Gardening is not an easy task, especially for newbies in the garden. There are just a lot of important matters to consider in gardening, and one of those is weed control. Weeds are like a pest in the garden; they compete for space, sunlight, water, and nutrients against your dear plants. They may even attract pests and diseases that may affect the health of your garden, garden beds, and lawn. For this reason, killing weeds is important in gardening.
One effective way of killing weeds is using weed killers. In this article, we’ll talk about finding the best weed killer for flower beds and choosing from different weed and grass killer products in the market. We’ll also discuss some helpful techniques in selecting the right product to use to protect your plants from harmful kinds of grass and weeds.
Read on for more information.
Table of Contents
- 5 Best Weed Killers for Flower Beds 2019 (Reviewed)
- Factors to Consider When Buying a Weed Killer for Flower Beds
- Other Important Factors to Consider
- How to Use Weed Killer for Flower Beds Safely
5 Best Weed Killers for Flower Beds 2019 (Reviewed)
1. Preen Garden Weed Preventer
Preen Garden Weed Preventer, from the name itself, focuses on weed prevention. It helps prevent perennial weeds from growing and harming plants, flowers, and even vegetables in gardens, beds, and flowerbeds.
Although this product does not necessarily kill grasses and existing weeds, it prevents weeds from invading your garden and ruining your landscape. With this, you can spare yourself from the hassle of dealing with time-consuming hand-weeding.
What’s great is that this product is easy to apply. The application simply involves putting the product around plants and transplants like rose and peony. You have to watch out for flower seeds though since Preen must not be used on them. Nevertheless, Preen can be used on flowering plants that have already germinated and are 2-3 in. tall.
The best thing about Preen Garden Weed Preventer is the convenience that it offers to gardeners. With its weed preventer feature, it eliminates the needs for hand-weeding that consumes a lot of time for gardeners. What’s more, it does not easily get washed by rain, so it stays on the soil surface for a long time, and there’s no need to reapply from time to time. You just need to do the reapplication every 9-12 weeks.
The downside of this product for some users is its non-selective and contact type. Because of its strong ability to kill grass seeds, it can also kill nearby plants that it comes into contact with, so users really have to be careful in using this weed seed and grass seed killer.
Although this product does not do the weed killing, it still does an important job in gardening – weed prevention, and it’s very good at it.
2. Compare-N-Save 41-percent Glyphosate Concentrate Grass and Weed Killer
This powerful grass killer can kill almost all types of weeds like quackgrass, bermudagrass, broadleaf weeds, chickweed, bushes, spurge, purslane, crabgrass, nutsedge, regular sedge, iris, and panicum. It is the best weed killer for landscape beds and flower and shrub beds.
The great thing about this weed killer is that it kills existing weeds to the roots. This means that gardeners don’t need to apply the product from the leaves of the weeds down to their roots to kill that whole thing. Since the glyphosate is absorbed through the plants’ foliage, the chemical travels to the roots to kill the weeds.
In addition, it easily mixes with water. An effective solution is 3 tablespoons of the concentrate and 1 gallon of water. This can already be an effective mixture to control weed. However, if you want a tougher solution to kill weeds for severe weed infestation of common species like brush, shrub or perennials, the recommended solution is 5 tablespoons of the concentrate and 1 gallon of water.
Another plus point for this product is it has no residual activity. This means that after the treatment of the affected areas, they can already be used for planting other plant roots.
The drawback of this product, however, is that it does not prevent future growth of unwanted grasses and weeds, so it may not be the perfect product to use to control weeds. Also, this product may not be totally safe to use, especially if you have precious plants nearby. That’s because even a mist of this product drifting on the leaves of a plant can affect the health of the surrounding plants. For this reason, it may not be great for treating infected vegetable gardens.
Nevertheless, the product is best applied on a warm sunny day with a temperature of above 60°F.
Overall, this product is an amazing weed killer that many claim is very good at doing its job. It is effective and works fast. Plus, the price is affordable.
