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We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again — the best way to keep weeds out of your lawn is to have healthy, fighting-fit grass in the first place. Through appropriate topdressing, frequent mowing, watering and fertilizing your lawn, you can be well on your way to achieving golf course grass. It just takes a little time and commitment, that’s all.
If you’re a beginner at lawn-care maintenance check out our Step-By-Step Guide on Getting a Golf Course Lawn or wise-up and enroll on our comprehensive Academy Course. With advice from our resident lawn-specialist Ron Henry, you’ll have flourishing grass which weeds won’t be able to compete with for light, air and nutrients.
Fertilizers, biostimulants, and soil moisture managers are other lawn-care aids you can use to help your grass stay in good condition. A lot of the time, the presence of weeds indicates problems with your soil. Some soil is more acidic and some more alkaline — and different weeds prefer certain conditions. Buying a home soil pH test kit can let you know more about what’s going on underneath your grass and what it needs to thrive.
But, we hear you. Weeds are often inevitable despite your best efforts, and if you’re just starting with lawn care, that can be a real downer. That’s why we’ve chosen the best lawn weed killer for beginners — easy, safe to use and ideal for annual winter weeds in the fall.
Effective, targeted weed control needs to start at the basics. You need to identify the weeds that are destroying your lawn before you can move on to treatment. Now (early fall) is the perfect time to anticipate the germination of annual winter weeds. Winter annuals are persistent and hardy. Some examples of winter annuals include Common Chickweed and Annual Bluegrass (Poa Annua). They survive the winter and then flower before dying out the following summer. So, nipping winter annuals in the bud, quite literally, is best done in the early fall.
Weed killers fall into two categories: pre-emergents and post-emergents. The clue’s in the name. Post-emergent weed killers are best for targeting weeds that have already germinated. If you can see the weed in your lawn, a post-emergent herbicide is what you’ll need. Pre-emergent weed killers target the weed when it’s starting to germinate. Mainly, we’ll be looking at pre-emergent herbicides and herbicides suitable for beginners to apply during the early fall to eliminate weeds before they appear on your lawn.
Pre-emergent weed killer (and post-emergent) come in two forms: liquid and granular. Liquid pre-emergent weed killer is fast-acting, potent and requires precision to apply correctly. Granular pre-emergent weed killer is more slow-acting and is easier to apply since all you need is a broadcast spreader. Both liquid and granular pre-emergent need to be watered-in post application. We recommend using a granular pre-emergent herbicide for lawn care beginners as it’s easier to apply.
As we said earlier, for granular pre-emergent herbicide application, the best tool to use is a broadcast spreader. If you’re opting to use liquid pre-emergent and want to ensure the most even application, use a turf mark dye indicator to show you where you’ve already spread herbicide.
Once you’ve identified the weeds on your grass, you can move on to choosing a weed killer. Here’s a few of our best weed killers for lawns — for beginners!
First up, we’re going to look at some granular pre-emergent herbicides, among the best lawn weed killers for beginners. We’ll be focusing on Dithiopyr and Prodiamine, which are preventative weed killers safe for all grass types. Make sure to follow application recommendations and instructions on the product label for maximum efficacy. The label is where you’ll find the settings for your broadcast spreader.
Dithiopyr Pre-emergent will stop invading weeds but is also a herbicide that'll kill weeds without killing your grass. Safe for cool and warm season grasses, Dithiopyr Pre-emergent targets Dandelions, Crabgrass, Annual Bluegrass, Chickweed, and more. This granular pre-emergent is a weed and feed product, so you get twice as much action for your money.
Eliminate weeds and provide useful nutrients to your grass like Nitrogen. Nitrogen will provide your turf with a vibrant green color — one step closer to a golf course lawn! In the spring apply before soil temperatures cross 55F. For fall applications, you’ll want to apply before soil temperatures cross 70F trending cooler. The spring application helps prevent weeds like Crabgrass and Spurge while the fall application prevents weeds like Clover and Poa Annua. A single application will provide approximately four months of pre-emergence protection.
Prodiamine Pre-emergent Herbicide is another excellent weed and feed product. It contains 7% potassium — one of the three key macronutrients your lawn needs. Potassium improves nutrient uptake, speeds up photosynthesis, and makes your grass stronger and more resistant to environmental stresses. If you suffer from Crabgrass in the spring and Annual Bluegrass in the fall, this herbicide is specifically formulated to target both.
Although granular pre-emergent herbicides are easier to apply for beginners, you may want to try liquid pre-emergents, too — especially if you have a large lawn. Top of our list is Prodiamine 65 WDG (water dispersible granule), a granular product that needs to be mixed with water before application.
Non-staining and guaranteed to control Annual Bluegrass, Prodiamine 65 has low solubility and volatility. It will soak in and stay in the weed germination zone, providing highly effective weed control.
We’ve looked at the pre-emergents, and now it’s time to introduce the best post-emergent lawn weed-killer for beginners. Triad Select 3-Way Herbicide. Triad Select is a safe, selective weed killer that utilizes three herbicides to control various resilient broadleaf weeds.
Triad Select won’t kill your grass when used as directed but check the product label to confirm it’s safe to use on your grass type. Triad Select is a very similar formulation to the products lawn-care professionals use every day. We recommend using a battery or pump sprayer for this one, avoiding application in temperatures over 90F.
By now, you should have a good idea of some of the best lawn weed killers for beginner lawn-care enthusiasts. In addition to our recommendations, check out the herbicides offered by lawn-care specialists Spectracide®. Their pre-emergent granular weed killer (Spectracide® Weed Stop®) targets over 200 common lawn weeds with up to five months of weed control. Similarly, their liquid alternative is even more potent — killing over 470 weed types in a handy ready-to-use spray. See results in just five hours and enjoy a weed-free lawn.
We wish you the best of luck on your lawn-care journey and hope our guides and advice get you one step closer to a golf course lawn!
Golf Course Lawn Store has curated a range of the best weed killers on the market. If you want to discover more, browse our full collection and become the envy of your neighborhood.