How to Prevent Winter Born Weeds

Weeds are a nuisance to any gardener. This is especially true during the wintertime when your garden is empty and more susceptible to their invasion. Here are some ways to get rid of these winter pests.

Weed Control: Kill the Weeds Before They Sprout

Using pre-emergence herbicides on your soil will kill the seeds and seedlings of weeds before they have a chance to sprout. To be more effective, you need to begin in late summer/early fall. Mid-September is best.

Types of Pre-emergence Herbicides

  • Benefin
  • Dithiopyr
  • Oryzalin
  • Oxadiazon
  • Pendimethalin
  • Prodiamine
  • Isoxaben
  • Ethofumesate
  • Rimsulfuron

Post-emergence Weed Control

Pre-emergence herbicides don’t work on weeds that have already sprouted. One way to remove these is by pulling them out by hand or by hoe.


Alternatively, there are herbicides that have both pre-emergence and post-emergence activity. Examples of herbicides that you can use for post-emergence weed control are:

  • Atrazine
  • Simazine
  • Metribuzin


However, using these herbicides can lead to resistance to them.

Tips for Post-emergence Use

  • Rotate the use of pesticides to avoid resistance
  • Use only on active growing weeds
  • Don’t mow for at least 24 to 48 hours
  • Water your lawn 24 to 48 hours after treatment
  • Small weeds succumb more likely than larger ones

Careful planning is the best way to protect your garden from winter born weeds. Remember to start early. It will be easier to kill them.