Pre-Emergent Herbicides

Killing Lawn’s Weeds the right way with Pre-Emergent Herbicides

For killing the lawn’s weeds, the best option is to use pre-emergent herbicides. For this, you need to measure your yard and determine how much area you need to treat. Then you have to explore the best way to apply or spread the pre-emergent herbicides. Lastly,  you need to decide which type of pre-emergent herbicide you need – granular or liquid- which is your personal preference.

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Treating stubborn weeds using pre-emergent herbicides is always a good idea, provided you know how to use them. This article will discuss the best way to use them in your yard to get rid of weeds. You have to apply or spread the pre-emergent herbicides on your yard, taking your fight against the weeds before they can actually grow from their seeds. 

We know pre-emergent herbicides as chemicals that help in preventing weed roots and shoots from establishing in the yard. It has the required level of fatality that hampers the growth of weeds preventing the seeds from germinating the plants. In other words, it attacks at the seed germination stage. However, these have to be applied or spread on the right to be effective in the yard. Using Pre-emergence herbicides remains the critical element of the weed control program. Now, let us check how it works against weeds. 

Applying Pre-Emergent Herbicides

Pre-Emergent Herbicides

Before we check how to apply pre-emergent herbicides, we need to know the best time to apply. Decide a time when you find the soil temperature reaching around 50 to 55 degrees. So, this will vary from one location to another as per the climate, which also changes the application date. So you can apply it during the spring when the soil is warm and during the summers when the temperature is always on the higher side. 

  • Spring Application: The required soil temperature in your yard will depend upon the local climate changes and the weather conditions around the springs. You must check when you meet the conditions – mid-winter, early or late spring. For instance, you can apply a pre-emergent to your lawn having crabgrass in the months like January in locations like Florida; however, in Michigan, you can opt for spring application. You can monitor the soil temperature using simple soil temperature gauges.

  • Summer Emergent Applications: Poa annua, filaree, and Chickweed are some weeds visible during winter, while their delayed growing phase is in the springs. Such weeds and other annuals need a second application of the pre-emergence herbicide during the late fall or early winter. It also depends upon the climate that further prevents them from taking hold. The ideal pre-emergent application condition is when the soil temperature is above 70 degrees. The summer application will kill the seed, clover and other weeds. 

How to Apply a Granular Pre-Emergent Herbicide?

As we now know the time of applying pre-emergent herbicide, you now have to calculate the space in your yard to apply or spread the same. Once you calculate the square feet area then you can purchase the product for the application. Now, you have to choose between liquid and grannual, which is completely your personal choice. 

Then, you need to know how to apply it, which will depend on the type you choose. Choose between granular and liquid–which is an entirely personal preference, and they differ in their applications, now, let us check the two: 

Applying a Granular Pre-Emergent Herbicide: 

Check the following steps for Granular pre-emergent herbicide: 

  • You will require a spreader to spread the granules.  
  • Check the label carefully and follow the instructions
  • Calibrate as per your spreader and instructions on the label, and then fill it 
  • Now apply the Granular evenly over your chosen spot in your lawn as much evenly as possible 

Applying a Liquid Pre-Emergent Herbicide: 

Check the following steps for liquid pre-emergent herbicide: 

  • You need a sprayer; while a majority of  liquid pre-emergents are available with a sprayer, you have the choice of buying in different styles and sizes. 
  • Now, mix the product as per the instructions given on the label. Make sure you follow the steps to apply in your spots that are damaged due to weed
  • Make sure you spray the liquid systematically and evenly, covering one row to another just like you mow your lawn.
  • Lastly, regardless of the option you use to apply the pre-emergent herbicide, you need to water one inch of your lawn. Keep irrigating for around five days after you apply the same. 

Choosing the Pre-Emergent Herbicide

When it comes to choosing a pre-emergent herbicide, you are required to consider the following points: 

  • Selective herbicide: These are effective in killing specific kinds of weeds and another plant without damaging the grass leaves, allowing a quick recovery.

  • Nonselective herbicide: It kills everything, including plants, flowers and grass. Thanks to its effectiveness, you need to be careful while applying the same. 

A majority of herbicides are available at the local garden store and you need to be selective while choosing the same. 

Which Weeds Will  Pre-Emergent Herbicide Kill?

Not all pre-emergent herbicides are the same; hence not all can kill all types of weeds. For instance, the selective herbicide is meant to kill the broadleaf weeds that will not kill the dreaded crabgrass owing to its kind of grass. The herbicides carrying chemicals like oxyfluorfen, simazine or isoxaben are competent enough to kill a few broadleaf weeds. However, these remain ineffective against several invasive types of grass. 


The herbicides having active ingredients like dinitroaniline, metolachlor, dichlobenil and napropamide are competent enough to kill only some of the invasive grasse like the broadleaf weeds, while the other known pre-emergent chemicals include the following: 

  • Proadimae: It is an active ingredient that is mainly found in the barricade brand pre-emergence herbicide. It is competent to deal with 30 types of broadleaf and grassy weeds. These include the lethal annual bluegrass and crabgrass.

  • Oryzalin: It is a chemical that is used in many more brands, and Suflan remain a broadleaf weed killer. It proves effective against spurge. It has gained good popularity in the pre-emergent herbicide world that offers effective weed control, especially for the warm season grasses.

  • Dithiopyr: It is proven effective against 45 different weeds, including the broadleaf and grassy ones. You can call it an active ingredient in brands like Dimension and others. It is among the effective chemicals that take care of even the sprouted weeds in the lawns. However, you need to use it for its maximum potential. Once you apply it, you must wait four months to experience its effectiveness.

  • Natural options: Besides using and relying on chemical-based herbicides, you can use natural choices. The corn gluten meal is among the chemical free pre-emergent that helps in preventing the weed from germination; around 70% 

Granular Vs. Liquid Pre-Emergent: Which one to choose?  

As said before, it is your personal choice. However, when it comes to considering any of these, you need to check the following points: 

  • When considering the liquid or granular pre-emergents, you need to check the following points: 
  • You need to mix the liquid pre-emergent products very carefully, while granular does not need this. 
  • Liquid products require less physical labor when compared to granular. You just have to spray while entering the entire lawn. However, granular herbicides would require more physical pain, like walking the entire yard to spread the same using a spreader. 
  • Liquid can quickly spread evenly when compared to granular.
  • Granular requires more water to be active in the lawn against weed
  • Granular is simple to apply for the novices 
  • Granular is usually inexpensive when compared to liquid. 

Regardless of your choice, applying the same evenly and thoroughly is essential to get the best weed prevention. You should be able to deal with your target spot of weeds using the product and combat the weed growth. Missing any weed spot can be a problem for the grass in your yard. 

In conclusion, managing and maintaining your turf is an incredible experience. It requires too much effort. Choosing suitable pre-emergent herbicides and targeting effective weeds is always tricky. You can consider it as your DIY venture at any free weekend. However, calling a pro like Eden is always a decent choice. You can call Eden for more details on seeking professional help. 

Enjoy a beautifully manicured lawn with our timely yard work services that care for your yard according to the season. Call us today!

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