Whenever you do some research about weed control, it is likely that you will quickly see the words "pre-emergent" and "post-emergent" as a way to describe certain types of herbicides. Post-emergent is pretty self-explanatory - it is the process of killing weeds that have already popped up out of the soil. But, what is pre-emergent weed control? How does it work? When should you apply it and when is it too late to apply? Does it only apply to certain types of weeds?

Don't panic! In this article, we cover everything you need to know about pre-emergent weed control applications. Continue reading to get all of your questions answered by the experts at A+ Lawn & Landscape.

How do pre-emergent herbicides work?

Contrary to popular belief, pre-emergent weed control treatments do not prevent your seeds from germinating. In fact, you have to wait until your weed seeds germinate for pre-emergents to actually work. The weed roots have to start growing in order to hit the barrier that the pre-emergent treatment has built just below the soil surface. This barrier blocks germinating seeds from popping up out of the soil.

Since pre-emergent weed control is meant to work its magic after the seed has begun to germinate, it is possible that there are still weed seeds within your soil that are still lying dormant. This is why pre-emergent weed control is not a 100% guarantee. You must continue treatments with post-emergent herbicides in order to get rid of all of the weeds on your property.

When should you be applying your pre-emergent treatment?

We already know that your weed seeds must be germinating for pre-emergent treatments to actually work. But, what does this mean in reference to the time of the year? In the Des Moines area, we administer pre-emergents in late March or early April. It is possible to be both too early and too late to apply pre-emergents.

  • Administering pre-emergents too early: You risk the fact that no weed seeds are germinating yet and none of them will be affected by the treatment.
  • Administering pre-emergents too late: If your weeds have already begun to pop out of your soil, you know that it is too late for pre-emergent applications and you must switch to using post-emergents.

How will your pre-emergent treatment be applied?

A liquid treatment is usually used for pre-emergent herbicides instead of a granular treatment. This is because it can be easily and evenly spread over a large area, ensuring that we have hit all spots of your lawn and haven't left anything uncovered. A big difference between pre-emergent and post-emergent applications is that post-emergent is more of a spot treatment to tackle certain areas where weeds have found success on your lawn. Pre-emergent herbicides are administered on your entire lawn.

Does pre-emergent weed control only target certain weeds?

Pre-emergent treatments can kill all types of weeds, however, some professional companies like ours offer treatments that are meant to prevent specific types of weeds. This will happen in areas where certain types of weed are extremely common. For example, in Des Moines, Iowa, we see a lot of Broadleaf Plantain, Dandelion, White Clover, and Creeping Charlie.

Get ahead of the game this year with pre-emergent weed control treatments.

We want your lawn to be as prepared as possible this year! Applying pre-emergent treatments will significantly lessen your weed issue and leave you with fewer post-emergent damage control treatments. We offer our weed control program to homes and businesses in the Des Moines, Iowa area including West Des Moines, Ankeny, and Urbandale. Call our office at (515) 289-2020 to enroll in our weed control program today.