Pre and Post Emergent Weed Control – The Basics


It’s not a question of if you need pre and/or post-emergent weed control, it’s a matter of when is the best time to take action to successfully combat weeds from taking over your property.

Like their name suggests, pre-emergent herbicides must be applied before weeds emerge. Typically, this is best completed in the early spring season just as the soil temperature is starting to rise. Weed seed germination, or the process by which a plant grows from a seed, occurs when soil reaches the correct temperature. Summer weeds can begin germinating as early as late February in warmer climates such as the coastal regions. Pre-emergents prevent weed seeds from germinating by creating a protective barrier seal around the seeds to essentially suffocate it to eliminate chances for growth. However, if you wait until after weeds emerge, pre-emergent herbicides will have little to no effect.

It’s not too late.

If you missed the window of opportunity for applying a pre-emergent herbicide, you can still prevent your property from sprouting a garden of undesirable weeds by applying a post-emergent product. Post-emergent herbicides can be applied to plants once spring has begun and plants have started to grow. Instead of attacking a seed, post-emergents make their way to the stalk of the plant and into its root system, allowing it to kill the already sprouted plant from underground. To achieve the most success, post-emergent herbicides need to be applied multiple times throughout the growing season, and it’s recommended to have one final application in late fall to help prevent new weed growth in spring.

Two is better than one.

Pre and post-emergents also work well together. If your pre-emergent has already been successfully applied this year, but you are starting to seeing random weeds sprouting up on your property, post-emergents can be used as spot treatment options. Unfortunately, it’s impossible to prevent all weeds on your property even with a perfect pre-emergent application. This is true for multiple reasons, including weed seeds spreading through nearby properties by wind and rain as well as animals and humans.

Make your move.

If you’re ready to turn your property into a year-round weed combating zone, location is key. Each of our branches have their own herbicide application timelines based on their area’s specific needs.

Need help winning the battle? Contact us today for your customized plan in the fight against weeds.