Getting ready for the spring and summer seasons is a big job—especially if you want to avoid killing and pulling weeds all summer long. Applying a pre-emergent herbicide in the spring is a good way to get ahead of the game, but beware of mistakes that might cause problems down the line!
- Applying herbicide too late. The ideal time to apply pre-emergent herbicides is when soil temperatures consistently reach 55 degrees at a depth of 4 inches. When the application is made too late, the product doesn’t have enough time to work before seeds germinate. Once seeds germinate, many pre-emergent herbicides are ineffective—an exception would be products containing dithiopyr, a pre-emergent and early post-emergent herbicide.
- Incorrectly calibrating a sprayer or spreader. When a sprayer or spreader is improperly calibrated, it can lead to under-application of the product. When enough product hasn’t been applied, summer annual weeds may appear later in the year.
- Skipping the second half of the application. “Splitting your pre-emergent application into two rounds applied between March and April can help to improve overall coverage and prevent breakthrough of annual weeds,” said Tony Goldsby, PhD, Ewing’s National Turf Products Manager. While most people remember to do the first application, the second application is sometimes skipped or forgotten—leaving people to see late season pressure from summer annual weeds. If you choose to split your application into two rounds, don’t forget to apply that second round!
As you get ready for spring weed season, watch this video to hear some start-up tips from Goldsby to help your landscape look its best over the summer months. Then, check out Ewing’s Pre-Emergent Starter Pack for all the products you need for a successful pre-emergent application.