything You Should Know?
- Use the Scotts Evergreen wheeled spreader for larger areas (otherwise you can expect your arms to ache)!
- You can only use lawn
Best For Larger Gardens: EverGreen Easy Spreader Plus
- A drop spreader designed for accurate distribution of lawn products.
- No spills and splashes onto borders and flowerbeds.
- Convenient on/off switch and adjustable settings.
- Well designed dispensing mechanism.
- Easy assembly
Anything You Should Know?
- Only suitable to be used with products from the EverGreen lawn range.
Best For Liquid Feed: Spear & Jackson Pump Action Pressure Sprayer
- Used for application of liquid.
- Suitable for water and non-viscous / soluble products including pesticides, herbicides, insecticides, fungicides, fertilisers
- Manually operated tool.
- 5 litre capacity.
- Translucent bottle marked in fluid ounces and litres.
- Shoulder strap for comfort
- Pressure release valve on shoulder of bottle.
- 1.3 metre hose and 560mm watering lance for long reach and portability.
- Adjustable nozzle – choose from a fine mist or spray.
- Watering lance can be stored horizontally in a slot adjacent to pump handle.
Anything You Should Know?
- Suitable for any size lawn.
Granular Vs Liquid Weed Killer
There are typically two choices when it comes to destroying weeds – you can go for a liquid treatment or opt for a granular remedy.
Liquid weed killer consists of herbicide and water. The mixture is applied to the area to decimate weeds. Application can be made via a simple pump, a spreader (such as the Spear & Jackson Pump Action Pressure Sprayer detailed above), or a high-tech, calibrated machine. The key to success lies in applying the right amount of liquid – too much can damage the grass and too little could prove ineffective.
Granular weed killer is dry – small pellets overlaid with herbicide. The pellets can be applied to the area via spreaders, such as those mentioned previously the EverGreen Easy Spreader Plus and the EverGreen Handy Spreader. The granular weed killer can effectively control pesky weeds such as clover and buttercups.
So, let’s see which comes of best as we compare the two:
Liquid weed killer has to be mixed correctly – you will need to measure the weed killer carefully and mix with water prior to use. Granular weed killer is easier to use in the sense you just pop the pellets in the spreader and you’re good to go.
Both liquid and granular are similar in terms of application. As with all strong chemicals you need to follow instructions and take care. The key to successful use of both depends on using the right amount to treat the area.
Both liquid and granular weed killer can prove to be effective in the fight against weeds. Granular weed killer works better when applied to wet weeds (as it ideally needs a moist surface to stick to). Liquid weed killer can be used on both wet and dry leaves.
How To Get Rid Of Weeds Without Killing Grass
Naturally, spraying any form of chemicals designed to kill organic matter always comes with a risk. However, when you use the best weed killer for lawns, you’re getting a product specifically designed to get rid of weeds without killing grass.
However, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be careful!
If you use a stronger than recommended dosage, you still run the risk of killing grass and other plants you didn’t want to remove.
The trick is to always follow the instructions as closely as possible. If in doubt, you can test on a small patch of grass in an unnoticeable spot first. However, keep in mind it can take up to 2 weeks for weed killer to take effect.
How Do I Permanently Get Rid Of Weeds In My Lawn?
If you have a lawn that is particularly overgrown with weeds, you may need to consider re-turfing the area.
While grass is fairly vigorous in terms of growth, a heavily weeded lawn will look quite bare after the weeds beed removed. If you are prepared to put up with an unsightly lawn for a while (and remove any new weeds that grow), the grass will eventually regrow. You can also spread new grass seed to help speed up the process.
However, the quickest and easiest way is just to pull up the old turf and lay new turf.
So, Which Is the Best Weed Killer for Lawns?
Granular and liquid weed killers share similar qualities, both can control pesky weeds – leaving your garden looking lush and inviting. Of the five brands we have explored today it’s difficult to choose a clear winner.
We like the fact that the Miracle-Gro Evergreen Complete 4in1 can guard against heat and drought whilst helping your grass to soak up vital nutrients. We’re also a fan of Elixir Gardens Complete Lawn – Weed, Feed and Moss Killer / Lawn Green Up which is deemed as easy to spread and effective.
There’s also Weedol 1 litre Lawn Weed Killer Concentrate Liquid, manufactured by a reputable company and professing to make a noticeable difference to your lawn after just one treatment. We should also consider Resolva lawn Weed Killer, which can be used to treat nettles, ragwort, thistles and docks, along with daisies etc.
