Tired of looking at the overgrown sprouts in your garden during the summer when it was full of vibrant flowers during spring? You might have been so depressed at the scene that you drove to the store only to find yourself getting confused over the number of herbicides that are out there.
Do not worry, friend, you are not the only one. Ridding off those ugly weeds from your garden is one of the few crucial steps to a healthy, vibrant lawn.
To make sure that you don’t have to rid them off once they have spoiled your lawn, we use a pre-emergent herbicide. This article will be your guide on when to apply a pre-emergent herbicide.
What is Pre-Emergent Herbicide?
A pre-emergent herbicide is a chemical product specially designed to prevent those unwanted weeds on your lawn. This lawn care product contains some of the very active industrial chemicals like Benfluralin, which destroys the roots of the weeds, Oxadiazon, controlling the overgrowth of grass or bush vines, and many more.
To put it into simpler words, a pre-emergent herbicide is a control system that prevents weed from growing in the first place, saving you the time and money to getting rid of it after it is a problem.
It works on the new weeds when they are just sprouts, not letting them grow any further. This process is much easier and less time consuming than pulling those weeds out every year.
Different Types of Pre-Emergent Herbicides
Its mechanism, firstly, depends on what type of pre-emergent herbicide you are using. They are many different kinds, each of them having to specialize in killing a certain type of weed generally. So before you purchase a pre-emergent herbicide, make sure you check the label or consult an expert.
The type of herbicide you use also depends on which season you want to use them on. For example, one type of pre-emergent herbicide is fall pre-emergent herbicide, and it is super strong as it can get rid of the winter weeds when the weeds are their strongest before they become a concern.
Similarly, there is a spring pre-emergent as well, which kills the summertime weeds for us.
How Does It Work?
Now that you have chosen the pre-emergent herbicide, which is appropriate for your lawn, you must be interested to know exactly what the herbicide does that solves all of your lawn problems. Depending on the type and formula, the herbicides will do one, two, or all of these three things.
- Restricts plant root growth
- Hinders seed cell division
- Obstructs specific enzymes essential to the growth of certain plants
As you can see, these actions completely take away any future the weed plants were planning to have in your lawn.
However, a word of caution is that if you use it carelessly or use it on a newly-seeded lawn, then the herbicides might end up killing the plants you want to nurture.
Facts about Pre-Emergent Herbicides
- Pre-emergent herbicides cannot kill existing weeds or their seeds. They can only hinder the growth process of the weeds before the seed germination phase.
- Pre-emergent herbicides can destroy crabgrass just like it destroys the weeds but cannot kill the existing once. You will have to manually pluck out the existing ones from your lawn.
- Pre-emergent herbicides are safe to use even though they contain such active chemicals as the herbicides undergo rigorous tests and procedures to make sure it is safe for your family and the environment.
When to Use Pre-Emergent Herbicides
If you want your pre-emergent herbicide manifestations to work, you must realize that timing is everything here. Nothing really happens to the weeds before they reach the seed germination phase.
The herbicides make it very hard for the weeds to have a growth process that leads to that phase. And that is the entire point of using pre-emergent herbicides. So the timing and the temperature are extremely crucial.There are two approaches to this, and they are mentioned below:
- The Scientific Method
Again, while deciding the ideal time for the herbicides, we must take the time of herbicides as well. Let’s say you want to use the spring pre-emergent herbicide.
So, depending on what part of the world you live in, you have to monitor your plants and wait for the time when the soil temperature is 60 degrees F.
You might be wondering that temperatures can fluctuate a lot, and you are right. You have to record the temperature of your lawn in springtime and check if the lawn is in the 60 degrees F range, give or take a few degrees, for at least 36 hours. If you have the ideal conditions, then your lawn is ready for the herbicides.
If you are using the fall pre-emergent for the winter season, you have to apply the herbicides in which the soil temperature stays in the mid-70 degree F for at least 5 days in a row.
- The Earlier-Is-Better Method
While the scientific method gives us the best time, it is too much effort and time-consuming. It’s not quite possible for the luxury to make time to measure your soil temperatures a few times a day, considering how busy all of our lives are now.
So some people just don’t pay any attention to it. They make an assumption that today is hot enough and just decide today is the day to apply herbicides.
Most of the time, the results are the same because the herbicides should work just the same as long as it is applied for the seed germination phase. And they will continue doing their responsibilities for the season regardless.
Here you go, folks, a complete guide to when to use pre-emergent herbicides on your beautiful lawn. We would suggest that you go for the scientific method even though it’s quite a lot of work because that method ensures a 100% positive result and a weed-free lawn.
Yes, it will be some trouble, but the way your lawn will look afterward will be worth all the pain, my friend.