The Best Pre-Emergent Herbicides for Weed Control

If you’re tired of battling unwanted weeds in your lawn and garden, pre-emergent herbicides can be your secret weapon. These powerful products prevent weed seeds from germinating, keeping your outdoor spaces weed-free and pristine. We’ve scoured popular retailers like Home Depot, Lowe’s, Amazon, and Walmart to bring you the six best pre-emergent herbicides for effective weed control. Whether you prefer synthetic or organic options, we’ve got you covered. Let’s dive in and discover the top picks!

1. Quali-Pro Prodiamine 65 WDG

Quali-Pro Prodiamine Pre-Emergent Herbicide

If you’re looking for a reliable pre-emergent herbicide for your lawn and landscaping, consider Quali-Pro Prodiamine 65 WDG. This long-lasting formula effectively prevents the growth of grassy and broadleaf weeds such as annual bluegrass, crabgrass, and spurge. Suitable for both spring and fall applications, Quali-Pro Prodiamine comes in granules that easily mix into a liquid for even distribution. It can even be tank-mixed with fertilizers and iron solutions for added convenience.


  • Active ingredient: Prodiamine
  • Application: Sprayer
  • Coverage: 6250 sq. ft.
  • Product size: 5 lb.
  • Type: Liquid (comes in granules and mixes into a liquid)
  • Use sites: Lawns, landscaping, trees, golf courses, nurseries
  • Weeds treated: Grassy and broadleaf weeds, including annual bluegrass, chickweed, crabgrass, foxtail, goosegrass, henbit, knotweed, spurge

2. Dimension 2EW

Dimension 2EW

For pre-emergent and early post-emergent crabgrass treatment, consider Dimension 2EW. Safe for most cool-season and warm-season turfgrass, golf courses, and over 400 ornamental plants, this herbicide is a versatile choice. It effectively prevents annual summer grassy weeds and many types of broadleaf weeds. Apply Dimension 2EW as a liquid using a handheld or backpack sprayer for best results. Remember to use it before weed germination as it only works on crabgrass after it has sprouted.

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  • Active ingredient: Dithiopyr
  • Application: Sprayer
  • Coverage: 2 – 4 acres
  • Product size: .5 gal.
  • Type: Liquid
  • Use sites: Lawns, golf courses, landscaping, nurseries
  • Weeds treated: Annual bluegrass, bittercress, chickweed, crabgrasses, foxtail, goosegrass, henbit, lespedeza, oxalis, parsley-piert, and other summer annual grasses and broadleaf weeds

3. Barricade from The Andersons

Barricade from The Andersons

Barricade from The Andersons is an excellent alternative to Quali-Pro Prodiamine 65 WDG. It contains the same active ingredient (Prodiamine), but is applied as granules using a spreader. This makes it a more cost-effective option per square foot of coverage. While it may be slightly trickier to apply evenly than a liquid solution, Barricade is particularly effective in freezing temperatures.


  • Active ingredient: Prodiamine
  • Application: Spreader
  • Coverage: 5,800 sq. ft.
  • Product size: 18 lb.
  • Type: Granular
  • Use sites: Lawns, landscaping, ornamental beds
  • Weeds treated: 30 broadleaf and grassy weeds, including annual bluegrass and crabgrass

4. Espoma Organic Weed Preventer

Espoma Organic Weed Preventer

If you prefer natural weed control options, Espoma Organic Weed Preventer is the way to go. Made from 100% corn gluten meal, this organic weed inhibitor and lawn nourisher have been extensively researched by Iowa State University. It effectively prevents the growth of common weeds like crabgrass and dandelions. Homeowners and farmers concerned about the potential harm caused by chemicals welcome this organic solution for their established lawns and crop fields. Apply the granules with a spreader in early spring and again in early fall.


  • Active ingredient: Corn gluten meal
  • Application: Spreader
  • Coverage: 1,250 sq. ft.
  • Product size: 25 lb.
  • Type: Granules
  • Use sites: Lawns
  • Weeds treated: Crabgrass, dandelions, and other common weeds
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5. Preen Extended Control Weed Preventer

Preen Extended Control Weed Preventer

For long-lasting weed prevention, look no further than Preen Extended Control Weed Preventer. This powerful product provides up to 6 months of weed control and is safe to use near over 600 plants, including perennial flowers and ground covers. Keep in mind that it should not be used on lawns or edible crops. Preen Extended Control effectively prevents common weeds such as clover, crabgrass, and dandelion. Application is easy, requiring no additional equipment. However, please be aware that the chemicals used in this product are strong and not recommended for pet owners.


  • Active ingredient: Trifluralin, isoxaben
  • Application: Sprinkle from the bottle, then water to activate
  • Coverage: 2,245 sq. ft.
  • Product size: 13.75 lb.
  • Type: Granules
  • Use sites: Perennial flower beds, ground covers, trees, landscaping, rock gardens
  • Weeds treated: Broadleaf, grassy, and common weeds, including annual ryegrass, clover, crabgrass, dandelion, henbit, mustard, pokeweed, sandbur, thistle, and wild carrot

6. Scotts Turfbuilder Halts Crabgrass Preventer

Scotts Turfbuilder Halts Crabgrass Preventer

If you’re looking for an all-in-one solution that fertilizes your lawn while preventing crabgrass, Scotts Turfbuilder Halts Crabgrass Preventer is an excellent choice. Apply the granules in early spring using a spreader for a well-nourished lawn free from common spring weeds like crabgrass, barnyard grass, and more. It’s safe for most turfgrass, with the exception of bentgrass lawns.


  • Active ingredient: Pendimethalin
  • Application: Spreader
  • Coverage: 5,000 sq. ft.
  • Product size: 13.58 lb.
  • Type: Granules
  • Use sites: Bermudagrass, Kentucky bluegrass, centipedegrass, fine fescue, ryegrass, St. Augustinegrass, tall fescue, and Zoysiagrass lawns
  • Weeds treated: Crabgrass, barnyard grass, foxtail, Poa annua, chickweed, and oxalis
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Buyer’s Guide to Pre-Emergent Herbicides

If you’re in the market for a pre-emergent herbicide, here are some factors to consider:

  • Type of pre-emergent herbicide: There are different types of pre-emergent herbicides available, including liquid and granular options. Liquid herbicides allow for even coverage, while granular herbicides are better suited for freezing temperatures.
  • Organic vs. synthetic: Organic herbicides are environmentally friendly but may attract bugs. Synthetic herbicides are often more effective but not as eco-friendly.
  • Selective vs. non-selective: Selective herbicides target specific types of weeds, while non-selective herbicides kill everything they come into contact with.
  • Ingredients: Different active ingredients target specific weeds. Make sure to choose an herbicide that addresses the types of weeds you’re trying to control.
  • Equipment: Some herbicides require additional equipment like sprayers or spreaders for proper application.
  • Price: Consider the price per container or per square foot of coverage. Organic products tend to be more expensive.

FAQ about Pre-Emergent Herbicides

  • When should I call a lawn care professional? If you want expert help in maintaining a healthy lawn and tackling weed problems, it’s best to consult a local lawn care professional. With their expertise, they can diagnose and treat existing issues and provide routine lawn care to prevent future weed problems.

Remember, always read and follow the instructions on the herbicide packaging for the best results and to ensure safety. Happy weed control!

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