Weeds are one of—if not the biggest—complaint when it comes to lawn care. Fortunately, with a lawn care maintenance program it is possible to get tough weeds under control and even prevent them from growing in the first place. There are two key ways to control weeds. Pre-emergent herbicides prevent weed seeds from germinating while post-emergent herbicides kill weeds after they’ve already started growing. We will discuss both.
Pre-emergent herbicides are an excellent way to control weeds in both the lawn areas and mulch beds and are an extremely critical component of an effective landscape maintenance program. They can also be very effective in controlling crab grass, which is a big nuisance in our region. Generally pre-emergent is applied as a granular product and is typically effective for 60 to 90 days. But the timing of the application is critical. The product needs to be applied before soil temperatures get warm enough to allow seeds to germinate. But applying too early is a waste of control time since it’s too cold for any growth. It’s important to recognize that pre-emergents are not specific—they will kill all seeds.
They will kill weed seeds just as effectively as they kill the desirable grass seeds which you may be planting. As a result, if you are doing some overseeding or re-seeding, remember that the timing is critical. While pre-emergent will create a barrier that prevents growth, it will not kill established plants.
If you’re on a good lawn maintenance program and pre-emergent was applied to your lawn, the amount of post-emergent needed will likely be limited. Of course, most lawns do have some perennial weeds with deep, established roots that will not be killed by pre-emergents. For these plants, post-emergent herbicides can be applied after growth has already begun. Post-emergents work by traveling down the stalk of the plant and into the root system to kill the weed.
Post-emergents may require more than one application—particularly on stubborn plants. Like pre-emergents, timing is everything. It’s important that the application process is timed so that you’re getting the maximum effect out of the chemicals. While weeds can create an eye sore to an otherwise lush lawn, getting on a lawn care maintenance program is the easiest way to tackle the problem. We can help you get started right away.