Pre-Emergent Herbicide Use in South Carolina Lawns and Turf

Justin Watts - Thursday, September 30, 2010
Pre-emergent herbicides are used to control weeds in lawns and grasses.  In South Carolina lawns, pre-emergent herbicides should be used throughout the year to achieve proper weed control.  It should be noted that pre-emergent herbicides only control annual weeds and should be applied prior to germination.  Pre-emergent herbicides do not control existing weeds in lawns and turf.  Since there are both cool-season and warm-season annual weeds, pre-emergent herbicides should be applied several times throughout the year to achieve proper weed control.

Annual weeds that can be controlled with pre-emergent herbicides include crabgrass, annual bluegrass (poa annua), lezpedeza, and others.  Fall is a good time to apply pre-emergent herbicides as they can help prevent annual weeds in turf and lawns.  Pre-emergent herbicides form a chemical barrier that prevents weeds from germinating in turf and lawns.  Pre-emergent herbicides should be watered in with at least a 1/2" of water to activate them.  September and October are ideal times to apply pre-emergent herbicides in South Carolina on turf and lawn areas.  This timing allows for the pre-emergent herbicides to prevent annual weeds before they germinate. 

Pre-emergent herbicides can be used on zoysia, centipede, bermuda, fescue and st. augustine lawns.  Winter annual weeds begin germinating when soil temperatures lower to around 55 degrees.   The best way to deal with annual weeds is by preventing them with a pre-emergent herbicides.  Winter annual weeds germinate in the fall and mature throughout the winter months.  When spring arrives they aggressively compete with desirable grasses such as zoysia, centipede, bermuda, fescue, and st. augustine.   It is much easier to prevent weeds with a pre-emergent herbicide in turf versus applying a post-emergent herbicide.  W.P. Law Inc. stocks pre-emergent herbicides to help customers keep their lawns and turf weed free.  Visit their website at to learn more about fertilizer programs for various grasses and lawns in South Carolina.
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