Best Weed Killer UK – Weed Killer Buying Guide and Review

We’re all in favour of using natural methods of weed control wherever possible, but if we’re honest, there are times when you just know your best move is to admit defeat and reach for the best weed killer you can find.

If you’re already at that stage and just want to know what’s the best weed killer for your situation, then just head on down to our weed killer review.  If you want to know a bit more about weed killers and how they work, just keep reading.

Best Weed Killer UK

Weed Killer Buying Guide

In principle, a weed is any plant growing where it isn’t wanted.  In practice, common weeds tend to be plants which can grow in a variety of conditions, reproduce quickly and survive a lot of hazards.  This means that it’s really important to deal with them as quickly as you possibly can.

Different weeds call for different types of weed killers

Most weed killers work by disabling specific enzymes a plant needs to produce amino acids with the result that it withers and dies (at varying degrees of speed depending on the plant).  Some weed killers are developed to target a specific plant or family of plants.  These are called selective weed killers.  Other weed killers will basically kill everything they touch and are called non-selective weed killers or systemic weed killers.

Selective weed killers tend to be used when weeds are growing in amongst other plants.  Probably the classic example of this is weed killer for lawns, which is generally designed to target the likes of moss, dandelions and clover without harming the grass.

Non-selective weed killers tend to be used in areas where plants aren’t supposed to be growing at all, such as in the gaps between paving stones.  Alternatively, you might consider using them in places where there is a significant weed infestation and you’ve reached the stage where you’re prepared to sacrifice some of your “proper” plants if that’s what it takes to get rid of the weeds with the minimum of hassle.

This might be the case if you’re dealing with an infestation of well-established, robust weeds, especially ivy (which has aerial roots and can pretty much grip on to anything), brambles which have grown out of control and become a safety hazard and, of course, the dreaded Rhododendron ponticum.  The trick here is literally to use the systemic weed killer where you safely can and then if necessary follow through with another strategy.

Timing is everything

Weed killers basically work in one of two ways.  They either kill off the seeds before they have a chance to get past the seedling stage (if possible before they even germinate) or they kill them once they have become visible.  The former are known as pre-emergence weed killers and the latter are known as post-emergence weed killers.

As a rule of thumb, pre-emergence weed killers are watered into the soil whereas post-emergence weed killers are usually applied directly to the leaves of the offending plant.

Persistence doesn’t always pay

Persistence basically means the length of time a weed killer stays active.  Non-persistent weed killers do their job quickly and then fade away into nothing after only a short time.  Persistent weed killers, by contrast, stay active for a long time.  Non-persistent weed killers tend to be more child-/pet-friendly but persistent weed killers provide longer-term weed control.

You can choose between two main attack styles

Some weed killers kill weeds on contact and are, logically enough, known as contact weed killers.  Other weed killers are absorbed by the plant and basically poison them to death.  These are known as translocated weed killers.  Contact weed killers do tend to work quite quickly but they generally only damage the surface of a plant so you may need to follow up by digging out the roots.  Translocated weed killers can take a lot longer to work, but they usually kill the whole plant.

Weed killers come in three main formats

Liquid weed killers and granular weed killers are designed to be spread over a designated area, often a lawn.  Some liquid weed killers come in concentrated form, which can be handy for transport and storage and some granular weed killers can be dissolved in water.  In either case, remember the importance of using accurate measurements.

Soap salts are a mixture of potassium and ammonium salts of fatty acids.  They are designed to be used on non-organic surfaces such as pavements and driveways, which may have weeds growing in the cracks.

Best Weed Killer UK

You can buy organic weed killers

You can buy (or make your own) organic weed killers, but you have to be realistic about the impact they are likely to have as compared to the chemical versions.

Weed killers and safety

Store weed killers well out of the reach of children and pets.  If you’re using a liquid weed killer consider putting the main container into another container to catch any leaks.

When using the weed killer, remember to follow the instructions exactly.  If you underdose, then not only may it not work as intended, but your weeds may end up building up a resistance to the active ingredients.  If you overdose, you won’t get any more benefit and you may end up damaging plants you wanted to keep.  If you have to measure, measure properly and if you’re not the kind of person who has the patience for measuring then just be honest about this fact and buy a ready-to-use weed killer.

Most weed killers strongly recommend that you wear protective clothing, at least gloves, please take this seriously and we suggest that you shower (or bath) thoroughly after using any weed killer.

Depending on what type of weed killer you choose, you may need to keep children, pets and/or wildlife away from the area being treated, at least until any liquids have dried.  You may also have to wait a while before sowing more seeds and when you do, you may want to use a rotavator to aerate the area, although this is generally recommended anyway.

As a final point, if you’re using a non-selective weed killer, especially a liquid one, be very careful to avoid accidentally transporting it into areas you want to preserve.  For example, if you walk through a sprayed area before the weed killer is dry and then walk onto your lawn, you may well find that you have weed killer on the soles of your footwear which burns away your grass.

Weed Killer Review

With all that said, here is our round up of what we think are the best weed killers on the UK retail market.  We’ve picked our list on the basis of performance, ease of use and price, so basically all-round value for money.

Deadfast Concentrated Weed Killer Sachets, 12 x 100 ml

Deadfast Concentrated Weed Killer

This can be applied directly (as granules) to well-established woody weeds or diluted to clear general weeds.  As this is a systemic, translocated weed killer, it will kill any plant in the vicinity within about 7-14 days.  This should not be a problem if you use it as intended, i.e. on inorganic surfaces such as driveways and paths, but be very careful if you decide to use it anywhere else.

