Apply pre-emergent herbicides to control spring weeds

By Lelia Kelly
MSU Horticulture Specialist

To get the jump on all those warm-season weeds that will be germinating soon in your landscape beds you can apply pre-emergent herbicides now.

Follow label directions carefully and do not apply around any landscape plants that are not listed on the label. Remember that pre-emergent herbicides will kill emerging flower seed as well as weed seed, so if you rely on volunteer seedlings to replenish your flower beds do not apply these herbicide granules to those beds.

Preen is one of several name brand pre-emergent herbicides that is safe when applied correctly around many landscape plants.

Organic Matter

When those first mild days lure you outdoors to work in your garden, begin by renewing the soil. If you can get your hands on some organic matter (peat moss, composted leaves, old sawdust), add a 4-inch layer to all your beds and work it into the soil.

Because organic matter continually breaks down, thereby improving drainage and fertility, landscape beds could benefit by an annual application.


Many gardeners maintain a compost pile that is used to amend planting beds. Composting is easy and a great way to recycle some kitchen food scraps and garden plant material.

For details on compost refer to the MSU Extension Service publication, P1782 “Composting for the Mississippi Gardener.”

Contact your local County Extension office for a copy or go online and download it from under the Publications area.