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When to Apply Pre-Emergent Herbicides

Dandelion weeds

Weeds have a funny way of showing up at the most opportune times, such as when the weather finally warms up. They wait just below the surface and then pop up right when you least expect it or thought that you eliminated them for good last season. Fighting weeds once they've emerged is an uphill battle. It's best to deal with them before they grow into nuisance plants. With spring pre-emergent herbicides, you can stop weeds from growing and taking over your landscape.

What is a Spring Pre-Emergent Herbicide?

Spring pre-emergents are herbicides with a unique mode of action that prevent weed growth as the season warms. They don't target the weeds like postemergent herbicides do. A pre-emergent is applied to the ground and watered in afterward, creating a layer in the top part of the soil. As the weeds grow, they'll hit this protective layer and die before emerging. Spring pre-emergents are vital for reducing your weed-pulling chores and preventing new weed growth as the summer arrives.

Types of Pre-Emergent Herbicides

All herbicides contain chemical ingredients, which may or may not affect your lawn in a negative way. Before you purchase and apply a pre-emergent, get to know your grass. Is it a cool- or warm-season grass? Is it Bermuda or St. Augustine? Applying the wrong herbicide to your grass may damage and ruin its appearance. Pre-emergents come in two types:

  • Selective pre-emergents target specific weeds.
  • Nonselective pre-emergents target all plants.

If you use a nonselective pre-emergent, you run the risk of killing ornamental flowers, shrubs, grass and other plants in your yard. This herbicide is typically reserved for controlling weeds on hard surfaces such as sidewalks and driveways, including out-of-the-way places like fencerows.

A selective pre-emergent is the safer choice for lawns and landscapes as it controls certain broadleaf weeds and weed grasses. It's considered safe for use on residential and commercial turf and can be applied as a liquid or a granule.

When and How Should You Apply Pre-Emergents?

Apply pre-emergent herbicides before the temperatures rise. Refer to the label for the exact application times and rates. Your location may affect the timing at which you apply the product. In general, you should apply a pre-emergent after the ground thaws but before the soil temperature exceeds 55 degrees Fahrenheit.

Liquid pre-emergent herbicides mix easily in a tank with water and are applied with a sprayer; these herbicides control weeds faster. Granular pre-emergent herbicides are applied with a spreader and control weeds at a slower rate.

Water and product amounts vary depending on the type of pre-emergent and the size of the application area. Never apply pre-emergents before reading the directions on the label. Applying the mixture either with a spreader or a sprayer could have less effective or negative results if you use the product at the incorrect rate.

man spraying pesticides on weeds

Spring Pre-Emergents for Better Weed Control

Don't let weeds take over your lawn this spring and summer. Check out the numerous post- and pre-emergent herbicides available at Pedchem. Whether you choose granular or liquid, these herbicides provide effective weed control throughout the warmer months.

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