The Best Four Products for Killing Weeds Without Killing Grass

If you want to be the envy of your neighborhood with a show-stopping golf course lawn, look no further. Weeds (and pests) are the arch-nemesis of a healthy lawn — particularly when you’re trying to kill them without killing your grass. Weed control can be a hassle and in some cases, killing weeds in your lawn can feel like a full-time job.

The quick answer for how to kill weeds without killing grass is to use selective herbicides appropriate for your grass type.

Warm Season Grass: Celsius / Certainty Herbicide Kit

Cool Season Grass: Tenacity / Sedgehammer Herbicide Kit

Common warm season grasses are Bermuda, Zoysia, St. Augustine, and Centipede.

Common cool season grasses are Fescue (Tall and Fine), Kentucky Bluegrass, and Ryegrass (Perennial and Annual).

The product descriptions for these kits provide detailed instructions for their use, so you get a great result. If you'd like detailed info on how the herbicides in the kits work and why they're an awesome choice for your weed free lawn, then keep reading. 

Lawn full of weeds

 

The most effective long-term solution for controlling weeds is to have a healthy lawn in the first place. Using fertilizers, biostimulants, and soil moisture managers can help keep your lawn in fighting form. Mowing your lawn regularly at the recommended height for your grass type is a natural way of controlling weeds. If the turf is healthy and flourishing, weeds have a hard time competing with grass for nutrients and resources.

Despite your best efforts, weeds can be pretty stubborn. A surefire way to get rid of weeds without killing grass is to pull them up manually. But, to initially target weeds quickly and effectively, herbicides can help kill weeds without damaging your lawn.

 

Weed Killer That Doesn’t Kill Grass

You can choose from two categories of chemical weed control: liquid or granular. Both types have their disadvantages and their advantages. For example, liquid weed control products have the advantage of killing weeds quickly. In most cases, results are seen within a few days. The downside is that strong and fast-acting chemicals like glyphosate are more likely to destroy your grass.

Remember, the objective with weed killers is to buy time to grow a healthy lawn.

So which weed killers can you use that won’t kill grass?

We’ve made the job easy for you by rounding up the best four products that will kill weeds in your lawn and not the turf. Certain plants favor certain conditions, and weeds are no exception. We’ve separated the best weed killer products into two categories: warm season and cool season herbicides.

Warm Season Grass Herbicides

Some weeds prefer the warmer weather, germinating in the spring or early summer and dying back in the fall as the weather gets colder. For instance, many broadleaf weeds thrive in the warmer months. Using a herbicide specially formulated for these seasonal weeds will increase the effectiveness of application without killing your grass.

Celsius WG Broadleaf and Grassy Weed Control

celsius wg herbicide

 

Celsius WG Herbicide is one of the best broadleaf and grassy weed killers that controls over 150 varieties of weeds. It’s a post-emergent herbicide (for application after the weeds have grown) that comes in the form of wettable granules. Combined with water, this creates a liquid spray that's very effective against weeds like dandelions. Celsius is a broad-spectrum weed killer that doesn't kill your grass. Unlike most other herbicides, it has the distinct advantage of being safe for use as temperatures get higher. This makes it perfect for warm-season grasses like Bermuda, Zoysia, St. Augustine, and Centipede.

For the ultimate warm-season grass herbicide partnership, combine Celsius with Certainty Turf Herbicide. This extends the range of weeds targeted by application to control sedges, Poa Annua, and much more.

 

Related: Kill Weeds and NOT Your Grass with this POTENT Combo

 

 

Application

Apply using a battery sprayer or pump sprayer according to instructions. To increase product effectiveness, combine with a non-ionic surfactant which helps increase herbicides' absorption, sticking and translocation.

TOP TIP: Resist the urge to mow your lawn immediately after applying this product or before the spray has dried. For best results, wait 2 days after spraying herbicides before resuming mowing. Also, avoid transferring grass clippings to healthy turf areas when you mow your lawn.

Don’t water Celsius WG into your turf after application. It should be sprayed and allowed to dry.

Certainty Herbicide

 

certainty herbicide

Certainty herbicide boasts easy application for killing weeds in your lawn. A measuring spoon is included with the product to ensure accuracy and consistent results. This herbicide targets weeds with certainty from Poa Annua, dandelions, and nutsedge. The clue is in the name!

Much like Celsius, one of the most significant benefits of using Certainty is that you can apply it over a broad range of temperatures without harming your grass or  compromising effectiveness. Eliminate weeds in the spring, summer and fall by using Certainty with Celsius WG Herbicide for the ultimate weed control.

Application

Again, the best way to apply this product is with a battery or pump sprayer. For 1000 ft of turf, use three to five small scoops or one to two large scoops per gallon of water. Don’t water Certainty into your turf after application.

