Why are pre emergent herbicides important?


Before turning to any chemical for any reason it’s important to make sure you have good cultural practices in place, simple things like washing down machinery between fields and hand weeding before the problem gets out of hand.

So what are pre emergent herbicides, they are a form of chemical weed control which prevent germinated weed seedlings from becoming established.

The most important thing to understand before using any a herbicide to control a weed is what is an actual weed.

A weed is a plant considered undesirable plant where you don’t want it to grow.

Once you know the weed you are targeting you can then move onto the next step by choosing the right chemical for the job.

There is many ways your sports surface, grassed area or lawn can be infested with weeds.

Things like the following 

*Weed seeds falling off footwear or machinery from other areas or sites.

*Flooding with flood waters or storm water run off bringing in weed seeds.

*Bird droppings and pets 

*Wind blowing seeds onto your surface 

*Grass stolons and rhizomes (runners)

Using a pre emergent herbicide can protect your surface from situations out of your control especially in open spaces to the public and flood affected areas where seeds can float onto your surface.

If you have areas that have great coverage and low traffic you should be able to manage weeds manually by hand as weed will mainly take advantage of a weak point in your surface giving it a chance to thrive, but if you are in a high risk area of weed seed contamination a pre emergent herbicide could be a great choice.

It is always important to remember not to apply any pre emergent herbicide if you want to re seed any areas as pre emergent herbicides prevent seeds from germinating.

Pre emergent herbicides are available in liquid and granular form from the home lawn to sports fields. It is very important to chose the right one for your situation as majority of them cause root shearing where roots from stolons (runners) cannot anchor down into the soil.

So if you surface is highly used your options shrink compared to an area where the grass coverage stays the same all year.

For more information on Pre Emergent Herbicides check out our website for your free International Greenkeepers – 2022 Turf Pesticide manual.


If you are still uncertain on what path to choose please do not hesitate to contact International Greenkeepers for some great free advice.

Thanks Daryl Davidson 



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