The Importance of Pre-Emergent Weed Control

pre-emergent weed control

As we begin the transition from the hot summer months into fall here in North Texas, it is important for homeowners to continue to take the proper steps to maintain a healthy, weed free lawn throughout the coming year.

Proper watering, mowing, fertilizing, and aerating of your lawn will ensure a thick, healthy turfgrass that is more resistant to weed growth. However, it is also important to employ the practice of seasonal pre-emergent weed control.

As the name suggests, this practice will prevent weeds from germinating, spreading, and taking over your lawn.

The Problems with Weeds

Aside from their lack of visual appeal, weeds provide a number of problems for your lawn. 

Weeds are more than just pests, they are living plants. Like all other plants in our yards, they require sunlight, moisture, nutrients, and space to grow.

Weeds are also particularly quick to soak up fertilizer, and all the precious minerals it has to offer our turf grass.

As they grow and spread in your lawn, they are stealing these vital nutrients from your plants, and hindering your turf grass from reaching its full potential. Unlike other plants in your lawn, weeds provide no positive reinforcement to the structure of your lawn, and only serve to weaken grass.

As your plant life weakens, your lawn will become more susceptible to infection, insect infestation, and drought. Once these weeds have germinated and grown into the structure of your lawn, they can be incredibly hard to remove. Some may be treated and killed topically, whereas stronger weeds, like grassy weeds, can only be removed at the detriment to the surrounding turfgrass, if at all.

The best practice in weed control in our North Texas lawns is one which treats the problem before it arises. Pre-emergent weed control will stop these plants from invading our lawns, prevent damage to our turfgrass, and allow our lawns to grow to their fullest potentials.

If you have already seen some of these weeds sprouting in your lawn, review our list of common weeds that grow in the DFW area.  Identifying the weeds you’re currently dealing with is key to finding the proper technique to eliminate them, and our guide to weeds in North Texas can help!

When Do Weeds Grow in Texas

When it comes to weed prevention, many homeowners fall victim to a common misconception. We tend to believe that the best time to deal with weeds is in the spring, as we see them begin to sprout and grow along with our surrounding turf grass.

Even if we’re not seeing them yet in the spring, it does seem logical that this is the appropriate season to halt their growth. This is false. If you are seeing the growth of weeds in your lawn this spring, it might be too late. Even if you have yet to see growth, these pests may have already germinated in your lawn, and are prepared to sprout at any moment.

Many of the weeds you see in spring are in fact “cool weather weeds.” This means they germinated back in the fall, and have laid their ground work to grow and spread during the spring and summer months.

The cooling weather of the fall and increased rainfall in coming months will provide the perfect habitat for these cool weather weeds to begin to spread, and by the time spring approaches it may be too late to control them.


Applying pre-emergent weed control in the fall prevents them from setting in when they are beginning their attack. 

It is important to know that pre-emergent weed control is not only necessary in the fall; a healthy lawn will likely also need an application in the spring. The distinction here is that the products applied in each season prevent the growth of different weeds.

For example, when you apply a pre-emergent weed control in the spring, you are preventing the growth and spread of a weed like crabgrass, whereas a fall application will prevent the growth of weeds like poana, and rescue grass

Other common cool weather weeds include bluegrass, chickweed, clover, dandelions, henbit, and ryegrass. These are all annual weeds that germinate from seed. This means they can only be prevented from growing and germinating by the use of a pre-emergent weed control. Once they have sprouted, it may be too late to eliminate them from your lawn all together.

Pre-Emergent Control Practices

There are several home care techniques you can employ to prevent these cool weather weeds from setting in, but your primary focus should be on your watering practices and mowing techniques. When approaching your watering techniques for the fall, it is important to focus on the change in volume and frequency.

Over-watering your lawn in fall, winter, and early spring can bring on a more aggressive weed infestation as temperatures rise. In North Texas we see an increase in rainfall in our fall and winter months, and your irrigation system should adjust accordingly.

For example, if you have been watering your lawn once or twice a week in the warmer summer months, you can reduce this watering cycle as rainfall increases and temperatures drop. Depending on the volume of rainfall, this could mean you begin to only water your lawn every other week, or even once a month.

If you are overwatering your lawn, you are watering your weeds. Consider reducing your watering schedule, and watering trees, plants, and shrubs separately as needed.

In terms of mowing habits, they key here is the timing of your first spring mow, and the height to which you mow your grass. Mow your lawn sooner rather than later, and lower in the early spring.

Taller turfgrass will keep your soil temperature lower, as the soil is more shaded. This can provide the habitat weeds need to continue to grow and settle into your grass. If your lawn is mowed lower, the sun can warm the soil earlier, and help to encourage your lawn to come out of the dormancy it’s been in for the previous months. 

Keep your lawn weed free by following these weed control tips for your lawn this fall or contact a lawn care service professional at our offices.

How Gecko Green Can Help

Here at Gecko Green, bi annual pre-emergent weed control applications are a part of our total lawn care package. We have a team of experts who are ready to help you prevent the growth and spread of these pests throughout the year, as well as provide assistance eliminating the existing weeds in your lawn. 

Along with our monthly service package, you will have access to our call service for problems as they arise in your lawn, and a free consultation to determine the best course of action to care for your plant life. 

Gecko Green is a family business based in the DFW area with a passion for customer service and satisfaction. We guarantee all of our services, and would love to provide you with lawn care and pest control services you and your family need.

For a free consultation, call Gecko Green and schedule a visit from a lawn care expert today!

Get a free lawn evaluation today!