Finally, we must give a mention to Westland SafeLawn Natural Lawn Feed, a formula designed to be safely used and offering peace of mind if you have kids or pets.
All have their merits, so we suggest you choose the best weed killers for lawns depending on your budget and your preference for granular or liquid weed killer. Don’t forget to invest in a spreader to make the job easier.
The Best Weed Killers For Lawns In The UK
Lots of Moss On Your Lawn? You Might Need To Scarify First
For an impressive looking lawn, you will need to scarify it to ensure it looks its best, but when is the best time to do this?
If you don’t know when the best time to scarify a lawn is, then these tips will help.
And if you don’t know what scarify means, this is when you remove all of the debris from the lawn using a special tool called a scarifier.
But you cannot scarify a lawn any time you think it might need doing – you run the risk of causing serious long-term damage if you do.
Below, we take a closer look at some of the best scarifiers available in the UK, with a quick rundown of when and how to scarify your lawn.
The best time to scarify a lawn
For those who need to, the best time to scarify your lawn is in the autumn.
The soil should, ideally, be moist and warm to help your grass recover quickly after you have used a scarifier.
These ideal conditions then make autumn the optimum time of the year to carry out this lawn improvement exercise.
What will scarification do?
With the scarification process, you will be removing a large volume of thatch, that is debris such as moss and grass cuttings, and you may find that afterwards the lawn may look very bare.
But don’t fear, it will look like that until it recovers, and this will happen very quickly.
The main aim of scarification is to get over the shock of how damaged your lawn looks, and then be patient as it recovers quickly to become an impressive lawn once again.
The scarification process explained
So, the scarification process is a mechanical one that will remove excessive thatch in an aggressive manner for the lawn to regrow stronger.
This process will remove dead grass, moss, and grass clippings that can accumulate over summer.
Also, you may find that some lawns are prone to a build-up of thatch so the lawn will need to be scarified every year.
This is an important point to remember: usually, you will not need to scarify your loan every year, some gardeners will leave their lawn five years between each scarification process.
Do I need to buy a scarify machine?
If yours is a relatively small lawn, then you can control thatch by aggressively raking it on a regular basis.
Also, you could buy a domestic scarifier rather than have a large mechanical machine doing it for you. The issues with a mechanical or powered scarifier are:
- These scarifying machines are expensive;
- You will need somewhere to store it;
- You may only use it once in five years.
And if you do decide to buy a smaller domestic version, you will need to appreciate:
- It can be hard work pushing one of these machines so you will need to be relatively fit;
- Be prepared for a challenge in dealing with your lawn;
- It is not a good idea to buy a small domestic scarifier for a large lawn.
The other issue is that a professional scarifier will be expensive to buy and/or hire and if you do hire one, then you should appreciate that this is a labour-intensive process to scarify a lawn effectively.
Why should I scarify my lawn?
If you want your lawn to be impressive, then scarifying it is the best way of achieving this. The reasons to scarify your lawn include:
- Lawn quality will deteriorate if there is too much thatch;
- Not removing thatch will choke the lawn because it forms a spongy surface that will prevent air and water from reaching the soil and the lawn’s sward;
- You will be encouraging strong and fresh grass growth with scarifying;
- Your efforts will lead to a healthier lawn as a result;
- Regularly scarifying your lawn will boost its eco-system.
Many owners will fertilise their lawns which means that there might be some excessive top growth that will need scarification.
Before you do scarify your lawn, you will need to check your lawnmower for low or incorrect grass-cutting settings.
This will lead to grass lying flat, which will lead to serious thatch problems.
Also, the scarifying process will not only remove moss, but make it more difficult for it to thrive in future.
Scarification will also make mowing much easier in the future because the lawn’s sward will be less spongy.
The process also removes dead weeds, particularly those that may have been treated with a herbicide.
Our guide to the best scarifiers in the UK
Now that you understand why you need to scarify your lawn every autumn, or most autumns, then this is the time to look at the potential of investing in a quality scarifier.
This is our scarifying guide to the best ones.
Einhell Petrol Scarifier
This petrol-powered scarifier offers a range of scarifying features. It is also:
- Ideal for large gardens;
- Offers an effective way to create a lush and healthy green lawn.
While the Einhell is the pick of the crop for a petrol-powered scarifier, it’s rather pricey for those who may be using it just once a year – but if you have a very large lawn, then it could be money well spent.
