Pre-emergent herbicide stops weeds before they have a chance to take off. You spray it on your lawn and around the yard in the early springtime, after the ground thaws and temperatures are stable above 55F.
The pre-emergent herbicide is selective, preventing the growth of weeds while preserving your grass. Treating your lawn with pre-emergent is a smart move. It’s a pre-growing season task every gardener needs to undertake before summer rolls around.
In this review, we’ll look at the best pre-emergent herbicide products.
Our Top Picks
- 1 Our Top Picks
- 2 Pre Emergent Herbicide Reviews
- 2.1 Quali-Pro Prodiamine Pre-Emergent Herbicide
- 2.2 Sedgehammer
- 2.3 Voluntary Purchasing Group Pre-Emergent Herbicide
- 2.4 Scotts Turf Builder with Moss Control
- 2.5 Quinclorac 75 DF Selective Herbicide
- 2.6 PBI/Gordon Speed Zone Lawn Weed Killer
- 2.7 Preen Lawn Crabgrass Control
- 2.8 NITRO-PHOS Barricade Pre-Emergent Herbicide
- 2.9 Southern Ag Amine 2-4 Pre-Emergent Herbicide
- 2.10 Preen 2164116 Garden Weed Preventer
- 3 Other Best Selling Options
- 4 Pre Emergent Herbicide Buyer’s Guide
- 4.1 Why Do I Need to use a Pre-Emergent Herbicide?
- 4.2 What is Pre-Emergent Herbicide?
- 4.3 How Does Pre-Emergent Herbicide Work?
- 4.4 Does Pre-Emergent Help with Weed Control in My Yard?
- 4.5 Is Pre-Emergent Herbicide Safe for Use around People and Pets?
- 4.6 What are the Best Times of Year to Use Pre-Emergent Herbicide?
- 4.7 What Is the Best Temperature to Apply Pre-Emergent Herbicide?
- 4.8 How Do I Apply Granular Pre-Emergent Herbicide?
- 4.9 How Do I Apply Liquid Pre-Emergent Herbicide?
- 4.10 Common Application Errors When Using Pre-Emergent Herbicide
- 4.11 Will Pre-Emergent Herbicide Kill Crabgrass?
- 5 Pre Emergent Herbicide FAQs
- 6 Pre Emergent Herbicide – The Verdict
We scoured online listings looking for the best pre emergent herbicide. There are dozens of products available online, and browsing the listings takes hours. After 20-minutes of reading chemical formulations and descriptions, it’s enough to drive you cross-eyed. Fortunately, we did the hard work for you.
We chose the best ten pre emergent herbicide products for this review. From our top ten, we selected these three products as our top picks.
We have choices in the best overall, premium, and budget categories. Choose the product that suits your gardening tasks and your wallet, and let’s get rid of those weeds in your lawn.
- The Best Pick: Quali-Pro Prodiamine Pre-Emergent Herbicide
Prodiamine manufactures this top-end pre emergent herbicide product. Quali-Pro is the top choice of landscaping professionals and contractors looking to control weeds on any site. It’s a great choice for your garden, preventing the growth of selective grasses and weeds in your yard. This preemergent won’t clash with established grasses and perennials, making it suitable for use on your lawn and flowerbeds, wherever you have established plants. This product has the highest efficacy, providing potent weedkilling power that also takes care of crabgrass infestations.
- The Premium Pick: Sedgehammer
If you’re looking for the best premium choice for your pre-emergent herbicide, we recommend going with Sedgehammer. This product provides potent weed killing action for your lawn and flowerbeds, targeting young weeds while avoiding damage to established plants and lawns.Sedgehammer features advanced formulation, with each bottle making one gallon of pre-emergent. Farmers and agriculturalists trust Sedgehammer to provide results that increase yields in the growing season.
- The Budget Pick: Voluntary Purchasing Group Pre Emergent Herbicide
Homeowners on a budget will get the best value out of this product from the Voluntary Purchasing Group (VPG). This product is a great choice for lawns and flowerbeds, featuring granular formulations for easy spreading by hand. This product is suitable for lawns, flowerbeds, and vegetable gardens, killing the weeds without affecting your plants. This product requires watering for activation and works fast at killing young weeds before they have a chance to grow and reproduce.