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Deadfast Concentrated Weed Killer Sachets, 12 x 100 ml

Last update was on: May 29, 2020 9:33 pm
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1 X2L GALLUP Non - Professional Use Glyphosate Weedkiller Home and Garden

1 X2L GALLUP Non - PrOFESSIONAL USE GLYPHOSATE

different.  Essentially, the idea is that you spray it onto tough weeds like ivy, brambles and Rhododendron ponticum and wait for the poison to do its work in anything between two weeks and three months, depending on the toughness of the weed.

We do have a couple of minor gripes about this weed killer.  Firstly, the bottle isn’t really great for pouring, especially when it’s full and you only want a small amount.  Secondly, it does tend to foam up a lot to the point where it can overflow so be careful when mixing it up.

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1 X2L GALLUP Non - PrOFESSIONAL USE GLYPHOSATE WEEDKILLER Home and Garden...

Last update was on: May 29, 2020 9:33 pm
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Neudorff Superfast and Long Lasting Weedkiller 75ml

Neudorff 750 ml Superfast

This is a selective, contact weed killer which can do an effective job at dealing with weeds which can be classed as “irritating” rather than “massively challenging” so the likes of dandelions, doc leaves, stinging nettles, thistles and even ground elder and field horsetail, although these last two will probably need a couple of treatments.  You’ll also need to dig out any roots to remove the plant completely as this is a contact weed killer so it will only kill the parts of the plant it actually touches.

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Neudorff 750 ml Superfast and Long Lasting Weed Killer

Last update was on: May 29, 2020 9:33 pm
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Roundup Fast Action Weedkiller Pump 'N Go Ready To Use Spray, 5 L

Roundup Fast Action

Roundup is one of the best-known names in gardening products and their success is based on more than just good marketing.  This systemic, translocated weed killer really will kill even the toughest of weeds and it’s very easy to use too.  Obviously, you need to be careful about where you apply this product, but if you have a serious issue with tough weeds like ivy, brambles and Rhododendron ponticum then this could be a convenient and effective way to fix it.

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Roundup Fast Action Weedkiller Pump 'N Go Ready To Use Spray, 5...

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Last update was on: May 29, 2020 9:33 pm
£22.00 £28.99
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Weedol Ultra Tough Weed Killer Liquid Concentrate (12 Tubes)

Weedol Ultra Tough Weed Killer Liquid Concentrate

Weedol are another well-known brand and again their success is based on more than just marketing.  This systemic translocated weed killer is great for clearing inorganic surfaces of common weeds and will keep them clear for up to three months at a time.  We’d particularly recommend this product to anyone who doesn’t have the patience for measuring as each tube is one measure so all you need to do is add it to water.

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Weedol Ultra Tough Weed Killer Liquid Concentrate (12 Tubes)

& Free shipping
Last update was on: May 29, 2020 9:33 pm
£15.50 £16.49

Weed Killer Review – Conclusions

It’s absolutely impossible to recommend a single “best weed killer” for every situation, but we’ve put together a list of suggestions for different situations.

Best Weed Killer UK

Pet Friendly Weed Killer

Neudorff 750 ml Superfast and Long Lasting Weed Killer

Best Weed Killer for Lawns

Neudorff 750 ml Superfast and Long Lasting Weed Killer

Best Weed Killer for Ivy

1 X2l Gallup Non – Professional Use Glyphosate Weedkiller or Roundup Fast Action Weedkiller Pump ‘N Go Ready To Use Spray, 5 L

Best Weed Killer for Brambles

1 X2l Gallup Non – Professional Use Glyphosate Weedkiller or Roundup Fast Action Weedkiller Pump ‘N Go Ready To Use Spray, 5 L

Best Weed Killer for Driveways

Deadfast Concentrated Weed Killer Sachets or Weedol Ultra Tough Weed Killer

Best Weed Killer for Paths

Deadfast Concentrated Weed Killer Sachets or Weedol Ultra Tough Weed Killer

Best Weed Killer UK

Know your limits

Some weeds can have really strong roots, which can actually damage buildings.  The classic example of this, which all home owners fear, is, of course, Japanese Knotweed (Fallopia japonica or Polygonum cuspidatum).  This weed is so strong and so invasive that it absolutely has to be treated.  The only question is whether to treat it yourself or to call in the professionals.

If you are sure you only have a small, isolated clump of Japanese Knotweed then you may want to try treating it yourself with Roundup Tree Stump Weedkiller.  For home users, this is possibly the strongest weed killer around, it kills just about everything.  It is glyphosate-based so you want to keep its use to a minimum and keep children, pets and (if possible) wildlife well away from the area being treated.

There are, however, several advantages to using a reputable, professional service to deal with your Japanese Knotweed problem.  First of all, they’ll have access to industrial strength weed killer which, by definition, is stronger than anything you’re going to be able to buy on the retail market.  Secondly, they’ll be able to arrange suitable, legal, disposal, which can be quite a headache for home owers. 

Thirdly, they’ll be able to identify and treat the regrowth which usually occurs the following year.  This can look very different from the classic pictures of Japanese Knotweed so it can be easy to miss it but it must be treated for the area to be completely cleared.

Last but by no means least, they can provide documentation of the treatment, which you can show to insurers and/or prospective buyers.

Katie Mills

Katie is the Editor here at Poshh Living and is a well-respected voice in the world of design and home improvement. Katie has a first-class Hons degree in Journalism and is proud to say that she has written many leading entries in the biggest media outlets including Ideal Home, and Good House Keeping. Lover of the great outdoors and mother of two, Katie is 'down to earth', knowledgable and a great asset to the team

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