Pre-emergent weed control suggestion

gardenklutz(NC 7)January 30, 2006

OK, so it's time to put out pre-emergent weed control. Can anyone suggest something that works? I tried Preen last year and was not thrilled with the results. I need something for the lawn and possibly something for a large area of juniper. All summer long I was treating the lawn for weeds and hand pulling in the juniper, ugh - so boring. Is there anything that will kill the millions of tree seedlings that pop up without killing the plants?

Thanks for your help.......

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gurley157fs(zone 7/8sc)

Right on time!!! I was just going to go out and buy some Preen for a new project. If there is something better I sure would like to know too.

    Bookmark   January 30, 2006 at 8:15PM
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memama_gayle(z8 NC)

I would like to know also. I would like to know also how frequently you put out pre-emergents.
Somewhere I have read that a pre-emergent needs to be reapplied to cover fall weeds/ winter weeds. Do you use Preen for this also?

    Bookmark   February 3, 2006 at 7:32AM
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Hi! I just ordered 100 pounds of corn gluten and I don't have a clue when to put it out. Anyone know when to put this stuff out? Thanks!

    Bookmark   February 4, 2006 at 5:24PM
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Corn gluten meal usually gets put down when the forsythia's bloom. I know we have some blooming around Raleigh now with the warm winter but normal bloom time is more like 3 or 4 weeks from now. I'd hold off because we will get some very cold weather and it works as the soil warms, not as it cools since it works on the developing root structure.

    Bookmark   February 4, 2006 at 5:59PM
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Tammy Kennedy

thanks, nan! i bought some last yr and never got it out. now i know when to use it this yr. i'm hoping it will help control the microstegium. tam

    Bookmark   February 4, 2006 at 9:03PM
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To be effective you'll need to apply it for seven years as that is how long the seed is viable. An old saying is, "One year of seeding yields seven years of weeding."

    Bookmark   February 5, 2006 at 3:56AM
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Seven years! Dang, I was sorta hopin it might help right away! I had to order this stuff from Montana cause I couldn't find it here! Any NC connections for corn gulten? I take that back one place told me that hey could get it but I had buy 3 tons! Thanks, Janet

    Bookmark   February 5, 2006 at 9:34AM
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karen__w(z7 Durham, NC)

I tried corn gluten for Microstegium control last year and didn't see any effect at all. It grew up just as thick as ever. I've used Preen in a different area and it works pretty well. It reduces germination so that hand pulling the remainder is manageable. In areas where I've used Preen plus pulling for two years I'm seeing very little germination unless I get in there and disturb the soil for some reason. Last year I also made a dent (I hope) with grass-b-gone, spraying a few weeks before it started to set seed.

I bought my corn gluten at Durham Garden Center and at Barnes Supply. The guy at Barnes was willing to make a special order for me, and I only had to commit to one bag.

    Bookmark   February 5, 2006 at 9:57AM
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Tammy Kennedy

i got mine at a feed store in north raleigh, close the sri show warehouse. don't recall the name now. was like $30 a big bag.

    Bookmark   February 5, 2006 at 10:55AM
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Here's my strategy, see what you think. Clear the ground of trash and sticks, etc. Trim up any small shrubs or perennials so you can see what you're doing. Take old newspapers and make a pad with 7 layers of newsprint. Starting at the outward edge, begin layering sections of pads, like you're shingling a roof. Overlap the pads so that it's not easy for soil to wash under the edges. Do not put the newspaper right up next to shrub trunks or perennial crowns. Next, mulch at the proper depth with material of choice. Next, sprinkle the Preen over the mulch, keeping it from staying on the leaves of shrubs or other plants. This helps keep perennial weeds from coming up and starving them of light. The Preen helps prevent blown in seeds from germinating. You have to reapply the Preen after 3 months, by the way. The newspaper will degrade over a single season, but by then it's prevented many weed seeds from germinating. The earthworms like it too! If you do this regularly, weeds become less and less.

    Bookmark   February 13, 2006 at 9:01AM
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I was planning on trying preemergent this spring but I heard something this weekend that I may try instead. They said that probably most of the weeds in your yard liked the ph of your soil (which mine is acidic) so if you bring your ph closer to 7 it should help keep the weeds down (for me that means adding lime). I think that would be cheaper than Preem. Anybody try this yet?


    Bookmark   February 13, 2006 at 5:46PM
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Ralph Whisnant(z7b-8 NC)

Corn gluten is available as Fertrell Weedban from Organic Farming and Gardening Supplies ( for $34.25 per 50 pound bag (plus shipping). However, I believe that the owner specially orders it and may have already done so for this spring. Also, sold as WOW by Gardens Alive. ( A local source saves shipping costs.

    Bookmark   February 13, 2006 at 8:12PM
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