How to Get a Jump on Weeds with Pre-Emergent

Weeds are the bane of existence for most gardeners, landscapers, and homeowners. Staying on top of weeds can feel like shoveling snow in a blizzard: the moment you feel like you have the problem under control, you turn around and a new crop of weeds has popped up!

You can always pull weeds as they grow. Or you can stay a step ahead of the weeds with pre-emergent.

As the name suggests, pre-emergent is an herbicide that takes care of weeds before they “emerge.” It does this by targeting the seeds of the weeds, creating a barrier so that the seeds do not receive the nutrients they would need to grow and flourish. The weeds die before they can sprout and take over your lawn or garden.

Now that we have a basic understanding of what pre-emergent is, let’s go over some of the basics about using pre-emergent in your own yard.

When should you apply pre-emergent?

Generally speaking, you should apply pre-emergent in the late winter/early spring and in the early fall. You want the soil to be warm enough so that seeds can soak up water, but you also need to apply the pre-emergent before the seeds germinate and start growing. 

How do you apply pre-emergent?

Pre-emergent is available in granular or liquid form. Granular pre-emergent should be spread evenly over the desired area using a spreader. Liquid pre-emergent can be applied with a sprayer; instructions for mixing will be on the packaging, and many options come with their own sprayer tool. Either way, thorough and even application is key. 

Note: while you should apply pre-emergent on dry areas, you should water the area after applying the pre-emergent.

Will pre-emergent guarantee zero weeds?

No. Even with pre-emergent, you will almost certainly still see weeds in your yard, though they should be much fewer in number. You can kill this with post-emergent herbicide.

Will pre-emergent kill other plants (like the ones you don’t want to kill)?

Pre-emergent prevents seeds from growing past a certain point. Established plants will not be affected by pre-emergent, but anything you are still trying to grow (particularly things that are shallowly planted like flowering plants or vegetables) will definitely be impacted.

Using pre-emergent on your lawn will help you stay on top of pesky weeds, all year long. Try it and enjoy a beautiful, weed-free yard! For more helpful tips be sure to visit our blog, or contact Rustic Creek Landscaping today to speak with one of our experienced landscape designers about creating the outdoor space of your dreams.

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