Weeds are every gardener’s worst enemy.
Nobody wants ugly weeds taking up space meant for their beautiful flowers and lawns or worse, killing them off because they compete with them for sunlight and other essential soil nutrients.
These bad guys make your lawns look messy.
Weeds are also the perfect host for pests and disease which can infect the neighbouring plants.
It’s best to nip the problem in the bud using pre-emergent herbicides.
What are Pre-emergent Herbicides?
A pre-emergent herbicide does just what its name says: it kills weeds before they emerge. This saves you the extra stress of having to take them out and the loss of garden plants to pests and disease.
Pre-emergent herbicides wont kill already existing weeds, though.
How Do Pre-emergent Herbicides Work?
In simple terms,pre-emergent herbicides work by preventing weed seedlings from germinating. They do this by preventing root formation,therefore the weed cannot thrive.
They also work by impeding its cell division and ensuring certain nutrients don’t reach the seed.
It is worthy to note that not all pre-emergent herbicides will work for all types of weeds. For example, the one that will work for crabgrass may not work for lemongrass.
Weeds by nature are plants that have the characteristic of being able to thrive anywhere they are found. They can even grow in cracks in the sidewalk!
This nature is actually detrimental to the health of other purposely cultivated plants because they are difficult to separate from each
All you need to do is to find out the herbicide that has the best action for the weed you are dealing with.
- Use lots of water
Most herbicide products require at least 0.5 inches of irrigation or rain within 21 days of usage for them to be activated. If you reside in a dry area,be prepared to store and use the needed amount of water or wait till the rainy season.
- Right amounts,best results
Read the manufacturers manual to find out exactly the amount to mix to get spray solution. They usually state amount required per 1000 square feet or per acre.
Target the affected area with the appropriate strength spray solution. Spot spraying doesn’t help at all.
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Types of Pre-emergent Herbicides
Pre-emergent Herbicides are of two major types:
Granules are the ready-to-go type.They come in dry pellet form. One just needs to spread it in the affected area and let it do its job.
The active ingredient in these herbicides bind near the surface of the soil, creating a protective barrier that prevents weeds from sprouting.
A great example is Nitrophos Barricade.
Cons:The downside to granular weed control is getting it to stick to the weed. These materials work best when applied to wet weeds. Without the surface moisture, the granules mostly roll off the leaf reducing potential control.
Liquids will need to be dissolved in water for them to work effectively. This means measuring the concentrate and mixing it with the appropriate amount of water.
Pros: Since it is in liquid form,it will easily be absorbed into the leaves of the plant to carry out its action
Cons: Must be mixed with water first.
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Active Agents In Pre-emergent Herbicides
The active agents in herbicides are sold under a variety of brand names.Common active ingredients in pre-emergent herbicide products include these:
7. Corn gluten
Other less active ones:
Top 10 Pre-emergent Herbicides for Lawns and How to Apply Them
1. Qualipro Prodiamine WDG
Unarguably the best pre-emergent herbicide,qualipro prodiamine is extensively used because it is effective against a wide range of weeds.
Active Ingredient: Prodiamine
Application:Liquid herbicide.Dissolved in water and sprayed
2. Espoma Organic Weed Preventer
This is an organic herbicide so there is no risk of poisoning if it finds its ways into water sources. It contains corn gluten which performs two beneficial functions: it nourishes lawn grass and takes care of the weeds.
Active Ingredient: Corn gluten
Application: Granular herbicide. Spread as pellets
3.The Andersons 0.48% Barricade
Inexpensive and within reach,The Andersons Barricade formula is a favourite.Its prodiamine content makes it very effective.
Application: Granule herbicide. Spread as pellets.
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4. Pendulum 2G
What it lacks in affordability(it is a little more expensive),it makes up for in quantity and quality. It deals with stubborn crabgrass perfectly. An excellent choice for turf lawns and garden beds. Care must be taken as it is harmful to touch
Active Ingredient: Pendimethalin
Application: Granular herbicide. Spread as pellets
5. Scotts Turfbuilder Halts Crabgrass Preventer
This is a dual function weed control product. It is a pre-emergent and also contains fertilizer. What better way to take care of that lawn than to encourage plant growth without worrying about weeds? It is also very affordable.
Application: Granular herbicide. Spread as pellets.
6. Dimension 2 EW
Dimension 2 EW offers best value for longevity because it is packaged in large quantities. It is designed to be used on large expanses of land and is a highly concentrated solution. So for your lawn,you will only need a small quantity and it will last quite a while.
Active Ingredient: Dithiopyr
Application: Liquid herbicide.Dissolved in water and sprayed
7. Snapshot 2.5 TG
This contains two active ingredients which means it can handle a wide array of weeds easily. Its best for homeowners who live near open fields.
Active Ingredients:Trifluralin and Isoxaben
Application:Granular herbicide. Spread as pellets
8. Balan 2.5 G Pre-Emergent
Benefin has low toxicity to humans and mammals so your pets are safe while using this brand. It can be applied during both hot and cool seasons.
Some of the weeds it is known to successfully control are annual bluegrass, barnyardgrass, crabgrasses, crowfootgrass and fall panicua
Application: Available as both granule and liquid. Apply as required.
Read Also: What’s the Best Time to Spray Dandelions? When is it Too Late?
Sedgehammer has strong action against stubborn weeds while avoiding damage to other plants. It is easy to use and perfect for use in public spaces.
Active Ingredients: Halosulfuron-methyl (75%) and Halosulfuron-methyl (5%)
Application: Granular herbicide. Water soluble and can be dissolved in water then applied.
10. Preen Lawn Crabgrass Control
Crabgrass is known as one of the mkst stuboorn weeds around. Preen Lawn Crabgrass Control is formulated just for its control. It also offers protection against up to 40 different weeds.PLCC is harmless to lawns and garden flowers and actually nourishes the soil.
Active Ingredient: Dithiopyr
Application: Liquid herbicide. Dissolve in water and spray
The Best Time to Apply
Timing is very important when it comes to applying pre-emergent herbicides. You must know the type of weed and its life cycle,if it is an annual or biennial plant.
This is useful in developing a strategy to control them.
The time of year you apply your pre-emergent herbicide is the most crucial factor to keep weeds from springing up in your yard. Two factors — season and ground temperature — determine when it’s the right time to apply your herbicide.
Early spring and fall are the most effective times to apply pre-emergent herbicides.
To avoid winter and fall weeds,
apply a pre-emergent herbicide from August to November.
To get avoid early spring and summer weeds, apply pre-emergent herbicides around March.
To prevent summer weeds, apply a pre-emergent herbicide once the ground temperature has been 55 degrees for at least 48 hours.
To prevent winter weeds, apply a pre-emergent herbicide in the fall when ground temperatures reach around 70 degrees.
1. Herbicide of Choice: This is largely determined by the species of weed to be eliminated
2. Herbicide Applicator:There are various types available in the market. Choose the one best for you
3. Personal Protective Equipment(Safety gear): Safety is of paramount importance especially when handling hazardous chemicals. Wear goggles, gloves and nose masks. Wash hands and clothes afterwards.