Pre Emergent Herbicide Reviews
Now that you have an idea of the best pre-emergent herbicide products, let’s unpack them further. We’ll also look at other products we found during our research of the best pre-emergent herbicide.
After reading through the reviews, check out our buyer’s guide for more information on the formulation and application of these products in your lawn, flowerbeds, and vegetable garden.
Quali-Pro Prodiamine Pre-Emergent Herbicide
When weeds start turning up in the early summer, you’ll wish you had the foresight to use a pre-emergent in the spring. Fortunately, this Quali-Pro product offers you professional-grade care for your lawn and flower beds.
This product features formulation with the potent herbicide, Prodiamine (65%). You get a fast killing action of all types of weeds and invasive grasses, including annual bluegrass, Knotweed, Henbit, Chickweed, Foxtail, Spurge, and Goosegrass.
This product is a top choice of professional landscapers and contractors, killing weeds before they start. It’s the ideal formula for treating large public spaces like parks. This product won’t harm established grasses and perennials, making it suitable for use in your flower beds.
The liquid formulation comes with easy application and effective weed control. You get a flexible application in the late fall or early spring at your convenience.
- Potent Prodiamine formulation
- Trusted by professional landscaper and contractors
- Suitable for controlling crabgrass and weeds
- Flexible application in fall or spring
- Liquid formulation for easy application
- Won’t harm established grass or perennials
If you’re looking for the best premium pre-emergent herbicide, we recommend the Sedgehammer. This industrial-strength product is the top choice of farmers and horticulturalists growing commercial crops, and it’s a good choice for your yard as well.
You get a potent concentrate with enough powder to make 40-gallons of herbicide. One tub of Sedgehammer covers 1,000-square feet and easy liquid application. This formula is a great choice for killing pre-emergent weeds around golf courses, cemeteries, public spaces, and other large areas.
You get a potent formulation featuring Halosulfuron-methyl (75%) and Halosulfuron-methyl (5%) as the active ingredients. If you’re looking for fast and effective weed control trusted by the pros, we recommend Sedgehammer as the top choice in this review.
- Top choice of horticulturalists and agriculturalists
- Effective on all growing surfaces
- Makes 40-gallons
- Cover 1,000-square feet
- Suitable for lawns and flowerbeds
Voluntary Purchasing Group Pre-Emergent Herbicide
Homeowners and hobbyist vegetable gardeners will get the best value out of this pre-emergent from the Voluntary Purchasing Group (VPG). This product features a granular formulation for easy spreading. Use your hands or a mechanical spreader to treat your lawn and flower beds.
This product’s potent weed killing action won’t damage your flowers and shrubs, providing extra nutrients to the flower beds and lawn to enhance growth. This formula contains the patented TreeFlan compound, and it’s suitable for use in your vegetable garden.
Apply this granular pre-emergent to your lawn or flowerbeds before it rains. If you need to spread it in dry conditions, make sure you water the lawn and flowerbeds afterward to activate the compound. You get effective weed control in all seasons, with a long-lasting application.
- Affordable pre-emergent herbicide for residential use
- Granular design for easy spreading
- Won’t kill established grass and plants
- Seasonal protection
- Contains patented TreeFlan
- Suitable for use in vegetable gardens
Scotts Turf Builder with Moss Control
Lawns come to life in the spring, but moss starts forming first. Many gardeners don’t realize that moss is killing their lawn until it’s too late. Prevent moss from invading your lawn this summer with this pre-emergent treatment for moss infestations.
Scott’s Turf Builder formulation features nutrients that boost growth while killing off the moss. The result is a faster recovery for your lawn and a moss-free surface. Scott’s Turf Builder with Moss Control is a great choice for golf courses and public spaces with large lawns, like parks.
You get 5,000-square feet of coverage from one bag, with seasonal control of moss and up to a year between treatments. This formula is ideal for use in the late fall and the early spring to safeguard your lawn from moss infestations.
