Preemergent Weed Control Products
And When to Apply Them
April 28, 2022
Starting to see weeds popping up in your yard and garden? Maybe you’re wishing you put down some preemergent weed control products right about now. Well, it may be too late for this season, but there’s always next time. The key is to learn what products to use and when to use them. The results are fewer weeds competing with your emerging plants.
Preemergent Weed Control Products
Since preemergent products work to help prevent weeds from popping up, they won’t be much help to you once you start seeing the actual weeds. By that point, you’re better off hand-pulling or using a post-emergent spot treatment. But if you haven’t seen any signs of weeds yet, you may still have luck with a preemergent weed control formula. Timing is everything.
Preemergent weed control should be applied to the lawn to help stop the spread of weed seeds. These seeds may have lasted the winter months, but you can help stop them from breaking through the soil with a preemergent product. The trick is to do so when the ground is warm enough and before the weed appears. The sweet spot is typically when the soil is around 50-degrees. And this is only the first application. The number of applications depends on the type of weed you’re trying to kill. A second application may be needed to target weeds that sprout later in the season.
You can also apply a preemergent product in the early fall or winter. This targets those weed seeds that will likely lie dormant along with the grass. No matter what type of product you use, it will say on the package which weeds it targets and when/how often to apply.
Types of Preemergents
Not all products are the same. There is granular weed control to spread across your lawn and liquids you can spray. There are also selective and nonselective preemergent weed control. Selectives are formulated to only kill a certain weed and (hopefully) leave the grass and other plants intact. Nonselectives are more all or nothing. It will most likely kill any plant it comes in contact with, including your grass.
If you plan on reseeding your lawn to fill in bare spots—which is a prime place for weeds to emerge—wait until the grass is established for a few months before applying any weed control product. If you happen to apply weed control before reseeding, wait about six weeks before spreading grass seeds.
Many preemergent products are better suited for getting rid of grassy weeds that only stick around for one growing season. More work is needed to tackle those pesky perennial weeds that come back year after year.
When it’s Too Late
Even if you’ve applied a preemergent product, it’s not a magic bullet to all weed seeds. As mentioned, not all products work on all weeds. Plus, if you’ve already seen signs of weeds, it’s too late for preventing them. Now you need a post-emergent product to help solve the problem. However, you can still try to prevent them by applying it again in the fall.
If you see a weed or two pop up in the lawn or garden, don’t feel too bad. Weeds are inevitable. They grow just as well, if not better, than grass and the plants you’re trying to feature. The best thing you can do is maintain your lawn’s health with proper water, mowing, and fertilizing. Try to prevent weeds with the right preemergent product, get rid of any you see and spend more time enjoying your yard than battling it. If it becomes too much to handle, call a pro. Contact Cardinal Lawns for help with all levels of lawn maintenance. You don’t have to fight the war on weeds alone.
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Before weeds take over your yard this season, learn to identify and prevent them in the first place. Keep your lawn looking great all year!