Did you spend last summer pulling weeds and constantly, yet carefully, applying herbicides around your ornamental beds? The solution may be starting early with weed control this spring.
A spring-applied pre-emergent herbicide can set your ornamental beds up for success this summer.
Benefits of a Pre-Emergent Herbicide
A pre-emergent herbicide will form a barrier above the weed seed that can last for several months, and as the seedlings come into contact with that barrier, they will absorb some of the herbicide and prevent root growth. This also prevents the weed from producing new seed.
There is less risk of crop damage with a pre-emergent herbicide than doing a post-emergent application. Also, post-emergent applications won’t prevent additional seeds from germinating and sprouting after application. That means you’ll be spraying the ornamental beds over and over again, with new weeds emerging all summer.
As is the case with turf pre-emergent herbicides, selecting the right herbicide for ornamentals can be difficult. It’s important to take the time to research your area to understand the types of weeds you may need to control. You will also need to take into account the species of plants you are tending, as you want to make sure your herbicide does not injure those plants. The best way to determine the right herbicide is to read the product label to see the weeds it will control, the plants it may harm and how to apply it appropriately.
Ornamental Pre-Emergent Herbicides
There are a variety of pre-emergent herbicides to choose from. Some are best for lawn care, while others are better used with ornamentals. If you aren’t sure where to start for your ornamental pre-emergent application, Tony Goldsby, Ewing’s National Turf Product Manager, shared two product he would recommend, as a starting point.
Quali-Pro T/I 2.5G Granular Pre-Emergent Herbicide:
The Quali-Pro T/I 2.5G pre-emergent herbicide, which is a Ewing best seller, controls more than 100 different broadleaf weeds and grasses. It’s good to use on ornamental and landscape beds. As a granular, after applying the product on the ground, you will need to spray the area with water, so that it can spread out and create a barrier.
“I would recommend the Quali-Pro T/I 2.5G to pros that may not be too familiar with using pre-emergent herbicides or may not know exactly what type of weed to anticipate because this product covers a wide spectrum of use and weeds. It’s also a great option for price conscious buyers,” Goldsby said.
This Quali-Pro herbicide can also be used for over-the-top ornamental application, but it’s important to review the list of plants that could be injured by this application. That list is provided on the product label.
Available as either a 37.5-pound or 50-pound bag, the BASF FreeHand is another best selling pre-emergent herbicide at Ewing. It’s a non-burning herbicide, with a wide range of plant species tolerance and uses.
“While the BASF FreeHand is a more expensive pre-emergent option, it is less likely to injure your ornamental plants,” Goldsby said. “It also has great control of the yellow nutsedge, which is a very common and wide-spread weed variety.”
Learn more about weed control for planter beds with this video:
Which pre-emergent herbicide do you prefer using on your ornamental beds? Share in the comments below.