There’s one thing all gardens have in common – weeds! No matter how often you tidy up, these little blighters will find their way in. So how do you go about getting rid of them?
We’re going to review ten of the best weed killers out there. We’ll consider their pluses and minuses. And we’ll walk you through some factors to consider to make the right choice for your garden.
So if you’re ready to see the back of those pesky weeds, step this way!
The Best weed killer on UK Market 2023
1. WeedKil Glyphosate Free Weed Killer
If you’re looking for a weed killer without harsh chemicals, Weedkil fits the bill. It doesn’t contain any conventional chemical weed killers, including glyphosate. As soon as it’s dry, it’s harmless to anything that isn’t a weed.
The formulation is based on traditional home-made herbicides using vinegar. The active ingredient is acetic acid, and each litre of weed killer contains 60 grams.
It can be used on both weeds and moss, and works even in low temperatures. When it comes to weeds, you’ll get the best results on smaller varieties. Anything up to 10 centimetres tall will be eliminated within 24 hours.
One bottle contains one litre. That will give you coverage of up to 35 square metres.
It comes in a spray gun, so you can aim directly at the weeds. That means you can use it on flowerbeds without harming the plants alongside. And it’s equally easy to use on patios, decking, paths or gravel.
Just note that if you have arthritic hands, you may find the trigger on the spray gun is rather stiff.
Use it on a dry day, so there’s no risk of it spreading where you don’t want it. Start spraying when the weeds appear in spring. You’ll get better results if you get to them before they become too well established.
- Harmless to pets and children when dry
- Doesn’t use harsh chemicals, so is kinder to the environment
- Works fast, killing smaller weeds in just 24 hours
- Not as effective on weeds bigger than 10 centimetres
- The trigger on the spray gun may be too stiff for gardeners with arthritic hands.
2. Weedol Pathclear Weedkiller (Strongest)
If you need a weed killer to eradicate more robust weeds, particularly from pathways, Weedol Pathclear could be the right choice.
This contains both glyphosate and diflufenican, so it’s serious stuff. You’ll need to take sensible safety precautions while using it.
In particular, ensure it doesn’t go anywhere near a water source. It’s very harmful to aquatic life, and the effects are long-lasting. When you’ve finished the 5-litre container, you’ll need to dispose of it carefully.
It is, however, safe to children and pets once it’s dry. And because it’s so strong, it will kill the weed right down to the root. Not only that, it will leave behind a barrier that prevents regrowth for up to three months.
The downside is that you should only use it on the same area once a year. And if you’re using it to clear weeds from a bed, you’ll need to do it well ahead of when you want to plant. It will take a good six months for the chemicals to leave the soil. It’s better kept for eradicating weeds on paths.
It’s suitable for use between March and September, the growing season for weeds. Don’t use it on a wet or windy day, or if rain is expected within six hours. You don’t want this stuff being washed into waterways or groundwater.
You can use it with a watering can, but the container comes with a battery-powered sprayer for easier application. You’ll need to spray evenly and thoroughly. Spend about 10 seconds per square metre of surface area. A 5-litre bottle contains enough weed killer to treat 167 square metres.
The weeds will take longer to die than with Weedkil. Expect to see them looking sorry for themselves two weeks after application. It may take four weeks for them to die completely. But they will then be well and truly gone.
- Effectively eliminates even large and robust weeds, killing them right down to the root
- Prevents regrowth for up to three months
- Easy application with the battery-powered sprayer
- Very harmful to the environment, so needs to be handled with care
- Not suitable for use on existing flowerbeds.
3. Gallup Home & Garden Glyphosate Weedkiller
Gallup’s concentrated weed killer offers a very cost-effective solution for deep-rooted annual and perennial weeds. It comes in a 1-litre bottle. Dilute 30 millilitres of the concentrate with a litre of water to eradicate even the toughest weeds.
Each litre of concentrate contains 360 grams of glyphosate, the same amount as industrial weed killers. It comes with a measuring cup and gloves.