3. Preen Extended Control Weed Preventer
If you want to stop weeds from growing, you should use Preen Extended Control Weed Preventer. It prevents weed seeds from germinating and stops weeds before they can even sprout on the ground. Unlike the Preen Garden Weed Preventer, the extended version provides a more advanced weed preventing feature to keep your weeds controlled, so it’s a much better pre-emergent control.
Preen Extended Control Weed Preventer boasts of its jug-handle bottle that comes with a convenient flip-top applicator cap that makes the application of the product easy. You simply flip the top open, tilt the bottle, and shake it to distribute the granules of the product evenly on top of the soil or mulch in the flower garden. With this simple feature of the container, gardening tasks are made much easier.
The application of the product is easy; you simply do the weeding with taproot weeders in the affected areas on your garden, sprinkle the granules of the product on top of the soil or organic mulches, and water the treated areas. Once the weed preventer is activated by watering, an invisible weed control barrier forms on top of the ground, and this prevents new weeds from growing.
Moreover, the product is ideal for use around transplanted or established plants to prevent weeds in flower beds from growing. Experts recommend applying the product after mulch is spread on the ground.
Although it has a lot of advantages, there is a disadvantage to the product. A lot of customers do not like the fact that it does not kill weeds. While it’s only a weed preventer, not all customers understand this and thus see this as a drawback of the product.
In a nutshell, this product is the better version of the standard Preen weed preventer. Although it has its disadvantages, it’s still a great weed preventer and weed seed exterminator product in this review.
4. Natural Weed Killer Made with Ocean Water and Commercial Food Grade Vinegar Pet Friendly
This lawn weed killer for flower beds from Doctor Kirchner Natural Weed Killer is also a great granular weed killer for flower beds. It’s an excellent herbicide that is great for maintaining a weed-free garden, bed, and landscape, making it perfect for landscaping purposes. This product earns its rating from its main focus of spot treatment weed killing that helps gardeners kill weeds in flower gardens, beds, and landscapes.
The amazing thing about Natural Weed Killer Made with Ocean Water is that it’s ideal for growing organic garden, bed and landscaping plants since it is made from natural ocean water, vinegar, and soap. What’s more is that it’s safe for kids, pets, and even for the environment. In fact, the label says it is sustainable and causes no harm to the environment. It was even awarded the Small Environmental Business of the Year from the community.
Also, the product promises to provide fast results in 12-24 hours, claiming that the product will make weeds wither and turn brown within just hours. Plus, it has a long shelf life. This means that the product can last for years, specifically 4 years, and it will work just as effectively after such a long time.
The product, however, is not typically used on lawns, so if you’re a customer who’s looking to solve your weed problems, you may not like this product so much.
All in all, Natural Weed Killer Made with Ocean Water is a great product, but it’s not for all. It comes with a lot of benefits, but it also has significant cons that a lot of customers may not like. Still, it works for many gardeners, so it’s still worth the try if you’re looking for a post-emergent weed killer for flower beds.
5. Roundup Landscape Weed Preventer
Tired of pulling unwanted weeds and grasses off your garden beds? Roundup Landscape Weed Preventer is rated as one of our best weed preventers for landscape weeds. It creates a barrier that prevents grasses and weeds from growing for up to 6 months. It’s easy to apply as it is simply sprinkled on the ground and watered.
The best thing about this weed preventer product is that it doesn’t harm desirable plants. Unlike other weed preventers and killers, this product doesn’t harm other plants in the garden; they prevent weeds from growing but doesn’t cause damage to plants. Because of this, it is the perfect product to use around flower beds, in ground covers, and near perennials and established shrubs and trees.
A lot of gardeners also like the convenience brought by the built-in applicator of the product that provides coverage to protect your precious plants and help you focus on your target areas infected with undesired grasses and weeds. In addition, the application process is easy as you only need to apply it on the soil and then sprinkle it with water to activate. It’s that easy.
Another very significant advantage of this product is that it doesn’t harm desirable plants. This is very important because gardeners can then save themselves from the worry of putting the product on other plants. And although it has an easy-to-use applicator, there is really very little need of it because the product doesn’t really damage desirable plants.
However, the product is not 100% safe for pets, so those who own pets may need to be more cautious with their pets going outside when using this product.