For convenience, we offer Celsius and Certainty along with marker dye and surfactant in a complete warm season grass herbicide kit.

Celsius / Certainty Herbicide Kit

Cool Season Grass Herbicides

Weeds, like most plants, love a bit of warm weather. Others thrive in cooler conditions, like Rescuegrass, Clover, Henbit and Poa Annua. Luckily, weed killers are available that kill cool-season weeds without damaging your grass. These herbicides are most commonly used on Fescue (Tall and Fine), Kentucky Bluegrass, and Ryegrass (Perennial and Annual) lawns. Golf Course Lawn Store has got your back!

Tenacity Herbicide

Tenacity Herbicide

Tenacity herbicide is an industry favorite for killing weeds in your lawn without killing your grass. Optimized for cool-season turf, Tenacity can be used as a pre and post-emergent herbicide control for over 46 broadleaf weed and grass species. 

Tenacity’s active ingredients include Mesotrione (40%), a photosynthesis suppressant in receptive weeds as it becomes absorbed through roots, leaves and shoots. With proven efficacy rates against weed invasion, Tenacity can kill hardy weeds like dandelions before and during turf seeding. 

Application

You can use Tenacity herbicide at any point during the seeding or overseeding of established grasses. Post-application, weeds usually die within three weeks of application, turning white from chlorophyll loss. Tenacity comes with an integrated measuring cup for accurate and easy measuring. Use a backpack sprayer with this TeeJet foliar spray tip for the best results. One eight-ounce bottle will cover one to two acres of your lawn, and you’ll only need to water this in if you’re using it as a pre-emergent while seeding.  

If you’re making a post-emergent application with Tenacity, we recommend using a non-ionic surfactant and marker dye so you can easily see where you’ve already sprayed the herbicide.  

TOP TIP: If you see your turfgrass turning white, don’t panic. This is common but temporary. Typically, this occurs between  five to seven days post-application and can sometimes last several weeks. Tenacity herbicide can be used on most cool-season grasses and some warm-season grasses (Centipede, Buffalograss) but do not apply to these grass types, as it will damage or kill them: 

❌ Bentgrass

❌ Kikuyu Grass

❌ Zoysiagrass

❌ Seashore Paspalum

❌ Bermudagrass...


 SedgeHammer® Herbicide — Nutsedge Weed Killer

Sedgehammer Herbicide

SedgeHammer® is a safe, selective weed killer that doesn’t kill the grass. It targets infuriating weeds like yellow and purple nutsedge, kyllinga, and certain broadleaf weeds. 

SedgeHammer® herbicide contains the highly-concentrated active ingredient: Halosulfuron-methyl (75%,) which inhibits cell division in particular weeds, especially sedges. This weed killer comes as a “Water Dispersible Granule” (WDG), so it needs to be mixed with water for application. Since this weed killer doesn’t kill grass, it can work a little slower, showing results in up to 21 days — just remain patient!

Application

SedgeHammer® comes in a 1.33 oz bottle with a measuring scoop provided. You can add one level scoop to one gallon of water, covering 1,000 sq. ft. The entire bottle can cover approximately 43,500 sq ft. 

Use a battery sprayer or pump sprayer to apply this professional formulation. You can also mix SedgeHammer® with Tenacity herbicide if you want an extra weed-killing boost for specific sedge problems. 

Our complete cool-season herbicide kit includes SedgeHammer®, Tenacity, High-Yield non-ionic surfactant, and a marker dye. 

Tenacity Sedgehammer Herbicide Kit

A Little Helping Hand

Other products will give you a head start in achieving your golf course lawn along with herbicides. Surfactants like Hi-Yield Spreader Sticker increase the absorption, sticking, and translocation of insecticides, liquid fertilizers, and herbicides. Surfactants help improve the performance of herbicides and yield faster and better results.

Marker dyes are also useful in your war against weeds. Use Turf Mark Blue Spray Indicator dye to see where you’ve sprayed herbicide, insecticide, or fungicide. This means you won’t be applying excess product in places that you have already sprayed. The dye disappears within 24-48 hours, so you don’t need to worry about turning your lawn, sidewalk, or patio blue permanently.

If the primary weed you're targeting is crabgrass, Quinclorac DF is an excellent choice. This herbicide can be safely applied on the following grasses:  Bermudagrass, Kentucky Bluegrass, Buffalograss, Tall Fescue, Ryegrass and Zoysia.

After, spraying your lawn, allow the herbicides to dry completely before re-entering. It's a good idea is to simply stay off the lawn until the following day.

Killing Weeds in Your Lawn

With these products, you can reclaim ownership of your lawn from a weed invasion — without killing your grass. But, after basking in your golf course lawn glory, it’s essential to keep maintaining a healthy lawn.

If you’re looking to keep your lawn healthy after weed treatment, check out our non-toxic biostimulants and fertilizers that make lawn care a breeze.