A pre-emergent is an herbicide that is sprayed or spread on lawns to eliminate weeds at the earliest stages of their growth. This includes crab grass and dandelions, among other invasive plants. Unlike a typical weed killer, it is meant to stop weeds from sprouting by being applied on early lawn growth to prevent the roots of weeds from taking hold in the soil.
This type of herbicide should not be used in areas where seeds of other plants are being sown. It does not distinguish between weed seeds and those of beneficial or desirable plants. It is best not to spray a pre-emergent where you want plants and flowers to grow.
Benefits of a Pre-Emergent
These herbicides are important weapons in a gardener’s lawn care arsenal. They will permanently eliminate weeds by not allowing them to germinate. They are activated at the top layer of the soil targeting young sprouts. It can break the cycle of new weed growth.
Pre-emergents are very easy to apply by spraying the herbicide through the use of water. The chemical is activated by the water, allowing it to soak into the soil. It can remain active for many weeks or even months discouraging new weed growth.
Successive seasonal treatments with a pre-emergent should lessen the need for it over time. Ideally, weeds will be completely eliminated requiring less lawn maintenance and resulting in a healthier, thicker, and stronger grass lawn with minimal weeds.
When to Apply a Pre-Emergent
Typically, an herbicidal of this kind is applied in early spring before the grass starts to come in. It can also be applied again in the fall when temperatures cool down and new types of weed growth occur. In essence, a it can be applied throughout the growing season to prevent and control various types of new weed growth.
Basically, the timing for applying the herbicide will vary depending on the geographical location and climactic conditions. As soil warms up in the spring, the temperature of that soil will be the primary factor for when weeds and crab grass will start to sprout.
It makes good sense to seek the advice of your local State University Extension program or a credible landscaping professional for when and how to apply a pre-emergent.
Applying a Spray Pre-Emergent
There are different types of pre-emergent products. Some are granular and can be applied with a spreader. A liquid pre-emergent is generally applied by attaching the product container to a water hose and spraying the lawn area. Or, it can be applied by a tank sprayer that is carried like a backpack.
After applying the pre-emergent, it is important that the lawn be irrigated so that the product will soak down into the soil, being careful not to over-water.
A pre-emergent spray is an herbicidal treatment that deters the growth of weeds and crabgrass. It is important to apply a pre-emergent early so that it has time to kill the weed sprouts and not allow the roots to take hold in the soil. Allow the pre-emergent to do its job before you broadcast new grass seed and you should end up with a full and vibrant lawn that is free of weeds.