Roundup Landscape Weed Preventer is a great product that is very effective in preventing the growth of unwanted grasses and weeds around the garden. It’s effective and convenient for any gardener to use.
Factors to Consider When Buying a Weed Killer for Flower Beds
There are a lot of things that should be considered when selecting a weed killer to buy for garden, flower, and landscape beds. Let’s tackle some of the most important factors to be able to find the best weed killer in the market.
Type of Weed
Before looking for a weed killer or preventer product, it’s wise to first consider the type or types of weed that you have. Although most weed killer and preventer products work for all types of weeds, there are those that only focus on certain types of weeds but are very effective.
Type of Weed Killer
Just as there are different types of weed, there are also different types of weed killers and even preventers. Here are some of the most common types:
- Systematic Weed Killer:
Systematic types of herbicides enter into the plant by going through the plant’s transport system. This allows the herbicide to kill plants entirely as it goes through all areas of the plant. This means that even when the chemical is only applied on the plant’s foliage, it can work its way down to the rest of the areas of the plant, even to the roots. This kills the plant completely.
- Residual Weed Killer:
Also called as soil acting weed killers, residual types of weed killers are rarely used in gardening. That’s because they kill not only the grasses and weeds but also the soil, making the ground useless for glowing plants as it is already inactive. For this reason, residual weed killers are only commonly used for landscaping, clearing paths, creating driveways, applying tarmacadam, or building patios. If you just want to get rid of grasses and weeds in your garden but still want to use your soil for planting bountiful flowers, bushes or vegetables, you may not want to use this type of weed killer.
- Selective Weed Killer:
This type of herbicide only kills particular types of plants. For example, a feed weed killer works on lawn weeds as the herbicide only targets weeds with broad leaves and doesn’t affect plants with narrow leaves like grass. If you want to make your gardening tasks easier and get rid of the hassle spot spraying, then you might want to go for selective weed killer types.
- Non-Selective Weed Killer:
As you might have guessed, non-selective weed killers are the total opposite of selective weed killers. While selective types only kill particular plant species, non-selective types kill everything it comes into contact with. To effectively get results from this weed killer type, it must be applied during the plant’s growing season.
If you choose this type of weed killer, you should take serious safety measures. Don’t spray when the weather is windy, don’t walk over treated areas, protect other plants you don’t want to kill when spraying, and handle the chemical with utmost care.
Severity of the Problem
It’s also important to consider the severity of the problem and see if the weeds need basic spraying, an intensive treatment or extra work like pest control. By looking at the severity of the problem, you can easily choose the right weed killer that will solve the core of your weed problems.
Different weed killers are made from different ingredients. To be able to choose the right product for the job, it’s important to also take into account the ingredients used to make the weed killer. Here are some of the most common ingredients found in weed killers:
- Glyphosate: This is one of the most commonly used herbicides. It is now considered an agrochemical.
- Boric acid, Borax and Borates: These ingredients are easily available and are safe for DIY.
- Corn Gluten Meal: This one is intended for light applications.
- Clopyralid: This is one of the most retailed herbicides used for getting rid of unwanted plants.
- Diuron: This is a heavy-duty herbicide and requires professional supervision.
If you want to get the most of your purchase, you may also want to look for additional features that a product may have. This may include plant food or fertilizers. Although you can simply buy a separate product, it never really hurts to grab some freebies.
Other Important Factors to Consider
Aside from those explained above, there are other important factors to consider. Let’s check them out below.
Which Weeds Are Most Common Around Flower and Landscape Beds?
There are many different types of weeds, and different types of weeds call for different weed killers. Here are some of the most common weeds around flower and landscape beds:
- Nutsedge: Nutsedge is a grassy perennial that grows in moist garden, lawn, or landscape soil. It is among the most common of all types of weed. It has grassy leaves and nut-like tubers. You can prevent its growth by mulching soil, especially during spring.
- Dandelion: Dandelion usually grows near gardens and lawns in shade or sun. It is a broadleaf type, and it usually grows up to 12 inches tall. Dandelion has a strong taproot that is usually deeply notched on the ground.
