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Hand placed over grassWeeds. Even the name sounds ugly. And if allowed to spread, weeds get even uglier, competing with your lawn for water, sunlight and important nutrients. They’ll happily take over your pretty green turf, if you let them. Don’t.

That’s where pre-emergent herbicide comes in. It’s your early spring weed defense. But with this kind of weed blocker, timing is everything. Let’s take a closer look at when to apply a herbicide formulation to your lawn as well as how it actually works.

How Does Pre-Emergent Herbicide For Lawns Work? 

These weed killers target weed seeds before they germinate, so pesky weeds don’t even have a chance to sprout. The weed is killed when it begins to sprout from the seed and hits the herbicide barrier.

The key word here is “pre-emergent.” That means it’s applied to the lawn before grassy weeds can grow. If you have a history of annual weeds sprouting in your lawn, this kind of weed prevention is for you.

When To Apply Pre-Emergent Herbicide To Lawns

Westchester lawn and landscape with flourishing plants and treesThere’s a fairly small window of opportunity here. A calendar is actually less helpful than a thermometer, because this is a matter of ground temperature.

Weed seeds germinate at varying temperatures. Crabgrass — one of the big problem weeds in New York and Connecticut lawns — germinates when soil temperatures reach about 55 to 60 degrees for three consecutive nights.

Apply a pre-emergent product after this happens, and it won’t do any good. So you want to apply pre-emergent herbicide during the cool season when the temperature is still in the 50s.

How To Apply Pre-Emergent Herbicide To Lawns

Weed seeds are tricky little buggers. Despite your best efforts, they figure out ways to spread — on the fur of dogs that might wander past your yard, floating on an early spring breeze, on the bottom of your kids’ sneakers.

So even if you’ve done your best job with applying pre-emergent, an errant weed can still sprout on your lawn. That said, here are a few tips for successfully applying pre-emergent herbicide to your lawn:

  1. Pre-emergents prevent seed germination — that’s what they’re designed to do. That means you want to keep it away from any garden areas where you’ll be planting seeds.
  2. Don’t plan on planting grass seed within a few months after applying pre-emergent. Plan your new turf for the fall.
  3. Water your lawn after you apply pre-emergent herbicide. It activates the herbicide, creating a barrier just below the surface. Most products call for a half inch of rain or irrigation within 21 days after application.
  4. Don’t aerate or heavily rake the lawn after applying pre-emergent. Wait for fall.

Prevent Weeds With Pre-Emergent Weed Control Services

To beat weeds at their own game, target them before they even sprout during their growing season, with a pre-emergent application. Timing is critical, so don’t wait until the warm season when the temperature is in the 60s and you’ve unpacked your sandals.

Give your lawn its best chance to soak in enough water, sunlight and nutrients without competing with a pesky type of weed such as dandelions, annual bluegrass, foxtail, chickweed, bermuda grass, and broadleaf weeds. Then it will be healthy, green and barefoot ready.

Neave Lawn Care offers the best landscaping weed control practices in the industry. Leave the pesky sprouters to us. After four decades in the lawn care service business, we know exactly when to apply pre-emergent herbicide applications in the New York and Connecticut area; whether it be late spring, late summer or winter weeds.

We’re fully licensed, insured and certified for the application of various pesticides and weed control solutions. Organic practices are available as well. Contact us to schedule a free consultation. We’ll perform a thorough lawn analysis at no charge to you, and let you know what the best weed control methods are for you.

If you’re a homeowner in the Hudson Valley, call us at 845-463-0592. If you’re in Westchester County, call 914-271-7996; from Connecticut, dial 203-212-4800. Or. fill out our contact form, and we’ll contact you about setting up your free consultation.

Homeowner's Guide to Lawn Care

Images: Crabgrass, Dandelion

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FREE Landscape Care & Maintenance Guide

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