The Best Weed Killer for Landscape Beds & Islands

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This article is about the best solutions for killing weeds in landscape beds and islands.
by Brooks Wilson · All Zones · Weeds and Invasive Plants · 2 Comments · March 25, 2011 · 31,361 views

Controlling Weeds in Landscape Beds and Islands

In this article I'm going tell you what I think are the best products to use for killing weeds in islands and bed areas around your landscape. Basically, there are two methods to control weeds in your beds and islands.

  1. Pre-emergent - This method prevents the germination of weed seeds
  2. Post-emergent - This method involves killing weeds after they have sprouted

PRE-Emergent Weed Control (Weed Prevention)

To prevent weeds from sprouting in your landscape beds and islands (non-lawn areas) you can apply a weed preventer product. Weed preventer products are available in granular and liquid form. I find that the granular products are much easier to apply and usually provide more even coverage when broadcast with a rotary type spreader.

What are the best weed preventer products?

For the home gardener, I would suggest using a granular weed preventer containing Treflan, such as Hi-Yield Herbicide Granules, which prevents a large variety of broadleaf and grassy weeds from spouting for up to one year. Treflan will not harm your existing plants. You may have heard of a product called Preen & Green? This is a weed preventer that also contains fertilizer. I think this product is a little on the gimmicky side, for the following reason: Let's say you want to prevent weeds from sprouting in an entire landscape island in your yard. Well, you might want to prevent the weeds from sprouting in this island, but you might not want to indiscriminately fertilizer every plant and tree in the island with the same kind of fertilizer, right? Plants are like people: different types of plants like different kinds of foods. Regarding landscape beds and islands, this is why I always recommend spreading weed preventers and fertilizers separately. Too, when you buy weed preventer separately, you can get a lot more bang for your buck. For example, a 15 pound bag of Hi-Yield Herbicide Granules containing Treflan will cost you around 20 bucks, and you can cover up to 2,500 square feet of bed space with it. Then, after you broadcast it over the area, you can go back and fertilizer individual specific types of plants and trees with the specific types of fertilizer they require. Your plants will appreciate you for doing it this way.


  • Weed preventer granules are sold by the amount of square footage the bag will cover. So it's a good idea to measure your lawn for square footage before purchasing a product. To determine total square footage, simply multiply the length of an are by the width of an area. If your bed space is 10 feet long by 20 feet wide the total square footage is 200 square feet (10' x 20' = 200')
  • Use a shoulder-type or handheld rotary spreader to get even coverage.
  • ALWAYS read and follow instructions on product label before using any chemical product.

POST-emergent Weed Control

Eliminating broadleaf and grassy weeds after they have sprouted in your landscape beds and islands (non lawn areas) will require the use of a post-emergent weed killer.

What are the best post-emergent weed killer products?

I always use High-Yield Killzall Super Concentrate, which contains 42% glyphosate. There are other glyphosate-based products available, such as RoundUp, but there are so many different strengths to choose from it becomes confusing when trying to determine which one is the full-strength concentrate. Of course, this is a sly thing some manufacturers do to make more $$$ of you! So, when purchasing a glyphosate-based weed killer product, don't be fooled, make sure it's the 42% strength. Or, you can just purchase Hi-Yield Killzall and know you're always getting super concentrate. Killzall comes in only one strength, unless you purchase the ready to use hand held trigger spray bottle. Don't waste your money on any trigger spray type products. If you buy the 8 ounce bottle of Killzall you can mix it using only 1/2 ounce per quart bottle trigger sprayer. This will net 32 quart size ready to use spray bottles!! One ready to use bottle will cost about 7 bucks, or you can buy the 8 oz full strength bottle for about 10 bucks and save literally 217 bucks.


  • Always buy a super concentrate product and mix it yourself in a sprayer. The "Ready-To-Use" or diluted weed killer products are...well, basically, a rip off. It's a way to sell you a small amount of weed killer at a much higher price and, of course, a much higher profit for the manufacturer and the shareholders;-)
  • Spray weed killers on a calm day to avoid drift of spray to desirable plants in your beds and islands.
  • ALWAYS read and follow instructions on product label before using any chemical product.

Stefan Struve

Stefan Struve · Gardenality Seed · Zone 8A · 10° to 15° F
Should I be wearing any sort of protective gear or clothing when handling these weed killers?

10 years ago ·
1 Green Thumbs Up
· Unthumb · Gardenality Genius · Zone 8A · 10° to 15° F
Stefan-When spraying just make sure to not let the drift from the spray get on your skin. Also, avoid inhaling the spray. It's best to spray when the wind is at a minimum. When applying a granular weed killer or pre-emergent i prefer to wear long sleeves, long pants, and a mask. The dust from the granular product can be inhaled. I am always take measures to avoid skin contact and inhalation of any chemicals. -Brooks

10 years ago ·
0 Green Thumbs Up


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