- A great choice for lawns
- A granular formulation for easy spreading
- 5,000-foot coverage
- Promotes grass growth
- Enhances lawns ability to absorb water
- Suits any grass type
- Won’t damage the lawn
Quinclorac 75 DF Selective Herbicide
If you’re looking for a selective pre-emergent weed killer trusted by professionals, we recommend this product by Quali-Pro. The company gets a second mention in this review for this unique formulation. Quinclorac 75 DF features formulation with Quinclorac (75%) as the primary weed-killing compound.
The result is a selective weed killer product that won’t damage established shrubs and flowerbeds. You get effective protection against a variety of invasive weeds and grass species, including Crabgrass, Foxtail, Clover, Black Medic, Dandelion, English Daisy, Dollarweed, Morningglory, Speedwell, Kikuyu Grass, Torpedograss, Barnyardgrass, Signalgrass, Violet, and Bindweed.
This product is suitable for use on large lawns and grassed areas, such as public parks. You also get a concentrated formula providing up to 1,000-square feet of coverage for your yard.
- Formulation with potent Quinclorac (75%)
- Effective against crabgrass and invasive plants and weeds
- Professional quality trusted by landscapers
- Liquid formulation for spray application
- Suitable for golf courses and public spaces
PBI/Gordon Speed Zone Lawn Weed Killer
This product is a great choice for homeowners and landscapers. You get a concentrated formula, providing coverage for between 14,000 to 18,000-square feet. This product specializes in killing off weeds in your lawn before they have the chance to get out of hand.
You get a potent formulation with active weed-killing ingredients that won’t damage your lawn or flowerbeds. This affordable product offers excellent cool-weather performance, meaning it’s the better choice for homeowners living in the Northern states.
Before you order this product, make sure you check on its compatibility with your state’s regulations. This product is not available in certain states across the US. However, if you live in a compliant state, this product makes a top choice for a pre-emergent for your lawn and flowerbeds.
- Starts working in hours
- Reseed your lawn in two weeks after use
- Effective weed control in turfgrass
- Excellent cool-weather performance
- 14,000-foot to 18,000-foot coverage
Preen Lawn Crabgrass Control
Crabgrass is a problematic grass species for many homeowners. These invasive species take over your lawn fast, spreading in patches as its seeds. Crabgrass has a different look to the normal lawn, with a faster growth rate that makes it stand out from the rest of the grass.
Crabgrass can be a nightmare to control, and digging it up provides poor results. First, you get bare patches in your lawn, and second, if you leave even the smallest root clusters behind, expect it to return to full strength in weeks.
Fortunately, specialist lawn control products offer your lawn pre-emergent crabgrass herbicides. This Preen product offers you effective crabgrass control for your lawn, with protection from 40 types of invasive grasses.
You get enough coverage for 5,000-square feet, and this formula is suitable for use in cold or warm weather. The ingredients in the pre-emergent won’t harm your existing lawn or flowers. The compound actually adds back nutrients to the soil. The result is a healthy, lush lawn that’s free of invasive grasses.
- Seasonal crabgrass control
- Application up to 4-weeks after crabgrass emerges
- Kills up to 40 types of weeds
- Suitable for use in cool and warm weather conditions
- Covers 5,000-square feet
NITRO-PHOS Barricade Pre-Emergent Herbicide
This granular pre-emergent is a great choice for contractors and landscapers looking to treat large, grassed areas. You get formulation with the top wee-killer compound, Prodiamine (58%). You get enough coverage to treat 5,000-square feet with this 10-lb bag.
You get easy spreading with water activation, so it’s a good idea to apply this weed-killer before it rains. You get compatibility with automatic and manual spreaders for easy use around the yard or on large properties.
This product is a great choice for large areas, but it might not be a good option for backyards, especially if you have pets. The granular formulation requires application before the rain to activate the ingredients. However, if there’s no rain in the forecast, you’ll need to manually water the lawn after spreading.
