What is the best weed control product? Tenacity Herbicide vs Q4 Plus Turf Herbicide


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Today we will take a look at 2 very effective weed control products safe to use in your lawn.  These are 'selective' herbicides meaning they will not harm the desired turf but will kill unwanted weeds.

I am very familiar with both of these weed control products, or herbicides. 

I first started using Tenacity to control weeds when overseeding lawns.  One unique and major benefit of using Tenacity is that it does not harm grass seed or young grass plants making it perfect for controlling weeds while sowing grass seed.

Q4, like most herbicides, will harm grass seed and/or young grass plants so you need to be careful if spraying weeds near grass seed or young grass plants. 

Q4 and Tenacity are my 2 favorite herbicides because they control a large number of different types of weeds.  This is great because instead of walking the lawn 2-3 times with different products in your handcan sprayer or backpack sprayer, you can walk it once and spray all of the weeds with an effective product.

Cost comparison between Tenacity and Q4

Pricing Breakdown of  Q4 and Tenacity

Tenacity is available in 8 oz containers and comes with a handy graduated syringe that makes getting the correct mix ratio very easy.

Tenacity 8 oz costs $62.98 (as of 9/6/2022).

For comparison, we'll use the 32 oz jug of Q4 as it is the closest available container size.  Slight savings can be achieved by purchasing the gallon or 2.5 gallon sizes.

Q4 32 oz costs $49.70 (as of 9/6/2022). 

Is Q4 cheaper than Tenacity?  Nope!

To accurately compare prices of herbicides products it is best to determine the cost per treating 1,000 sq. ft. of turf.  The products have different mix ratios so comparing the container size to purchase price will not give you enough information to compare!

Tenacity is actually less than 1/3 the cost of Q4!

Tenacity costs $1.31 per 1,000 sq. ft. and Q4 costs $4.66 per 1,000 sq. ft.

Buy Q4 Here

Buy Tenacity Here

Spot spray weed control handcan and backpack sprayer

Q4 and Tenacity Spot Spray Mix Ratios

Tenacity is recommended to be used at a rate of 1 teaspoon (or 0.167 oz) per 2 gallons of water.

Q4is recommended to be used at a rate of 3 oz per 2 gallons of water*.

When spot spraying, 2 gallons of water should cover 1,000 sq. ft. of turf.  Since you are spot spraying, and not performing a blanket application, you should expect to cover more than 1,000 sq. ft. of turf unless every square foot needs to have the weed control applied to it.

*We should note that we are in a cool season grass zone.  If you are in a warm season grass zone, Q4 should be used at a 2.6 oz per 2 gallons of water ratio.

Does Tenacity or Q4 control more weeds?

I love each of these herbicides because I can walk the lawn and spray all of common broadleaf weeds such as dandelion, clover, and plantain as well as crabgrass, other grassy weeds, oxalis, wild violets, and nutsedge! 

Per the labels, Q4 does control more types of weeds.

Both herbicides control many 'hard to control' weeds which other cheaper weed control products are ineffective at controlling.

Tenacity controls Niblewill!  If you have a Niblewill problem, Tenacity is your answer!

Notable weeds controlled by Tenacity:

Barnyard Grass, Carpetweed, Chickweed, Clover, Crabgrass (large & smooth), Dandelion, Foxtail, Goosegrass, Henbit, Yellow Nutsedge, Purslane, Thistle, Wild Carrot, Oxalis, Wild Violet and others.

Notable weeds controlled by Q4:

Barnyard Grass, Bull Thistle, Chickweed, Clover, Crabgrass (large & smooth), Dandelion, Yellow Nutsedge, Signalgrass, Oxalis, Wild Violet and others.

Buy Q4 Here

Buy Tenacity Here

Where can Q4 and Tenacity be used?

Tenacity is safe for us on Kentucky Bluegrass, Centipedegrass, Buffalograss, Tall Fescue, Perennial Ryegrass, Fine Fescue, and St. Augustine Grass (grown for sod only).

Q4 is safe for warm and cool season grasses and can be used on golf courses, commercial and residential lawns, cemeteries, public parks, sports turf, sod farms, and more.

What's the active ingredients in Tenacity and Q4?

Tenacity uses Mesotrione 40% as the active ingredient.

Q4 uses 2,4-D, dimethylamine salt 11.81%, Dicamba, dimethylamine salt 1.49%, Quinclorac 8.43%, and Sulfentrazone 0.69% as the active ingredients.

This makes it clear that these are 2 very different products that produce similar results.

Is Q4 or Tenacity better at controlling weeds in lawns?

So, which is the best weed control product?

My personal opinion is that Q4 is slightly more comprehensive and effective than Tenacity.

I use both products to maintain my personal lawn. 

If I am seeding soon or just seeded, I will always opt for Tenacity as it will not negatively affecting my seeding efforts.

I also prefer to use Tenacity if either would do because it simply costs less.

I will use Q4 when spraying mature weeds and I believe Q4 is slightly more effective at controlling crabgrass and wild violets. 

My personal advice is to spray the weeds with Tenacity and then to spray any remaining weeds with Q4 3-6 weeks later and repeat if needed until all weeds are eliminated from the lawn.

Buy Q4 Here

Buy Tenacity Here

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Ryan Sciamanna

Ryan is the owner and founder of Lawn Crack, Optimized SEO and Websites, iGoPro Lawn Supply, and iGoPro Marketing. After working in about every aspect of the lawn care industry, Ryan started his own lawn care company with a push mower and no experience owning a business.

10 years later he sold his business for a healthy profit and continues to serve the lawn and landscape industry with high-quality products and website and online marketing services. Ryan also offers free content to help new lawn care business owners and DIY homeowners professionally maintain their lawns!

You can continue learning on LawnCrack.com's or iGoProLawnSupply.com's blogs or the LawnCrack YouTube channel. Free resources are available for download on LawnCrack.com. Consider buying the eBook version of Cracking the Code to Profit in the Lawn and Landscape Industry. In the book, Ryan lays out exactly how he built a profitable lawn care business and how you can do the same.