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Best Pre-Emergent Solutions For Weed Control (2024)

We all know that a pristine, weed-free lawn is like the Holy Grail of backyard dreams.

But it seems like those pesky invaders have a mind of their own, popping up all over your green paradise and throwing off your lawn’s mojo.

It’s like they didn’t get the memo–your lawn ain’t no crash pad for unwelcome guests!

Well, your grass guru is here to arm you with the secret weapon in the battle of the buds: pre-emergent solutions.

Think of ’em like your lawn’s personal bouncer, stopping weeds before they even get a chance to gatecrash your garden party.

I’m here to unearth the best pre-emergent solutions out there for ya that’ll whip your lawn into shape and keep it in the weed-free VIP club.

By the time we’re done, you’ll have the lowdown on how to keep your lawn looking lush, not lackluster.

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Best Pre-Emergent Products

We’ve compiled a list of the top pre-emergent products to help you maintain a healthy, weed-free lawn.

Check out my recommendations below!

Espoma Organic Weed Preventer

I highly recommend Espoma Organic Weed Preventer for a safe and eco-friendly alternative to prevent weeds in your lawn.


  • All-natural and eco-friendly
  • Easy to apply granulated formula
  • Pet and child-friendly


  • May require more frequent application
  • May not cover as large an area as claimed
  • Works best when applied early in the season

I recently tried Espoma’s Organic Weed Preventer and found it to be an effective all-natural solution to prevent unwanted weeds in our lawn.

It’s made from corn gluten meal, which not only prevents weeds by inhibiting root development in seedlings but also feeds the lawn for a more vibrant, greener color.

Application was a breeze with the granulated formula, and we noticed that our lawn started looking healthier within weeks.

I do appreciate the fact that this product is safe for children and pets to play on the lawn after application, giving us peace of mind.

However, I noticed that Espoma Organic Weed Preventer works best when applied early in the season – so be sure to apply it during early spring and again in the fall.

I also found that we had to apply a bit more product than the directions suggested to cover our entire lawn.

Overall, I was satisfied with the performance of Espoma Organic Weed Preventer and think it’s a great eco-friendly and family-friendly choice for maintaining a weed-free lawn.

Remember to time your applications correctly and be prepared to potentially use a bit more product than expected.

Preen Natural Vegetable Garden Weed Preventer – 5 lb

We highly recommend Preen Natural Vegetable Garden Weed Preventer for those who want an effective, natural solution to prevent weeds in their gardens.


  • Natural and safe weed prevention
  • Suitable for established vegetables, herbs, and fruits
  • Easy to apply with flip-top applicator cap


  • May not be as effective as non-natural formulas
  • Must be applied monthly for best results
  • Limited to established plants, not suitable for new seeds

We recently used Preen Natural Vegetable Garden Weed Preventer in our own garden and were impressed with its performance.

The natural corn gluten meal formula effectively prevented stubborn weeds like crabgrass, dandelions, and clover from sprouting around our established vegetables and herbs.

One thing we noticed is that Preen needs to be applied every 4-6 weeks for the best results, which is more frequent than chemical weed preventers.

However, knowing that our garden is free from harsh chemicals made the extra effort worth it for us.

Ultimately, Preen Natural Vegetable Garden Weed Preventer has made a noticeable difference in our garden’s appearance and saved us time from constant weeding.

We can confidently recommend this product to anyone looking for a natural weed prevention solution.

Just remember to apply it around already established plants, as it can prevent seed germination for new plantings.

The Andersons Barricade Professional-Grade Granular Pre-Emergent Weed Control

This granular pre-emergent weed control effectively prevents weeds, making it a valuable addition to your lawn care arsenal.


  • Effective against over 30 types of weeds
  • Trusted by top turf care professionals
  • Covers up to 5,800 sq ft with an 18-pound bag


  • Not for use on existing weeds
  • Best applied only in early spring and fall
  • May take some time to see visible results

After recently trying The Andersons Barricade, we found its DG Pro formulation, containing 0.48% of the active ingredient prodiamine, to be highly effective in preventing various grass and broadleaf weeds from appearing in our lawn.

Designed for use in early spring and fall, the 18-pound bag provides enough granules to cover up to 5,800 sq ft, making it a cost-effective choice for weed prevention.

As top turf care professionals trust this product, we felt confident in its ability to deliver results.

It’s important to note that it’s a pre-emergent weed control product, meaning it won’t help eliminate existing weeds in the lawn – only prevent new ones from sprouting.

So, we made sure to apply it before any unwanted growth appeared in our lawn.

After some time, we noticed a significant decline in weed growth.

The Andersons Barricade does require a bit of patience as the results aren’t immediate, so just remember to give it some time to work its magic.

Overall, we believe The Andersons Barricade Professional-Grade Granular Pre-Emergent Weed Control is a smart investment for anyone looking to maintain a weed-free lawn with minimal effort.

Scotts Halts Crabgrass & Grassy Weed Preventer

This product is a sound choice for people looking to prevent weeds and maintain a beautiful lawn all season long.


  • Effective prevention of crabgrass and other problem weeds
  • Suitable for application in both spring and fall
  • Unaffected by weather conditions after application


  • Timing is crucial for best results
  • Does not provide lawn nutrients
  • May require multiple applications for denser weed infestations

As lawn care enthusiasts, we have dealt with our fair share of weeds. Scotts Halts Crabgrass & Grassy Weed Preventer has made our lives easier by effectively reducing weed invasions.