- Potent Prodiamine formulation (58%)
- For use in established turf grass
- Covers 5,000-square feet
- A good choice for contractors and landscapers
- Boosts nutrient content in the soil
Southern Ag Amine 2-4 Pre-Emergent Herbicide
Contractors and landscapers looking for an affordable and effective pore-emergent will get value from this product. Southern Ag Amine 2-4 Pre-Emergent Herbicide features formulation with 2, 4-D acid, suitable for killing a wide range of broadleaf weeds and invasive grasses.
You get effective action against invasive woody species, and it’s the ideal choice for fast application to large grassy areas like golf courses and parks. The concentrated liquid solution requires two to three tablespoons in three to five gallons of water for the best results with your pre-emergent treatment.
This product requires spreading with a pressurized sprayer for the best results. When spraying, remember to wear the correct respiratory PPE to prevent breathing in vapor during application.
- An ideal choice for landscapers and contractors
- Suitable for use in large public spaces like parks
- Weed control for broadleaf species and other varieties
- 32-oz Quart covers 1,000-square feet
Preen 2164116 Garden Weed Preventer
Homeowners looking for an affordable and effective pre-emergent for lawns and flowerbeds will get value from this Preen product. You get an advanced formulation suitable for treating lawns and flowerbeds without damaging your existing grass, flowers, or shrubs.
This product contains active ingredients that add nutrients back into the soil, accelerating growth in your garden and flowerbeds while controlling weeds. You get a granular design, with a shaker jug for easy spot applications around the yard.
One tub of this Preen pre-emergent weed killer treats up to 900-square feet, giving you effective and fast weed control in any climate conditions. You get a versatile application, allowing for spreading in the fall or spring for the best results.
- Suitable for smaller homes
- A granular formulation for easy spreading
- Spreader jug for easy application
- Ideal for use in flowerbeds and lawns
- 900-square foot coverage
- Formula feeds plants while killing weeds
Other Best Selling Options
- Apply this product only in EARLY SPRING and FALL
- Barricade professional-grade pre-emergent weed control is designed to prevent weeds, and will not aid in eliminating existing weeds.
- Contains 0.48% of the active ingredient prodiamine - Labeled to prevent over 30 grass and broadleaf weeds
- Trusted by top turf care professionals to prevent problem weeds without harming desirable plants
- DG Pro formulation allows for more particles per square inch of chemical - leads to better control of weeds
- Scotts WeedEX Prevent with Halts prevents crabgrass all season long
- Stops crabgrass before it starts
- Apply in early spring for season-long prevention of crabgrass, Fall application prevents winter weeds such as poa annua, henbit and chickweed
- Effective pre-emergent control of crabgrass, foxtail, spurge, oxalis, and other grassy and broadleaf weeds
- Use on all lawn and grass types (except dichondra or bentgrass)
- Sold on Amazon
Pre Emergent Herbicide Buyer’s Guide
It’s the start of the summer. After a warm spring, the ground thaws, and your garden comes to life. The birds chirp merrily in the morning sun, and pollinators start buzzing around the newly opened buds on your trees and plants – it’s a magical time of year.
With the onset of the summer, your lawn starts to come around, and new green shoots emerge. After a week or so, the lawn is in full swing, and that’s when you notice the weeds. Weeds are everywhere. They’re in the flowerbeds, the lawn, and even in the driveway.
Flowers and shrubs aren’t the only seed-bearing plants in your neighborhood, and it turns out those fall winds spread around more weed seeds than you thought. Right now, you’re kicking yourself for not bothering to use that pre-emergent herbicide on your lawn and yard.
It pays to include pre-emergent herbicide treatments in your annual garden maintenance. If you live in an area where weeds and crabgrass area problem, a pre-emergent resolves issues with weeds in your garden during the growing season.
In this section, we’ll give you more information about the formulations in different pre-emergent products, as well as the active ingredients. We’ll discuss treatment strategies for your lawn and flowerbeds and give you the ideal times of year to apply your pre-emergent.
Why Do I Need to use a Pre-Emergent Herbicide?
