If you ever hear your green thumb neighbor and landscaping company referencing pre-emergent weed control and wonder what in the world that even is, you're not the only one. Pre-emergent weed control is a treatment that's used to help prevent weeds from invading lawns and landscapes. It's a tried and true practice for lawn care professionals and gardeners. You may be wary about its purpose and wonder if it's even worth adding to your routine lawn care.
This blog is going to dive into what pre-emergent weed control is, how it works, when to apply it, and what happens if you skip this lawn care treatment. If you're struggling with keeping weeds out of your landscape, continue reading to find the solution.
Pre-emergent is a preventative measure to decrease weeds in lawns.
When most people are facing an ongoing issue, they try to find a solution that prevents the problem from constantly arising. A pre-emergent treatment is that solution in the lawn care world when it comes to stubborn weeds. This treatment can be either an organic application or a chemically-formulated application like an herbicide.
Lawn grass needs a certain amount of oxygen, sunlight, and water to remain healthy and green. The problem with weeds is that they compete with your grass and landscape plants for these key nutrients. If they beat your grass to the punch, you'll start to notice your lawn beginning to brown and look less lush than it did before. Pre-emergent weed control prevents this competition from happening by eliminating weeds altogether.
Active ingredients in pre-emergents disrupt the weed growth process.
More landscaping companies are heading in the organic pre-emergent treatment direction but herbicides still rule the green industry market. Organic applications utilize natural ingredients like corn gluten meal and organic matters to ward off weed growth in landscapes. Corn gluten is the most popular organic treatment because of its effectiveness on common lawn weeds types like broadleaf, perennial weeds, and grassy weeds. It works by drying out the weeds root system before it gets a chance to fully emerge.
Herbicides are mostly made up of chemicals like benfluralin, dithiopyr, and isobaxen which are designed to prevent weed seeds from fully germinating. Once a weed begins to sprout from the seed, it reaches the contact barrier created by the pre-emergent, which damages the weed as a whole, halting its growth. Therefore, existing weeds won't be affected by preventative weed control treatments because they've already sprouted past the contact barrier.
Timing and strength determine the effectiveness of the pre-emergent.
Applying pre-emergent without the knowledge of a lawn care professional may fail to produce expected results. If you plan on applying a pre-emergent treatment yourself, you may want to think again. Perhaps the most important aspect lies in the timing of the application. As mentioned above, weeds that have already broken the barrier can not be removed with pre-emergent. These treatments must be applied before the weed seed makes it through the final stage of the germination process. The rule of thumb is to apply the treatment when the soil reaches a warm temperature of between 50-55 degrees. However, when the soil generally reaches this temperature varies from region to region.
Stubborn weeds like crabgrass can have a pre-emergent treatment in January in tropical areas like Florida but must have a treatment applied in early May in cooler northern states. Other weed species like chickweed, bluegrass, and filaree actually need a second treatment because of their delayed spring growth. Professional landscapers are aware of the life cycle of common weeds and the climate of the area, thus allowing them to determine which time of year is best to apply the application.
What happens if you skip out on a pre-emergent weed control treatment?
In short, your lawn will quickly be taken over by weeds if you opt-out of a pre-emergent weed control treatment. All of your efforts of routine lawn maintenance and proper fertilization will be overridden by weeds that seek to steal nutrients from your grass. Once they accumulate these nutrients, your grass will begin to lack strength and become susceptible to damaging lawn diseases. If you want a lush lawn filled with green, healthy grass, a pre-emergent weed control treatment is a must.
Looking for pre-emergent weed control services in the Elkhart area? Call us today!
We are an award-winning company that truly cares for the health and appearance of your grass. Our company offers essential lawn care services like fertilization, pre-emergent weed control, and insect control. If you have a property in Elkhart, Granger, South Bend, or a nearby city in IN, call us at (574) 326-3526 to schedule a service today!