Best total-kill herbicide to clear off my back yard

Looking for an effective herbicide to clear off the ground at my house- around 2000 square feet. If possible, relatively dog-safe… if not, I’ll work around it. Looking for complete bare-ground, as backyard has become a nuisance (no grass at all, just weeds) and I would like to landscape with rocks and/or small lined ponds.

Any suggestions?


Are there rent-a-ruminant services near you? Those goats do an amazing job.

This is the stuff I use.

One quart per gallon of water. Then spray.

If it’s green, it’s dead.

Also available at Home Depot.

Same thing as Roundup (glyphosate is its first active ingredient).

Roundup, if you believe Monsanto-Bayer, has a relatively short half-life and becomes safer soon. If you don’t believe them, other scientists outside Monsanto have research showing it contributes to bee deaths and colony collapse disorder, pollutes waterways and kills fish and amphibians, and may contribute to gluten/wheat sensitivity.

It is undoubtedly effective, cheap, and widespread, but it is also part of a greater ecologically destructive paradigm where convenience trumps safe waters and soils.

Goats are a far better choice if someone around you rents them… worth checking.

Just lay weed block fabric. No weeds. If you kill the weeds and then put rock down without the fabric, the weeds will come right back.

Do they make 'em that big?

Overlapping strips.

Garden lasagna!

When you say “rocks”, are you talking big rocks? And if so what will cover the ground between them? If you’re talking gravel or crushed stone you’ll still get weeds. I have fabric under my crushed rock drive and have to spray Roundup every two weeks as stuff takes root in the rock.

I’ve always been partial to thermite.

Too localized. Napalm.

I use a home-brewed spray of Spectricide Weed & Grass Killer and a couple of ecologically-sound formulas from Gardens Alive! Kills everything and doesn’t give the planet cancer.

Compromise: Flamethrower.

If you’ve already got a propane grill, you can just buy the torch for around $25.

Contractors’ supply companies carry weedblock in long fabric rolls.

Try borax.

It will keep your yard clean far longer than roundup but it will kill everything.

Once I tried to kill some English Ivy with triclopyr spray, and it killed every other damn thing too.

You can try this stuff (Pramitol). Be advised though that it is shockingly nasty stuff, not suggested for residential use.


Cover with translucent plastic to get all the weed seeds to germinate and die, then cover with stones.

But I like the goat

They have the advantage of turning weeds into tasty protein or maybe cashmere sweaters.