When it comes to having healthy gardens and lawns, you are sure to need a few extra tools. Your soil is well-known for having most of the nutrients your grass needs. However, it can also lead to crabgrass.
This annoying weed can pop up at any time. Most weed killers are designed to kill everything and not just the crabgrass. Therefore, you may want to consider an alternative.
The best pre-emergent herbicide is one that keeps the seeds from germinating. We are going to talk about pre-emergent herbicides and the various products you can use. That way, you can choose which one is best for you.
Table of Contents
What Is Pre Emergent Herbicide?
Pre emergent herbicide is also called a crabgrass preventer. It’s an effective way to prevent this undesirable weed problem before it begins. In a sense, these herbicides are chemicals that can prevent crabgrass from growing in your lawn.
Keep in mind that they cannot prevent the seeds from germinating. Instead, they control the weed so that it cannot sprout. The herbicide works differently than others.
For example, with fertilizer, you can use it throughout the growing season. You use a weed killer whenever it isn’t windy or raining. This product is primarily used before the weed is visible.
If you already have weeds in your yard and can see them, a pre-emergent herbicide isn’t going to solve your problem. However, there is an exception to the rule. Some herbicides contain Dithiopyr, so they can work both before and after weeds sprout.
How to Choose a Pre Emergent Herbicide?
Pre-emergent herbicides coat and suffocate the seeds of the weeds. Therefore, you should look for them the year before you want to buy it. That way, you can tell where you have full-grown weeds in the yard and can use them more effectively.1
The first thing to do is to determine the types of weeds you have in your yard during the fall and summer months. If you aren’t sure what you have, you can take samples of the weeds. Look them up online or go to a local nursery for help.
Of course, the common weeds in your area might be different from other regions. Local nurseries are sure to know which ones you have.2
When you shop for pre-emergent herbicides, make sure to read the label. This is to ensure that it is going to work on the types of weeds you have in your yard. Some of them are designed to kill grass weeds, while others work best on broadleaf weeds.3
You can find liquid sprays and granules for pre-emergent herbicides. Therefore, you should decide now which type you want to use. It can be based on your personal preferences or the ease of which it can be applied to your location.
If you choose granules, you are going to have to water the location where you applied the herbicide. This can be done from the rain, so you could time application with the weather.
Liquid pre-emergent herbicides have to be mixed with the right amount of water. They are applied using a sprayer. If you don’t have one, you are going to have to buy one, which is an added cost.
Therefore, you can take an extra step by watering the granules or buying extra tools. Some liquid products come with a sprayer. This means you can skip the extra step and don’t have to buy anything extra.4
Also, you need to think about how much of the product you need. The label should tell you the square footage it can treat. You need to know how large your yard is to determine if you need to buy more than one container of the pre-emergent herbicide.
The Best Pre Emergent Herbicides For Lawns & Gardens
We know it’s a challenge to scroll through each of the products. Therefore, you can use this handy table below to see the products and go to the one you want to read more about.
|Preen 2464083 Garden Weed Preventer||Common Broadleaf Weeds, Grassy Weeds|
|Quali-Pro Prodiamine 65 WDG Pre-Emergent Herbicide||Broadleaf Weeds, Crabgrass|
|Scotts Halts Crabgrass & Grassy Weed Preventer||Crabgrass & Problem Weeds; Poa annua, Henbit and Chickweed, etc.|
|Southern AG 12401 Surflan A.S.||Annual Grasses & many Broadleaf Weeds|
|The Andersons Pro Turf Barricade Granular||Over 30 Grass & Broadleaf Weeds|
|Tenacity Turf Herbicide||Barnyardgrass, Carpetweed, Chickweed, Clover, Crabgrass, Dandelion, etc.|
|Scotts Turf Builder Halts Crabgrass Preventer||Crabgrass, Chickweed, Poa annua, and other common Weeds|
|LawnStar Non-Ionic Surfactant||Makes Killing Weeds, Fighting Pests & Fertilizing|
|Snapshot 2.5 TG Granular Pre-Emergent Herbicide||Broadleafs & Grassy Weeds|
|Dimension 2EW Dithiopyr Pre-Emergent Herbicide||Annual Grasses & Broadleaf Weeds, Crabgrass|
Pre Emergent Herbicide Reviewed
1. Preen 2464083 Garden Weed Preventer
Preen is an excellent brand for weed prevention. If you want to kill weeds before they sprout, the Garden Weed Preventer is ideal. It is guaranteed to stop weeds before they grow for three months.
You can also use the product around your growing vegetables, flowers, shrubs, and trees. There are 200 known varieties that remain safe while using the weed prevention product. It’s best to use the product in the summer, fall, and spring.
However, you may want to find out when your weeds tend to sprout in your area. The product is not going to work if the weeds are already growing.
The manufacturer recommends that you do not use this product on the lawn. It is primarily designed for use in gardens. This can limit its usage but is ideal for large gardens.
