When it comes to lawn care and weed control, no tool can be more effective than a pre-emergent treatment. Unsightly weeds will blemish your landscape and can compete with healthy grass for light, water, and essential nutrients.
What is a Pre-emergent Treatment?
A pre-emergent herbicide is designed to kill young weed seedlings as they sprout. The treatment, when applied at the right time of year, will eliminate weeds in the very early stages of growth. Stopping tough weeds allows desired, established plants to thrive.
You can think of this as a chemical mat, such as the fabric you could buy to put under the mulch in flower gardens and flower beds. However, pre-emergent treatment does not control already established weeds.
As the name suggests, pre-emergent treatment is geared towards controlling weeds that are yet to emerge from the soil. If you want to get the best results, as well as limit time and labor cost down the road, you need to ensure that weeds are not visible above ground when applying the pre-emergent treatment. For this reason, it is crucial to maintain a regular treatment schedule.
What’s the Proper Timing for a Pre-emergent treatment?
Weed seeds germinate at variable temperatures, so you need to understand the history of your lawn to make out the best of a pre-emergent treatment. Crabgrass, for instance, can start to emerge when soil temperatures are at 55-60◦F for three successive nights. Your location, and the particular condition of your lawn, will be used to determine the best strategy to ensure weed seeds never have the chance to germinate.
In Atlanta and the surrounding areas, the ideal time to apply a pre-emergent treatment is in the spring and the fall. If this fairly small window of opportunity is missed, then you’ll have no other option but to take a more challenging approach to weed control after the weeds have grown.