Its one-time application in spring—before weeds have a chance to germinate—keeps our lawn visually appealing throughout the year.

We appreciate that this product stands up to rain, snow, and freezing temperatures without diminishing performance.

We also like that it is suitable for fall applications, which helps prevent winter weeds such as poa annua, henbit, and chickweed.

However, we want to emphasize the importance of timing when using this product.

If you wait too long to apply it in spring, it might not be as effective.

Additionally, it does not provide nutrients to the lawn, so you might need to purchase a separate turf builder to address that issue.

In conclusion, Scotts Halts Crabgrass & Grassy Weed Preventer is an excellent solution for those looking to prevent unpleasant weeds from taking over their lawn.

But, be prepared to apply it at the right time and supplement with additional lawn care products to maintain optimal lawn health.

Preen Extended Control Weed Preventer

We recommend this weed preventer for anyone looking to keep their garden weed-free with minimal effort throughout the season.


  • One application provides up to 6 months of weed control
  • Safe for use around various perennials, groundcovers, shrubs, and trees
  • Convenient flip-top applicator cap for easy application


  • Not intended for use on flower seeds, vegetable gardens, or water gardens
  • Not available for sale in NY
  • Might be expensive for some gardeners

We just used the Preen Extended Control Weed Preventer in a flower bed and we’re immensely satisfied with its easy application and effectiveness.

By using just one application, our garden is staying weed-free for up to six months.

We were pleased that the Preen weed preventer didn’t harm the vast majority of perennials, groundcovers, and shrubs in our garden—thanks to the specialized formula.

However, it’s important to note that Preen Extended Control is not suitable for flower seeds, vegetable gardens, or water gardens.

Also, it’s unavailable for sale in New York. In terms of cost, some might find it a bit pricey, but we believe it’s worth every penny for the convenience and effectiveness it offers.

Overall, I think Preen Extended Control Weed Preventer is an excellent product for maintaining a beautiful, weed-free landscape with minimal effort.

The simple flip-top applicator cap and long-lasting protection make it a valuable addition to any gardener’s toolkit.

What To Consider Before Buying Pre-Emergent

When it comes to choosing the best pre-emergent, there are several factors to consider to ensure the health and beauty of your lawn. 

I’ll help you determine what to look for and the essential features that contribute to a top-notch pre-emergent product.

water activated pre-emergent

Application Timing

Timing is crucial when applying pre-emergent herbicides.

Most products work best when applied in early spring or fall, as this is when weed seeds begin to germinate.

Ensure the pre-emergent you choose has clear instructions for when to apply, taking into consideration your region’s climate and the specific weeds you are targeting.

Selective vs. Non-selective

Pre-emergent herbicides come in two types: selective and non-selective.

Selective herbicides target specific weeds, leaving desired plants unharmed.

Non-selective herbicides, on the other hand, can kill any plant they come in contact with.

Make sure to choose a pre-emergent that aligns with your specific lawn care needs and goals.

Coverage Area

It’s essential to consider the coverage area of the pre-emergent product.

Some herbicides are concentrated and need to be diluted, while others come pre-mixed and ready to use.

Be sure to select a product that covers an appropriate area for your lawn size to get the most value out of your purchase.

Application Method

Different pre-emergents require different application methods, such as granules, liquid, or pre-mixed solutions.

Choose a product with an application method you’re comfortable with and have the necessary equipment for.

For instance, granules require a spreader, while liquids need a sprayer.

Safety and Environmental Considerations

Always keep safety and environmental considerations in mind when choosing a pre-emergent product.

Look for those with low toxicity levels, and follow label instructions carefully to avoid harming non-target plants, pets, and the environment.

Frequently Asked Questions

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Why should I use pre-emergent herbicide?

Using a pre-emergent herbicide is beneficial in keeping your lawn healthy and maintaining its appearance.

These herbicides control unwanted weeds before they become a problem by preventing their seeds from germinating.

By minimizing the growth of weeds, we can ensure that our lawn remains lush, thick, and full.

When should I apply pre-emergent herbicide?

The best time to apply pre-emergent herbicide is prior to weed seed germination.

This varies based on your location and specific types of weeds.

We recommend checking with local experts to determine the ideal timing for your region.

Generally, applying pre-emergent in early spring and late summer is effective for most lawns.

What is the best time of year to put down pre-emergent?

The optimal time of year to put down pre-emergent herbicide really depends on the type of weeds that you’re targeting.

For cool-season weeds, such as crabgrass, application in early spring is most effective.

For warm-season weeds, applying pre-emergent in late summer or early fall can help keep them under control.

Consult a local expert to determine the best timing for your lawn.

What is the longest-lasting pre-emergent?

The lasting effects of pre-emergent herbicides can vary depending on the product and its ingredients.

Some products may provide season-long control, while others require multiple applications throughout the year.

For instance, Dimension and Barricade are two products known for their long-lasting effects.

Be sure to read the product label and follow instructions for the best results.

What do landscapers use as pre-emergent?

Landscapers typically use professional-grade pre-emergent herbicides, such as Dimension, Barricade, or Pendulum.

These products have been proven effective in controlling weed growth in various lawn types.

When using any pre-emergent product, it is essential to follow the label instructions correctly to ensure maximum efficiency and safety.