What is the best ground sterilizer on the market? Obviously, the most effective one. But we will also take into account the duration of action, the resistance to rain and the amount of ready-to-use solution (after dilution of the concentrate). In this comparative review, we will consider ground sterilizer products starting from 15 dollars.
Our list contains only effective herbicides with the highest ratings in 2019. All of them are non-selective, that means that they will destroy both weeds and all other plants. They are used to control unwanted grasses and weeds on driveways, sidewalks, and patios; along fences, foundations, curbs, retaining walls and edges of lawns, as well as on decorative rocks or gravel areas.
After our chart you could read everything you need to know about Roundup – the most popular weed killer (but not the cheapest one), which produces both ready-to-use products and super concentrates with an extended period of action. Roundup also offers very helpful backpack sprayers, which will surely be useful to you.
Best Ground Sterilizer Products in 2019
|Ingredient / Rainproof||Win||Final qty|
|Roundup Concentrate||Glyphosate / 30 minutes||The cheapest unit for a small area||5 gal|
|Compare-N-Save||Glyphosate / 2 hours||The cheapest product for a large area||85 gal|
|Spectracide||Diquat / 15 minutes||Quickly kills seed crops||20 gal|
|Pramitol 25E||Prometon Salts / 24 hours||Kills weeds for 1+ year (for industrial areas only)||10 gal|
|Avenger||d-limonene / 2 hours||Organic, safe, non-toxic, highly biodegradable||1 gal|
|Ortho||Glyphosate / 1 hour||Kills and prevents weeds for up to 1 year||8 gal|
|Hi-Yield Killzall||Glyphosate / 10 minutes||Dries fast to start working quickly||50 gal|
Our Choice #1
|Glyphosate / 2 hours||The strongest glyphosate weed killer and preventer||21 gal|
|Pramitol Granules||Prometon Salts / --||Easy-to-use granular formulation||n/a|
|Cornerstone||Glyphosate / 4 hours||The largest final quantity of ready-to-use spray||320 gal|
- Active ingredient: glyphosate;
- Rainproof in 30 minutes;
- Kills the toughest weeds and grasses to the root;
- Visible results in 12 hours with FastAct Technology;
- For use in a tank sprayer;
- Not for use around existing edibles.
Roundup is the most famous non-selective herbicide in the world. It absorbs through the leaf and stem only so killing power won’t spread to non-target plants through soil.
Use of a Roundup branded tank sprayer is recommended to spray the weeds you want to kill until thoroughly wet. If a desirable plant is accidentally sprayed, rinse off immediately with water. People and pets may enter treated areas after spray has dried.
Apply Roundup when weeds are actively growing. For best results, apply during warm, sunny weather (above 60°F). Spray when the air is calm to prevent drift to desirable plants. Weeds usually begin to wilt within 12 hours and complete kill in one to two weeks.
Coverage area: one quart makes up to 10 gallons of spray, so you will get 5 gallons ready-to-use fluid from 16-Ounce Concentrate.
- Active ingredient: 41-percent glyphosate;
- Rainproof in 2 hours;
- Makes up to 85 gal. of ready-to-use spray;
- Covers over 25,000 sq. ft;
- Visible results in as little as 2 to 4 days.
– 5 gallons of ready-to-use Roundup cost $13 ($2.6 per gal)
– 85 gallons of Compare-N-Save cost $22 ($0.25 per gal)
Compare-N-Save’s solution is also 2 times more concentrated, and, therefore, will take up less space.
This herbicide contains the same active substance as Roundup (41% glyphosate). At the same time, it is rainproof in 2 hours (against Roundup’s 30 minutes). Obviously, the reason is in those substances that make up the remaining 59 percent of the spray. The manufacturer does not disclose the exact composition, however, like Roundup.
With all this, Compare-N-Save Concentrate is very effective and there are no complaints about it (if used correctly). The method of action and way of application are the same as for Roundup and any herbicide, which contains glyphosate. We recommend this product because of its optimal cost and high efficiency.
- Active ingredient: diquat dibromide;
- Rainproof in 15 minutes;
- 64 fl oz concentrate makes up to 20 gallons;
- Visible results in 3 hours.
This herbicide is the main competitor of Roundup. What is their main difference? Roundup is a systemic herbicide: it penetrates through the leaves and moves to the very roots together with water and nutrients, causing the destruction of the whole plant. Spectracide has a contact action – it mainly eliminates those parts of the plants to which it was sprayed. Be ready, that the roots remain unharmed and will soon give new sprouts.
With the help of Spectracide, you can control the flowering or kill seed crops, but you will not destroy the weeds completely (at least for one application). By the way, the manufacturer recommends not making more than two applications per year to any given area.