It’s important to use pre-emergent herbicides for your lawn to keep it looking great. During the growing season, weeds compete with your grass and flowers for nutrients. With the invasion into your yard by weed and problematic grasses, your flowers and grass get less nutrition. As a result, your lawn and flowerbeds look less beautiful than they did last year.
A pre-emergent herbicide acts as a precautionary measure to prevent weeds and invasive grasses from growing in your yard this season. With one application, you kill seedlings and seeds, providing optimal growing conditions for your flowers and grass.
What is Pre-Emergent Herbicide?
Pre-emergent herbicide features design and formulation by professional chemical engineers. Companies spend millions of R&D to create formulas that provide exceptional results for your garden.
Some of the compounds found in pre-emergent herbicides include the following.
- Benfluralin – This dinitroaniline herbicidal product inhibits shoot and root development in problematic grasses and weeds. It’s a primary ingredient responsible for controlling weed growth in ornamentals, crops, and lawns.
- Isoxaben – This herbicide features formulation with isoxazole and benzamide, providing exceptional efficacy at controlling broadleaf weeds in orchards and vineyards.
- Dithiopyr – This mitotic herbicide inhibits weed growth in vines, lawns, and ornamentals.
- Prodiamine – This potent, selective dinitroaniline herbicide controls weeds in crops and ornamentals. It’s a primary ingredient in some of the best pre-emergent herbicides in this review.
- Oxadiazon – This dinitroaniline-based herbicide controls weed and grass growth in lawns, flowerbeds, vines, and brambles.
- Pendimethalin – This dinitroaniline herbicide product inhibits the cell-division and cell elongation of weeds in lawns, crops, and ornamentals.
- Trifluralin – This dinitroaniline-based herbicide controls various annual grasses and broadleaf weeds. It’s also suitable for use in crops like grains, soy, vegetables, fruits, and nuts.
- Siduron – This dinitroaniline herbicide prevents weed growth when feeding or seeding your lawn.
Pre-emergent herbicides are available in powder, granular, or liquid formats. Each has different characteristics/ Granular is easy to spread and requires water for activation.
Liquid herbicides offer easy application but require attention to dilution. Powder formats also require dilution and proper application to prevent the burning of your lawn and flowers.
How Does Pre-Emergent Herbicide Work?
Pre-emergent herbicide contains active ingredients that selectively kill weed seeds and seedlings without damaging your grass or flowers. Manufacturers spend millions of dollars on research and development of effective compounds against killing weeds.
The primary characteristics of a good-quality pre-emergent herbicide are the following.
- The formula stops plant growth, preventing the weed from absorbing nutrition.
- The herbicide controls cell division in seeds.
- This product should inhibit the release of specific enzymes in weeds that spur growth.
Does Pre-Emergent Help with Weed Control in My Yard?
Yes, pre-emergent herbicide acts to stop the germination of weeds and kill off young weeds before they have the chance to mature and spread. A pre-emergent herbicide provides your garden with protection for your lawn and flowers by eliminating the threat of weeds before they become a problem.
Is Pre-Emergent Herbicide Safe for Use around People and Pets?
According to guidance for the FTC, United States federal law requires all herbicides and fungicides to undergo rigorous testing and registration with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) before they go to market. Therefore, you can expect products made in the USA to have a non-toxic, biodegradable formulation.
What are the Best Times of Year to Use Pre-Emergent Herbicide?
We recommend spreading or applying your pre-emergent in the early spring when the ground thaws or during the later fall before the ground freezes. If your area has problems with weeds, you might need to treat your yard twice a year for the best results.
What Is the Best Temperature to Apply Pre-Emergent Herbicide?
We recommend applying your pre-emergent herbicide when ground temperatures are no lower than 55F, but not higher than 65F, for at least five consecutive days.
When applying your pre-emergent, we recommend you do it in the late afternoon, after the heat of the day passes. Treating your lawn in the morning or at midday increases the chances of chemical burning. Burning can be an issue with the incorrect dilution of liquid formulas.
How Do I Apply Granular Pre-Emergent Herbicide?
- Pour your granular pre-emergent herbicide into a manual or automatic dispenser. If you have a small lawn, dispense by hand.
