The Best Four Products for Killing Weeds Without Killing Grass

If you’re looking 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, especially when it becomes a full-time job.

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. The surefire way to get rid of weeds without killing grass is to pull them up manually. But, to initially target weeds quickly and effectively, certain 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.

Powerful herbicides containing glyphosate, which is the active ingredient commonly found in Roundup, will damage any grass near where the weeds are being sprayed. These herbicides are best used on ornamental beds or on your sidewalk or terrace where weeds have accumulated.

Granular products, such as Spectracide, work slower than liquid types but are much safer for your lawn. The goal of weed control is to use as little as possible to target weeds and not other plants. The granular variants of Spectracide contain pre-emergents like Dithiopyr which prevents new weeds from growing back again.

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

But 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, broadleaf weeds thrive in the warmer months. Using a herbicide specially formulated for seasonal weeds will increase the effectiveness of application without killing your grass.

Celsius WG Broadleaf and Grassy Weed Control

 

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 particularly potent to 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. Avoid transferring grass clippings to healthy turf areas when you mow your lawn.

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 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 compromising efficacy. Eliminate weeds in the spring, summer and fall and use 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 this product into your turf after application.

Cool Season Grass Herbicides

Weeds, like most plants, love a bit of warm weather. Others thrive in cooler conditions, like Rescuegrass, Clover and Poa Annua. Luckily, weed killers are available that kill cool-season weeds without damaging your grass. Golf Course Lawn Store has got your back!

Mesotrione MESO 4SC Select

Mesotrione MESO 4SC Select is a unique herbicide that can be used both as a pre-emergent and a post-emergent. This means you can use it before and during seeding certain turfgrasses. It actively targets over 45 broadleaf weeds species and grasses found in lawns. Mesotrione MESO 4SC is one of the best weed killers of dandelions, chickweed, clover, crabgrass, etc.

Containing the same active ingredient as the industry favorite Tenacity Herbicide (40% Mesotrione), this weed killer represses photosynthesis in receptive plants. Within three weeks, your weeds will turn white due to the loss of chlorophyll) and die.

Application

This product comes with a syringe included, which you can use to dilute Mesotrione. One eight-ounce bottle will cover one to two acres. Use Mesotrione diluted with water in a pump or backpack sprayer for the best results.

TOP TIP: Don’t be alarmed if your turfgrass turns white. This is common but temporary. Typically, this occurs between five to seven days after application and may last several weeks. Mesotrione is labeled for use on cool season grass, for that reason to not apply it on the following grass types:

  • Kikuyu Grass
  • Zoysia Grass
  • Seashore Paspalum
  • Bermuda Grass.


HALO Select - Halsulfuron Nutsedge Weed Killer

HALO Select™ Halsulfuron post-emergent weed killer has been specially developed to kill yellow and purple Nutsedge and Kyllinga. This weed killer won’t kill grass, shrubs, or established ornamental plants.

Halo Select is a WDG (Water Dispersible Granule) weed killer, meaning the product needs to be diluted with water first. This weed killer is very safe for grass; it takes more time to take effect. Results will be visible within 21 days.

We recommend using this product in addition to Mesotrione MESO 4SC Select if you have particular issues with sedges.


Application

For maximum effectiveness, mix with a non-ionic surfactant. Apply using a battery or pump sprayer.

A Little Helping Hand

Other products will give you a headstart in achieving your golf course lawn alongside using 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 can also lend a helping hand 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 blue permanently.

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.