How to Apply Pre-Emergent Herbicide for a Glorious Weed-Free Lawn

As great as it is to enjoy a lawn and garden all year, it’s the rare Houstonian that enjoys the weeds that come with it. There are few yard chores as tedious and backbreaking as pulling lawn weeds, which is why pre-emergent herbicides are a must for a dreamy, low-maintenance lawn. These miraculous products can save you a whole season’s worth of hassles in one step! Here’s what you need to know about our favorite lawn care “hack”!


What are Pre-Emergent Herbicides?

A lot of common lawn weeds are annuals that continue their life cycle by dropping seeds before the parent plant dies. Pre-emergent herbicides are weed control products that work by preventing the weed seed from germinating while leaving the surrounding grass unharmed. The trick with pre-emergent herbicides is timing. If you apply pre-emergents too early, they can wash away before they’re effective. If you wait too long, the weed seeds will start germinating, and the herbicide is pretty much useless until next year. So, it’s worth your while to learn your options and be prepared to jump into action!

If crabgrass and other common weeds have been taking over your lawn, start the year off right by purchasing one of our pre-emergent herbicides.




Popular Pre-Emergent Herbicides in Houston

These are some of the most common pre-emergents on the market in our neck of the woods. Pre-emergents need to be applied every three to four months in Houston, since weeds can strike just about any time throughout the year. Aim for your first application in late October to early November (so, basically now) and another one in February, May and August.

GreenLight® Amaze® Grass & Weed Preventer

Amaze is a granular pre-emergent that controls broadleaf and grassy weeds like crabgrass, lambsquarters, and common purslane. The active ingredients in Amaze are benefin and oryzalin. It comes in 10-pound bags, and can be spread over warm-season grasses, flower beds, landscape ornamentals, and groundcovers. Ten pounds of product can protect up to 4,000 square feet of lawn or beds.!

How to Apply: Use a rotary spreader for precise application and follow the rates recommended on the label. (The rates vary a lot depending where you plan to apply the product.)


Like Amaze, Barricade is a pre-emergent herbicide that protects against grassy and broadleaf weeds. Its active ingredient is prodiamine. Barricade leaves a barrier on the soil surface that sticks around for weeks to literally “barricade” weed seeds from germinating and popping up. A 10 lb. bag will treat up to 5,000 sqft of lawn, but in St. Augustine it covers 2,500 sqft.

How to Apply: Use a rotary spreader or hand spreader to apply the granular formula. Always follow the rates recommended on the label.




Corn Gluten Meal: A Natural Alternative

Corn gluten meal is the latest all-natural, chemical-free lawn care treatment. The only downside to corn gluten meal is that you have a narrow window to apply it, and at this point in the year, the window has passed. But, it’s still worth learning about so you’re armed and ready to try it next fall!

First things first, the type of cornmeal used as a lawn herbicide is not the same kind of cornmeal you use to make cornbread! Don’t buy the stuff from the supermarket—that will only end up feeding garden pests like slugs and snails. Instead, visit Plants for All Seasons and grab a special herbicidal formula. This kind of cornmeal is composed of 60% protein and 10% nitrogen.

The protein in this product will stunt the development of weed roots, so they won’t take hold in your yard. Technically the seeds will still germinate, but they won’t get very far in their development with no roots. The nitrogen has the added benefit of feeding your grass so it grows lush and green, so this stuff really performs double duty!


Click here to subscribe to our newsletter for all the new arrivals, latest news and more!


If crabgrass and other common weeds have been taking over your lawn, start the year off right by purchasing one of our pre-emergent herbicides so you can save your back from all that weed pulling. Visit Plants for All Seasons to pick some up today, or arrange for delivery or curbside pickup!