The Importance of Pre-Emergent Applications

Lawn Maintenance

Many homeowners employ a year-round lawn service that services their lawn roughly 7-9 times a year. There is a trend among some of the more frugal homeowners to skip the pre-emergent herbicide treatment to save some money. We understand being all about saving money, however this specific service can be one of the most important lawn treatments of the year.

Protection Against Weeds

The herbicides contained in a pre-emergent essentially create a vapor barrier that kills weeds prior to germination. It’s recommended that spring applications be performed late February into mid-March before temperatures approach 55*F. Treating your yard with pre-emergent early will help deter and destroy new weeds that could possibly be prowling in your soil. Early application can also help your lawn control young weeds that haven’t begun actively growing.

The thing to remember about a pre-emergent is that it is strategically timed to be effective by controlling the weeds prior to their emergence from the soil. The majority of herbicides used in residential pre-emergent mixes tend to come in granular form and are often mixed with fertilizer. A broadcast spreader can make spreading the mix of herbicide and fertilizer much easier and more evenly distributed.

How to Get the Most out of Your Herbicide

Before performing your pre-emergent treatment, here are a few things to consider to maximum your herbicide’s effectiveness:

  • Pre-emergent herbicides are designed to control a weed seed before germination. Though it seems like it would work, pre-emergent treatments are not effective at controlling existing weeds. In order to control existing weeds, an application of weed killer or some other solution will be necessary.
  • In order for a pre-emergent application to be truly successful, the mixture of fertilizer and pre-emergent must be exactly what the manufacturer recommends.
  • Finally, and this is important, pre-emergent herbicide must be watered in. If the herbicide is not watered, it will form no vapor barrier to eradicate the not yet germinated seeds. It generally will require rainfall of at least half an inch, but possibly more depending on the manufacturer’s specifications.

Proper Coverage Is Key

To ensure proper coverage you must treat the herbicide like a blanket covering your grass. Stick to the manufacturer’s guidelines for area coverage. If it says use X amount for 1,000 square feet, then use that much and be more than sure to spread it evenly. Spot coverage does virtually nothing to control weeds. If there is a bare spot in application, weeds will surely survive and thrive in that area. To put it into perspective, instructions usually will call for 1 to 2 gallons of treatment in a 1,000 square foot area.

If skipping your pre-emergent treatment is something you’re considering or you don’t think you’re up to the task of taking the time to properly distribute your herbicide, give The Other Side Lawn Care a call. We gladly service lawns 12 months out of the year to help them be as weed-free, green, and lush as possible.