Getting to the plant, Spectracide absorbs very quickly, in just 15 minutes. The plant dries out, which becomes noticeable after only 3 hours. The leaves turn yellow/brown, then curling, twisting, wilting and shriveling. Visual symptoms and time to complete kill will depend on weed and grass type, temperature and application rate.
This product has no soil activity and thus will not affect nearby untreated plants: flowers, shrubs and trees. Of course, you have to protect desirable plants from direct spray with a piece of plastic or cardboard. To avoid drift, apply when the air is calm. All ornamental plants may be planted one day after application.
- Active ingredient: pramitol 25%;
- Rainproof in 24 hours;
- Not for use in residential areas;
- Kills vegetation (except woody) for 1+ year;
- Within one day after application produces a specific odor;
- Covers 1,000 to 4,000 sq. ft.
This herbicide is used in commercial areas like storage facilities, fence lines, tank farms, railways, pipelines, and lumber yards. A common use of Pramitol is to control weeds and other vegetation under driveways and parking lots. Pramitol is not recommended for use in residential areas.
This is bare-ground herbicide that means that after it’s application nothing will grow for at least one year (or more).
However, Pramitol will not cope with woody vegetation – only with weeds and grasses. Use Pramitol only in areas where complete control of vegetation is desired, since this product may affect desirable plants, grasses, or shrubs.
Much of the effectiveness of Pramitol is dependent on rainfall to move into the root zone. Poor weed control may result from very dry soil conditions or lack of sufficient rainfall. Use 5-10 gallons of Pramitol 25E per acre, depending on application: use higher rates in heavier soils, where weed growth is heavy, where rainfall is heavy, and in regions with a long growing season.
Pramitol may also be applied to even ground just before laying asphalt, or it may be mixed with cutback asphalts for weed control in areas being stabilized, such as highway medians, fences, guard rails, and shoulders, or for cracked asphalt surfaces being resurfaced.
- Active ingredient: d-limonene;
- Rainproof in 2 hours;
- Fast acting: visible results in less than 2 hours;
- Highly biodegradable – dissipates quickly;
- Is non-toxic and can be used in areas near to people, pets and wildlife;
- Works in cool & cloudy conditions (as low as 40°F);
- Does not stain brick, concrete or pavement.
Avenger is the only organic ground sterilizer on our list. The active ingredient 70% d-limonene (citrus oil) naturally strips away the waxy plant cuticle, causing it to dehydrate and die. Basically, it affects the leaves of plants, while the roots remain intact.
Use 3 to 1 dilution to destroy even persistent weeds. Spray the green parts of the plants thoroughly – and very soon they will brown and dry out. It might need a few sprays for tough perrenials.
This is the most expensive product on our list, but you will appreciate it if you care about the safety of your children or pets. After spraying the weeds, for a day they have a pretty strong citrus aroma, which scares away dogs and cats. This is another guarantee that your pets will stay alive and well. But still, keep in mind that the drug is considered safe for pets only after it dries.
- Active ingredient: glyphosate;
- Rainproof in 1 hour;
- Kills unwanted vegetation and prevents new growth for up to 1 year;
- Fast-acting: visible results in hours;
- Easy to apply with a sprinkling can or a tank sprayer;
- Not sold in CA.
The 2-gallon bottle contains a concentrate that, after dilution, will give 8 gallons of ready-to-use spray. The active substance – glyphosate – destroys the aboveground parts of plants and their roots, and additional substance (5% isopropylamine salt), sanitizes the soil, preventing the growth of the weeds for 1 year.
- Active ingredient: glyphosate;
- Rainproof in 10 minutes;
- Concentrated formula yields up to 85 gal. of ready-to-use spray.
This is one of the most profitable offers – from 1 gallon of concentrate you will get as many as 50 gallons of spray. Thus, this product is on the second place in cheapness – right after Compare-N-Save. However, it has the advantage of being the fastest drying and the most rainproof weed killer. While it must pass at least 2 hours after the application of Compare-N-Save before the beginning of rain, Hi-Yield Killzall dries and acts in 10 minutes.
- Active ingredient: glyphosate;
- Rainproof in 2 hours;
- Kills weeds and prevents weeds for up to 1 year;
- Treats 17,297 sq. ft.;
- Apply to locations only where no vegetation is desired;
- Can be used for total vegetation control (bare ground) or spot control of brush, vines and weeds.
While other weed killers contain 41 percent of glyphosate, RM43 offers the most effective concentration – 43%. It combines with another herbicide (0.78% imazapyr) and surfactant. This formula is effective against most noxious weeds, grasses, vines, brush and trees – weeds will not grow on the treated area during one year or more. One gallon makes up to 21 gallons of spray and treats 17,297 square feet.
- Active ingredient: prometon salts;
- Easy to use granular formulation;
- Prevents the growth of weeds for 1 year;
- Controls Johnson grass bindweed and other hard to control weeds;
- Two pounds treats 570 square feet.
