The best weed killer for gravel is Ortho GroundClear Vegetation Killer Concentrate.
It’s one of the most powerful herbicides on the market. And not only does it kill weeds that are growing right now, it also prevents any more from sprouting in the treatment area for about a year after.
It targets most broadleaf weeds and grasses, killing them to the root so they don’t come back.
The top choices at a glance:
- Ortho GroundClear Vegetation Killer Concentrate– Best Overall
- RM43 Weed Preventer Total Vegetation Control– Runner Up
- Spectracide Weed & Grass Killer
- Compare-N-Save Concentrate Grass & Weed Killer
- Roundup Weed & Grass Killer Super Concentrate
- Green Gobbler Vinegar Weed & Grass Killer-Best Natural Choice
- Natural Armor Weed & Grass Killer
All links lead to Amazon, where you can find more information & customer reviews.
The Best Weed Killer For Gravel: Reviews
Ortho GroundClear Vegetation Killer Concentrate
Ortho Groundclear is a powerful product that kills most weeds and grasses that you’ll find in your gravel. The weed killer has a persistent effect, lingering in the soil and stopping new weeds from sprouting. And giving you up to a year of weed control in the treated area.
It contains two main ingredients, 0.8% imazapyr and 5% glyphosate.
Ortho Groundclear is a systemic weed killer that kills weeds internally to their roots, preventing them from regrowing. And it gets to work quickly. You’ll notice wilting and discoloring of the weeds within a few hours after use. Although it sometimes takes a couple of weeks to see the full results.
The formula of this weed killer makes it ideal for use on gravel and other hardscapes such as concrete and asphalt. And it’s rainproof after 1 hour. So you can worry less about the weather diluting the effects.
The 2-gallon bottle makes 8 gallons of ready-to-spray weed killer.
RM43 Weed Preventer Total Vegetation Killer
RM43 is one of the most powerful weed killers you can buy. Combining pre-emergent and post-emergent properties to kill any weeds you apply it to and prevent them from growing through your gravel for up to a year.
The main active ingredients it contains are 43% glyphosate and 0.8% imazapyr. These are both non-selective herbicides that will kill any broadleaf weeds or grasses you apply them to.
It’s a very effective combination. And because they’re systemic in their action, they kill the weeds all the way down to their roots to prevent them from growing back.
Also included in the formula is a surfactant. This helps the weed killer stick to leaf surfaces and blades of grass without rolling off. It increases the amount of herbicide taken up by the plants and enhances the results.
But you’ll need to have some patience when using it. Systemic herbicides take time to work through the circulatory system of plants they come into contact with. And with RM43 you’ll have to wait several days to start seeing results. With 2 weeks usually required for the weeds to completely die.
The 1-gallon bottle of concentrate goes a long way. When diluted it provides enough weed killer to cover 17,297 sq. ft. of gravel. Perfect for covering gravel driveways, parking areas, paths, walkways, and patios.
Spectracide Weed & Grass Killer Concentrate
Spectracide Weed and Grass Killer is fast-acting, providing visible results after just a few hours.
It works on contact with any plants you spray and has systemic action killing them to the roots to prevent regrowth.
But it doesn’t have residual activity, so in my experience, you need to spray the area more often than when using the products above to get the best results.
The positive is that accidental spraying on nearby garden areas won’t have a lasting effect.
This product is also rainproof after just 15 minutes, making this the best option for spraying on days with unpredictable weather.
Compare-N-Save Concentrate Grass & Weed Killer
Compare N Save is one of the most popular weed killers currently available. It kills any unwanted plants you apply it to. And it does so at an affordable cost.
Containing 41% glyphosate as its main active ingredient, it’s a similar product to RoundUp. But it’s marketed as a budget alternative.
It’s a post-emergent weed killer. So it kills the weeds currently growing through your gravel. But unlike RM43, it doesn’t have the same amount of residual control. So after treatment, new weeds may sprout in the months that follow.
But rest assured, it’s powerful. And the systemic action of glyphosate will kill the roots of the weeds and prevent them from regrowing.
Similar to RM43 and RoundUp, it’s slow to work. With wilting seen within a week, but a couple of weeks needed for the weeds to die.
You can mix the 1-gallon bottle with water to make 85 gallons of dilute that’s strong enough to do the job.
Roundup Weed & Grass Killer Super Concentrate
Whatever you’ve got growing in your gravel, RoundUp will take care of it. With a reputation for effectiveness that’s made it a household name, you can’t go wrong with this product.
It contains glyphosate at 50.2%. So like the products above, it uses the circulatory system of the plant to move throughout. Killing the weed from the inside and preventing regrowth.
The majority of weeds you apply it to are killed with just 1 application. But occasionally, like most herbicides, you’ll need to repeat the treatment.
It’s a stronger product than Compare N Save at the recommended dilutions. With the 1-gallon bottle making a similar amount of weed killer for your sprayer at 85 gallons. However, you could always mix Compare N Save a bit stronger to compensate.
