What Is Pre-Emergent Weed Control?

Public enemy #1

The Usual Suspect: Crab Grass

Growing Like A Weed

Pulling weeds by hand can be exhausting and has the potential to make your body ache for days afterwards.  Even with all that hard work, you are still likely to be battling weeds whenever they spring up (which is ALL THE TIME).  Wouldn’t it be great if you could (pun fully intended) nip them in the bud weeks even months before they even became an issue?

Oh boy, have I got good news for you.

See, there is this thing called ‘pre-emergent weed control’, and it’s great stuff.  You apply it a few times a year and if you do it right, the War of the Weeds gets a lot easier to manage.

Protip: Dont use a pre-emergent along with freshly planted grass seed.  It will prevent new sprouts from growing.  (More on that below in the ‘What You Need To Remember’ section below).

Here is how pre-emergent works:

Treat ‘Em BEFORE You See ‘Em.

Pre-emergent weed control works by treating the top layer where the weeds live.  It prevents the weed-seed from germinating when applied in the early spring, so it never even has a chance to pop up.  It gets stopped before it ever has a chance to grow.  This allows your grass to grow without the threat of weeds crowding it out and hogging all the nutrients in the soil.

You can also apply pre-emergent weed control in the early Fall after the summer weeds have all passed so you can get control of the cooler-season weeds.  Yes, weeds have seasons just like any other plant, and you have to make sure you get them BEFORE each season.  The thing with pre-emergent weed control is that is only works before the weeds get a chance to sprout (it is a PRE-emergent, after all).  If you try to put this stuff down to combat weeds that have already sprouted, you aren’t going to have much luck AND you are likely to have a sore back from pulling them one-by-one.

Important Things To Remember:

  1. Pre-emergent weed control will also effectively prevent the germination of new grass seed.  If you are planning on overseeding your lawn, or installing a new lawn on top of fresh loam, DO NOT ALSO APPLY A PRE-EMERGENT.  Most pre-emergent weed-control products will make no distinction between good grass-seed and bad weed-seed.  It will do the same thing to your grass as it will your weeds.
  2. No pre-emergent will have a 100% success rate.  When applied correctly, it will prevent the vast majority of weeds from ever sprouting.  There will be some stragglers that will pop-up from time to time, and that is ok.  You can even get some extra satisfaction from yanking any would-be weed-heroes with your bare hands (make sure you get the roots too).
  3. Each application after the first (when done correctly) will become more and more effective at reducing the occurrence of weeds in your lawn.  Each time you do it, you will see better results and a reduced amount of necessary product.  This does not mean you can stop eventually.  You will need to make sure to CONSISTENTLY apply a pre-emergent correctly each season (sometimes twice a year) in order to maintain your results.
weed-free zone

Results like what you are seeing here takes several seasons to attain, but can be accomplished with careful planning and attention.



Happy gardening!

~The Greencare Team