Ask a Question forum: Pre-emergent Herbicides - Preen Reviews

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Waukesha, WI
Jul 26, 2017 6:23 PM CST
We've considered using a pre-emergent herbicide like Preen after pulling summer weeds and applying mulch to keep new weeds from germinating. But we also have many dormant spring bulbs (daffodil, hyacinth, tulip, crocus, lily) planted in the same beds where herbicide application would be done. Will Preen or any other pre-emergent herbicide kill dormant bulbs, or does the chemical only work on actively germinating seed? If it won't kill bulbs, will residual herbicide have any adverse effect on their spring growth or the emergence of other perennials in the same beds? If you don't recommend using any pre-emergent herbicides for overall environmental reasons, what organic, environmentally friendly solutions exist for weed control other than old-fashioned, back-breaking pulling by hand?
Name: Daisy I
Reno, Nv (Zone 6b)
Not all who wander are lost
Garden Sages Plant Identifier
Jul 26, 2017 6:33 PM CST

Preen is interesting stuff. When a seed germinates, the first thing it does is send down a tap root. Preen does not allow that to happen. If you want to plant in an area treated with Preen, you will have to sprout your seeds and transplant them.

Preen works for about 3 months then needs to be repeated. It does not work unless the soil is wet (seed germinating conditions). It works best on small seeds (think grass) and as the seed gets bigger, the Preen is less and less effective.

Bulbs are not seeds, they are dormant plants.
Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and proclaiming...."WOW What a Ride!!" -Mark Frost

Name: Rj
Just S of the twin cities of M (Zone 4b)
Garden Ideas: Level 1 Plant Identifier Million Pollinator Garden Challenge
Jul 26, 2017 7:19 PM CST
You can also use corn gluten as a pre-emergent, plus get the added benefit of a small amount of nitrogen.
Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed.

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