- The GC-SC 4240 P petrol scarifier is a very efficient and reliable tool for ambitious hobby gardeners who want to produce a healthy, lush green lawn through effective soil cultivation.
- With 18 high-grade steel blades, the ball-bearing cutting unit tackles weeds, moss and surface root systems extremely effectively. The petrol scarifier is recommended for use on lawns of up to 1,200 m².
- The powerful four-stroke petrol engine delivers ample torque for continuous progress with consistently good results. For economy in operation there is a speed controller
VonHaus 2-in-1 Lawn Scarifier
The VonHaus 2-in-1 Lawn Scarifier offers a reasonably priced alternative to the heavy duty, petrol powered Einhell with a two-in-one function. This scarifier is:
- Easy to use;
- Maintains a healthy lawn;
- Remove moss, thatch, and leaves easily.
The two in one feature includes interchangeable rollers for scarifying and then raking your lawn.
The downside to the VonHaus 2-in-1 Lawn Scarifier is that you need to put it together, but the instructions are fairly straightforward.
With this scarifier it is also recommend that you thoroughly clean it after use.
Also, some buyers say that the thatch collection box is too small for its purpose – though for smaller lawns it should be ideal.
- GARDEN MAINTENANCE: Keep your garden in tip top shape with the the VonHaus aerator & scarifier. Keeps your lawn healthy whilst removing dead grass, moss & leaves with it's interchangeable rollers.
- BUILT TO LAST: Your super-tough VonHaus scarifying rake will last & last. With its metal frame & durable outer casing in Grey, Black & Orange your dual-purpose scarifier is your robust garden partner.
- MULTI PURPOSE: Whether you want to collect leaves, moss or dead grass, or aerate your lawn, your dual purpose VonHaus scarifier/aerator is the perfect tool for the job.
Wolf Garten Multi-Change URM3 Roller Moss Remover
We mentioned earlier that there are manual moss removers available and the best is the Wolf Garten Multi-Change URM3 Roller Moss Remover. It is recommended because:
- It’s much cheaper than its powered counterparts;
- Is easy-to-use;
- Remover glides seamlessly over the lawn collecting moss and thatch.
The obvious downside is that you’ll need upper body strength, and your lawn should be relatively small. You will also need to remove the thatch manually because there’s no collecting box.
- Quality roller moss removal rake-10 year guarantee
- Clears thatch and moss from the lawn
- Blades glide over the lawn when pushed and bite into the turf when pulled
Wolf Garten UGM multi-change moss removal rake
An effective way to carry out scarification is to use a rake designed for the job. This is an easy way to remove moss and thatch and is ideal for smaller lawns.
The Wolf Garten UGM multi-change moss removal rake is purely manual, and you may need to go over the lawn several times to ensure that you have collected the dead grass, moss and thatch.
- Part of the Multi-Change Range
- Efficient Moss Clearing
- 30cm Width
VOLADOR Lawn Aerator Sandals
Our selection of scarifiers includes those that are aerators. This is an effective way to help bring your lawn to life. The sandals are easy add-ons so you can use the aerator where the work is necessary.
While the lawn aerator sandals are effective, you may find that having a large lawn means lots of time and effort.
Other than that, you will be having a fitness workout and breathing life into your lawn at the same time!
- 🌿【Super Effortless with Heel】 The latest Lawn Aerator Sandals. We have added extra heel straps (the effect is better than elastic straps), which can fix the shoes on the heels to maximize stability and save you more energy.
- 🌿【High Quality Lawn Aerator Scarifier】 Durable PP sheet and 26pcs ultra sharp long stainless steel nails (5cm / 2 inch), strong metal buckle and 3 adjustable nylon straps (the nylon strap can be cut as needed) Durable PP board with anti corrosive metal nails, lightweight.
- 🌿【Universal Adjustable size】3 adjustable nylon straps are adaptable to any size of shoes. The powerful metal buckle is more durable than Velcro.
When is the best time to scarify a lawn?
The bottom line when it comes to knowing when to scarify a lawn is that weather conditions need to be right so the grass will grow strong enough to recover after the scarifying has been carried out.
And while your lawn has two main growth periods, in Spring and Autumn, there will be those who believe that you can scarify a lawn in both the seasons.
While this is possible, it’s not recommended that you carry out scarifying in summer or in the winter months of December, January and February.
Scarifying in March will be dependent on the weather, and the best time is usually in April and possibly in May.
However, according to the gardening experts, the best time for scarifying a lawn is in September or October because the soil will be warm to help give the grass a se