February: Prevent Weeds Before They Start Growing

When is the right time to apply a pre-emergent weed killer to your lawn?

Look for two signals coming directly from nature: a budding dogwood tree, or a flowering forsythia bush. These two things give us a signal. They show that the soil is the right temperature for weeds to begin sprouting beneath the soil.

The rule of thumb is to apply spring pre-emergent herbicide when Forsythia starts blooming, or the dogwood tree starts budding.

Don’t have either of these trees or shrubs in your yard? That’s OK. Apply pre-emergent herbicides between February 15th and March 1st to kill spring weeds before you even see them sprouting.

Any later than that window, and it’s probably too late to kill weeds with a pre-emergent herbicide (you’ll need to switch to a post-emergent to apply directly to the weeds).

Our favorite pre-emergents are selective herbicides. They target the weeds, while leaving your lawn healthy and unaffected.

There are two types of herbicides you can use: Liquid formulas, or Granular formulas. Both can work well, depending on the equipment you have.

With a liquid formula, dilute the solution according to the directions on the bottle. Apply with a backpack sprayer or a hand pump sprayer, as shown in the photo.

Our favorite liquid brands include Trimec or Hi-Yield 2-4,D.

You can either spot treat the areas where you already see weeds, or you can broadcast treat your entire lawn. These formulas won’t harm your dormant bermuda or dormant zoysia lawn.

If you choose to use a granular, you’ll use a spreader to scatter the weed killer all over the desired area of your lawn. Follow the instructions on the bag for how much to use and which setting to choose on the spreader. To activate the granules, make sure you apply just before a rain, or use a sprinkler to water it in.

Still have more questions? Our friendly staff is standing by to answer your questions on our homeowner phone line. Give us a call at 770-607-0491 and press 1 to speak to a sod expert today.