Even so, some customers have more confidence in this well-known brand to do the job. So what represents the best value is up to you.
One thing’s for sure, whether the weeds are growing in your driveway, around your yard or landscaping, or under your decking or shed, spray some RoundUp and the problem will be gone.
Green Gobbler Vinegar Weed & Grass Killer
Green Gobbler is the fastest-acting product on our shortlist. That’s because unlike those listed above, it works on contact after you spray the target plants.
It’s made from 20% vinegar. So it immediately starts killing the areas of the plant that you spray it on. After a few hours, the weeds are dead. And if you drench them they’ll completely disintegrate after 24 hours.
But it doesn’t translocate to the roots. So the weeds may grow back again.
Because the vinegar is corn-derived, it has the benefit of being natural and organic. And less harmful to the environment.
It comes in a 1-gallon bottle and it’s ready to spray. So you don’t have to mess around with mixing, and you don’t need your own tank sprayer to use it.
But, it doesn’t go as far as the chemical weed killers above. With each bottle containing enough to treat a 1,200 sq. ft gravel area.
Natural Armor Weed & Grass Killer
Natural Armor is an organic weed killer that consists of citric acid, lemon juice, vinegar, salt, and clove oil.
This combination is highly effective for killing most weeds and grasses that you might find growing through your gravel.
But Natural Armor doesn’t kill weeds to the root, so they might grow back again, and you will need to use this product more often than a chemical herbicide, in my experience.
But it’s safer for the environment and only affects the parts of the plant you spray it on, making it easier to avoid serious harm to desirable plants after accidental contact.
How I Chose The Best Gravel Weed Killer
Because gravel is used for driveways, pathways, and landscaped areas, you probably don’t want vegetation growing in the area.
This makes chemical herbicides a good choice for quickly and easily spraying the area. Some products have helped me to keep gravel weed-free for up to a year or more, reducing the maintenance work I’ve had to do and keeping the cost down.
But be careful when using them if your gravel area is adjacent to desirable plants to prevent harm.
Some people may prefer an organic alternative, such as high-strength vinegar. But this will require more applications throughout the year at greater expense.
Many options are available on the market, but how do you choose the best one?
In my experience, these are the most important things to consider before selecting a product:
Some weed killers are selective. This means they only kill certain types of plants.
Usually, these are broadleaf weeds like dandelions, creeping charlie, and clover. And some of them kill common unwanted grasses as well, such as crabgrass.
But while this might be the best choice for treating lawns where you don’t want to harm the grass, it’s less useful when treating gravel. Because you don’t want anything left growing in the area after you’ve sprayed it.
So for killing weeds in gravel, the best herbicides are non-selective. These will kill everything you apply them to and give you full weed control.
A persistent weed killer stays in the ground for a period of time after you spray. The residual activity stops weeds from growing in the treated area.
This is a common feature of commercial weed killers. And some products, like RM43 and Ortho Groundclear, continue to protect an area for up to a year. But, not all weed killers do this.
If you’re looking to reduce your work then the best choice of weed killer for gravel is a persistent one.
Pre-Emergent Or Post Emergent?
Herbicides that are post-emergent kill the weeds when they are already growing.
So, if you have weeds sprouting up between your pea gravel and you want to get rid of them, the best product to choose will be post-emergent.
But this won’t prevent weeds from growing in the first place.
If you want to take preventative measures, or you want to make sure weeds won’t grow back in the area after you’ve killed the ones already there, then you’ll need a pre-emergent weed killer.
The most effective weed killer for gravel will do both. This is why my best choice is Ortho Groundclear.
Contact vs Systemic
Weed killers for gravel are available as both contact weed killers and systemic weed killers.
A contact weed killer acts upon the parts of the plant you spray it on. And quickly kills the plant as long as you wet the plant sufficiently.
But, it often won’t kill the roots beneath the soil. So it has the disadvantage that the weeds might grow back and need to be treated again.
That’s why most of the best rated weed killers for gravel in the list above are systemic.
These are absorbed through the leaves of the plant and kill them all the way down to the root.
Systemic weed killers work slower than contact herbicides. Because it takes time to move around the plant’s circulatory system attacking it from the inside.
So you don’t get the same immediate results. Instead, it usually takes several days before you notice the leaves of the plant wilting and browning. And 2 weeks or more are required for the weed to completely die.
But, once they die, they don’t grow back. Which means less work for you in the future treating the same area again. This makes these herbicides great for large areas.
Killing weeds that are growing through gravel is actually quite easy with the right product.
Unlike treating your lawn or garden, you don’t have to worry as much about killing plants that you want to keep. Because usually, you want to kill everything that’s growing in the area.
This means the ideal situation is to get the strongest non-selective weed killer.
So, what is my favorite weed killer for gravel driveways, paths, and yards?
My best-rated choice is Ortho GroundClear Vegetation Killer Concentrate.
This powerful product kills existing weeds and grasses to the roots and prevents them from growing in the area for 12 months.