It is much easier to use a herbicide in granules than to make a solution: you do not need to look for a sprayer with the correct pressure and nozzle, calculate the proportions and wash equipment after use. These large granules aren’t affected by wind. Granules have a long shelf life if you keep them in a dry place and they are perfectly stored at minus temperatures, not freezing (unlike liquids).
To use it in a small area, wear protective gloves and scatter the granules evenly in the right directions. Remember, you should not leave big gaps, otherwise, the weeds will stay there. If this happens, you have to apply the herbicide locally.
For a large area, you can use a walk behind fertilizer spreader. For the guaranteed effect, granules need to be poured a little with water – artificially or a small rain will do. In this case, you will see results in 48 hours. Without wetting, getting rid of weeds can take several weeks.
- Protect gardens, lawns and landscaping with quality herbicides;
- Non-selective herbicide kills weeds and grasses with one treatment;
- Kills over 100 annual and perennial weeds;
- Order comes with 2.5 gallons of concentrated product;
- Refer to product label for any local use restrictions.
How to properly use ground sterilizer solutions:
- All herbicides presented here are non-selective and highly effective. This means that they cannot remove only unwanted weeds – you will destroy all the vegetation completely.
- All herbicides from our list (except those in granules) require an additional purchase of a sprayer.
- Most herbicides must be sprayed on green leaves, and not just watered the soil.
- When spraying ground sterilizers it is necessary to use protective equipment.
- Weed killers can be used only in dry weather when there is no strong wind. If the rain starts, it can wash away the solution from the leaves, which will greatly reduce the effect.
- It is better to spray herbicide in the early morning. It is especially important to comply with this rule if you plan to fight the weeds in the hot season. The sun can interfere with the absorption of the agent.
- Do not eat or smoke while working.
- When the work is finished, take off your protective clothing and wash your hands and face with cosmetic soap several times.
- Store herbicides at temperatures from -60°F to + 80°F, away from products and drugs, out of reach of children and pets.
What is Roundup
Roundup is a non-selective herbicide – a chemical substance for the elimination of weeds and grass. It is the best-selling herbicide in the world. The active substance is glyphosate. Glyphosate penetrates through the green parts of plants, so it is effective only during their active growth.
Roundup is available in several options: spray, gel, ready-to-use solution, concentrate.
In addition, Roundup offers a very convenient solution: ready-to-use wand sprayers. All you have to do is to connect and extend the wand, then spray unwanted vegetation. You do not need to bend or watch to avoid injuring the skin of your hands.
How does Roundup work
To eliminate the unwanted vegetation, you need to spray Roundup over the green leaves. After that, the herbicide spreads throughout the plant for 5-10 days. It penetrates into roots and tubers of perennials. After 7-10 days, the first signs of plant damage appear – yellowing and drying of the leaves. After 20-30 days perennial plants die completely.
Weeds should be treated with Roundup only once. Shelf life is 5 years.
Is Roundup Safe?
According to the manufacturer, upon contact with the soil, Roundup loses its activity and rapidly decomposes into components that do not pose a hazard to humans.
When to apply Roundup
Roundup works well at low temperatures but is most effective at high temperatures in sunny weather and air humidity of at least 40-50 percent. The greatest effect can be achieved by applying Roundup during the period of active growth of weeds with well-developed leaves. It is better to use Roundup in windless weather.
Errors in use
Sometimes Roundup is sprayed on the soil before sowing, in order to avoid the appearance of the weeds. However, this is completely ineffective. Roundup acts through the green parts of plants, so it is necessary that the substance hit the stems or leaves. Roundup does not destroy the seeds of weeds in the soil.
Some people first mow grass and then use Roundup for reliability. This is also ineffective because Roundup falls on a small area of green leaves of weeds. In addition, the damaged plant slows metabolism, and the substance does not reach the roots.
Note: we do not recommend the use of Roundup (or other herbicides) in the areas where food is grown: vegetables, aromatic herbs, berry bushes and fruit trees.
What if the ground sterilizer hit the eye?
As soon as possible, rinse the eye with plenty of running water, but first, wash your hands with soap to avoid getting into the eyes of even chemicals and other contaminants. If the herbicide accidentally got inside (the drops of Roundup were on the lips or you suddenly mistook the solution with the drink), then you should drink as much pure water as possible.
How dangerous is a ground sterilizer for a human?
According to research by Japanese scientists, a critical condition in humans occurs when 200 milliliters of pure Roundup (41% glyphosate) is ingested. Other researchers give other data – only 100 ml.
But this is possible only if a person drank the herbicide, accidentally mixing it with a drink. A few drops on the skin or on the lips will not do any harm. Nevertheless, it is recommended to wash them off, and drink as much water as possible for the next 2-3 days.