All About Pre-Emergent Herbicides

December 2, 2022 | Fertilizing Tips, posted by grassoutletppc

Pre-emergent herbicides can be defined as herbicide weed killers that are typically granular, or salt-like in texture, that are applied before weed seeds begin to emerge, or germinate. This type of herbicide can be incredibly effective in keeping weeds from growing on lawns. But, there are several considerations to make and things to keep in mind regarding how pre-emergent herbicides are used. In this post from the Grass Outlet blog, we’ll discuss all there is to know about pre-emergent herbicides. 

What Do Pre-Emergent Herbicides Do? 

Pre-emergent herbicides can greatly reduce or even eliminate weeds before they emerge by creating a barrier at the top layers of the soil. This prevents weeds from sprouting after the seeds have germinated. In most cases, pre-emergent herbicides are used to target annually sprouting weeds that complete their life cycle in a single growing season. This does not count perennials, sedges, dallisgrass, or johnsongrass. These types of weeds establish “come back” root systems, which can last for multiple growing seasons within their life cycle. 

How To Use Pre-Emergent Herbicides 

When it comes to the effective use of pre-emergent herbicides, timing is critical. In order for pre-emergent herbicides to work, they must be applied both before weeds emerge, as well as when the soil temperatures are just right. Spring and fall are the best times to apply pre-emergent herbicides. Soil temperatures should be at least 55°F during spring application, while they should be at least 70°F for 4 or 5 consecutive days for fall application. In Central Texas, this typically means spring applications should occur in February or March, while Fall Applications should occur in September or October.  

The granules of pre-emergent herbicides tend to have about 100 days of effectiveness. This means that you should make a second application approximately 3 months after the first application. Fall applications should be refreshed in the Spring time frame, while Spring applications should be refreshed in early June to fight against the summer weeds in Central Texas. 

Other Information Regarding Pre-Emergent Herbicides 

What Are The Most Common Pre-Emergent Herbicides? 

In Central Texas, the most commonly used, and most effective pre-emergent herbicides for our area are Barricade & Dimension. But, several other brands of pre-emergent herbicides are out there. When deciding which kind of pre-emergent herbicides is best for you, you must identify the weeds that you’re looking to control. Once you know the kinds of weeds that you need to reduce, you should select the product designed to target those weeds in particular, ensuring it is safe for your sod variety. 

Do Pre-Emergent Herbicides Eliminate 100% Of Weeds? 

Pre-emergent herbicides are capable of greatly reducing weeds in the lawn, but they don’t always 100% eliminate weeds. Combining the use of pre-emergent herbicides and post-emergent herbicides is a surefire way to help rid your lawn of any weeds that may be surviving your removal efforts. 

What About Weed & Feed Products? 

Weed and feed products from brands like Scotts and Vigoro are typically ineffective at controlling weeds when used in the spring. This is primarily because weeds typically germinate far before the grass comes out of dormancy, making the fertilizer – the “feed” part – ineffective and wasteful.   Essentially, weed and feed products will likely only be effective at helping reduce weeds or fertilizing the grass, but rarely both.

What Is The Best Way To Keep My Lawn Weed-Free? 

Maintaining a healthy, weed-free lawn is best accomplished through tried and true cultural practices. This includes correct mowing techniques, the use of pre-emergent herbicides, ideal fertilization, tree maintenance to maintain ideal sunlight conditions, and more. You can learn just about anything you need to know about maintaining a lawn in Central Texas through the wealth of information that is the Grass Outlet blog

For The Best Grass Sod In Central Texas, Trust The Grass Outlet

At The Grass Outlet, we’re proud to be the top provider of grass sod in Central Texas and the surrounding area. To learn more about the types of grass we have available or to schedule a free estimate, contact us online or give us a call today.