A lush, gorgeous, green lawn is the envy of the neighborhood. But when weeds crop up, whether clovers, dandelions, or crabgrass, that beautiful lawn becomes a hassle, and far less appealing.
So, when it’s time to get rid of those weeds, you need a good herbicide. But to know which herbicides you need, you’ll want to do a little research.
If you’re trying to get of dandelions, we’ve already done the basics for you and provided a breakdown of types of herbicides and a buyer’s guide to help you choose the best option possible for your lawn and garden situation.
How to Get Rid of Dandelions
There are a few different methods for getting rid of dandelions, but the main one that’s most effective is using a chemical herbicide.
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Ideally, for dandelions, you’re looking for an herbicide that focuses on broadleaf weeds. These systematic dandelion killers are usually made with glyphosate and should be applied directly the weeds you’re trying to knock out. Avoid applying these to the whole lawn, however, as they may harm the grass you want to keep.
This kind of weed killer is applied directly to the leaves of the dandelion and kills the vegetation through death of the greens. After the greens die, the chemical seeps down into the plant and roots and kills the whole plant completely.
How to Choose the Right Weed Killer
Since some of the chemical herbicides are so dangerous for your lawn, you’ll want to make sure you’re getting the right kind for your own needs, where you might need to have a broader application.
There are four basic types of weed killers. They each approach weed killing in a different way and can be applied to different kinds of plants, based on the particular season, plant type, and/or circumstances surrounding the weed issue.
Emergent Weed Killers
There are both pre-emergent weed killers that attack germinating seedlings before they grow and post-emergent weed killers that go after plants that have already started growing.
Pre-emergent weed killer should be applied two or three weeks before weeds start to germinate, so if you go with this type, check the Farmer’s Almanac or related information to estimate when that would be in your area in a given year.
Post-emergent weed killers are applied to the leaves of plants that have already begun growing.
Selective Weed Killers
Selective weed killers target specific kinds of weeds without also destroying the desirable plants nearby.
Non-selective weed killers, however, kill every plant anywhere near the site of the application.
If you’re trying to kill dandelions in your lawn, use selective weed killers. If you’re trying to destroy dandelions in the driveway and sidewalk cracks, go for a non-selective herbicide instead.
Persistence Vs. Non-Persistent
The persistence of a weed killer indicates how long the herbicide remains active after application. The dandelion herbicides that kill off the plants after application but stop working soon thereafter are called non-persistent. The ones that keep working well after application and help prevent regrowth of the weeds is considered a persistent weed killer.
Translocated Weed Killing
Finally, the fourth trait of weed killers is whether or not the chemicals work through the plant’s internal system to result in death of the plant, or if they’re called contact killers, they kill on contact instead.
The Best Dandelion Killers on the Market
While kids may love the fluffy, white, floating seeds and blow them out for fun, they spread quickly and can cover entire lawns with the pesky plant within a short period of time.
How We Chose Our List
We wanted to find the best of the best dandelion killers, so we searched across the web on a variety of sites like Home Depot, Ace Hardware, Amazon, and review sites presented by professional lawn and garden care professionals.
From the list of the many weed killers we found, we dug into the reviews given by real-life users and found the ones with the highest ratings across multiple sites.
From this list, we pulled together these eight top-notch choices.
Our Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
The Green Gobbler 20% Horticultural Vinegar Weed Killer is certified for organic use, which earns it a top placement on the list of best dandelion killers. It’s a safe alternative to those chemicals that most herbicides are made from and does a fantastic job of killing off the weeds you don’t want creeping up around the garden.
The Green Gobbler formula is made from vinegar derived from corn and doesn’t require any dilution. Just pour the weed killer into a pump sprayer, spray the weeds and watch them die.
The formula is completely free of phosphates, sulfates, VOCs, chlorine, fluorine, petroleum solvents, dye, bleach, and ethoxylates.
The Green Gobbler herbicide works on dandelions, clover weed, crabgrass, and other unwanted weeds that commonly grow in gardens and lawns. It’s strong enough to kill off weeds, but gentle enough to use everyday use.
If you need extra power for your dandelion killing efforts, mix in some soap and salt to intensify the effects. The soap helps the weed killer cling to the roots, while the salt aids in dehydrating the weeds, meaning a faster, more permanent removal of weeds everywhere.
This herbicide is safe for food crop plants, ornamental plants, farmsteads, right-of-way, institutional land sites, and non-production agricultural settings. You can safely use this in an industrial setting or at home.
The Green Gobbler dandelion killer is currently available in many States, including: Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Delaware, Florida, Iowa, Idaho, Illinois, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Montana, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Oregon, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Vermont, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, and Wyoming.
The company plans to make it available in the remaining States shortly.
Our Rating: 4.8 out of 5 stars
For an economical bush control and broadleaf weed controlling herbicide, the BrushMaster Herbicide is a fantastic choice. It’s perfect for use on fence lines, ditches, shoulders, alone firebreaks, and outside of farm buildings and other outbuildings.
You can apply BrushMaster several times throughout the year, using different application methods. And since most cool weather grasses tolerate the use of BrushMaster, they can help protect against erosion in areas where other products may cause damage.
