This article is a guide to pre emergent weed control for your lawn- preventing weeds before they sprout. Prevention is the best way to deal with weeds, as a little investment of time and resources at the right times can help you avoid a larger and more painful investments later on.
METHODS OF PRE EMERGENT WEED CONTROL FOR YOUR LAWN
Here’s a list of different methods that will help prevent weeds from ever germinating.
1) When seeding new grass, make sure you have a properly adapted turf grass species to your region. Grass that is ideal for your climate will grow easier and healthier, making weeds less likely.
2) Maintain a healthy, dense grass. Dense grass creates a canopy, producing shade and making it hard for weed seeds to germinate. Some ways to keep your grass dense and healthy:
a) Keep your soil supplied with nutrients. To learn more about how, read this article on soil improvement.
b) Practice good watering and mowing routines.
c) Practice good insect and pest control.
3) If your grass is thin, or if have reason to believe the above measures won’t be enough, you may consider a pre emergent herbicide. These work by preventing weed seed germination, stopping the weed from growing. They need to be applied yearly (or bi-yearly) as some seeds will last for decades and start to sprout if you miss a year.
(In the case of new grass, sometimes only a year or two of herbicides is needed. After that, the grass becomes sufficiently dense to prevent germination on its own).
Some common pre emergent herbicides, (loosely) listed in order of effectiveness:
f) Siduron (should be used if there are young grass seedlings still developing. The other herbicides may harm their development.)
Pre emergent herbicides work by preventing seeds from germinating, and won’t do much good after the weeds start to grow. If you still experience some weeds after using these preventative measures, manually removing them or using post emergent herbicides will probably do the trick. Some of these methods are covered in this article.
WHEN TO USE PRE EMERGENT HERBICIDES?
The best time for pre emergent herbicides is just before the weeds begin to germinate. Too early, and they will become diluted and less effective. Too late, and the weeds will have begun to germinate and the herbicide will be useless.
The best times to use herbicides are in the early spring, and the early fall. Early spring is when most weeds begin to grow, and this will stop them from doing so. Another application in the fall will help stop weeds from setting new seeds.
Good luck and stay prepared!