Depending on the size of the container you buy, it can cover between 2,080 and 5,000 square feet. This means you can choose the size that best fits your garden. You should not store the unused product to use next year.
2. Quali-Pro Prodiamine 65 WDG Pre-Emergent Herbicide
If you are looking for a pre-emergent herbicide that can be used on the lawn, the Quali-Pro brand might be ideal. The 65 WDG provides weed prevention control for broadleaf and grass areas. It also comes with a flexible application method.
This allows you to use it in the spring or fall. Plus, you can control crabgrass with this product.
It is only available in a five-pound bottle. However, it can be reused throughout the seasons. Therefore, you can store it in the airtight container in which it comes.
The pre-emergent herbicide can be used on a variety of sites. These include turf, landscaping, nurseries, golf courses, and around trees.
You are going to find that it is effective against a lot of weeds. These include goosegrass, foxtail, and spurge. It also prevents knotweed, henbit, and bluegrass from sprouting.
With 65 percent prodiamine, it is designed to be fast-acting and work for up to three months. Keep in mind that it is in granular form. You must water the area after you have applied the product.
3. Scotts Halts Crabgrass & Grassy Weed Preventer
Do you have a lot of crabgrass and other grassy weeds in your yard? If so, you should consider the Scotts brand, as it can halt these weeds from growing and sprouting in the first place. One bag of the product can cover 5,000 square feet of space.
Just one application is all you need to prevent crabgrass from growing all season long. You must reapply the pre-emergent herbicide before each growing season begins. Generally, this is in the spring.
However, once you apply it, you aren’t going to have any weed problems for the entire season. You may also use it in the fall to keep away winter weeds. These can include chickweed, poa annua, and henbit.
Snow, rain, and freezing temperatures aren’t going to affect how well the product performs. In fact, you should water the grass after applying the weed preventer. If you can time it right, the rain can do this for you and save you a step.
4. Southern AG 12401 Surflan A.S. Pre-Emergent Herbicide
The Southern AG brand is a selective pre-emergent herbicide. It can control many broadleaf weeds and annual grasses. It’s designed to be used around landscape ornamentals and container-grown ornamentals.
You may also use it around perennials, industrial sites, non-bearing fruit/nut trees, and turf. Of course, it is a surface-applied herbicide. Therefore, it sits on top of the grass and landscape and requires water for it to be soaked into the ground.
Primarily, you can use it to control buffalograss, Bahiagrass, St. Augustine, and zoysia grass. It can also be used on centipede and bermudagrass. Though you can water it immediately, you can also wait 21 days before watering it.
You only need 1.5 ounces of the product to treat 1,000 square feet. One application can last up to four months.
One interesting thing about this product is that you can mix it with Vantage or Roundup. These are both weed killers. This way, you can prevent weeds that haven’t sprouted and kill weeds that are growing in the area.
5. The Andersons Pro Turf Barricade Granular Pre-Emergent Weed Control
If you’re hoping to control weeds before they sprout, then The Andersons brand may be ideal. It’s a professional turf barricade. This means it controls weeds better because you get more particles in each application of the chemical.
Barricade can help to prevent weeds from growing. It does not eliminate any existing weeds.
Therefore, it is best to apply it in early spring. You should make sure that the soil temperature has not reached 55 degrees Fahrenheit at the four-inch depth. However, you can still use it in the fall to prevent annual bluegrass (poa annua).
This product can prevent a variety of weeds from growing. They can include spurge, witchgrass, pigweed, cupgrass, and more.
The active ingredient is Prodiamine. It contains .48 percent of the active ingredient. You can use it on a variety of areas, including lawns, athletic fields, golf courses, and sod farms.
Of course, it is important to read the full label to determine how much to use. You can also find out exactly when to apply it based on the weeds you wish to control.
6. Tenacity Turf Herbicide
When it comes to killing weeds, it’s best to prevent them. However, with the Tenacity brand, you can use it for both pre- and post-emergence of weeds. This means that you can apply it before the weed sprouts to prevent them from coming up, and use it when weeds are already growing in the space.
If you use it as a pre-emergent herbicide, the weed absorbs the product as it comes out of the soil. This effectively kills it before it grows. Therefore, you do not see the weed at all.
Using it as a post-emergent herbicide means that the weed has to absorb the product through the roots. This can take a bit longer to work, but it does the job.
You are going to find that this herbicide targets a variety of weeds. These include crabgrass (smooth and large), carpetweed, and barnyard grass. It also works on clover, chickweed, and dandelions.
Plus, you can also use it against foxtail, henbit, and goosegrass. If that weren’t enough, it also kills purslane, yellow nutsedge, wild carrot, and thistle, among others.
7. Scotts Turf Builder Halts Crabgrass Preventer with Lawn Food
Do you have a lot of crabgrass in your yard? If so, then the next growing season, you should use Scotts Turf Builder. It prevents crabgrass from growing, and it also contains fertilizer to help the lawn.
