An important part of our lawn care maintenance is attentive weed control. One of the most effective ways we control weeds is by applying pre-emergent herbicide, a chemical that prevents unwanted growth from appearing in your winter turf.

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Contrary to popular belief, pre-emergent weed killers don’t destroy weeds and their seeds. They simply stop them from growing. Some seeds are known to last 50 years, so if the herbicide isn’t applied each year, the weed will grow.

Pre-emergent herbicides only work if they are applied during lawn care maintenance before the weed’s growth period. But if applied too early, weather will dilute the herbicide and the weed will grow unencumbered. 

According to garden experts from many regions of the U.S., any pre-emergent herbicide for winter turf weeds needs to be applied so that they activate before winter weeds make an appearance in your lawn.

There are two times to apply pre-emergent herbicides — early spring and fall — because there are primarily two types of weeds, winter weeds and summer weeds. This is especially true in regions that don’t completely freeze over in the winter. The fall application, done during your regular lawn care maintenance, is to catch weeds as they set new seed. This fall application will limit any late fall growth and hopefully begin weeding work for next year.