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Ultimate Guide to Weed Killers in Australia: 2024 Update

If you have a problem with weeds, it can be tempting to grab the first weed killer on the shelf. However, not all weed killers are the same!

To permanently eliminate weeds from your lawn or garden, you’ll need a solution that is designed to tackle your specific problem.

In this guide, we’re going to discuss how to choose the right weed killer for your situation. We also list some of the best weed control products on the market in Australia.

We’ve also included some options for people who want to steer clear of chemicals and herbicides.

Before buying a weedkiller: Identify your weeds

Weeding | Weed control

Using the wrong weedkiller doesn’t just mean you don’t kill your weeds.

It will also cost you time and money, and can potentially damage your lawn or other plants.

Therefore, the first step is to identify the weeds you are dealing with.

Common lawn weeds in Australia can be grouped into two different categories, broadleaf and grassy weeds.

It’s important to identify these correctly because they’ll require different treatments to eradicate them.

Check out our Australian weed identification guide or take a list at the lists of broadleaf and grassy weeds below.

Broadleaf weeds

Broadleaf weeds have leaves that are much broader than grass.

Broadleaf weeds include:

  • Bindii
  • Dandelion
  • Oxalis
  • Cudweed
  • Soursobs
  • Chickweed
  • Clover
  • Thistle
  • Lambs tongue
  • Wild carrot weed
  • Catsear
  • Pennywort

Treating broadleaf weeds:
The most effective way to kill broadleaf weeds is to use a selective herbicide. These herbicides are classified as ‘selective’ because they’ll kill the weeds but not your grass.

Grassy weeds

On the other hand, grassy weeds have leaves that are similar to the blades of grass that your lawn consists of.

Grassy weeds include:

  • Crabgrass
  • Winter grass
  • Paspalum
  • Nutgrass
  • Mullumbimby couch
  • Onion weed

These are somewhat harder to control because a selective broadleaf herbicide will not work on them.

Treating grassy weeds:
For grassy weeds, you can use a pre-emergent herbicide in late winter that will prevent the seeds from germinating. Alternatively, you can spot-treat the established weeds with a non-selective herbicide such as glyphosate.

Best non-selective herbicide: Glyphosate

Glyphosate is a broad-spectrum herbicide applied to the leaves of both broadleaf and grassy weeds.

It is a post-emergent herbicide that kills both annual and perennial weeds.

There are many Glyphosate-based weed killers on the market, including Yates Zero, Roundup, and SureFire Weed Killer.

Glyphosate is widely used throughout the world as it is generally considered safe for humans and animals when handled correctly.

However, when exposed to high concentrations of this chemical or through repeated use over time, it can be toxic.

If using Glyphosate-based weed killer, extra care must be taken. Be sure to follow the manufacturer’s safety guidelines.

Best selective herbicide: Dicamba M Selective Weed Killer

Dicamba M is a low-toxicity garden spray. It contains the active ingredients Dicamba and MCPA.

Although it’s not recommended for Buffalo lawns, it can be used on most other types of turf.

It destroys broadleaf weeds like Bindii and other intrusive weeds found among grasses and turf.

This one-litre bottle makes enough herbicide to treat up to 1500 square metres.

Because it’s selective, you can use it without fear of killing your lawn. It’s ready to use, and it kills weeds while leaving your grass healthy.

Best Organic Weedkiller: Slasher Organic Weedkiller

Slasher is an organic weed killer that kills weeds on contact.

It works quickly and effectively and can be used anywhere in your garden or on paths and driveways.

This product does not contain glyphosate and is registered for use on organic farms and gardens.

The active ingredient in Slasher is made from plant oils (and is GM free).

It’s 100% biodegradable within a few days, so there are no lasting spray residues.

RichGro Beat A Weed Natural Weedkiller

If you’re looking for a natural weedkiller that works fast and keeps your garden looking its best, Richgro’s Beat A Weed is another great choice.

Using only natural actives—acetic acid/vinegar and sodium chloride/salt—this weedkiller is ideal for getting rid of weeds, moss, and algae in your garden.

It works fast, so you’ll see results within hours. Plus, it’s safe to use around pets and children.