The goal of the product is to stop the weed before it can invade the lawn. Fertilizer is also included. That means your grass is going to get green faster, and the grass is going to have deeper stronger roots.
You can apply this product in the fall or spring. Plus, freezing temperatures, snow, and rain aren’t going to affect the performance of the pre-emergent herbicide. That means you can use it, even if the forecast doesn’t look great for the next day.
Of course, the best results are when the lawn has been watered about 1/4 or ½ inch with a few days after you apply the product. Therefore, it might be ideal to spread the herbicide-fertilizer mixture a few days before the forecast calls for rain.
That way, you do not have to water the lawn yourself. This can save you money because you’re not using your utilities to water the lawn.
8. LawnStar Non-Ionic Surfactant
Sometimes, a non-ionic surfactant is best because it is compatible with other fertilizers, pesticides, and herbicides. The one from LawnStaris an ideal addition to your armory of lawn care products.
It features wetting-agent technology. This allows you to spread the spray solution more evenly and efficiently on your treated plants. Of course, that is important to ensure penetration of the weeds.
The technology is 80 percent active and proprietary. On top of that, Ammonium Sulfate is used to promote the healthy growth of the plants you want in your yard.
You are also going to like the alcohol-free solution because it is non-flammable. The brand focuses on innovation and the development of new technologies to help you stay safe. Therefore, you can buy the product and store it until you need it without fear of it catching fire while in your home.
Use it in the garden and on the lawn. Of course, it is designed to work with other products. Therefore, it doesn’t kill the weed; it makes your herbicide/pesticide more effective.
9. Snapshot 2.5 TG Granular Pre-Emergent Herbicide
The Snapshot 2.5 brand gives you more control while using the pre-emergent herbicide. One application can last anywhere from six to eight months. Plus, it works on 111 different grassy and broadleaf weeds.
You need to use between 2.3 and 4.6 pounds of the product for every 1,000 square feet. Since you get 50 pounds of the product, it can treat quite a lot of ground.
It is important that you apply the pre-emergent herbicide before any irrigation or rainfall happens. The ground should be dry or barely moist before using it. However, to work effectively, you need to water the treated area within a few days of the application.
Therefore, you can have a dry day to apply the granules and then have rainfall the next day. You are going to find that this product controls many kinds of grass and weeds. The active ingredients are trifluralin and isoxaben.
Keep in mind that you should not use it on turfgrasses. It’s designed for use primarily around trees and in landscape beds.
10. Dimension 2EW Dithiopyr Pre-Emergent Herbicide
Those who want both a pre- and post-emergent herbicide are going to like the Dimension brand. It contains Dithiopyr, which can kill weeds that have already sprouted. Therefore, you can spray it before any weeds pop up or afterward.
It’s possible to use it on established lawns, industrial sites, and ornamental turf. This can include the fairways, tee boxes, and roughs of golf courses. Of course, it works well on crabgrass, but it might not be ideal for other types of weeds.
The goal here is to use it when you have unpredictable weather. You never know when the weeds are going to pop up. It might be cold one day and warm enough the next, and it seems that weeds just show up suddenly.
This is a water-based herbicide. Therefore, you must mix it with enough water to dilute it to the right strength. You should spray it over the area to be treated, though a sprayer attachment is not included with your purchase.
When to Apply Pre Emergent Herbicide?
It’s best to apply pre-emergent herbicides in the fall and early spring. You can use them throughout the year, but they only prevent new weeds from sprouting. Since spring applications are going to target different species of weeds, you must know which weeds you are trying to keep away.
If you need a fall herbicide application, you are hoping to prevent winter weeds from growing. Timing is also important, here. It’s often best to apply a pre-emergent herbicide in late summer or early fall to keep winter weeds from germinating.
How to Apply Pre Emergent Herbicide?
Spring pre-emergent herbicides are designed to prevent summer weeds from growing. This includes broadleaf and grassy types. Make sure the soil’s temperature is about 55°F (13°C) or higher for 36 to 72 hours before you apply the product.
In most parts of the US, this happens between March and April. Granular products must be watered after they are applied. This helps the active ingredient penetrate the soil better.
However, liquid pre-emergent products also have to be watered. This happens because the plants can trap the active ingredients inside. Therefore, it can’t reach the soil upon application.
For fall weeds, you want to apply the herbicide when the soil starts dipping below 70°F (21°C). It’s best to use it when the daytime temperatures are in the mid-70s for about 5 days in a row.
With 10 products to consider, it might still be hard to find the best pre-emergent herbicide. We believe that the Tenacity brand has everything you need. It works on a variety of weeds.
Plus, it can be used before weeds germinate, and after they have sprouted. We thought this was a very important factor. While a pre-emergent herbicide is designed to be used before the weeds sprout, it is sometimes hard to determine when that is going to be.
When you use this product, you don’t have to worry as much. You can tackle non-germinated weeds. If some do pop up, you can also kill those with the same product.