This is ideal for use with rucksack spray kits, although it can equally well be put in a watering can. However you apply it, take care that it goes only on the weeds. Avoid using it on windy days, when the spray can easily drift onto other plants and kill them.
Don’t use it when it’s raining either. The rain can wash it into water courses, where it can do serious damage to the ecosystem.
And when you’ve treated an area, don’t walk on it until it’s completely dry. The weed killer will stick to your shoes, and you’ll end up transferring it to other areas. If you have small children or pets, you’ll need to keep them away from treated areas until it’s dried.
The weeds absorb the chemicals through their leaves, and take it right down to the root. That means it will kill them completely – but it also means the process takes time. Expect to see the results in around two weeks.
- Kills robust weeds right down to the root
- Can be used with a watering can or rucksack sprayer
- Very cost-effective
- Takes time to act – expect to wait around two weeks for visible results
- Very strong stuff, so it needs to be handled with care.
4. Round Up Fast Action Spray Weed Killer (Our Top Pick)
If you need results fast, Round Up’s Fast Action Spray could be the weed killer for you. It kills weeds right down to the root, with visible results in just one or two days.
That speed does, though, depend on the temperature and on the characteristics of the weed itself. In cold weather and with some varieties, it may take up to four weeks for the weed to die.
It comes in a 1-litre spray bottle, so it’s easy to apply to each weed. You can choose from spray or stream settings, depending on the area you need to target. You’ll want to apply just enough to wet the weed without the liquid running off onto the surrounding area.
The active ingredient here is glyphosate. But unlike stronger glyphosate solutions, the residue is capable of being broken down by microorganisms in the soil. That means you’ll be able to replant any treated areas after just seven days.
The chemicals are absorbed by the weeds’ leaves, so wait until young leaves have unfurled before treating them. If you need to get rid of established perennial weeds, wait until they’ve started to flower before spraying.
As with other weed killers containing glyphosate, take care to avoid this getting into water courses. And make sure that any children or pets stay away from treated areas until the weed killer has dried up.
- Kills weeds down to the root
- Works fast, with visible results in as little as a day
- You’ll be able to replant the area a week after treatment
- Some weeds can take up to four weeks to kill – especially in low temperatures
- Contains glyphosate, so use it with care and keep it away from children and pets until dry.
Rootblast is another concentrated glyphosate solution, providing excellent value for money. It’s the same strength as Gallup’s product, containing 360 grams of glyphosate in the 1-litre bottle. And it’s a similar price too.
It will deal effectively with most grass-like and broad-leaved weeds. Perennial annoyances like dandelions, dock leaves and bindweed will be a thing of the past. It can also be used on ivy and even on tree stumps.
It needs to be diluted with water, and can then be applied with either a watering can or rucksack sprayer. That gives you some flexibility in the strength of the solution you prepare, depending on the weeds you need to kill. But don’t apply more than 0.6 litres to a square metre of ground.
As with other glyphosate weed killers, the product is absorbed by the leaves of the plants and taken to the root. The first sign that it’s working will be the leaves turning yellow. The weed will die completely in between two and four weeks.
A single bottle contains enough to treat 1,666 square metres. That makes this great value for money. But it does need to be handled with care. Pets and children should be kept away from treated areas until they’re completely dry. And you should avoid walking on treated ground until then too.
- Kills broad-leaved and grass-like weeds down to the root
- Can even by used on tree stumps
- A single bottle will treat up to 1,666 square metres
- Takes between two and four weeks to kill the weeds
- Very strong, so needs to be handled with care.
6. Resolva 24H
Resolva 24H is made by gardening giants Westland. It’s a great choice for gardeners looking for fast results on a wide range of weeds.
In this case, the active ingredient is 1,2-benzisothiazol-3(2H)-one sodium salt. (Try saying that three times fast!) It works in the same way as glyphosate-based weed killers, with the chemical absorbed through the leaves and taken down to the roots.
