Preventing Summer Weeds: Pre-Emergent Weed Control

January 18, 2022

Summer weeds may be the furthest thing from your mind as the winter snow comes down, but it’s actually the perfect time to contemplate your plan for controlling summer weeds. SSC Grounds Manager Marc Taylor, who oversees one of our grounds management programs in Charleston, South Carolina, has some tips and tricks to consider while planning your pre-emergent weed control strategy.

  1. Identify: Consider what plant or plants you will be applying pre-emergent weed control products to. Certain types of desirable turfgrasses and ornamental plants do not respond well, and application can even be detrimental to the plant’s survival. For example, using the brand name Ronstar G herbicide on centipede turf will weaken the plant into… well, death.
  2. Select: After identifying the plants you will be applying products to, select the product you will use based on the active ingredient (AI). What is the main source in the product? You can find the AI in the label directly on the bag. Don’t worry about diving into the molecular makeup of the ingredient, but obtain knowledge readily available to you on the internet to determine if it will help or harm your plants.
  3. Calculate: Determine the area where you will apply the product you have selected. What is the square footage or acreage you are trying to treat? Use this information to further inform your decision based on cost analysis of available products.
  4. Note: When calculating, also consider whether the entire area must be treated, or just hot spots and a buffer around each.

  5. Schedule: Timing is everything. Are you targeting summer weed germination or winter weed germination? What is your target of control? Pre-plan your application for the best results and keep in mind, you can’t always control everything.

If you have trouble with identification, measuring, selecting products, or just need some extra guidance, your local nursery, product provider, or landscape contractor can be a great resource for information for pre-emergent weed control tips. Find someone with a passion for plants, like our Subject Matter Experts at SSC Services for Education, and you will be in great hands. Interested in reading more grounds tips? Be sure to check out our Resource Center for more.