- Apply the granules evenly across the lawn in affected areas.
- Spread before the start of a rainstorm if possible.
- If not, water the lawn lightly after spreading to activate the compound.
- Follow up in two weeks to see if any new weeds are popping up.
How Do I Apply Liquid Pre-Emergent Herbicide?
- Add your herbicide powder or liquid to a pressure pump sprayer.
- Follow the manufacturer’s guidelines for dilution.
- Spray evenly at around 2 to 6-quarts per acre (Don’t use more than 12-quarts per acre in a year)
- Let it dry and check it in two weeks for signs of weeds.
Common Application Errors When Using Pre-Emergent Herbicide
Here’s what you want to avoid when applying your pre-emergent herbicide to your grass.
- Using on newly-seeded turf
- Laying sod over the pre-emergent herbicide
- Applying the pre-emergent to damaged turf
- Aerating your turf immediately after application
- Applying pre-emergent herbicide to putting greens
- Application with the sprinkler system
- Failing to water after spreading
- Using fertilizer and pre-emergent herbicide at the same time
- Using the wrong herbicide for your grass type
Will Pre-Emergent Herbicide Kill Crabgrass?
Pre-emergent is effective at killing young crabgrass and seedlings. However, it has next to no effect on adult crabgrass infestation with leaves measuring more than a ¼-inch in width. If you have mature crabgrass on your lawn, the only way to get rid of it is by digging it out.
Pre Emergent Herbicide FAQs
Can I leave the rain to wash away my pre-emergent herbicide?
Apply your pre-emergent before the first rains of the season. Rain is essential for granular products, as it activates the herbicide. The rain helps to push the active ingredients in the formula deep into the soil, killing any emerging weeds. Liquid products don’t require watering after application, but we recommend doing your treatment in the late afternoon after the heat of the day subsides.
When should I apply pre-emergent herbicide?
We recommend treating your lawn, flowerbeds, and veggie garden with pre-emergent in the late fall or early spring. This strategy involves using the product at the beginning or at the end of the growing season to avoid damage to your grass and other plants.
Is it possible to use the pre-emergent too early in the growing season?
As long as temperatures remain consistently above 55F, you can start treating your lawn and flowerbeds with pre-emergent. However, we recommend waiting for the first stable week of good weather before treatment. This strategy ensures that the pre-emergent doesn’t wash away or wear out before the weeds arrive.
Where can I purchase the best pre emergent herbicide?
If you’re going to buy your pre-emergent, we recommend getting it from Amazon. You get the best prices, outstanding product range, and Prime member get fast free shipping. Amazon offers buyer protection on your order, with excellent customer service and hassle-free returns.
Pre Emergent Herbicide – The Verdict
By now, you should have a good idea of the best pre-emergent herbicide for your lawn. We curated this list of products to bring you the best brands and formulations available.
There’s a product in this review to suit any gardening requirements. Whether you need a pre-emergent for your lawn, flowerbeds, veggie garden, or walkways around the house, there’s a product in this review to suit your needs.
If you’re on the fence with your purchase decision, why not go with one of our top picks?
- Quali-Pro Prodiamine Pre-Emergent Herbicide is our choice for the best overall pre-emergent herbicide in this review. You get an advanced formulation using Prodiamine for 65% of the base materials. As a result, you get fast weed killing action without damage to any of your other plants. This product is ideal for use in the spring or fall, and it’s the preferred choice of contractors for maintaining large areas like estates, golf courses, and parks.
- If you want the best protection for your lawn, flowerbeds, and veggie garden, we recommend using the brand trusted by agriculturalists. Sedgehammer offers you a potent weed-killing formulation that’s suitable for use anywhere around the home. You get an advanced formula ideal for use on crops, and non-agricultural areas, such as the walkways around your home.
- If you’re looking for the best budget deal in this review, we recommend the Voluntary Purchasing Group Pre-Emergent Herbicide. This product is potent and affordable. You get a granular formulation with easy spreading. This product is suitable for use around the home, on your lawn, and the flowerbeds.