Many homeowners are wondering about this year’s first spring pre-emergence herbicide and fertilizer application. Here are some tips to help you sort out the best products and strategies for your lawn.
PRE herbicide residual
PRE herbicides act by killing germinating weed seedlings, which come in contact with the herbicide as they grow their first shoot or root. The herbicide is gradually broken down by light and soil microbes, and this process starts as soon as the product is applied regardless of whether weed seedlings are present or not.
Applying your PRE herbicide too early reduces the length of its actual effectiveness during periods of active weed growth, providing less weed control for your dollar.
PRE herbicides will not control perennial weeds which have overwintered from last year, like dandelion, clover, ground ivy or wild violet plants.
Several PRE herbicides are available to homeowners. To figure out which one you are buying, look for the chemical name in the active ingredient statement on the front of the fertilizer bag.
• dithiopyr (Dimension, Greenview Fairway Formula Spring Fertilizer with Crabgrass Preventer)
• mesotrione (Scotts Turf Builder Starter)
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• pendimethalin (Pendelum, Pre-M, Scotts Halts Crabgrass & Grassy Weed Preventer, Scotts WeedEx with Halts, Vigoro Crabgrass Preventer & Lawn Fertilizer)