It’s effective on everything from bindweed to dock leaves, couch grass to thistles, nettles to dandelions. It works very quickly, and in some cases you’ll see the first results 24 hours after application. The precise speed will depend on the temperature and type of weed.
It’s available in a choice of 1, 3 or 5-litre containers. The 1-litre bottle is a spray gun, the 3-litre an ordinary carton, and the 5-litre has a power pump for easier application.
This will kill anything green it comes into contact with, so use it with care. It’s not the best choice for killing weeds in your lawn. Even with careful use, you’ll almost certainly end up with dead grass around the weed. And it should not be used on the same area more frequently than once a year.
You will, though, be able to replant soil adjacent to treated areas straight away. Just make sure that the leaves of the plants you want to keep aren’t touching any treated weeds.
- Results in as little as 24 hours
- Effective against a wide range of weeds, killing the whole plant down to the root
- Choice of 1, 3 or 5-litre containers
- Not suitable for killing weeds in lawns
- Don’t use on the same area more often than once a year.
7. Vitax SBK Brushwood Killer
If you’re looking for a weed killer suitable for use on lawns, Vitax SBK is well worth considering. It’s effective against a wide range of weeds including brambles, nettles, thistles, dock leaves and even hardwood saplings. But it won’t kill grass.
The 1-litre container has it in liquid form for easier application. It needs to be diluted before use, and is suitable to be applied with a sprayer or watering can.
The active ingredient is a substance called triclopyr. It’s particularly effective on weeds with woodier stems. But note that, while it is suitable for use on grassland, it can still damage fine turf. Use as little as you can get away with to protect your lawn.
As with most weed killers, it’s best applied during the growing season from March to October. It can be reapplied to the same area if necessary, as long as you leave six weeks between applications. But don’t use it more than twice on the same patch in the same year.
Use it with care – don’t apply it during wet or windy weather, or in drought conditions. Children and pets can be safely allowed onto treated areas once it’s dry. But keep grazing animals away from the poisoned weeds until the leaves are dead.
- Kills weeds but not grass
- Particularly effective on woodier weeds
- Can be reapplied after six weeks if necessary
- Has to be diluted before use
- Avoid applying in wet or windy weather, or in drought conditions.
8. Wowcha Electric Weed Killer
If you prefer to avoid chemicals in your garden, this electric weed killer could be the perfect alternative. It generates high temperatures that cause your weeds to wither and die on the spot.
It has two settings. Use the lower 80 degree Celsius heat on more delicate areas. If you need to remove weeds from between stone paths or areas of blocked paving, choose the high option. That will burn them at a temperature of 650 degrees Celsius.
There are four different shaped nozzles, so you can select the one best suited to the size and shape of your weeds. And there’s overheating protection for peace of mind.
This wand basically burns up your weeds, which does limit where you can safely use it. Steer clear of weeds on lawns or near flammable objects like fence panels.
But if you want to get rid of annoying weeds between paving, this is brilliant. It’s great fun to use, and you won’t be adding toxic chemicals to your garden or the environment.
Because it runs on electricity, you’ll need somewhere to plug it in. At 1.8 metres, the cable isn’t the longest, so you may need an extension lead too. The good news is that you won’t have to buy and store gas cylinders.
- Gets rid of weeds without harsh chemicals
- Choice of nozzles to target weeds of different sizes and shapes
- Overheating protection for safe use
- Great for paths, but not suitable for decking, lawns or use near flammable objects
- You’ll need somewhere to plug it in.
9. Weedol Ultra Tough
Ultra Tough is the second weed killer from Weedol to make our list.
With this one, the active ingredients are glyphosate and pyraflufen-ethyl. They’ll destroy annuals like speedwell and chickweed, and perennials like nettles, couch grass and bindweed. It’s also effective on woody weeds like brambles and bracken.