- Crabgrass: Crabgrass is an annual grassy type that could go up to 18 inches tall. It’s a grassy weed that could grow just about anywhere it makes contact with. It’s a tough weed that could grow about 150,000 seeds, so it may be a challenge to get rid of it. As a weed control tip, use a pre-emergence herbicide, spot-treat with non-selective post-emergence herbicide, and mulch your lawn regularly to kill the weed or prevent it from growing.
- Oxalis: This weed is another broadleaf perennial type. It also grows around gardens, lawns, and landscapes that are sunny or shady. It has light green leaves and cup-shaped yellow flowers that bloom in summer and fall. Its leaves are dibble in small quantities but could be harmful if consumed in large amounts.
- Purslane: Another broadleaf annual type on the list, purslane can go as tall as 6 inches. It grows in dry and sunny areas. It has dark green curvy leaves and small yellow flowers during its blooming season.
There are many more types of grasses and weeds that grow near flower and landscape beds. Remember to do your research and identify the type of weed used to find the right product for your weed problem.
Pre-Emerging vs. Post-Emerging Weed Killer
As said, there are many different types of weed killers, but there are two primary types: pre-emerging and post-emerging weed killers. Let’s discuss their differences below:
- Pre-Emerging Weed Killer:
Pre-emerging weed killers are used during early spring before plants start to show and grow and before the weather becomes warm. They work by creating a protective barrier seal around weed seeds, and this prevents them from germinating as the seeds suffocate and die.
A pre-emerging weed killer is used in the early growing season. It is applied under temperatures lower than 60 degrees when the soil just began to warm.
Pre-emerging weed killers can be applied to the soil by spreading it in granular form or spraying in liquid form. Either way, the soil can absorb the herbicide.
This type of weed, however, is only effective on weeds that sprout from new seeds annually. It does not treat perennial plants because it cannot treat deep root systems.
- Post-Emerging Weed Killer:
A post-emerging weed killer is another type of weed killer. It is used when the early days of the spring season have begun, and the plants have just started to grow.
This type of herbicide works by entering into the leaves of the plants and traveling down to the root systems.
It may come in different forms, but if you use the liquid form of a post-emerging weed killer, you can apply the liquid directly to the weeds. Ideally, the base of the weeds should be cut off before applying the product. This is so that the herbicide will directly go into the plant’s system.
On the other hand, if you’re using the granular form, you can apply the product directly to the soil and then activate it using lawn sprinklers.
Post-emerging weed killers are usually applied periodically throughout the growing season of the plant.
Manual weed control refers to the process of removing unintended grasses and weeds by hand. It’s an integrated weed management technique that involves the use of manual and cultural weed control methods.
Manual control is usually done by gardeners who don’t want to cause damage to the environment or those who can’t afford to buy herbicides. Of course, it has its own downsides as it is a time-consuming and labor-intensive process. It may also not efficient in the long run as the weeds may just survive and grow back again after being pulled.
Control Weeds Naturally with Mulch
Another natural way of controlling weeds is using mulch. Mulch is an ideal weed barrier for your precious plants as they keep unwanted grasses and weeds away, considering they need light and warm kinds of soil to survive. Put down 2-3-inch layers of mulch for best results.
Homemade Grass Killer for Flower Beds
If you don’t want to invest in grass killers and you’re fond of doing your own home repair tasks at home, you can make and use your own homemade grass killers. Here are some DIY grass killers you may want to try:
- Baking Soda: To use baking soda, wet the weeds with water and then sprinkle 1 teaspoon of baking soda on top of the weeds’ foliage.
- Vinegar: Mix 1 quarter of vinegar with 4 ounces of lemon juice and then sprinkle the solution on the affected soil.
- Salt: Sodium chloride is an effective herbicide. It’s important to note though, that salt should only be applied on the leaves of the weeds and not on the leaves of the soil as it may damage the soil dramatically.
How to Use Weed Killer for Flower Beds Safely
Watch this video and learn how to use weed killers safely and without harming other plants nearby.
With hundreds of different types and brands of weed killers nearby, it can be difficult to find the right product that can do the job of killing weeds and clearing your garden. With all the products reviewed, you may hopefully be able to find the best weed killer for flower beds in your garden.