BrushMaster targets dandelions and other broadleaf weeds, multiflora rose, brambles, cedar, locust, poison oak, poison ivy, honeysuckle, kochia, kudzu, thistle, trees, and vines that you don’t want to keep around. It’s safe for use at fences, airports, right-of-way, industrial sites, and other non-crop locations. And, if used properly, it’s pet-safe.
You’ll use 2.5 to 10 tablespoons per gallon of water, depending on the strength you require.
Our Rating: 4.7 out of 5 stars
If you want to do the work in half the time, the Bayer Advanced All-in-One Weed and Feed Granules is your ticket. It’s one-part weed killer, one-part fertilizer for a lusher, greener lawn. It kills off dandelions and other broadleaf pest plants while encouraging the grass you do want to keep around to grow and improve all the time.
This weed killer also gets rid of chickweed, clovers, crabgrass, and other grassy weeds.
Our Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars
For weed prevention, you’ll want to check out Roundup’s Landscape Weed Preventer. This weed killer helps prevent dandelions and grassy weeds from popping up, long before you’d even see them emerging from the soil. It’s guaranteed to work for up to 6 months per application – when applied properly.
This weed killer creates a weed barrier around annual, established flowers, bulbs, shrubs, and trees, preventing over 40 different types of broadleaf and grassy weeds.
You should apply this product in spring before the weeds germinate and before you start mulching. You’ll just sprinkle two tablespoons around every ten square feet then wash the granules from the plants and watering in to activate.
Our Rating: 4.2 out of 5 stars
Ortho Weed Be Gon not only controls dandelions, but it’s guaranteed to kill off crabgrass and a host of other common lawn weeds – over 200 different weeds. It kills weeds at the roots, preventing them from coming back, and protects your lawn while doing it.
Apply the Ortho Weed B Gon with the Ortho dial and spray hose-end sprayer or use any other tank sprayer designed for spraying weed killer. The dandelion killer starts working immediately after you spray it.
This is a post-emergent weed killer.
Our Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
Bayer Advanced Ready-to-Spray Season Long Weed Control for Lawns is one the best dandelion killers on the market. It’s rain-proof within an hour of application and kills and prevents lawn weeds for up to six months after each application.
The great thing about this weed killer is that you can apply it to your lawn anytime between spring and fall and expect the same results. It kills dandelions, clover, chickweed, henbit, plantain, wild onion, wild garlic, cinquefoil, ground ivy, thistle, spurge, burdock, pigweed, bulbous buttercup, bittercress, bindweed, burweed, bur clover, chicory, cocklebur, dog fennel, and other invasive plants – up to 200 kinds of weeds.
This weed killer is safe for your lawn and is applied via a hose-end applicator. It comes ready to use, cutting down your preparation time significantly, as well, which is always a bonus.
This is both a post-emergent and pre-emergent weed killer.
Our Rating: 3.8 out of 5 stars
This particular herbicide from Trimec was made with susceptible southern grasses in mind, to protect them as you kill off the broadleaf weeds in your yard and greens. It’s one of the best amine Trimec complexes for controlling things like clover and chickweed, and uses less 2, 4-D to accommodate sensitive warm-season grasses. It’s also higher in MCPP to specifically accommodate southern grasses.
This weed killer is safe on Zoysia grass, Bermuda grass, centipede grass, and St. Augustine grass, fescue, and bluegrass. It should not, however, be used on Floratam St. Augustine grass.
Trimec Southern Broadleaf Herbicide kills ragweed, chickweed, clover, dandelion, henbit, dollarweed, plantain, poison ivy, poison oak, spurge, thistle, wild garlic, and wild carrot, as well as other broadleaf weeds.
You’ll use 0.37 to 0.75 ounces per 1,000 square feet, or two to three pints per acre.
Our Rating: 3.6 out of 5 stars
This weed killer is safe for use on certain lawn grasses, parks, golf course, and pastures, controlling broad-leaf weeds, including dandelions.
The Southern AG 2,4 D Amine Weed Killer is a low-cost weed killer that’s effective for large or small spaces. Mix two to three tablespoons per three to five gallons of water to cover up to 1,000 square feet. Apply as a coarse low-pressure spray with a fan-type nozzle. Cover the area completely, without overlap for the most effective use.
Our Buyer’s Guide for the Best Dandelion Killers Available
Every one of these dandelion killers is a winner. They’ll kill the weeds and help you clear up your lawn.
But if we had to choose only one dandelion killer to recommend, we’d go with the Green Gobbler 20% Horticultural Vinegar Weed Killer. It’s certified for organic use, which means your kids, your pets, and your guests will safe, whether they romp through the strawberry fields or settle into the backyard where the dandelions were thriving only a week or two earlier.
If you’re less concerned about organic herbicides, our top choice is the BrushMaster Herbicide. It’s chemically based, but when used properly, it’s safe for pets. It can be used in non-crop sites, like around farm buildings, at airports, and roadside ditches, and is effective for destroying a wide variety of weeds beyond just broadleaf plants.
Before using any herbicide, be sure to check that the plants you want to keep around are safe with the given herbicide. And, if you have pets, verify that the herbicide will be safe for them, and follow instructions closely to ensure that remains true.