It comes in individual tubes, so you won’t need to measure anything. Just snap off the lid and empty the contents into your watering can or sprayer. Add 5 litres of water if using a watering can, and 1 litre with a sprayer, and you’re ready to go.
It’s suitable for use on most surfaces except lawns, where it will kill any grass it comes into contact with. You can repeat the application if rain falls within six hours. You’ll see results as soon as 24 hours after treatment. Some weeds, though, can take up to four weeks to die completely.
- Kills a wide range of weeds right down to the root
- Handy tubes mean no mess and no need for measuring
- Visible results as soon as 24 hours after treatment
- Not suitable for use on lawns
- Some weeds can hang around for up to 4 weeks after treatment.
10. DeadFast Weed killer Concentrate
DeadFast is another weed killer that uses glyphosate as its active ingredient. It comes in a large plastic tub containing twelve 100-millilitre sachets. Each sachet is sufficient to treat an area of 60 square metres using a sprayer.
It can be used to eradicate both weeds and saplings. In the case of woody weeds, it’s best to cut them back first, so that the chemicals can be applied to the cut stem.
This is a total herbicide – so if it comes into contact with any living vegetation, it will kill it. Don’t use it to kill weeds in lawns, unless you want to take the grass with them. And take care as you’re applying to avoid it drifting onto plants you want to keep.
It’s important too to avoid it getting into waterways. Keep it well away from water courses and drains.
With most weeds, you’ll see the effects in a few days. But killing them completely can take up to four weeks.
- Easy to use with handy sachets avoiding the need to measure it out
- Effective against both weeds and saplings
- Each sachet will treat up to 60 square metres if you’re using a sprayer
- Needs to be handled with care – it will kill any vegetation it comes into contact with
- Not suitable for killing weeds on lawns.
Still wondering which is the right weed killer for your needs? Read on for some factors to bear in mind to make the perfect choice.
What kinds of weeds do you need to remove?
Most of the weed killers on our list will deal with a wide range of weeds. But some will work better on particular weeds than others.
If the weeds are small and tender, you won’t need to use such harsh chemicals to remove them. That’s better for the environment and means you’ll be able to replant more quickly. And you may get results faster too. Look for organic options using acetic acid.
But if you need to remove hardier weeds, you’ll need stronger stuff. Weed killers with glyphosate are particularly good at dealing with weeds with woodier growth. They can even be used to get rid of saplings.
And if moss is your problem, look for weed killers that are especially formulated to deal with that. Weedkil is a good option here.
Where will you be removing them from?
The next thing to think about is where your weeds are growing.
If they’re popping up in cracks between paving, you can avoid chemicals altogether. A weedkilling wand that uses heat, like the Wowcha version on our list, is very effective. And it’s fast and fun to use too.
If you need to clear a large area of established perennial weeds, though, a sprayer and glyphosate-based weed killer will be very effective. Just take care to avoid drift, and keep it away from water courses.
And if you need to remove weeds from a lawn, make sure your chosen weed killer won’t kill the grass too. Vitax SBK will work well, though it may still cause some damage to more delicate grasses.
How is the area to be treated used?
Finally, think about how the area you’ll be treating is used – and who will be using it. Animals and children will be safe to go onto most treated areas once the weed killer is dry. But if you have grazing animals, they’ll need to be kept away from poisoned weeds until the leaves are dead.
If the area contains drains or bodies of water, ensure the weed killer stays well away from them. If it gets into the water system, it can cause serious damage.
Ready to get rid of some weeds?
We hope our guide to ten of the best weed killers out there has helped you in your search! Think about the weeds you need to remove and the characteristics of the area you’re treating. That will ensure you make the right choice for your garden.
Our top pick for more robust weeds is Round Up’s Fast Action Spray. It’s powerful and gets rid of weeds in as little as a day. But you will need to handle it with care.
For more tender weeds, we love Weedkil. It works fast and effectively, and you won’t have to worry about toxic chemicals polluting the environment.
Whichever option you choose, those weeds will soon be a thing of the past. Happy weeding!