If we told you about a way to prevent weed seeds from germinating and becoming weeds in your yard, would you use it?
Let us introduce you to “pre-emergent herbicides” which do exactly what they claim…prevent seeds from germinating. Think how convenient this would be…you clean up a garden bed, sprinkle the pre-emergent, cover with some mulch and, for the next six to eight weeks, no seeds will germinate. (However, this also includes any seeds you may plant.)
You may have wondered about those “weed n’ feed” lawn fertilizers. These contain pre-emergent herbicides to prevent weeds in addition to fertilizer for the lawn. These are especially effective at preventing weeds including summer crabgrass when applied in the spring and fall.
The best part of pre-emergent herbicides is they don’t harm existing plants. There are a few sensitive plants, check the specific herbicide instructions.
Wondering how they work? Pre-emergent herbicides contain various chemicals to interrupt the germination cycle. Some affect the cellular structures of the seed while others prevent the emergence of the rootlet. The bottom line is the seed doesn’t become a weed.
Remember, application timing is critical. Generally, weed seeds begin germinating when the soil reaches approximately 50⁰F. If the pre-emergent is applied too early, it will have leached and not be available to prevent germination. If applied too late, the seed is on its way to becoming a weed.
After applying the pre-emergent herbicide, follow the instructions for watering and reapplication. Hopefully, now you won’t have to pull so many weeds!