Your Guide To Pre-Emergent Fertilizer

Kickstarting Your Lawn Care: The Power of Pre-Emergent Fertilizer

Understanding the importance of pre-emergent fertilizer is key to achieving a lush, weed-free lawn. It’s the proactive solution for those who dream of a perfect garden.


Welcome to Your Guide to Pre-Emergent Fertilizer. If you’re looking to keep your lawn free of crabgrass and other unwanted weeds before they even have a chance to become a problem, you’re in the right place. Pre-emergent fertilizer is your first line of defense, designed to prevent weed seeds from germinating in the first place. However, timing is everything. For effective control, applying pre-emergent fertilizer at the right moment in the growth cycle of weeds is crucial.


Quick Info Snapshot:

  • What: Pre-emergent fertilizer stops weed seeds from starting to grow.
  • When: It’s best to use it in early spring or fall, tailored to the specific weeds and where you live.
  • Call the Experts: For guidance tailored to your yard and expert service, reach out to Borst Landscape & Design at (201) 822-9327.

Maintaining a beautiful lawn and garden can be time-consuming and requires a certain level of expertise. Whether you’re dealing with a recurring weed problem or just want to ensure your lawn stays lush and healthy, the team at Borst Landscape & Design is here to help. With over three decades of experience serving the Bergen County area, we offer a full range of landscaping services, from design and build to regular maintenance. Our approach not only beautifies your property but also makes it safer for your children and pets.


Understanding Pre-Emergent Fertilizer

When it comes to maintaining a lush, weed-free lawn, the secret isn’t just in how you treat the weeds you can see—it’s also about preventing the ones you can’t. That’s where pre-emergent fertilizer comes into play. Let’s dive into what this means and how it works to keep your lawn looking its best.


Types of Pre-Emergent Fertilizers

There are mainly two forms of pre-emergent fertilizers: liquid and granular.

  • Liquid pre-emergent is mixed with water and applied using a sprayer. It’s great for precise applications, especially in smaller or hard-to-reach areas.
  • Granular pre-emergent is applied using a push spreader and is often preferred for larger, open areas due to its ease of application.


Both types are effective; the choice between them often depends on the size of the area being treated and your personal preference.


How Pre-Emergent Works

Pre-emergent fertilizers don’t actually “kill” weeds; they prevent weed seeds from germinating in the first place. They do this in two main ways:

  1. Weed Seed Barrier: Pre-emergent creates a thin barrier on top of the soil. When weed seeds begin to sprout, they encounter this barrier and are unable to break through to the surface, preventing them from growing into visible weeds.
  1. Enzyme Blockage: These products can inhibit a key enzyme that weed seeds need to break down stored food for germination. Without access to this food, the seeds can’t develop into plants.


Chemical vs. Organic, Prodiamine, Dithiopyr

When selecting a pre-emergent, you’ll encounter both chemical and organic options. Two common active ingredients in chemical pre-emergents are prodiamine and dithiopyr. These ingredients are effective at preventing a wide range of weeds and are found in many commercial pre-emergent products.


Organic options are available for those who prefer a more natural approach. While they may work differently, they offer a gentler alternative to chemical pre-emergents.


Maintaining a beautiful lawn requires understanding and effort, especially when it comes to weed control. Pre-emergent fertilizers are a powerful tool in this battle, but applying them correctly and at the right time is crucial. If you’re unsure about the best approach for your lawn or if you simply prefer to enjoy your outdoor space without the work, Borst Landscape & Design is here to help. Our team of experts can take the guesswork out of lawn care, ensuring your lawn stays healthy and vibrant. For professional care and peace of mind, give us a call at (201) 822-9327. Let’s work together to make your lawn the envy of the neighborhood.


When and How to Apply

Optimal Timing

The best time to apply pre-emergent fertilizer is in early spring. This timing is crucial because it aligns with the germination cycle of many common weeds. To get this timing right, keep an eye on soil temperature. Crabgrass, for example, starts to germinate when the soil consistently reaches about 50 degrees Fahrenheit at a depth of 1 inch. A handy tip is to apply pre-emergent just as the local forsythia bushes finish their blooming period, which often coincides with the ideal soil temperature for pre-emergent application.


Application Techniques

Applying pre-emergent fertilizer correctly can make a huge difference in its effectiveness. For even coverage, use a push spreader. This tool helps distribute the fertilizer uniformly across your lawn, ensuring no spot is missed or overly saturated. After application, watering is essential. It activates the pre-emergent, allowing it to penetrate the soil and form the protective barrier against weed seeds. However, follow the product’s specific watering instructions to avoid washing away the herbicide before it can take effect.