With Richgro’s Beat A Weed natural weedkiller, you can have a beautiful garden without harsh chemicals.

Butane Gas Torch Weed Killer

If you want to kill weeds without chemicals, your best bet might be fire.

Gas torch weed killers are a more environmentally-friendly way to go and are just as effective.

These kinds of devices work by burning the cell of grass or weeds to stop them from growing.

The torch’s lightweight body and ergonomic handle make this weed killer easy and convenient to use, although you should read the instructions carefully before using it for the first time.

The three different nozzles for versatility and improved accuracy improve its effectiveness.

Yates Buffalo Pro Broadleaf Weed Killer

This product is safe for Buffalo, Couch, and Kikuyu lawns and may be used to control weeds such as Bindii, Clover, Catsear, Dandelion, and others.

It selectively kills weeds and comes in a 250ml plastic bottle with a child-proof top.

This concentrate has a treatment area of up to 415m2, making it an excellent solution for a large issue.

If you prefer to purchase in-store, this is a weedkiller that Bunnings usually has in stock.

Hot Devil Weed Killer

Complete with a butane gas torch, this product is designed to eliminate undesirable vegetation in your garden or lawn.

Use a gas torch to dehydrate and kill any weed by applying the flame directly on top of it.

The flame intensity can be adjusted for convenience and accuracy.

With no chemicals involved, you won’t have to worry about dangerous residue endangering children or pets after use.

Weed Killer Buying Guide

weed sprayer 4 | Weed control

You want the best weed killer for your garden, but it can be hard to choose from all the different options.

To help you decide which is best for you, let’s go over some tips and questions that will put you on the path to success.

Pre-emergent vs Post-emergent herbicides

The best way to kill a weed is to get rid of it before it has had a chance to grow. Pre-emergent herbicides work this way by preventing weeds from coming up at all.

Post-emergent herbicides work on weeds that have already grown; they use a mixture of chemicals to kill the weed and (hopefully) make sure it never comes back.

In general, once weeds are sprouting, you should apply post-emergent herbicides. At this point, you should not use pre-emergents because seeds have already begun germinating.

When you apply a post-emergent herbicide, it gets into the root system via the plant stalk.

Roundup is an example of a popular post-emergent herbicide. It contains a chemical called glyphosate.

Chemicals vs Fire

Each of these solutions has advantages and disadvantages. On large weed infestations, chemical remedies are effective, while fire is not plausible.

On the other hand, chemicals create a residue that is potentially dangerous to pets, children, and the environment.

Depending on the type of weed infestation you’re dealing with, using either approach incorrectly might harm the lawn or garden you’re trying to protect.

A gas torch will probably serve you well if you’re targeting a limited region and don’t want to use chemicals.

You’ll probably do better with a herbicide if you have a more serious infestation.

Coverage

You can’t go by the size of the package when it comes to weed killers.

Highly concentrated solutions can be diluted to produce a large amount of liquid.

Coverage information is generally included on the packaging. The most common unit of measurement for coverage is square metres, so it’s a good idea to measure up your lawn beforehand.

Weed Killer FAQ

Is it safe to use weed killer near pets?

Some weedkillers are dangerous to humans and animals while others are not. You can find all-natural products that won’t harm your pets. Just look for labelling that specifically mentions safe to use around children and pets.

How long will it take for my weed killer to work?

This is mostly determined by the weeds you are targeting and the product you choose. Many products claim to show results in as little as a few hours but this is typically not the case. Remember that just because you don’t notice results right away doesn’t indicate your product isn’t effective.

Do herbicides have an expiration date?

Most weed killers can survive for years if properly maintained. Keep your product dry and cold to get the best benefits. While an incorrectly kept substance will not lose its potency, it may become less effective.

Photo of author

Steve Kropp

Based in Melbourne, Steve's passion is vegetable gardening, and he’s been writing about it for almost 5 years. He also loves all things DIY and is always looking for a new project. When not working on his own garden projects or blogging, Steve enjoys spending time with his family, cooking meals with produce harvested from his garden, and coaching his son’s footy team.

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