Pre-emergent Herbicides For Winter & Early Spring Lawn Weed Control


Winter weeds such as henbit, chickweed and annual bluegrass (Poa annua) are common nuisances in lawns during spring. These weeds, along with many others, come from seeds that germinate in fall, grow slowly during winter and appear in early spring. They are unsightly in lawns and interfere with the growth and spread of grass. They die out when hot weather arrives leaving brown spots in the lawn. Pre-emergent herbicides are an effective way to control annual weeds. The herbicide kills seeds as they germinate so that weeds never emerge from the soil. However, pre-emergent herbicides are not effective against weeds that are already growing so they must be applied now to be present in the soil when germination occurs.

To prevent late winter/early spring annual weeds, apply a pre-emergent herbicide in early September (in northeast Texas).

Pre-emergent herbicides for home lawns are most readily available in granular form and can be applied with a fertilizer spreader. For uniform distribution apply the granules at half the recommended application rate while walking north and south across your lawn, and the other half walking east and west. After applying, thoroughly water the herbicide into the lawn. The herbicides are formulated to remain in the top portion of the soil, even after a heavy rain. Before applying pre- emergent herbicides be sure to read and follow the product directions carefully.

Tom Russell, Smith County Master Gardener

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