Pre-Emergent Weed Spraying - It's That Time Again
The last few cold winter days give everyone a brief respite from the constant battle that is involved with weed control in Arizona.
While it is always a wonderful feeling to know that spring is just around the corner, the first seasonal changes of the year also mean that it is time to increase your efforts at keeping weeds out of your lawn and garden areas.
This year, get ahead of the game by starting with pre-emergent weed spraying that disrupts the growth cycle of unwanted plants before they can pop out of the ground.
How Pre-Emergent Sprays Work
Pre-emergent sprays are designed to penetrate deep into the ground where seeds have been lying dormant just waiting for the right conditions to sprout.
Once the spray reaches the seed, the formula inhibits the enzyme that is responsible for seed germination. Since the seed is never capable of germinating, you will not see it make it through the ground.
Over time, consistent pre-emergent weed spraying can decrease the amount of unwanted plants that you see each season since these non-germinated seeds are never capable of growing plants that reproduce.
Types of Weeds Pre-Emergents Prevent
In Arizona, we have two main types of weeds that create a year long battle if you give them a chance to sprout.
Grassy type weeds such as nutsedge and bromegrass can quickly get out of control, and the combination of spring sunshine and rain make them pop up in places where they are never wanted such as in rock gardens.
Broadleaf weeds are those that are typically larger than grassy types. Tumbleweeds are a broadleaf variety that most Arizonans are familiar with finding in various places throughout their Phoenix neighborhoods.
While there are multiple types of weeds to be alert for as the spring season begins, crabgrass is one that we tend to get requests to control year after year. Pre-emergent weed sprays are perfect for controlling this type of weed so that it does not crowd out the desirable grass species on your lawn.
Why Timing Matters
There is only a small window of time for pre-emergent sprays to be their most effective. Once weed seeds germinate and sprout, you are only left with the option of using other control methods such as post-emergent spraying and pulling.
Since those methods can take some time to work, it is always best to try to prevent weed growth from starting.
You may hear people say that pre-emergent sprays should be applied during a specific month. However, Arizona’s climate changes each year, and we prefer to begin weed control shortly after the last expected frost of the season.
This gives the pre-emergent spray time to hit the seeds just as the outdoor weather conditions turn perfect for germination.
What to Expect During and After Spraying
There is not much prep work involved for you when we come to apply pre-emergent sprays. Typically, you may want to keep your pets indoors during the application and for a short time afterward.
Depending upon the rainfall in the area, we may also suggest watering the lawn after the application to help it soak into the ground.
Our technician will let you know if this is necessary, and they’ll provide instructions for how much watering to do.
The application of pre-emergent weed sprays should always be done with caution to avoid disrupting the growth cycle of desirable plants in your landscaping.
With the temperatures warming up faster this year, be sure to schedule your first spring treatments early so that you can avoid having weeds overrun your lawn.