Dos and Don’ts

  • Do apply pre-emergent before weeds begin their growth cycle. Timing is everything.
  • Don’t apply on windy days to avoid uneven distribution and product wastage.
  • Do ensure your lawn equipment is calibrated for the correct application rate. Applying too much or too little can lead to poor results or even damage your lawn.
  • Don’t aerate your lawn after applying pre-emergent. This can break the protective barrier the pre-emergent creates, rendering it less effective.
  • Do be cautious with new seeds. If you’re planning to overseed your lawn, pre-emergent can also prevent grass seeds from germinating. It’s best to wait 4 months after application before seeding, unless the product specifies otherwise.


Maintaining a beautiful lawn requires time, effort, and knowledge. While DIY lawn care can be rewarding, it’s not without its challenges. Understanding when and how to apply pre-emergent fertilizer is just the beginning. From choosing the right product to applying it at the optimal time and rate, there’s a lot to consider. That’s where the expertise of a full-service landscaping company like Borst Landscape & Design becomes invaluable.


Maximizing Effectiveness

Combining with Other Lawn Care Practices

To get the most out of your pre-emergent fertilizer, it’s not just about the application. It’s about integrating it into a broader lawn care strategy. Here’s how:

  • Fertilization: Beyond pre-emergent fertilizer, your lawn needs regular feedings to thrive. Combining pre-emergent applications with a balanced fertilization schedule provides your grass with the nutrients it needs to grow thick and strong, making it less inviting for weeds.
  • Aeration: This process involves making small holes in your lawn to allow air, water, and nutrients to penetrate the roots of your grass. Aeration helps improve soil structure and reduces compaction, promoting a healthier lawn that can better compete with weeds.
  • Mowing: Keeping your lawn at the ideal height can significantly reduce weed growth. Taller grass shades the soil, keeping it cooler and preventing weed seeds from germinating. Never cut more than one-third of the grass blade at a time to avoid stress on the lawn.


Monitoring and Maintenance

Consistent monitoring and maintenance are key to the long-term success of your pre-emergent strategy.

  • Soil Testing: Regular soil tests can tell you a lot about the health of your lawn. They provide insights into nutrient levels and pH balance, helping you make informed decisions about fertilization and lime application.
  • Watering: Proper watering is crucial. Your lawn needs about 1 to 1.5 inches of water per week from rainfall or irrigation. Deep, infrequent watering encourages deeper root growth, which helps your lawn resist pests and diseases.
  • Reapplication Needs: Pre-emergent fertilizers don’t last forever. They break down over time, so it’s important to reapply according to the product’s instructions and your local climate. Typically, this means applying once in the early spring and again in the fall for year-round protection.


Every lawn is unique. What works for one may not work for another. It takes time, patience, and a bit of trial and error to find the perfect lawn care routine. And if you’re feeling overwhelmed, Borst Landscape & Design is here to help. Our team of experts can take the guesswork out of lawn care, ensuring your lawn is not only beautiful but also healthy and resilient.


Ready to enjoy a lush, weed-free lawn without all the work? Contact us online or give us a call to set up a consultation. Let’s make your dream lawn a reality.


Why Choose Professional Pre-Emergent Fertilizer Services

We’ve covered a lot about pre-emergent fertilizer, from how it works to when and how you should apply it. The goal is to stop those pesky weeds before they even have a chance to see the light of day, making your lawn care efforts more efficient and your yard more enjoyable.


But, let’s be honest, keeping up with the best practices in lawn care, especially when it comes to timing and application techniques, can be quite a chore. It requires time, effort, and a good deal of know-how. That’s where the benefits of professional care come into play.


At Borst Landscape & Design, we’ve been turning the dream of a perfect lawn into reality for homeowners across northern New Jersey since 1989. Our team of experienced professionals knows exactly what your lawn needs and when it needs it. From choosing the right type of pre-emergent fertilizer to applying it at the optimal time, we’ve got you covered. Our services don’t just stop at weed prevention; we offer a comprehensive range of organic lawn care solutions designed to keep your yard looking its best while keeping it safe for children and pets.


Choosing Borst means choosing peace of mind. It means enjoying your weekends rather than worrying about soil temperatures and weed germination cycles. It’s about trusting a team that’s recognized by industry leaders and satisfied customers alike for their commitment to excellence and eco-friendly practices.


Our goal is to streamline your lawn care experience, making it not just hassle-free but also kind to the planet. Whether you’re looking to banish weeds for good or simply aiming for that perfect, green oasis of a lawn, we’ve got your back. With just one phone call, we can start crafting a lawn that’s bound to be the talk of the town.


A beautiful lawn starts with the right care. Let Borst be your partner in creating the outdoor space you’ve always wanted. Visit our Happy Lawn page to learn more about our organic lawn care services and how we can help you achieve a weed-free, vibrant lawn.


Photo by Anna Guerrero