There are so many weed control products out there on the market that it can be confusing sometimes to pick which one will work best for your lawn. Which weed killer works best really depends on your situation. Different products are formulated to solve different problems at different stages of weed development.
The following explains the different products you might see on the shelf of your local home and garden store.
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To prevent weeds from growing in areas that have been known to have weeds, you should use Pre-Emergent Herbicides. This type of herbicide prevents seed germination, so you would use it before the weeds start growing. It's a preventative measure you should take before the growing season starts.
Once the weeds are already growing, you will need to use Post-Emergent Herbicides. These herbicides kill growing plants either by contact or by getting absorbed into the weed and killing it from the roots. Roundup weed killer is one of the most popular weed control product out there. It's a post-emergent and non-selective herbicide which kills growing vegetation on contact.
As its name suggests, this type of herbicide kills a selected type of weeds. They are usually designed to target broad-leafed plants without harming the grass.
This type of herbicide kills indiscriminately, thus the term "non-selective". It can potentially kill or damage any plant it comes in contact with. For this reason, non-selective herbicides should only be used for spot treatments.