A pre-emergent herbicide is very important to effectively manage weeds on any lawn or area where you want great looking grass. But pre-emergent must be properly controlled and timed to get ideal results. This process can be tricky. With the help of a lawn care professional and a little homework can make all the difference.
There are a few important factors in developing your weed control strategy, what pre-emergent herbicide can and cannot accomplish within a management program, and when to apply pre-emergent to different classifications of weeds.
Weed Control Strategy
When putting together a weed control strategy for your property, note that all weeds have a survival plan and cannot be completely eliminated because they all have different life cycles and methods of reproduction. Their seeds can lay dormant for years before they germinate. Even if you started your lawn again from scratch, foreign weed seeds would be delivered to the property by wind, water, insects or outdoor activities. It is not very likely to kill all the weeds in a single application so an effective program will adjust your needs seasonally.
Planning to eradicate your weed problem: Ask yourself the following questions:
What weeds do you want to control?
Is the goal to prevent these weeds, to eradicate them, or both?
What are the life cycles of the weeds, and when is the proper timing for a pre-emergent herbicide application?
Do you have other plants, gardens on the property that may be damaged by weed control herbicides?
How Pre-Emergent Herbicide Works
Pre-emergent herbicides are designed to control germinating weed seeds. As its name suggests, pre-emergent is targeted towards weeds that have not yet emerged from the soil. To get the best results and to avoid wasting time and labor costs down the road, the weeds shouldn’t be visible above ground at the time of application.
IMPORTANT: Pre-emergent is not designed to control existing weeds or weed seeds.
Weeds will only be killed when they begin to sprout from seed and hits the herbicide barrier. It is possible for seeds to remain dormant and not be harmed by the pre-emergent herbicide application. This is why weed control is a constant process. There will always be seeds under the surface and a portion will germinate each season. Annual applications must be made to significantly reduce large infestations.
Remember, pre-emergent herbicide can affect desirable plants. That includes turf. Caution must be taken if you’re applying pre-emergent and seeding the turf in the same season. Jagusch Lawn Care recommends adding seed in late August near the end of the hottest days of the season. This gives new grass ideal temperatures and time to start goring, establishing itself before late fall temperatures drop too low. Apply pre-emergent in the coming spring for best results when the ground begins to warm up again.
Pre-emergent must be mixed correctly and applied evenly over the target area for best results.
The lawn should be covered completely – you need to cover an entire area thoroughly so the weed seeds cannot germinate. Spot applications will only provide open areas for weeds to come through. Pre-emergent herbicides need to be mixed correctly for the spray solution to be at the appropriate strength. Jagusch Lawn Care is experienced in following the manufacturer’s recommendations and calibrates all equipment to properly to maximize results!
IMPORTANT: Pre-emergent herbicide must be watered in.
Watering inactivates the herbicide, creating a barrier just below the surface. Most products call for 0.5 inches of irrigation or rain within a few weeks of application. So be sure to water properly after application if you do not have an irrigation system, plan to apply pre-emergent just before rain is forecasted.